Of the clients who come into my office (if in DC or NYC) or I speak to on the phone, 100% tell me that they want intimacy (i.e. sex) in their future relationship. For some, it’s a high priority and always has been, and for others, it was something they were lacking in their last relationship, so they want to make sure it’s present in any future relationships. If my clients represent the general population, and for our purposes they do, then everyone wants intimacy. That’s the baseline.
So, when writing your online dating profile, assuming that is something everyone wants, there is no reason to state it explicitly. The main group I’m talking to in the majority of this article is straight men, with everyone else right behind.
I read these men’s profiles recently, and my stomach turned:
“Single dad, serial adventurer, INTP, geeky & nerdy a-dork-able, goofy & funny, kind & caring. Able to balance the serious and driven with the fun side of life. Gold star hugger. Family oriented. Kink friendly.”
This one was so good until the last line.
“Cuter than baby Yoda. Manlier than Eddard Stark. Naughtier than Christian Grey.”
Again, a failure in the last line.
“I also love to have great conversations about everything. Especially when we cook together, or dance together, or go to the movies together. What am I looking for, you ask? I am looking for the person that makes my toes curl!!!”
This last line is usually associated with (sexual) pleasure.
Here’s the thing: These men would have so much more success online if they simply removed all references to anything physical — toes or otherwise. No kissing, no touching, no kinks, no dirty talk. The reality is that once someone likes you, he or she is much more likely to be into any of these sexual acts, but in the absence of knowing you, it’s a huge turn-off to think about sex before even meeting once or saying hello.
The same concept is true for shirtless selfies. As women, we don’t want to see you in the buff before we’re ready, so even if you look great, it’s premature and a turn-off. Congratulate yourself on a fit body by taking selfies, sure, but keep them where they belong — in your phone.
Now, for women, I also do not recommend this language but for different reasons … when writing about touching or intimacy, often, a man’s head goes to a different place. I want you to be seen for who you are, not put into a category of someone who only has physical intimacy to offer and nothing more.
Your profile should not read like a resume, but it also should not read like a steamy romance novel. There is middle ground where you can talk about your likes/dislikes, hobbies, passions, and pursuits. The point of the profile is for someone to write to you or write back, and then meet for a date. That’s it. Once you build a solid (or even rocky) foundation with someone, then it’s a more appropriate time to bring up your desires, sexual or otherwise. But until that time, keep it out of the profile because writing about the intimacy you desire will be the exact thing that gets in the way of you attaining it.
Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.