Choosing a picture for your dating profile can pose a dilemma. Funny or serious, solo or fully clothed or flashing the flesh?
While 90% of men may believe a topless picture may seem like a good idea to get matches, it actually seems like the opposite is the case.
A survey by Dating.com found that men who use a shirtless photo on their profile actually get 25% fewer matches than those who don’t.
The study quizzed 2,000 random users across the company’s dating apps, before comparing their responses with their own data.
It revealed that, despite men’s belief in the power of a topless photo, 66% of women said they found shirtless pictures to be a sign of immaturity.
What's more, 76% of women said they wouldn’t even consider dating a man with a shirtless selfie on their profile.
But topless posers didn’t lose out in all cases, however, as 15% did say they would be open to a hookup, and 9% would consider a friendship.
Interestingly, opinions on flashing the flesh in a profile picture weren’t quite the same when it came to female images.
The research found women who had bikini pictures on their profiles were 40% more likely to get matches.
It’s worth pointing out that the study doesn’t specify whether this dislike for topless photos is also the case for LGBTQ+ men.
However, the study did note that the LGBTQ+ community are four times more likely to include a shirtless picture on their dating profile.
To add to the confusion of how to present yourself on dating apps, further research has revealed that both men and women hold inaccurate perceptions of what the opposite sex finds attractive.
While women overestimate a man’s desire for thinness, men think a woman places more importance than she does on muscularity.
Read more: How to re-ignite your libido in lockdown
As well as posing shirtless, men who share photos of themselves with cats on dating apps are also less likely to appeal to potential partners.
When the man posed with the cat, he was perceived more negatively than when he didn’t have the cat in his arms.
It wasn’t all negative for our cat-loving males, though.
Despite being described as “less dateable”, men who were holding cats were seen as more open and agreeable than the photos without the cat.
Men holding the tabby cat were also seen as more confident and outgoing than those pictured alone.
The discrepancy between cats and dogs is an interesting one, as men go out of their way to use their friend’s dogs in dating app photos because women react so well.
But this isn’t the case for those who have chosen a cat as their fluffy dating profile companion.
Read more: What is “zumping” the new dating trend?
In other dating news, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a shift in behaviour, which is encouraging us to chat with people closer to home.
The term ‘locdating’ has been coined to describe this new way of dating, and it involves defining your location settings to only interact with people who are very close by to you, avoiding the need to jump on public transport altogether.
Coronavirus lockdown has also spawned an increase in ‘turbo relationships’, with many going from first date to forever in the space of a few short months.