Straight men are lying about their sexuality on dating apps to try and get more likes

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Jun 22, 2024 at 09:00 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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Dating apps are a minefield and while I’m never opposed to the idea of attempting to find new ways to knab some more sexy matches, there’s a slightly problematic new trend emerging that involves straight men changing their sexual orientation on their dating profiles in order to try and trick the algorithm into feeding them more matches.

According to Mashable, this rumour or myth arose due to some pretty rogue misconceptions regarding how dating app algorithms work. Supposedly, Tinder’s algorithm used to be based on the Elo rating system. In basic terms, the system worked so that your popularity and ratings increased not only based on the number of likes you received but also on the calibre and rating of the person liking you.

So, if you are liked by people who would score say an 8 or 9 on the scale, your own score will then end up reflecting that level of desirability. Following along okay? Tinder scrapped the Elo system back in 2019, however this mindset about needing to maximise likes in order to hunt down more matches remains.

The Pew Research Center released key findings in 2023 regarding online dating in the US. The centre found that men are more likely than women to have tried online dating (34 per cent versus 27 per cent).

And if straight men aren’t receiving as many matches because of this gender disparity—especially considering the fact that women tend to have more specific requirements about who exactly they like—does this then give them the right to pretend to be gay in order to try and hack the system? Spoiler alert: no it doesn’t. Also, let me clarify that women’s preferences are of course not the issue here, it’s just something to keep note of.

And while the Pew Research Center’s data did find that lesbian, gay or bisexual adults are more likely than their straight counterparts to say they have ever used a dating site or app, the idea that switching sexuality will automatically result in more likes reinforces stereotypes about LGBTQIA+ individuals being hypersexual.

Grindr, a dating app geared towards the queer community, is known socially and has always been referred to in culture as a ‘hook up’ app. And irrespective of whether or not this is how LGBTQIA+ individuals view the app, it’s damaging and completely false to assume that queer people are solely on dating apps to swipe aimlessly and have casual sex.

Now, I can understand that dating apps are rough and burnout is a pretty common problem. Take it from me, a woman trying to navigate the actual mess that is Hinge in London—it’s a painful experience, let’s just say that.

https://twitter.com/Bria_Gumede/status/1803293500357607554

Dating coach Genny Diehl told Mashable: “There are less manipulative ways to get an influx of likes [i.e] turning off age or location dealbreakers—where there’s still a chance you might actually go out with someone who’s just one year or one mile outside your age/location range. And even those shouldn’t be used frequently [or] taken very seriously.”

“Getting your profile flooded with likes [using] quick hacks like that do not actually increase your chances of meeting someone special or even matching with anyone these guys would be excited about,” Diehl continued.

Not only does this straight male hack make no sense, but it also perpetuates harmful stereotypes. It’s gotta stop, boys.

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