The Scoop: Lessons from Tinder and navigating a culture of f*ckbois with a little humor.
During my freshman year of college and the following summer, I spent a lot of time on Tinder. I never really took it seriously - my favorite part about the app was the unparalleled access it gave me to insecure boys who were fragile in their masculinity that, frankly, I could exploit for my own amusement.
Racking up over 1,000 matches, I’d say I experienced my fair share of what the app had to offer (at least on the end of a heterosexual, cisgender woman connecting to the 18-25 year old fuckboy side of the app), and now I want to share it with you.
I found it so intriguing that these boys used this app to get something that they wanted, and the power of whether or not they would receive what they wanted was in my hands. As a student of sociology and gender and sexuality studies, I wanted to explore what would happen if I threw aside all conventional dating website etiquette.
I decided to respond how I normally would respond to these pickup lines in person - since many of you reading this don’t know me, that’s in a very sarcastic, feminist, no-minced-words way. As a result, they quickly figured out I wasn’t going to give them what they wanted.
I never messaged people first, I let them come to me and immediately struck back against the demeaning, rude and juvenile messages that were thrown my way. If all I received was a “hey,” I didn’t respond because that’s just lazy and annoying, and some messages I couldn’t even form words in response, as you will soon see.
Some things I’ve learned:
Tinder sucks. Yes, social media is revolutionizing how we meet people and all that stuff Aziz Ansari said in “Modern Romance,” but if you’re not looking to have sex on the first date and have an enjoyable time meeting people when you’re in your late teens and twenties, this app probably isn’t for you.
If they open with a rude or overly kinky/sexual line, ask them to explain themselves.
Having “tell me about your mom” as your bio will bring you the BEST responses. (Also, guys who love their moms are usually better people who will respect women. Or really clingy mama’s boys who will look for their mother in every woman they meet. No in between.)
Masculinity is very fragile, and many boys do not like to be called “cute” or know when to use “your” or “you’re.” They also don’t like to be called out on their shit. It offends them.
If someone says that you’re hot, tell them that you already know that! How they respond will tell a lot about their character.
This app is honestly the most fun when significantly inebriated with a bunch of girlfriends around you. Also, arguing with Republicans was very fun as a liberal feminist. They don’t seem to like facts very much.
Take no shit. They’re not here to play fucking Uno.
This app could make you lose your faith in humanity. Best to delete it after a while.
Here is a curated screenshot compilation of my 20 favorite conversations and opening messages. Hopefully this will give you a laugh and some inspiration on how to respond if you ever get a slew of strange messages like I did.
* Writer’s note: all names and tinder profile photos have been removed in interest of protecting anonymity, even though I would desperately love to expose these fuckers. These are all separate conversations with separate boys. Also, I’m off Tinder now, hopefully for good.
1. The guy that goes to college with my older brother:
2. The guy with racist undertones:
3. The guy with the awful pickup lines:
4. The patriotic soul:
5. The guy who loves his wood:
6. The foodie:
7. The stand-in-for-a-baseball boy:
8. The guy who already knew I had a sex dungeon:
9. The chef:
10. The Renaissance fair roleplayer:
11. The one who made up an entire backstory for me:
12. The guy who needed to brush up on his history:
13. The guy who listened to “Stacy’s Mom” a few too many times:
14. The guy who didn’t think his question all the way through:
16. The guy who gave options:
17. The guy who was not ready for my salt:
18. The unemployed 25 year old:
19. The guy who didn’t understand female confidence:
20. The guy who kept up the holiday spirit:
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