Are vices sexy in online dating?


When you’re writing your online dating profile, are there some things you just kind of….omit? Like how much you indulge in smoking, drinking, or the occasional edible? We all have vices, but some seem to be more acceptable than others, especially when you’re dating.

In general, we tend to hide things about ourselves that others might judge, preferring to emphasize our good qualities. We filter pictures on Instagram to show off our assets, so why wouldn’t we present our best selves on Tinder or Bumble, too?

Before you jump to conclusions and ignore your vices to talk about more “compelling” interests in your profile…(I mean, who doesn’t want to talk about their trip to Japan, surfing in Mexico or getting season tickets to Dodgers games?)…maybe you should reconsider.

Here’s the truth: when it comes to vices, we aren’t so black and white in what we accept in our dates and what we don’t.

In fact, vices can sometimes make dates look more mysterious, attractive, and let’s face it….sexy. We all have lusted after the bad boys at some point, no? (If not, I don’t believe you.)

Dating app Hinge released a study on how online daters respond to vices, and I have to admit it’s a mixed bag. By that I mean, there was one vice in particular that people found sexy — preferable, even. Drinking.

About 91% of the approximately 200,000 participants preferred people who drink, according to a report the app shared with Refinery29. (Hinge asks users to state in their profiles whether they drink, use drugs, or smoke.) The test skewed so heavily, it makes you wonder about drinking and dating, and how intertwined they seem to be.

It makes sense. Picture going on a typical date: you agree to grab drinks together.

You arrive at the bar, impressed with how sexy he looks and decide to order something simple — a glass of rose. This seems right, because you don’t want to start off with some complicated cocktail. You wait, anticipating whether he goes for whiskey, beer, or a glass of wine.

Then, he orders an iced tea. He kind of loses the James Bond appeal in the moment, no?

I get it, I really do. It’s fun to share cocktails with your date, and it eases the tension. But not everyone drinks, and that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth pursuing. There are many sober people; it doesn’t indicate their willingness to be adventurous in other ways!

But I digress, let’s get back to the study. It turns out, people are more picky when it comes to smoking or doing drugs. According to the report, women who don’t use drugs are 25% less likely to “like” men who do. Weirdly, women who smoke are 46% less likely to “like” men who also smoke. The men are a little more forgiving and accepting — men who smoke are 6% more likely to “like” women who smoke.

But what the report really says is that we should be honest in our profiles. Because truth is sexy. If you lie about your vices, your dates will find out. And believe me, being upfront is way better than the alternative. Who wants to fall in love with someone only to find out they lied?

Olivia Abramowitz, Hinge’s vice president of marketing, says in the report: “…we found that vices in some cases lead to more likes — confirming that our Members should be open and honest about who there [sic] are — the good, the bad and the ugly,” she says.

At any rate, it’s time to come clean with your online dating profiles (so to speak). What are some of your vices? What bad habits do you tolerate in your dates?