The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

A Potential Online Dating Profile Photo Experiment

UPDATE – This photo is now the primary photo of my Plenty of Fish online dating profile (link in the blog post). Expect updates. This could get interesting.

I do not own that gun. This photo of me holding the assault rifle (FN-FAL) was the result of a visiting friend who brought over the fearsome firearm so as to show it to me. That was the first time I’ve ever held such a weapon and the big smile was the result of the sheer novelty.


Yes, I’ve fired guns in the past – on a gun range – but I am not an owner of such hardware. I would rather spend my money on other things. As well, I have little opinion about the politics surrounding firearms but I do understand the passion that both sides have regarding gun control legislation. My own enthusiasm will always be that of providing men and women with truthful advice about attraction and dating.

What some folks might notice – aside from the large assault rifle I’m clutching – is the ring on the fourth finger of my left hand, the traditional position for a wedding ring. The ring is the result of my trip to DragonCon last year  where I helped a friend with her exhibitor booth as she sold jewelry and those ultra-cool stainless steel rings (photos at the end of this blog post). I helped with the ring sales by putting in words and numbers on the outside of the ring by using a hammer and punch. I felt like Thor but on a much smaller scale. I have lots of those rings now and I wear them on any particular finger when my mood suits me, I sometimes wear several rings at once (pea-cocking?).

That very spur-of-the-moment photo provides a very unique opportunity for an online dating profile experiment. I have a mostly inactive online dating account on Plenty of Fish (PoF). I’ve not done any recent online dating mostly because of events related to health and pavement. But the profile is still out there. Wow, I just made that profile public.

I have the option to make the gun photo my primary profile photo and see what the response will be. Should I do this, here are my predictions:

  • PoF receives complaints and my account is banned because, you know, assault rifle. Again, I’m not political about this issue but I’m curious how a photo with this type of weapon will be received.
  • PoF receives complaints and my account is banned because, you know, “wedding” ring.
  • Women respond favorably to the gun photo and their attraction for me goes way up yet they don’t notice the ring. Because, you know, assault rifle.
  • Women respond favorably to the gun photo and their attraction for me goes way up but they do notice the ring. Because, you know, “wedding” ring.

So, readers, what say you? Should I make the infamous gun and ring photo my primary online dating profile photo? Perhaps hilarity would ensue. Granted, I am a shockingly handsome fellow so the girlies will, of course, respond to that. I am just wondering how these “accessories” will impact my online dating experience.

DragonCon Photos

This is me in my friend’s DragonCon exhibitor booth. I am definitely looking awesome in that fine kilt and sporran.

I bought a new kilt and sporran to fit in. Damn, I look good.

This is the ring set up where I pretended to be Thor. We sold a shitload of those things and I got to work out my aggressions. Danny would be proud.

RingSetup[If you want to buy a ring, let me know. I can have any combination of words and letters punched on the outside of the ring. The number of characters is limited by the ring size and there is only one font. There are four different styles available. Contact me for more details. Seriously, these are cool rings and only $20 a pop plus shipping and handling.]

Online dating is the crucible of real attraction ‘twixt the sexes and it’s away from the prying eyes of political correctness. It is the behind the scenes action that reveals the true motivations of men and women alike. Read online dating profiles and be informed.

P.S. – Don’t forget to donate. Thanks!

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25 thoughts on “A Potential Online Dating Profile Photo Experiment

  1. Interesting the things you believe women will notice first, though you do know a lot more about dating than I so you’re most likely right. If it helps your data collecting, the first thing I notice is your smile and how it isn’t fake/forced looking…it reaches your eyes, and appears genuine which is definitely attractive.
    The second thing I notice is the gun, which doesn’t do much for me one way or the other. Many of my relatives are in/served in the Armed Forces and have pics of themselves with various weaponry. I believe in a right to bear arms, so would just assume you do too.

    Next I notice the camera stand, and wonder if you’re a professional/hobbyist photographer. Then the numerous power cords, printer/fax (?), and computer which would lead me to wonder if you work from home. If we ever met (again, treating this as your profile pic) I’d ask you about it, because I don’t know anyone who has a home-based business. At any rate, that’s how your pic appears to me, but then I don’t think of myself as female so…

  2. Beppo Venerdì on said:

    I thought that was a FN-FAL when you posted the picture initially on twitter. Good to know I was correct in my guess.

  3. I would say post it up. Here in the mid-west plenty of women have pics of themselves with guns on their POF profile. I think the kilt pic will get better response though. I own several and it is impossible to go out without pretty women talking to me about it! It has gotten me laid too numerous times to count, not to mention the drunken ladies going for a free feel!

  4. oh…and while I like your sporran, if you really want to have fun get a rabbit fur one with dangling rabbits feet. Hold it out and ask the ladies if they want to pet your fuzzy balls, gets a great reaction every time.

  5. You can put me in the camp of saw gun and not wedding ring. Didn’t see the ring at all until you mention it, because, you know. Assault rifle.

    If I was single and did not see the wedding ring, I would message you. Thinking a man loves guns says a whole lot about his personality.

    • I’m actually not a gun lover. I simply appreciate fine engineering. If my friend brought over a 3D printer, I would have had the same response.

      • Right, but simply judging by the picture (as women are wont to do) I would think you were, at first glance (your finger not over the trigger guard is a clue that you aren’t a gun person, though I didn’t see that at first). It would prompt a message from someone like me (who was raised around guns).

  6. Laguna Beach Fogey on said:

    Very cool. For some reason I thought you were black. Weird.

    I predict that your account would be banned or not approved due to rifle photo. I would use the kilt pic for your profile.

  7. It’s a great photo but my guess is the gun is a turn off for most urban females. Since you’re not a gun nut, what’s the point of attracting the extremely rare non-fat female gun nut? Also, good chance POF won’t allow you to post it. But why not try to post it and see what happens.

    Might be better to substitute something less potentially polarizing, but still intriguing and suggestive of command and expertise, for the gun. Maybe a falcon (or realistic fake falcon) perching on your gloved hand, a big snake, or your motorcycle.

    Overall a good profile. You have a job, you’re divorced (thus implicit social proof), you enjoy dating (more coded social proof), you’re obviously intelligent, and the whole dating-maven shtick is a DHV. (Not sure about the DragonCon thing, which from my fusty POV comes across like WOW, but the kilt pic seems OK.)

  8. Richard Cranium on said:

    I think it’d be an interesting experiment. You’d for sure be advertising to a more selective audience. Firearms and their ownership is definitely a polarizing issue but maybe you could somehow use it as a way of pre-screening?

    Something else did pique my interest though perhaps a word or two about pea-cocking with accessories along with dressing well. I’m a big silver jewelry fan with rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings (probably overdo it lol) but it sets you apart (always good right?)

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  10. Jocassee on said:

    Your friend has excellent taste in hardware. The FAL was the right arm of the free world for several decades and killed many communists. Though heavy, it points and balances more easily than its closest competitor, the M1A/M14. And they are excellent shooters. Slamming through a magazine at a rapid pace while keeping on target is no chore.

  11. Very interesting concept. I hope you post the rifle pic to POF and let us know how it goes.

    Three of the girls that I’m currently “gaming” have Facebook photos of themselves with rifles and shotguns. It may be a result of the rural area in which I live or just a coincidence. Although I possess some nice firearms, I seldom post online pics with them. I’m a muscular, tattooed, white guy, and I have a feeling that photos of me with guns is probably a little threatening. However if the rifle pic works for you, I may reconsider.

  12. Tam the Bam on said:

    Of course how one chooses to wear the feilidh beg is a matter of personal taste, but I would hitch it up a shade.
    The basic idea is that it’s an untailored bolt of narrow-loom twill strapped on in a tearing fury, at dawn, because the (redcoats/clan of bastards in the next glen) have fired your roof over your sleeping head. Just belted on with the claymore, over the long linen undershirt one slept in and wore day and night.

    The length is pretty much determined by local climate.
    In Scotland and Ireland it’s important not to get the edges soaking wet when one kneels down, for instance to gralloch a deer, or take aim over a ridge at the English. So the hem should barely touch the back of one’s calves in that position (as your knees sink slowly into the freezing, saturated peat).

    In Iberia and the Mediterranean isles (where the wearing of this kind of late bronze age aristocratic warrior dress may very well predate the vestiges of the style we see in the Isles by many centuries; the tartan/check woollen article, not Greek, Albanian or Latin versions of the same, in different fabrics) it seems that a more athletic, shorter version was preferred (think: how would Rafa like to play tennis in a full Gaelic kilt, as opposed to a Williams Sisters’ mini? Not a lot, but north of the 50th parallel, in a howling rainstorm at 40 degrees F, he might appreciate the extra protection).

    Dano-German versions from log-coffin burials could well have been worn slightly lower than the Gaelic type, for the same reasons of foul weather and such, but less call to tackle hilly terrain with a sopping wet clag of wool cloth dragging on your thighs. Eventually they wimped out to various forms of pants exclusively (as the wealthier Gaels did historically, but only in winter, and if horses were available), much to the amusement of the aforesaid Greeks and Romans. Wet wool trousers=hypothermic death in short order, not to speak of the hideous blisters, if trudging thru mud and slushy snow (now how would I know that?).

    A very sound source for this sort of thing is available from your countryman Matt Newsome .

  13. redpillcomic on said:

    Prediction: The gun photo won’t have a favorable response from a majority of women. But it won’t be because of the gun, but because of the smile and looking directly at the camera. (As opposed to being on the gun range, etc). In my experience, women like guys who are capable of violence, but not necessarily outwardly gleeful about it. (Like an MMA fighter vs. a dude just brawling for no reason.)

    Will be interesting to see the responses.

  14. redpillcomic on said:

    I also think the gun reaction would differ by location. Rural Arkansas? Positive. Manhattan? Negative.

  15. Feminist Whisperer on said:

    Try both pics for a couple weeks as your primary – gun first, then kilt.

    Predictions – you’ll get fewer but more positive reactions to the gun pic – the kilt pic will generate lots of giggly and nonserious responses.

  16. Definitely post the gun photo as the primary pic. I suspect that women who reply will notice the gun and not the ring. I doubt it would be banned as I doubt anyone on PoF would recognize an assault rifle. The gleeful smile is just icing on the cake…

    I used to shoot fairly regularly when I was much younger and have several friends who live in rural areas where shooting is a normal thing. But I haven’t done it in a while. Living in NYC, it’s a rather difficult thing to arrange. There is a public range in Manhattan, but unless you have your own guns (and permits) the only thing to shoot is .22 long rifle; a standard target rifle, but not much fun. I’ve looked into getting a handgun permit (not a carry permit, those are very difficult to get here) but it’s quite expensive and onerous.

    Looking forward to see how the experiment goes. I predict a good response…

  17. I bought my kilts from 5.11 Tactical. They have a few features not found on more traditional kilts.

  18. If you have a smile just from holding it, I hope your friend takes you shooting with it. My rifle marksmanship is quite modest, but the one time I shot an FAL it was driving tacks at 150 yards. The rifle was designed to take large numbers of city slickers who had never shot and make them capable of turning back the Godless Commies at Fulda. It’s quite fun.

    From what limited poking around I’ve done on OKCupid (in Atlanta), it seems that 80% of women answer “yes” to the question “do you own a gun?”. Whether that translates into attraction to a picture of a man holding a rifle is beyond me. I guess if I had that level of insight into the female psyche, I wouldn’t have been on OKCupid. 😉

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  20. MD (#13),

    it points and balances more easily than its closest competitor, the M1A/M14


    😉 (Let the flame war begin…)

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