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“I don’t get intimidated easily,” her profile warns. She likes “hockey, whiskey, swimming in an open ocean, down comforters, astronomy.” Her photos are striking: a wide-eyed close-up, overlit like an album cover; a low-res ­camera-phone shot that flaunts a short skirt and the gypsy tattoo that curls around her thigh.

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“Even if an amazingly attractive girl said something stupid in their profile, she’ll still get messages,” she says.

“So I feel like I’m intelligent and people think I look good, so I guess it’s as simple as that?

James’s profile is peppered with references to his travels in Nepal and China and self-deprecatingly confident jokes like: “Ryan Gosling could play my stunt double.

That is, if I didn’t already do my own stunts.” The whole profile is self-aware, right down to his height, which he lists as five-foot-nine, though he’s an inch shorter. Few highlight their worst characteristics, and everyone shows their best angle—or, at least, tries.

By doing so, he exposes himself to less risk, an appealing upside to James, who’s had two difficult breakups.

He’s since had thousands of matches—so many that he’s had to refine his strategy.In the two years Lauren has been on the site, she estimates that she’s gone on only 20 dates. I just look at the first ­sentence and delete delete delete.” At a dark, candlelit West Village bar, James Hawver, a 29-year-old real-estate agent and New York’s most popular straight guy, is the living embodiment of his OKCupid handle, My Ties Are Skinny.Preppily handsome, he’s dressed in a well-fitting H&M blazer with, yes, a skinny black tie and matching pocket square.“I’m not a stuck-up girl, but I think looks are No. As a makeup artist, Lauren spends her days at photo shoots and knows what makes a good picture.“I believe in a head-to-toe shot to show what you look like,” she says. ” She thinks it helps that her profile reflects her idiosyncratic interest in astronomy: She has a moon and a planet tattooed on her knuckles; she quotes a physicist and links out to But the onslaught of crass emails has been so exhausting that she began collecting the worst messages at her Tumblr, ­theyreallysaidthis.