(Photos: Marianne Eloise)
Animal rights charity PETA conducted a social experiment the other day, with one man and two Tinder accounts. On one account, the man really, really loved meat. You could tell because the photos were of him awkwardly holding steak in a supermarket and wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word: "BACON". On the other account, the man was a vegan. You could tell because he was pictured holding a watermelon and wearing a shirt bearing the word "VEGAN".
Hey guess what: turns out heterosexual women don't want to have sex with men who wear bacon vests. PETA found that twice as many women right-swiped the vegan version of the man than the meat-loving version. This got me thinking: 'Would men right-swipe a vegan woman over a meat-loving woman? Or nah? Or, just, nah?'
Mel Gibson managed to work out what women want (spoiler: men who treat women like human beings), but what do straight men really want? After 25 years on this planet I still do not know. So with the help of our intern, Marianne, I spent a couple of days running diametrically opposed Tinder profiles to see which ones got the most right swipes. Our methodology was simple: right-swipe 100 guys, keep track of the matches, then swap the picture and repeat, for four entire days.
MEAT LOVER VS VEGAN
WINNER: Meat-eater, with 51 matches
LOSER: Vegan, with 43 matches
No surprise here: a highly unattractive picture in which I am grabbing a wet symbol of masculinity – a £5.50 discounted sirloin steak from Morrisons – is what men wanted. What I wanted to know is: what exactly is wrong with the vegan picture? I'm holding a cauliflower in a nurturing way that says, "Yes, I will be the primary caregiver for your babies, and yes, I am essentially Mother Earth."
Answer: men just hate vegans.
What they said in the DMs, first off for the vegan one:
Being vegan didn't put everyone off. This considerate offer came from one guy who simultaneously acknowledged that he is but an average middle class white man, while also nodding towards what he could do for me.
As for the meat pic:
Yeah, they pretty much just all made weak meat gags.
VAPER VS SMOKER
WINNER: Vaper, with 81 matches
LOSER: Smoker, with 69 matches
Name me anything worse than a human who's actively into vaping. Not people who buy the things to help them quit smoking, but: my younger brother, who bought an e-cig despite never smoking before; or people who envelope you in great bubblegum-scented clouds outside train stations; or anyone describes their vape as a "rig".
However, it would seem Big Vape lobbyists have been successful in changing hearts and minds. The men of Tinder would rather shag someone who vapes than someone fitter – because I do look at least 1 percent fitter in the cigarette picture – who smokes.
What they said about the vape photo:
The thought of me toking on a smelly pipe appeared to be a turn-on for some, while cigarettes were just a little too risqué:
POLO NOSE VS SXE
WINNER: Polo nose, with 62 matches
LOSER: Straight edge angel, with 50 matches
This app is to help you find people to introduce to your genitals, not to act as a middle man for evangelical study buddies, so it's no surprise polo nose won. You might be thinking, 'Weird the other girl got nearly as many matches.' But as any girl who's spent a considerable amount of time on Tinder will know: for every man who tells you apropos of nothing that he'll cum on you until you drown, there's a sensitive little soul who hasn't had sex since his last LTR ended two years ago, who's happy with anything he can get. This is exactly why someone who doesn't drink alcohol or have casual sex – the two Big Things about Tinder dates – can still get 50 matches.
What they said in the DMs, first for polo nose:
As for straight edge princess:
KNIFE VS NO KNIFE
WINNER: A woman brandishing a knife, with 76 matches
LOSER: A woman not holding a knife, with 52 matches
Yeah, sorry, I don't understand men. If they want a bit of spice they can just buy a butt plug from Lovehoney. Instead, they're right-swiping on a woman who could gut them like a hog before they'd started on their opening line. But then they'd like that wouldn't they. The picture on the right looks just like my basic bitch Tinder picture in real life, which is probably why I haven't had sex in *looks at watch and whistles*.
Worst part about this round is that we got banned because so many big cry-babies reported the knife picture, so who knows how many more sexual mavericks out there would have matched with me had they been given the opportunity.
What they said in the DMs:
Can't argue with that:
PUPPIES VS TURKEYS
WINNER: Turkeys, with 58 matches
LOSER: Puppies, with 56 matches
Anyone right-swiping on that turkey is no one I want to come into contact with ever. Maybe it's because the turkey looks a bit like an inflamed scrotum? And all these guys were submissives who liked the fact I was laughing at something that looked like a scrotum? I don't know! I'm not a psychology expert!
What they said in the DMs:
Ultimately, this experiment proved what I already knew: that men do not want to have sex with vegans.
But let's summarise everything else we learned: that men seem to love stuff that reminds them of their dicks; that they like a bit of danger and potentially some blood loss; and that nothing will put the most determined off a potential shag, even a photo of their sex partner vaping.
More on VICE: