Chances are, if you’re between the ages of 12 and 62, you’ve tried to meet a woman online. And if one recent study is to be believed, it’s easy to see why: According to researchers at the University of Texas, 30 percent of women who meet a man on the Internet have sex with him on their first face-to-face encounter.
But scoring online is not always as easy as it seems. You log tons of man-hours filtering through profiles, the small talk can be painful, and when you can’t read facial cues or body language, there’s plenty of room for miscommunication. One misstep and your chances of an all-night bone-athon could fizzle before it begins. So to guarantee that your next online foray results in off-line sex, I’ve asked real girls which virtual moves got them the most hot and bothered. That plus inside info from experts who run the top dating sites will turn you into the Internet’s number one Lothario.
Pimp Your Profile
Time to wipe that grin off your face. According to the brains behind OKCupid, who’ve analyzed millions of user interactions, men who don’t smile in their photos—and who look off to the side rather than directly at the camera—receive the most e-mails from women on the site. “Sometimes a big grin can look goofy,” says Sasha,* 32. “Recently I was drawn to this guy who had a distant, mysterious look in his photo. I fantasized that he was an international spy. Turned out he worked in IT, but he was down to role-play a James Bond scenario in bed to satisfy me.”
If you don’t have a smoldering scowl to show off, the written part of your profile is where you can really shine. Most girls say the best profiles are the ones that describe you without being too cliché. Advises Kate Bilenki, director of love at PlentyOfFish.com: “Try to stand out. If you’re a rock star at karaoke or well-versed in Egyptian history, say so. It will differentiate you from everyone else who is a ‘nice guy’ who ‘likes movies.’¿”
Find the Easy Mark
With so many women online, how do you suss out a sure thing? Stats reveal that you’re most likely to succeed with an older woman who ranks about a seven in looks. Christian Rudder, cofounder of OKCupid, explains: “The mail women receive increases exponentially with their hotness. Guys go crazy for the 10s—with whom they generally have no chance—and ignore the slightly less beautiful, but still attractive, women.” So men fight two-to-one for the most gorgeous ladies while perfectly sexy women are waiting in the wings. “I’m pretty cute, but I went my first eight weeks in online dating without a wink,” says Ellie, 29. “The first guy who contacted me was rewarded with the most enthusiastic blow job I’ve dished out in years.”
Likewise, gals in their 30s and 40s are an untapped wellspring of horniness. Rudder found that nearly two thirds of male users focus on girls younger than them. Yet older women are way more sexual. Grace, a 35-year-old divorcée, was recently involved in a kinky BDSM relationship with a 25-year-old she met on Nerve. “I wanted rough, tie-him-down sex,” she says. “And he was down to be dominated, so we were the perfect match sexually. But outside the bedroom, I didn’t have much use for him.”
If you’re ready to e-hit on someone, most girls say the least you can do is string a coherent sentence together. That means resist emoticons, poor spelling, and Netspeak. Rudder found that when men used faux words like ur, ya, and cant, women’s response rates dropped nearly 67 percent. “Winky faces and LOLs make me feel like I’m e-mailing with Justin Bieber,” says Sarah, 32. “But I had a six-month affair with a guy I had awesome exchanges with first. He told funny stories, always responded to my questions, and was a master of the short, flirtatious message. When it was time to meet, I greeted him in lingerie.”
One surprising no-no when making contact for the first time? Giving props to her hotness. “Compliment her personality, interests, anything but her looks,” says Rudder. “Words like awesome, fascinating, and interesting do well, while beautiful and sexy do poorly.” Bilenki recommends gleaning some common ground from her profile. “Tell a story relating to information in her account,” she says. The move worked on Ellen, 27: “I had a photo of me playing Skee-Ball, and this guy e-mailed to tell me about a league he was in. On our first date we played Skee-Ball on the boardwalk, then fucked in a dark corner of an arcade. Dorky but hot.”
Diversify Your Portfolio
Dating dot-coms are probably the most direct line to sex, but don’t neglect Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. “Social networking sites have a more casual feel than dating sites,” says James Houran, Ph.D., a columnist for OnlineDatingMagazine.com. “Men can browse the networks of family and friends to see if any attractive prospects pop up. If so, there are usually no more than six degrees of separation.” Stacy, 26, got busy with a fellow Facebooker who took the site’s “suggested friends” advice and sent her a message. “I thought he was cute, and since we had friends in common, I was able to make sure he wasn’t bonkers,” she says. Her friends’ votes of approval led to a drinks date, which led to “the best oral I’ve ever gotten, on the hood of his car. Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg!” A perfect example of how just a little time spent at the computer not looking at porn can bring a far more satisfying payoff.