A Redhead Goes Smooth-Shaved; Life Improves

A reader named Mark Curry, who describes himself as a "cement truck driver trapped in the body of someone who does accounting-related work," wrote to us about a brief passage in Freakonomics concerning our analysis of online-dating data:

The part about men with curly and/or red hair being a downer? “Downer” may be something of an understatement. As a young man I had red, curly, and sometimes, frizzy hair. My dad told me at age 13 or 14 that if I didn’t do something with it, I would never find out what sex is. I was devastated by his meanness. I consider myself very lucky to have found a woman who will tolerate my red hair. Now, married almost 18 years, a couple months ago I started shaving my head smooth, baby-ass, bald; does it feel good. Now, when I walk into an office, the bank, pick someplace, I don’t exactly have to ask people to stop undressing, but their receptiveness to me is noticeable. Although my wife and daughters are still getting used to my shaven head, at least a dozen ladies (that’s 10 women and two men) think my shaven head looks good on me.

I wonder if Telly Savalas was a redhead?

Sugar Daddy Dating

A Freakonomics reader (we'll call her "Sugar Baby") is documenting her two-week experiment with online "Sugar Daddy Dating": "beautiful women post pictures while wealthy men post their income and voilà! - the perfect Darwinian couple is created. Because the expectation is short term, it’s flirting with the title of an escort service, or worse, prostitution."

Confirmed: Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

New research from OkCupid, the research-focused dating site, finds that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. OkTrends assessed male perceptions of female attractiveness and found that "when some men think you're ugly, other men are more likely to message you. And when some men think you're cute, other men become less interested."

For a First Date, Wear Red

A new study, summarized in the BPS Research Digest, finds that when it comes to the color red, humans aren't that different from chimps: they both love red.

Spicing Up the Awkward First Date Conversation

Dan Ariely brings behavioral economics to the awkward, boring first date conversation: "Basically, in an attempt to coordinate on the right dating strategy, we stick to universally shared interests like food or the weather."

Will Freakonomics Help You Find True Love?

Probably not, but Malcolm Gladwell might.

My source for this conclusion: the always-interesting OKTrends blog, which provides data analysis for the OKCupid online dating site. Its latest analysis looks at how profile essays differ by race.

iPhone Users Have More Sex

As widely reported in the press recently, analysis done by the online dating site OKCupid finds that iPhone users are more sexually active than those who have Blackberrys or Androids.

Dating, Pirate-Style

A new dating site will rely on "social trust."

Race and Romance: An Uneven Playing Field for Black Women

A fascinating but depressing analysis of messaging at OkCupid.com suggests that discriminatory male preferences are a wider phenomenon.

Just Say "Flirt"

Potential customers of eHarmony's imminent gay/straight dating service might want to read this before selecting their profile picture.