Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,
Beowabbit
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match.com attraction quiz, and musings on attraction

So a couple days ago, I took the match.com physical attraction quiz (Flash required1). (I should try the personality quiz, too, but after working through the rather long physical attraction quiz twice — once for boys and once for girls —, I was pretty done with tests. Many of the results it gave me were straightforward things I knew about myself, but some of them were, well, peculiar.

The strangest thing was near the beginning of the results I got on the test for attractions to women. The first two “Features [I] Usually Don’t Like” were:

  • Women over age 35
  • Women under age 35
So I guess I have to find her right on her 35th birthday, or we’re out of luck. :-) (In reality, my range of attraction to women, speaking purely in physical terms, is probably something like 20-45. It’s probably about 30-55 for men. [EDIT: Actually I think it starts younger than 30 for at least some men, too, and goes older than 45 for at least some women.])

It also told me “One body type that seems to appeal to you is scientifically called ‘Endomorph,’ which roughly translates into solid, ‘plus-sized’ women.” and goes on about solid frames and big bones. It’s certainly true that I’ve been attracted to some women who meet that description (*waves*), but it’s definitely not the most typical body type I’m attracted to in women. If I think back over women I’ve been attracted to, the pattern that stands out is very small-framed women, generally short, with small wrists and thin fingers. Another red mark for match.com.

“According to choices you made in the test, you prefer to date only women who are about the same height as you.” That part of the test was the most exceedingly pathetic. It showed a pair of drawn figures, and I was supposed to click yes or no to whether I'd be interested in dating somebody that height. I clicked yes for all except the tallest woman, a head taller than me. (I can imagine dating somebody that much taller than me, but the height would be a bit of a disincentive.) But while most of the bell curve of women’s heights is perfectly appealing to me, I happen to have a particular thing for short women. Like, f’rinstance, bbbsg’s height. And the figures the test presented started significantly taller than that, so there was no opportunity for me to identify my “oh, wow” range for height. Of course, there wouldn’t have been anyway, since they only provided a yes/no choice. (And how can you say “I wouldn’t date this person because of their height” without knowing anything else about them?)

“While you may enjoy looking at different breast sizes, based upon the choices you made, you prefer a woman with ample breasts.” Um, no. I actually tend to be more attracted to small breasts. (It used to be a very strong preference, but then I had a friend — not a lover — who had very large breasts, and that broke down that particular prejudice. Now I'm quite happy with anything from almost completely flat-chested to serious cleavage.) I think the problem here is that the models they used all had large breasts, and the small-breasted pictures had been unconvincingly digitally altered and looked really weird. A lot of the face pictures had that problem, too, especially the ones supposed to show older faces.

The stuff about the female (and male) face shapes I tend to be more attracted to was pretty accurate: in both men and women, “ecto-mesomorphs” with diamond- or heart-shaped faces and “ectomorphs” with triangular faces and prominent cheekbones. And it correctly got my preference for facial hair on men. (I haven't seen enough women yet with full goatees to form much of an opinion.) And it accurately described my attraction to “hippie chicks” (their term) and bears, and bald heads on men. (There weren’t any photos of women with bald heads, or it might have had a chance of noticing my attraction to them as well.) It did catch that the range of women I’m attracted to is quite large, and the proportion of men I’m attracted to is much smaller (although not one particular type).

The test seemed to think I was predominantly attracted to whites, which is truly bizarre, since I indicated attraction to large numbers of black and especially Asian women, and 60% of the black men it showed me, compared to a much smaller proportion of the white or latino men. (burnthappiness only marked as attractive 55% of the black men it showed him, and the test told him he was extremely attracted to black men. Go figure.) I’m sure I clicked on more photos in absolute numbers of white people, but that’s just because lots more photos of white people were presented.

The test told me I was attracted to “big, strong guys” with “big bones”. Well, I can be sometimes; I certainly find people like alanhamilton attractive. But a lot of the men I find attractive are very small-boned (as with women), without particularly prominent muscles. It just seemed like there weren’t very many of those presented for me to click on! (Or maybe the photos supposed to represent those body types were just inexpertly photoshopped and looked weird.) “He has muscular shoulders, which are perfect for resting your head on, and big strong arms to wrap around you.” Yeah, that's certainly appealing, but by no means to the exclusion of more slightly built people. I have a cluster of attractions around particularly large-framed men, and another distinct cluster of attractions around particularly small-framed men.

And the test only showed me one picture of a man with long hair! And that was clearly a woman’s hairstyle grafted onto a picture of a male model; it looked really weird, like Farrah Fawcett’s hair on Barney Fife. I clicked on it anyway, because “Ooh! Long hair!”

There were a lot of things that completely weren’t represented in the photos, like significantly overweight people (all the photos, and all the drawings of body types except the very skinniest, were well within my weight range, which is much broader than the Hollywood standard but not infinitely broad), and women with really short hair, and men with long hair, and (as mentioned above) especially short women. And most of the pictures that were supposed to represent older people looked like they were photos of a 25-year-old model with lines drawn on.

Going off on a tangent here, one of the things I’ve noticed in the past few years is really important for my attractions is voice (and speech patterns). That doesn’t so much really grab me as (tend to) rule out some people. I tend (with some exceptions) to be attracted to people who speak fairly slowly, and to people who don’t have really huge highs and lows of pitch or stress in their speech. Not monotonous speech by any means, but near the center of their range, unless they’re expressing big emotions. I like a mixture of high and low overtones; I find very deep voices without any higher overtones very sexy, but also hard to understand, which sort of gets in the way. And I tend not to find high-pitched voices very appealing. I probably wouldn’t find my own voice very attractive, for instance. But, if match.com is to be believed, I’d probably find my general body type, my beard, the fact that I wear glasses, and my nearly-shaven (or in previous eras very long) hair really appealing.


1 This sort of thing, which is highly graphical and interactive and timing-dependent, is the sort of use of Flash that doesn’t make me retch.
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