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All The Weird Shit People Say to You Based on Your Dating App Photo

We asked a load of people with distinctive "looks" on dating apps about the opening lines and fetish suggestions they've received.

by Biju Belinky
24 October 2016, 12:00am

We've all swiped through Tinder. Don't lie, you too. Even if you just downloaded it "out of curiosity" or grabbed your friend's phone out of their hand to "have a go", you've seen the bios listing stuff that literally everyone likes as unique traits. You've looked into the void, and the void said "Hey ;)"

Dating apps today are obviously looks-based. Your carefully curated profile with a choice of pictures and a few words are all that's going to define whether or not someone will want to engage in inane conversation and perhaps average sex with you. That picture will also define what kind of conversation people will engage in, according to what they've perceived you to be into.

In my case, the imagined appropriate first line seemed to have a lot to do with them wanting to be stepped on. And I mean, kudos for putting yourself out there, but what does that tell me about the first impression I give off, in a kind of sexy way? How do who you are IRL and what people see on dating apps compare? Let's find out.

JO, 25

VICE: Hey Jo, do you have a type?
Jo: Badass femmes.

What kind of people usually strike up conversations with you though?
I get a lot of straight men saying, "Hi I know you said not to message you but I'm actually kinky and a feminist, so I'm not like those other men who don't respect your boundaries." I'm pretty sad that I don't get more attention from cute queers and less attention from men who think they're Nice Guys.

What are their opening lines?
Usually comments about my hair.

If you were just starting out in the online dating world, what type of people would you guess you'd attract?
I'm a massive weirdo magnet in real life – I can't sit through a night bus journey without some super strange person coming up and talking to me about the Illuminati or something, so I assumed I'd get more of that. And more dick pics. But I've been pretty fortunate and avoided both because unlike in real life, I can try to hide myself from men on dating apps.

What's the weirdest thing you've been told on the app?
I've been asked by some dude if he could be my servant while I have sex with other people, if he could bring the condoms and stuff. I also had someone ask me, "when did they become queer?", who never clarified what that meant. I'm assumed to be super kinky because I have a fun hair colour and a piercing.

How do you feel you portray yourself on online dating platforms?
I think on most dating apps I just try to scare off straight men – that's pretty truthful to what I'm like in real life. I pretty much have hairy armpits to make gross men not hit on me.

KERR, 24

VICE: So Kerr, you've clearly put a lot of thought into how you present yourself. Why?
Kerr: I think that the way we present ourselves on Tinder will determine the type of people who'll interact with us. By using an image of myself in a wedding dress, I'm getting more messages and matches than ever before, as people make the assumption that I am an open-minded artist who isn't judgmental. I'm able to wear a dress without looking like a lad on a stag-do.

OK, what about opening lines?
Basically, no one cared who I was until I put on the wedding dress. From the moment I changed my picture, people started making the first move. They'd make comments about how I'd have to wear it on our wedding date if we end up working out. Or about how they love a man in a dress.

I tend to attract people who seem somewhat shy to start with, so it's understandable that they wouldn't make the first move until they see a man in a wedding dress.

MILLY*, 22

VICE: Hey Milly, Do you think you have a "type"?
Milly: Yeah, I definitely do. It's either lanky nerdy sad boys, young alternative women and genderqueer people. I think I see the sad boys as endearing, the women as attractive and the latter seem to come my way.

Is there a pattern of people that message you on the app?
I'm not sure if there is a real pattern – I find that a lot of older men, say mid-thirties, who are basically overgrown children in men's bodies try to talk to me, and it's a turn off. It'd be different if they were genuine but they aren't. I tend to match with a lot of women who never respond back to me, or I end up getting intimidated. Girls are so pretty they are also scary!

What are their usual opening lines and chat?
This is the typical one but the amount of times it starts off with someone saying "Hey bb wanna bite my lip" are just NUMEROUS and tedious. No, I don't want to bite your lip. I don't want anything to do with you now.

There's also those that go like "Wow, so cool ... wanna step on me? / live in my closet? / I bet you love older men – do you want a daddy," and it's like, no thanks. They definitely assume that I'm a lot more adventurous and "out there" than I really am.

What's the weirdest thing you've been told on the app?
I got asked to do heroin with a guy, as a "leisure" activity. It was 2AM, and his girlfriend had just dumped him...and he wanted to do heroin with someone. Maybe he found someone, but it wasn't me.

WILL, 25

Hey Will, you're a dude with a guitar in his photo. Do you think you have a "type"?
Absolutely, and I think Tinder has actually helped with working out what it is. I tend to swipe right on girls I find attractive, and who also look like people I'd get along with – you can tell quite a lot about someone's personality and how much common ground you share by the pictures they choose for their profiles.

What kind of people usually strike up conversations with you on the app?
It actually usually ends up being the matches I'm the least interested in! My type is quite a wide range, and I'm not all that picky when swiping, so 90 percent of the girls who start the conversation are the ones I'm not really keen to talk to. Also spam bots. They're fun.

What's their usual opening chat?
Openers are almost always along the lines of "hey, how are you?" – I very rarely get anything more adventurous, which is fine! I think there's a lot of pressure to be witty from the get go, but it's actually quite nice to have a normal conversation. Sometimes my matches will ask about my music, but that's as far as anyone goes.

How do you feel you present yourself on the app?
I've got my music front and centre, I'm happy in all my pictures, and I don't take myself too seriously so there's a couple of silly pictures too. I've switched to contact lenses this year but most of my pictures are still with glasses, which is honestly the most misleading thing about them!

What's the weirdest thing you've been told?
I honestly have no idea! Nothing sticks out in my memory, so either I have a high weirdness threshold or I only attract normal people! Either way is fine by me!

HANNAH, 18

Hey Hannah, how do you try to come across on dating apps?
Hannah: I try to portray myself as smart, and not overtly sexual – so as to avoid people who are just after sex. I'll be honest and say that I prefer to come across as very blasé on the internet. I'm quite conscious about not displaying my tits too much in my photos – I do regularly get asked for threesomes, however.

Do you have a "type"?
Unfortunately, yes. Tall, super-skinny, tattooed, long haired, feminine dudes and guitarist douchebags. I don't like macho men. As far as girls go, my type is about 90 percent of them. I like someone who's interesting to draw. Someone with crooked bottom teeth or an unusual face.

What kind of people usually strike up conversations with you?
Living in Brighton, the vast majority of men who talk to me are also musicians, and most of them have a black-and-white photo of them onstage. They mostly have long hair and dress like it's a 90s throwback party.

If you were just starting out in the app, what type of people would you guess you'd attract?
I'd have to guess musicians, which I do, weird-looking people, which I do, and vegans, which I also do.

What's the weirdest thing you've been told on the app?
"Haha, I'll be blunt, I want to shnuffle you through a brick wall. Like pigs do when they search for truffles."

Do people reach out to you on other social media?
I've met a bunch of people on Tinder who are regulars in the shop I work at, and often they come and say hi to me in the shop. On Facebook I get tonnes more strange messages. I dyed my armpit hair green for a little while 2 years ago, and I still get messages asking what colour my pubes are, or if I can send sexy armpit selfies.

DANIEL*, 22

Hey Daniel, you were telling me you're on Grindr. What do people say to you on the app?
Daniel:It's hard to determine a pattern, in my case it can be quite random. But there is definitely the group of "older guys who want to fuck" that message me with abrupt sentences like "sexy" or "top or bottom". In most cases like that, I just feel turned off.

There is the random chat here and there, but it seems that a lot of the time if I want to "connect" with someone I pretty much have to make the first step. It's either a sex request or nothing really, and not a lot in between. Maybe that's because I'm speaking about Grindr, but it felt similar in other apps with swiping features.

How do you feel you come across?
I try to portray myself pretty close to who I am in real life. I think behaving differently on apps won't attract the right people, just like putting on a certain mask would attract other people behind a similar facade. I guess I am quite naive and honest in that regard, as much as I love to dress up every now and then.

Finally, what's the weirdest thing you've been told?
There have definitely been some detailed expressions of unique fetishes. So unique that you wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Do try.
It was something to do with storing bodily fluids in jars and reusing of them.

Oh, OK. Thanks!

@bijubelinky

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