Yes. I am a hypocrite.
Sometimes you won’t have time to read someone’s profile bio – and we all know that your picture is all you’ve got to get him to say hello. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the photo in question needs to be clear and recent (unless you still look like your charming 2010 self) – just make sure it’s not a mug shot or a scan of your passport picture, and you are ready to go.
Remember, the focus of the picture should always be on the star attraction: YOU. Because while a panoramic shot of the Eiffel tower or the Great Wall of China in the background can make for a great conversation starter, a selfie with a butt plug on the shelf behind you can only lead to a lot of awkward questions.
They say that everything you need to know, you can learn from a person’s picture. Want to know more?
Here’s what different pictures say about you:
1. Mr No Picture
Being discreet about your identity can seem enigmatic, but don’t complain when you can’t seem to earn any brownie points, in bed or otherwise. Unless you can charm your way into someone’s heart (or their pants) with some well-timed words, not having a picture up on your profile only leads to not having any game.
2. Mr Shirtless
Sure, you might say that you are ‘looking for your one true love’, but you don’t need to be shirtless on your path to romance. It’s really difficult to fall in love (or even be friends) with someone who doesn’t seem to have a face. When was the last time you made a new friend over how well proportioned your abs are?
Unfortunate as it may seem, it’s very difficult to be taken seriously when you think that the most endearing part of your personality is your sexy, sculpted chest.
3. Mr Smiling Face
Smiles are sexy. You might want to come across as a brooding yet beautiful I-am-too-good-for-you rugged man, but smiles always gather the most attention (and hellos on Grindr). Plus, no gay man can ever resist a full set of pearly whites. It’s the easiest route to your happily-ever-after.
So smile away, boys – you won’t need a fairy godmother to find that fairy tale ending then.
4. Mr Blurry
It’s 2017, so the only reason you have an out-of-focus photo as your profile picture is because you used an artsy Instagram filter. Otherwise, you need to delete those scanned pictures back from 2007 from your phone as soon as possible.
5. Mr Gym Selfie
Yes, you care about fitness, love to exercise and spend about ten hours every week working on the various muscles of your lithe, supple body, but there’s a catch (and it’s got nothing to do with your warm-up at the beginning of your workout).
Generations of (less fitter, more sour) gay men have unanimously looked down at their gym-going counterparts in their quest for love, simply because they’d presume that the men in question would give precedence to HIIT over matters of the heart. Don’t want to turn a potential love interest away?
It’s sad to say that having a gym selfie as your profile picture will only give out the impression that you care more about your post-workout protein shake than the person you are talking to.
6. Mr Sunglasses
You might be gorgeous enough to grace the cover of GQ Magazine, but when you’ve got monster sunglasses that cover more than half of your pretty face, people will only assume that you are wearing them because you are ugly.
Yes, even if they are from Calvin Klein.
7. Mr Beach Bod
The shirtless beach picture is the ultimate way to show off. How so?
It shows that you work out (your banana hammock leaves very little room for the imagination), are confident (because anybody with body issues would have a problem with being half-naked in public) and travel a lot (who else would be at a beach in the middle of the year?) Want to amp up those little red notifications of love on Grindr?
It’s time to find the nearest exotic beach and plonk yourself on a recliner.
8. Mr Suit
Maybe you are a professional. Maybe you are a model. Maybe you are a tycoon. Maybe you are an out-of-towner in the city for work and looking for a friend to ‘show you around town’. Maybe you are none of the above, and just trying too hard.
Remember that this is Grindr and not your LinkedIn profile. Stick to the basics, but just make sure you aren’t too basic.
Excerpted with permission of Juggernaut Books from The Gay Man’s Guide to Dating by Guysexual, exclusively available on Juggernaut.