I’ve been reading Carnal Nation for awhile — they do the smart kind of PR, with not-too-frequent emails pointing me at specific headlines of potential interest — and thought I should mention today’s article by Midori. A Gentleman’s Guide To Online Sex offers a bunch of sensible-sounding tips for men looking for success at online dating:

Let’s start with your photo.

Do not use a photo of your cock, no matter how magnificent your tool is. So many guys do this that many women joke about these dating sites as being a “mushroom forest.” They want to meet a man—the whole package. The ones who want just the cock already have a drawerful in sizes that frighten horses. Anyway, true men of mystery shroud their schlongs in foreplay and hints of devastating skill that drive women nuts with anticipation.

Do not use captured images from your computer cam. The screen light makes you look ill and it screams, “I have no friends to take my photo.” Unless you’re really good at self-portraits, do not take your own photo in a mirror. The angle makes any belly look big and legs stumpy. Not flattering.

Photos that women find attractive show a guy’s face. If the musculature of shoulders, arms and pectorals are visible, that’s even better. If the photo shows him in some outdoorsy activity, that’s a big plus. If you’re not a big jock, at least get a shot taken while throwing a Frisbee to the dog a few rounds. Yes, you can crop the dog out.

These suggestions really ought to be read in concert, however, with the hard data from OkCupid. Their math gnomes are Violet Blue approved and scary-good with statistics, and they claim that the “no self-shot photos” advice is not good: “We were very surprised to discover that for both genders, self-shot pictures are more successful than average.”