general recommendations

constructing your profile

cliches you should probably avoid

the worst cliche of them all

logical blunders the polyamorous should avoid

HEADSHOTS (post one!) - (where you are now)

be open to the "just friends" option

messaging / netiquette

what's next? when to meet her offline?

keeping yourself safe

potential pitfalls or "This confusing thing happened and . . . ???"

Linsey of gives some guest advice


Yes, just like we just said above, we're saying again, POST A HEADSHOT.

The best choice for a photo is a close-cropped headshot, or a tasteful bodyshot clearly including your face, definitely not from so far away that no one can actually see you.

All other choices (obviously including no photo) are vastly inferior in terms of motivating anyone to click on your profile, send you a message, or reply if you message them.

A copious number of studies insist profiles with headshots are clicked upon far more often and generate exponentially more interest and messages. Women feel more comfortable responding to those who post realistic-looking headshots because they seem more "real" and more sincere about meeting people offline, and thus, much more appealing. A headshot is a signal to a lot of women that you’re more serious about meeting other women in person.

(Because if you are, she will find out what you look like eventually, you know.)

Many women also like having a face in mind, even when sending that very first message.

We've heard it said that posting a personals profile without a headshot is like going to a party with a bag over your head.

That might be a little severe, but not entirely. A face to go along with the words on the screen will make you seem less virtual/theoretical and more "real" and "actual." It will also make your profile much more welcoming, which will make it easier for women to message you.

No, a headshot isn't as compelling as in-person eye contact, but it's 1000 times more fascinating than a blank space where one could have been.

Those who insist they cannot post a headshot for privacy reasons do so at the risk of being messaged far less. Also, a discourse on such is of no interest to anyone. Most women will not care what set of reasons you supposedly have for not posting one, in part because those could all be fake. Also, if you’re talking to people you don’t even know yet, they just don’t care. And, that's if they even click on your profile, with without a headshot, they probably will NOT.

To those who are paranoid about being "discovered," is much more private than most personals or lesbian social networking services. No one's profile nor any details from anyone's profile is ever published or viewable out on the internet for just anyone to see. Anyone viewing your profile will have filled out our lengthy questionnaire themselves, had that profile NOT rejected, and then your collective search options must mutually NOT exclude each other (which will leave only a fraction of the database).

And then . . . guess what? Who is that other person who can see your photo?

Why, that would be someone else who also signed up for

It's likely NOT a problem that she "ran into you" here because hey . . . guess where she is TOO, see?

Any "discovery" either of might you feel you made will be mutual and non-problematic.

Mostly. I mean, if you're closeted and running for political office on a homophobic platform as an allegedly totally heterosexual person . . . then maybe not so much. Or if you live in a metro area full of lesbians you and your current significant other both know, many of them are single and dating (possibly on, and you intend to use internet personals to find someone to cheat on that significant other with without any of your mutual friends noticing . . . maybe not so much then, either. Or, in a witness protection program? On the lam from the law? OK, if a sketch of you has recently been on the news with the word WANTED above it, you better not post a photo either.

But for everyone else, a headshotmeans you’re not “hiding” or "cheating" and that you’re not going to “stir up drama” by posting it. (Which would strongly suggest you'll not do similar just by starting a new relationship.)

In other words, if you say your profile is NOT designed to help you “cheat” on another relationship, you'll look better if your headshot posting actions seem to back that up.

A few women have seen our advice on this issue and written in protesting, "But I don't want to post a headshot because I don't want to start things out on a strictly superficial foot!"

No. That assumption won't get you very far at all.

You can and will avoid strictly superficial footing with a new internet contact (anyone you'll message back, anyway) by posting "deeper" things about yourself in your profile, and only responding to women that seem sincerely interested in those more complex or more personality-based things, possibly in addition to complimenting you on your photo. I mean, if you think otherwise, you would seem to be suggesting that you'll only want to begin corresponding with women who will NOT like the way you look . . . right?

What you WILL avoid by posting a headshot upfront is initial email from women containing little other than an immediate request for one.

While asking for a headshot immediately or only 5 minutes into a conversation will make you sound more superficial than a drunken frat boy, having one already posted with your profile will eliminate all that in that you won't get those sort of excessively simple-minded contacts ("Liked your profile, gotta pic?").

Posting a headshot will also make it much less likely you'll invest any time and/or emotional energy corresponding with anyone who would later reject you due to nothing other than lack of interest in your physical appearance.

Yes, it's also possible to exchange pictures via private email instead, but in order to do that, you have to get TO the mutual messaging stage of the relationship, which is at least one stage PAST viewing your profile. If you don't post a picture upfront, some women aren't going to be interested enough to go TO the messaging stage with you, they'll just stick with the profiles that bothered to post a photo in the first place.

In addition to that legitimate concern, sending a photo as an email attachment doesn't work for everyone:

1. some don’t like to open them due to a fear of viruses or malware (that crap often arrives as attachments from unknown sources)
2. some signed up with a work email address that doesn’t allow them and may even totally reject entire emails containing any attachments
3. some have difficulty opening attachments, sometimes for software-related reasons
4. if you do send one, you REALLY need to compress it first if it's larger than a few 100MB, and that can be a hassle

(Many folks find the sending of an unsolicited attachment especially rude if it is large. Large generally = anything over 300MB for the file size of the photo. Anything larger than that can take up an excessive amount of room in their email account, and similarly excessive time to download, especially if they are not on a super fast connection. This can especially be a problem for those out there WITH newer digital cameras but without much image-editing facility. The newer cameras can take extremely dense, extremely high resolution photos, suitable for use in larger-scale print applications. That's nice if that’s what you actually needed, but for strictly internet usage, much less so. If you email them right out of the camera, uncompressed and really freakin’ huge, many will think you’re either inconsiderate or a dolt.)

Finally, it’s not considered polite to write someone asking them for a pic when you haven’t provided such FIRST, either with your online profile or via email.

<-- back to #5: logical blunders the polyamorous should consider and avoid <--

--> onward to #7: be open to the "just friends" option -->

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