I consider my dating life a bit of a social experiment.
I've been single for five of the eight years I've lived in New York City, and have tried a huge variety of dating apps and websites — including a very weird week on Date British
So when a coworker brought up a theory that men respond more positively to red lipstick than any other shade, all five heads on the beauty team instantly turned to me. "Do men like red lipstick better than other colors?
Because, you see, not only am I a serial non-monogamist, but I'm also a red-lipstick obsessive. " (Just so you know, I am a heterosexual, cisgender female, and what follows speaks only to that experience.) I answered truthfully — that I really didn't know.
When putting together my profiles, I hadn't given much thought to the photos I'd put up. I'd test this theory over the course of a month by changing up my dating-profile photos.
(I'm a narcissist and think I look good in 99% of snapshots taken of me.) Some of the shots on my profiles are of me wearing red lipstick. For the first two weeks, across the apps Hinge, Bumble, and Raya, I'd only post photos of myself wearing red lipstick.
Instead of matching with every guy, I matched with around six out of 10 guys I swiped on.
And the type of guy I matched with seemed to change.
Sure, I still got the occasional banker or lawyer, but I was now mainly matching with creative types. Sure, it seemed like the type of guy I was matching with fluctuated with my lipstick choice.
One guy ran a super-successful coworking space in the city. A third was a graphic designer by day and a DJ by night. But I'm also pretty sure that guys aren't swiping based solely on your lipstick shade.
For the third and fourth weeks, I'd post photos of myself wearing everything but crimson. Are dudes just crimson-obsessed robots who only hone in on the lips? I updated my profile with snapshots of me in red lipstick and got to work on the rules.
I decided that I'd only swipe right on people who I'd choose normally.
(Read: no shirtless mirror shots, no photos with sedated tigers, and no snaps of guys sitting astride zebras, which is a type of photo that exists.) But I had to swipe right on at least 10 dudes a day.