Headshots! Post One!

1. general recommendations

2. constructing your profile

3. cliches you should probably avoid

4. the worst cliche of them all

5. logical blunders the polyamorous should avoid

6. HEADSHOTS (post one!) (where you are now)

7. be open to the "just friends" option

8. messaging / netiquette

9. what's next? when to meet her offline?

10. keeping yourself safe

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

12. Linsey of gives some guest advice

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

The only right choice for a photo posted here inside your profile is a close-cropped headshot. Tasteful bodyshots still clearly including your face are also acceptable on the board.

And neither should be 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 view the rest of your profile, send you a message, or reply if you message them.

It's clever to keep it classy. Again (because it's important enough to repeat), headshots are best for inside your profile, and headshots and/or tasteful bodyshots with your face still clearly visible are best for the board.

Don't go XXX. A respectable and/or sophisticated headshot is actually much more likely to generate the interest required to view the rest of your profile.

Photos of just your ass or just your boobs will cause many to wonder if you do actually have a head. Contrary to what we imagine are the expectations of the just-ass and just-boobs uploaders, they don't generate much interest here. Perhaps Just Asses and Just Boobs would be super popular on sites for heterosexual men? Quite possibly. Here? Not so much.

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 only just a little. 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 why they feel they cannot 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 visit your profile in the first place, 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 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 profile?

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.


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 headshot means 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 exchange messages with women who will NOT like the way you look . . . right?

What you WILL avoid by posting a headshot upfront are initial messages from folks 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 by emailing and/or texting them instead, but in order to do that, you have to get TO the emailing-and-or-texting stage of the relationship, which is at least two stages PAST viewing your profile and sending that first message.

If you don't post a headshot 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 one in the first place.

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

some don’t like to open them due to a fear of viruses or malware (that crap often arrives as attachments from unknown sources)

some signed up with a work email address that doesn’t allow them and may even totally reject entire emails containing any attachments

some have difficulty opening attachments, sometimes for software-related reasons

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 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 send them along right out of the camera, uncompressed and really freakin’ huge, many will think you’re either inconsiderate or a dolt.

Finally, it’s considered rude to ask someone else for a pic when you haven't provided one first in your online profile.

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