You may have heard of the new dating app Tinder, in which you look at the name, age and profile picture of local singles and swipe left or right based on your approval. If the feeling is mutual, it's a match, and you can start communicating immediately.

In the name of scholarly research and objectifying men, I downloaded the app. Two days later, I have over fifteen matches and only one restraining order. Now an expert at Tinder, I've decided to provide you all with a few of my tips for success.

1. Add an animal

It's a well-known fact that a man with a group of women, or a woman posing next to a man, makes him or her psychologically more desirable. What is less of a known fact is that animals have the same effect. If you put an animal in your profile picture—be it a cat, a dog, or a starfish—people are more likely to like you. 39-year-old Dave just used a picture of a bear. Damn! I'd swipe that.

2. Always assume the worst

When you are looking at a photo with multiple people (or multiple animals), always assume that the single person in question is the least attractive of the lot. If it is a pair at the beach with one member shirtless, your potential match is probably the fully dressed and less toned of the two. When looking at large group photos, don't be surprised if your match is the one with the paper bag covering his or her face, or, as in many cases, the person taking the photo. But don't let this stop you from liking them; a good photographer is hard to come by!

3. Use emoticons

Words can be awkward. So if you do get a match it is best to start the communication with emoticons. When someone says "heyyy," try responding with a winky-face or an Emoji of a bowl of Ramen. I always like using the chicken-hatching-out-of-the-egg emoticon to get the conversation rolling. There is nothing sexier than subtle allusions to cage free produce. Only use the English language when it becomes completely necessary, which would be to clarify your absurd use of emoticons.

4. Blame a friend

If things get out of hand—if a random food emoticon goes unanswered or a match refuses your job offer to photograph your sister's wedding—blame it all on a friend. "Sorry," you should communicate with a bashful-looking smiley face emoticon, "my friend took my phone." Not only does this save face, but it also creates the impression that you have a friend.