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Less Is More: The Hard Data on Men & Women’s Sexting Preferences

We think we're so smart, but we're really just acting like cave people.

tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap (Photo: Getty)

tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap (Getty)

Hey swingin’ singles, crippling loneliness got you down? Before you turn to crash dieting, plastic surgery or credit card fraud, consider this: it could be your texting style that’s scaring people away.

Match.com’s Singles in America study was unleashed upon the world yesterday, and it contained lots of #tech deets. We contacted Dr. Helen Fisher, a coauthor of the yearly study, and picked her brain about texting turnoffs. Here’s what we learned.

Sexy photos from guys are the biggest texting turn off for women. 

A thousand times yes. Dudes of the world, most people don’t want to see a photo of your disembodied boner. Think about what you’re doing. You’re sending a closeup shot of a single organ. That’s really weird. We need some context, maybe a prop for scale. At least include your biceps or abs.

Dr. Fisher says that men think sexy photos are a great idea because they like receiving them so much. Men are more visually stimulated than women in general, she said. But having received an unsolicited dick pic or two in our day, Betabeat asked Dr. Fisher if part of the issue could be that men just have no idea what women find sexy. She agreed.

“I think that a man wants to see a woman’s body and a woman may want to see a man in the picture with … a Rolex watch or a business suit or a pair of cool jeans,” she joked.

Again, it all goes back to evolution. If a man can see a woman’s body, he “can know some very basic things about age, health and, unconsciously, her ability to raise young,” she said. “Women [historically] needed someone who could rear their mate and provide. They needed a good hunter and they still do… It’s sort of elegant the way the brain doesn’t change.”

Men don’t want to be texted at work.

Dr. Fisher says this is probably because people with higher testosterone levels tend to focus more narrowly at tasks. “It’s the reason why a man will be watching TV and his wife will walk into the room and he won’t notice her. On average, men tend to have a deep, narrow focus. So when a text comes in from somebody [while they're trying to work], it derails that focus.”

Also, men tend not to be as verbally skilled as women are, she said. “They need to concentrate more on how they respond, which means further distraction.”

Both the narrow-mindedness and the aversion to words could stem from our cavemen days. Men have spent “millions of years of trying to hit that buffalo on the head with a rock,” Dr. Fisher says. “They had to focus on exactly what they were doing. Women’s broader focus was pick the vegetables, pick the fruits, and keep an eye on the two-year-old, the five-year-old, the seven-year-old and all the other people running around.”

People with Androids have the most orgasms, reaching climax 90 percent of the time.

 This perplexed us at first. People with Androids skew dorky and male, we pointed out to Dr. Fisher, and she said that’s probably why they are such successful skeeters (sorry).

Android owners are more likely to be male introverts, a recent study found. Dr. Fisher said this type of person is likely to have high testosterone levels — and testosterone is the strongest aphrodisiac in the world.

“If that’s the dorky [phone option], more high testosterone men are gravitating toward it,” Dr. Fisher said. “If you [have more] testosterone, you think about sex more, you orgasm more.”

Texting more than once before receiving a reply is the number one text turnoff for men. 

It’s like your mom’s old adage that “a lady never calls a man first,” but for 2014. Both men and women find receiving multiple texts in a row to be not-that-chill, although men hate it slightly more. So just start playing hard to get, both in texting and IRL.

Next year, hopefully they’ll have a statistic that proves how futile it is to pore over lovers’ texts trying to decode every last word?

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com