For regular users of dating apps, the list of red flags to watch out for while connecting with strangers stretches long. But somewhere close to the top is the common bugbear of discovering that the dude flashing six packs and an SRK-like smile on his display picture is, after all, just another regular Joe. Or someone worse.
Advice columnists have plenty to say about what to do if such disappointment stares you in the face on your first date, as a cursory internet search will tell you. But relatively less attention is lavished on another, though no-less-important, anticlimax that can befall on a maiden date. What if your hot date makes you go weak in the knees until they open their mouth?
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The deep baritone or husky whisper is a cliché made much of in the art of seduction. But now users of happn, an international dating app, can avail themselves of features built in to post audio notes on their profiles, make audio calls to potential crushes, and even scroll through an audio feed to shortlist potential dates. These innovations, says happn CEO Karima Ben Abdelmalek, are a result of popular demand and trends.
According to a survey conducted by happn among its Indian users (happn doesn’t specify the time frame or the sample size), 75% of the respondents said voice is important to them when it comes to hitting on someone. Other findings include: 45% found a confident tone attractive; 42% liked a gentler tone of voice; 33% felt the right kind of voice helps forge a stronger connection, while 27% felt the voice their crush helps them visualize the person even if they haven’t met them IRL. In a nutshell, 89% Indians told happn that hearing the voice of a potential date would bring a new energy to online dating and perhaps lead to better real-life connections.
So you may now invoke your best 007 baritone or Monroe-like sultriness to record 2-minute introductions to add to your profile on happn. But does the science back up these laws of attractions? Seems like there’s a real cacophony of conclusions out there, as Edith Zimmermann explained in her article for The Cut in 2019.
For men, decreasing the pitch of their voice, a.k.a. speaking sexily, is believed to play up their prowess and desirability for the opposite sex. In case of women, a higher pitch indicates their femininity and reproductive fitness, while a throaty whisper is sign of their seductiveness. But such conclusions, based on one set of studies, are contradicted by another, until there comes a point when we encounter baffling statements like: women use high-pitched voices with men they consider potential partners and speak in lower voices with those other women are more likely to get attracted to.
Whatever the science of it may be, in a pandemic affected world, the realities are different from 2019, when Zimmermann wrote her article. Every last bit of warmth and assurance is a bonus now, especially on the usually dehumanized interface of dating apps. Who would complain if a few well-chosen sentences, delivered in the right tone and inflection, help bridge the gulf left by physical distancing?
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