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I like think I'm a pretty smart guy.  But man, sometimes I can be really. Fucking. Dumb. As I've been talking about lately, I'm in the middle of another huge online dating blitz where I send out bazillions of openers, go on a bunch of first dates, get laid, and add new FBs and MLTRs to my regular sex life.  As I've also talked about, I've been doing this with a brand new profile, brand new photos, brand new everything.

-By Caleb Jones

Initally, my results were good.  I got laid as usual.  However as I kept sending out openers, I saw my response rates (and other rates, like first dates scheduled, etc) slowly get lower and lower.


This was primarily with women age 18 to 23, so I switched gears and started focusing on my next age range, women age 24 to 28.  Again, initial response was good, and I got laid again (my latest blonde WD...oh sweet Jesus she's hot).  But again, the more openers I sent out, the lower my response rates became.  Lower than they ever had been before.


I went through my profile, checking everything.  Everything looked fine.  I went through my sent items folders to make sure emails were really going out like they should.  They were.  I checked my visitors count.  Yep, chicks were visiting my profile.

Then what the hell was the problem?

Finally it hit me.  I'm such a big-picture thinker that sometimes the simplest things trip me up.  God I feel dumb.

I currently have three photos on my profile.  All three are very good.  However one of them is a lot more casual, badass, and intimidating than the other two.  Guess which photo was my DEFAULT photo?  Yep, the intimating one. Now don't get me wrong, it's still a good photo.  I still wanted it on my profile as a good contrast to the other two photos.  The photos on your profile should be different and varied...they should contrast each other, not look all the same.  But this particular photo did not look good as a primary default photo, the first one women see when they see a message from me.

So I said "fuck!" and "shit!" a few times, swapped around my photos on POF and OKC (I'm eschewing this time around), making the "nicest" photo the default one, and sent out another pile of openers.

In 24 hours my response rates from the 18 to 23 crowd went from an aggregated 4% (yuck!) to 14% (workable). Response rates in the 24 to 28 crowd also shot up, though not as sharply since since they weren't that bad to begin with.
Sweet mother fucker!  I had sent out hundreds of openers before I caught that mistake.  Blackdragon, you dumbass!

I still got laid even with those low response rates so I can't be too hard on myself.  As I've said before, low response rates don't matter as long as you have strong real-life game.  Regardless, if there's anything I hate, it's wasted effort.

The learning lesson here is that I experienced a 250% increase in responses from just that one tiny change. Details matter.  You could a argue that the aggregated 4% was factored over a few weeks with lots of openers and was therefore more accurate than a single run done done in a single evening rendering 14%.  Still, a significant change no matter how you look at it.  Because of it, I've already got two first dates this week, one with an enthusiastic Type 2 18 year-old and one with a 22 year-old.

Don't make my mistake.  Learn from my stupdity.  Use your kindest, gentlest photo as your default photo, especially if you're an older guy going after much younger women.

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This article was originally published on December 3, 2011
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  • Ken 2011-12-03 15:14:43

    Interesting ... I just swapped my photos around based on your post. I'm having the same issue with very bad response rate. One thing that puzzles me though ... if your theory is correct, how do you explain initial higher response followed by tapering off? Wouldn't you expect the response to be consistently low from the beginning if that was the issue?

  • Blackdragon 2011-12-03 21:55:05

    That's a good question and I wondered that myself. I can only give you my best guess. I'm no mathematics major, but I know that the more sample data you dump into a statistic, the more accurate the statistic becomes. A survey of 20,000 people is more accurate than a survey of 1,000 people, assuming all other factors remain equal. So it's possible I just got lucky on my first few blitzes and then over time I returned to the real average. That's only a guess. What did disturb me was not so much that my rates were low, but that they were decreasing the more women I messaged instead of increasing or remaining the same, which is what I normally experience.

  • Ken 2011-12-03 22:06:19

    Reversion to the mean ... got it 😉

  • Mark 2016-06-26 12:19:41

    You may want to consider swapping out that photo for someone who wasn't just busted for kiddie porn. 😉

  • Blackdragon 2016-06-26 13:09:39

    Very few people would know that (I didn't), but yeah, probably a good idea. I just swapped it.