HER: Ten years ago, people would cringe when they admitted they had met online (if they admitted to it at all). Today, it’s surprising when new couples actually meet the old fashioned way: in person, by accident. With so much of our lives lived on the internet, it makes sense that we would look for a partner there, too, whether you’re a single or a couple. Online dating is a fantastic way for swingers to meet other swingers. But, with everyone searching on the same websites, how do you stand out? And how do you make sure you’re attracting the right kind of people? Well, we’ve learned a few things after perusing hundreds of profiles, and we’ve got some useful tips.
HIM: It seems obvious to me that, whether you’re looking for lifestyle dates on Swing Lifestyle, Kasidie, LifestyleLounge, or Cafe Desire , it’s all about the profile you put together. Your profile is going to work on your behalf 24 hours a day like a talent agent trying to get the best bookings for his client. This is no time to take the easy way out.
HER: The first thing you have to ask yourself is ‘What am I trying to communicate?’ The answer may seem obvious, but it isn’t. Judging by the profiles we’ve read, the main thing many people want to communicate is how much they hate putting together a profile. These people write the shortest answers possible and reveal almost nothing about themselves.
HIM: I hate that. It’s like they’ve hired Patriots coach Bill Belichick as their press agent! If you’re being vague in the hope of casting the widest net possible, you’ll just end up with a clutterred inbox. It will take more time to sort through, and the best prospects are bound to get lost. You have to start from the position that there are only a handful of people out there who are right for you, and that you want to do everything you can to find them (unless you’re really not picky).
HER: I know I would never contact a couple who hadn’t put some time and thought into their written profile. Just like on a date, I don’t care how sexy you look; if you don’t have something interesting to say, I’m moving on. I want to see someone who’s thoughtful, witty, and respectful. Consider who you are, and how you want to be perceived, then do your best to capture that (which is easier said than done). Oh, and do a little grammar check. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you keep using the wrong form of ‘their/there/they’re,’ I’m going to think you’re not that bright.
HIM: Coming across the right way will require a fair amount of honest self-assessment. The first question you have to answer is why someone should want to take the time to get to know you. Why are you so special? This can be tricky enough if you’re writing about yourself, but way more complex when you’re doing it as a couple. You have to come up with something that sports fans would call a ‘team identity’: the group personality that transcends the individuals involved. You and your partner are individuals with different qualities, but together you can present a united image. Intellectual? Down to earth? Into the finer things? Relaxed and casual? Sarcastic? Sweet natured? Be honest about who you are and don’t try to be all things to all people.
HER: While it’s important to describe yourself accurately, it’s almost equally important to describe what you’re looking for accurately. One way to approach it is to think about the best swinging experience you’ve ever had. Then, try to describe in detail what it was about those people that made the magic possible. Was it an attitude? A kink? A physical attribute? Then ask for what you want. And be sure to include things you don’t want. For example, I like having my hair pulled and being choked (within reason), but I hate having my nipples pinched. That stuff is in the profile. We’ve often gone back to a couple’s profile just before we go on the ‘hook up’ date — you know the one, where you’re pretty sure tonight is the night where sex is going to happen. Often, we get helpful tips about what they like and don’t so we go in armed with knowledge that will increase everyone’s pleasure.
HIM: Part of creating a clear picture of who you are is not just what you say, but what you don’t say. I can’t state this too strongly: don’t include useless information. If you write that you like good hygiene, or don’t like drama, you’re really saying nothing at all. Let’s face it, there isn’t a human being alive who adores body odor, or longs to get embroiled in someone else’s emotional meltdown. Yet so many people say these inane things.
HER: I know – there should be some kind of bot that automatically deletes those comments from online dating profiles. Besides, they don’t even seem to work. In my experience, people with bad hygiene or dramatic personalities just aren’t self-aware enough to realize it about themselves.
HIM: Once you have team identity taken care of, make sure that everything you say agrees with it. For example, we recently got a note from a couple whose tag line is “Shut up, let’s fuck!” Now, there is nothing wrong with that statement at all. In fact, it creates a clear impression of their sexual style, and could go a long way to helping them find couples with a similar approach. But the actual note they wrote to us talked about how they are looking for connections “that are about more than just sex.” Well, which is it, people? The way it came across to us is that they are naturally aggressive, but tried to tone it down when they read about the kind of relationship we’re looking for. We were afraid that if we set up a date with the ‘more than just sex’ people, the ‘shut up, let’s fuck’ people would actually show up.
HER: Yeah, I’m glad we didn’t sign up for a ride on that roller coaster! The last part to focus on is your pictures. It goes without saying that human beings are visual creatures, yet so many people seem to treat their profile photos as an afterthought. That is a mistake. Baby, as our online profilemaster, I know you have a bunch of guidelines that you swear by, so maybe it would be helpful to share them with everyone here.
HIM: Sure. I’m not saying everyone should do things the way we do, but here are the rules that I go by with our profile pictures:
- Include pictures of both of you. It’s annoying when there are only pictures of one person, usually the female. The unstated assumption among some in the lifestyle is that men are only inconsequential accessories to a game that is all about women. I’ve even seen couples say as much in their written profiles. It’s insulting, and sounds dumb.
- Include pictures of both of you together (this is different than point 1 above). Some single individuals have been known to try to pass themselves off as part of a couple in order to attract attention they would not generate on their own. Additionally, the people you’re interested in may be able to pick up on the intangibles of your chemistry as a couple just by seeing you together.
- If privacy is a concern, and you want to show some nudity in your private pictures, never show your face and an intimate body part in the same image. As a mental guide, just imagine each photo being stolen and shown around. The face pictures should be ones that you would be comfortable showing your children or parents. The nude pictures should be ones that you could plausably deny if necessary. The obvious way is not to show your face, but you would probably also want to avoid showing obvious incidental details (your home decor, your car, your tattoos) that would make denial impossible.
- Put dates on the pictures. Saying they’re ‘recent’ doesn’t mean much when, well, we’re not sure how recently you said ‘recent’. It’s like arriving at a store and seeing a sign that says ‘Back in 15 Minutes’. If you don’t know when they put up the sign, it’s almost completely useless. Basically, we want to know if what we’re seeing is ancient history or breaking news!
- Variety is important. Include several pictures from different angles and different lighting conditions. This will provide a more complete, three-dimensional view of who you are. And smile – people care about your teeth.
- Don’t be misleading. You may be 25 lbs heavier than you wish, but putting up that one picture where, due to unprecedented atmospheric conditions, you look like a skinny person, is not fair. Or, if you hate your cellulite or stretch marks and are tempted to photoshop the crap out of that pic, don’t. Remember that some people like a bigger body type, and a lot don’t care about your imperfections. However, those who do care are going to notice when they see you in person right away. They’re going to feel mislead, which is not a good first impression to make. I’m not saying you should be a masochist and put up your most hideous photo, but be realistic.
- If at all possible, avoid the cock shot. Do you remember the Jerry Seinfeld routine where he talks about men honking car horns and yelling from construction sites to attract women even though it has never worked, not even once, in the history of humankind? The cock shot is pretty much the same thing. It’s not that women don’t like cocks — they love them, as far as I can tell — but they love them as part of actual men, not as disembodied objects. The cock shot kind of says “I’m a man who doesn’t have a clue.” So, by all means show your cock, just don’t forget to also show the man it is connected to.
HER: So revisit that profile and see if you can’t make it a little more honest, revealing, and appealing. In the end, you want your profile to be as good as possible so you can be as bad as possible with the people you eventually meet. 😘
Liam & Kate are a married couple, very much in love, writing honestly and insightfully about their adventures in the world of non-monogamy.