First, check the stats. Then add 10 years to his age. Women, by the way, usually only shave off five years. Men tend to be deluded about the youthfulness of their appearance. I blame shaving mirrors: If they can't see the bald spot and beer belly, they assume you can't, either. Next, look at the photo itself. No photo means he's either married or Quasimodo. Odds are he's not Quasimodo.
The headgear is your first tell. Unless he's actually riding a horse, any man wearing a cowboy hat is bald. Also, do not expect him to go to a chick flick with you any movie without explosions is a chick flick or to cook indoors. If he's wearing a cowboy hat and standing next to a truck, he's bald and he drinks. If he's wearing a cowboy hat and standing next to a Harley, he's bald, drinks, and will cheat on you.
Unless he's actually playing baseball, any man wearing a baseball cap is also bald. If he's wearing a baseball cap, a sport coat and gym shoes, do not expect him to pick up the check. If he's posed next to a sports car, he is insecure about his manhood and will hit on your sister. If he's posed next to a Hummer, he's insecure about his manhood and will hit you. If he's in a motorboat, expect a commitment-phobe. If he's in a sailboat, expect a neat freak -- unless it's a catamaran, in which case send him over to me.
Next, look at the way he describes himself. Any mention of the word kind, even in contexts where it is absolutely the correct word, will be taken out of context to mean "pot smoking. Like, he's not the only one, but I went on a few dates with a dude who had "oxford comma" and "GGG" and who had clearly paid attention to the okc labs suggestions for photos, and he talked a lot about dating and I found out after I stopped seeing him that he had been blogging about me on his blog about online dating.
So that's a thing. I also have tea listed as a thing I could not do without and I guess I am a bookish introvert so. Not a keyword, but when someone leaves the drug field blank it means they only do soft drugs like weed. This is definitely a thing, yes. Is the idea that it's code for being a libertarian douche, or … something else? I have heard one or two things that suggest it might be "something else" but man, talk about your risky signals if so.
Honestly, I think a lot of these things, at least on the Secretary tip, are a little unnecessary; if you want to signal that you're kink-friendly or like pot but nothing harder or whatever, the questions offer ample opportunity for that and at least with Secretary it's not as if you're being subtle about it by being cutesy about it. Maybe I should explain what I mean I don't set a lot of store by the questions, myself.
Don't usually bother to look at them. So maybe dedicated kinksters do most of their signalling there. It was just that I had noticed it cropping up in the profiles of a few people who were quite open about that in their profiles and from then on it sort of set off my spidey-sense and if I saw it in another profile, I'd usually find, upon a closer look, that there were other signs that pointed that way as well. But I can understand its function.
Front load your fetishes and it makes them deal breakers rather than additional interests. Which is fine if they are dealbreakers, but potentially needlessly off putting if they're not. People into lefty politics or social justice do the same kind of signaling, I just can't think of any one book in particular that's used the way that The Fountainhead is.
I also feel like mentioning The Wire is code for a particular worldview, or at least "educated person who thinks critically about stuff". Kind of along the same lines as mentioning Secretary of Dan Savage. If your boss stumbles across your profile, you can both pretend that you've only mentioned Secretary because of your affection for James Spader. Really, though, as with Secretary, it seems pretty above-board for a code. I like to see what people respond to when they message me and find that it's a useful selection system.
If they didn't do it at all and were in the mood to answer those questions, they'd let you know they don't do it. I don't see why an earlier comment said that if drugs are blank, that means just marijuana and no hard drugs. As noted above, there are a lot of profiles that start out:
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