Not getting a lot of responses when you reach out to guys on your favorite gay app? That could be because — sorry to be blunt — your dating app profile is garbage. Yes, there are most definitely some big do’s and don’ts of creating a profile to attract other gay men, on Hornet and elsewhere. Here we walk you through some of them, with the goal of crafting the perfect gay dating profile that no man can resist.
Here are 8 tips to help you strengthen your dating app profile:
1. Choose the right profile pics.
The profile pic — or, on Hornet, profile pics (plural) — is without a doubt the most important thing on your dating app profile. So, first off, you should definitely have one. No one wants to talk to a blank square.
But second — and, yeah, this seems fairly obvious to most — you want a profile pic that includes both your face and (at least some of) your body. Don’t obscure your face with giant sunglasses or a hat. You can be shirtless in your pic if you feel comfortable doing so, but don’t feel it’s a requirement of gay dating apps. What’s most important is that you use your dating app profile pics to showcase your personal style. Give people a sense of who you really are.
2. Be direct with your headline.
Most gay apps, like Hornet, ask for a headline, where you’re able to say something short and sweet about yourself. We recommend that your headline be direct without being vulgar, weird or gross.
Just be honest. If you’re only looking for sex, say so. If you’re just looking to chat, or chat with the possibility of meeting up, say that. In addition to being honest and direct (always the best policy, right?) you’ll avoid uncomfortable convos with guys looking for something different than you. And if you decide to change what you’re looking for, it’s easy to change your dating app profile to reflect that.
3. Let your personality shine through.
The “about you” section is where you can go into a little more detail about yourself. What you share with other app users will depend on what you’re looking for, of course.
If you’re one of those guys only looking for sex, maybe don’t waste space listing all your hobbies; stick to your under-the-cover interests (wink). But for those seeking conversation, dating and maybe a long-term relationship, use your profile to say something about your interests or share fun tidbits about yourself. Here’s where your personality needs to shine through. If you’re unsure what to say about yourself, try asking a trusted friend what he or she thinks are your best or most attractive qualities.
4. Don’t be a racist, femmephobic size-shamer.
…unless, of course, you’re looking to let guys know right off the bat that you’re a jerk and they shouldn’t waste their time talking to you. (Oh, and FYI, research has shown that “mascholes” are deemed less attractive to all gay guys except other “mascholes.”) Unlike most gay dating apps, Hornet actually prevents racist and shaming language from appearing on profiles.
The September 2016 issue of Computers in Humans Behavior published research titled “Masculine Guys Only”: The effects of femmephobic mobile dating application profiles on partner selection for men who have sex with men. (Yep, it’s a long title.) As that title suggests, the research explored gay dating apps and how men perceive profiles that use femmephobic language. The results revealed that guys with “real men only”-type profiles were thought to be significantly less intelligent, significantly less sexually confident and much less dateable. Soooo … yeah.
5. Yes, you should fill out every section of your profile.
Blank profiles are scary. Serial killers have blank profiles, not nice guys who are trying to meet other nice guys. So fill everything out. It also shows that you actually care about the app and making valuable connections while using it.
Fill out your age, height, preferred sexual role (if it’s applicable), your relationship status, what you’re looking for and your HIV status. Hornet’s KYS (Know Your Status) initiative gives users the option of indicating they are negative, positive, negative on prEP, positive undetectable or not sure. You can also choose not to share your status publicly. (And Hornet also acts as a reminder for guys to get tested and update their status regularly.)
You may think that leaving some of these fields blank might “spark conversation,” but not being able to find basic info on your profile can actually be a turn-off to other users.
6. Use the app to share “moments” and stories with other users.
Hornet’s “Moments” feature allows you to share a pic of yourself to your profile without changing your profile pics. Maybe one day in particular you’re really feeling yourself and you take a hot selfie in the office bathroom. (The lighting in there is perfect, right?) Well, now you can post that shot to your profile for the world to see. And regular posts like these remind guys that you’re active on the app and you’re looking to meet other guys.
Unlike all the other day dating apps out there, Hornet also features a boatload of content within the app itself. (Just head to “Stories” inside the app to find up to 20 pieces of original news, entertainment and lifestyle content each day.) Clicking the star icon on an article you’ve enjoyed shares it onto your feed, giving those who stumble across your profile some insight into your interests — and it tells them you’re the type of guy who likes to stay informed on issues that matter to you.
7. Have additional photos ready to send.
The average guy who messages you on a gay dating app isn’t gonna be satisfied with just one photo. He wants to get a real sense of who you are, which is nearly impossible with only one snapshot.
With a Hornet Premium account you’re able to upload a variety of shots to your profile.The more photos you have uploaded and ready to send, the better. But even users who don’t splurge on Premium should be prepared for that inevitable “More pics?” question by having a few more great shots of yourself at the ready.
8. C’mon fellas, message more than “hey.”
If you’re on gay dating apps, we know this drives you insane, too, so don’t even think about doing it! When you’re chatting with someone, avoid one-word phrases like the plague. Starting a conversation with a “Hey” shows little to no thought or effort; at least ask “Hey, how are you?”
A great rule of thumb when you’ve come across a guy you’re interested in is to open the conversation with something indicating you read his profile. Did he mention one of his favorite films? Let him know it’s one of your favorites, too! Does his profile say he’s a total top with a thing for watersports? Maybe let him know that you’re a “match” under the sheets.
So there you have it, guys. At the end of the day, the difference between making real connections via your gay dating app profile and missing your target every time is simple: Effort. With a little bit of effort and thought put into your profile and your interactions with other guys, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll get back in return.
As my grandma used to say (or something like this), if you play your cards right you’ll have to beat the boys off with a stick.
Featured image by Petar Chernaev via iStock