LOVE AND SEX
I lost my Tinder virginity and here’s what happened
I lost my Tinder virginity and here’s what happened. (Getty)
Candid admission: I’ve never been camping and I’ve never tried Tinder. Me, a single woman who spends most of her days writing about love, sex and dating.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve never tried what is quite possibly, the world’s most popular dating app. As of April 2016, Tinder reportedly has over 50 million users worldwide, 10 million of which use the app everyday. That’s over 1.4 billion swipes and 26 million matches that are made daily. Tinder is here to stay - at least for now.
So, while I won’t be pitching a tent in the middle of the wilderness or donning a pair of gortex socks anytime soon, I felt it was my journalistic responsibility to investigate what all the fuss is about and here’s what I learned.
1. Tindering? You better be damn good at multitasking.
After downloading Tinder, I went about swiping right on guys that looked potentially interesting. I thought I’d cast my net wide, since most of these men probably won’t be matches, let alone respond to me. Apparently, this was a beginners mistake. Within minutes my phone was buzzing with messages from men wanting to chat with me right now. While responding to one message, another would come through and so on. While I give these guys credit for being incredibly on the ball, Tinder had turned into the introvert’s nightmare I never knew I had. After all, I struggle to keep things straight while texting two friends at the same time - let alone maintaining 10 simultaneous conversations with total strangers who are all asking questions like, “So, what did you eat for dinner?”
2. Men, you need some help with your photos.
According to a recent study by the University of Iowa, the secret to success on dating apps comes down to making sure that your photos aren’t too pristine. The study found that expertly posed and filtered photos were deemed less socially attractive than photos where people looked relaxed and natural. At least 40% of the men I encountered could benefit from this study’s findings. To all the muscle flexers, posers and the guy dressed in a Pippi Longstocking costume (true story) - I’m looking at you. My advice: Relax and be yourself.
3. Attraction is determined almost instantly.
Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher studied hundreds of couples in love and found that the human body knows within one second whether a person is physically attractive or not. We might not realize it, but our brains make shockingly accurate and long-lasting snap judgements in the first few seconds of meeting someone new. This phenomenon plays out perfectly on Tinder. There’s no personality quiz or matchmaking algorithm. Like meeting someone in a crowded bar, Tinder relies on your gut instinct. Because of this, the app feels much more organic than other online dating sites I’ve tried.
4. Ask direct questions.
Unlike other dating apps or sites where you can list what you’re looking for, for example a relationship or something casual, Tinder doesn’t have this option. Instead, the app is ambiguous by nature. Mirroring real life, Tinder is whatever you want it to be. The people you meet may want to hook up or they may want more. Sometimes they just want you to come over and “sexually dominate” them (also, true story). The easiest way to cut through the noise is to be direct and ask people what exactly they’re looking for. People will be surprisingly honest except when they say they’re “just looking for friends.” No one is really looking for friends on Tinder - at least not ones that are clothed.
In conclusion, I think Tinder can be a lot of fun and is a really effective way to meet a large number of new people, very fast. But, it’s not for me at this exact point in my life. At the end of the week, I breathed a sigh of relief when I deleted the app. With that said, if you’re still hanging onto your Tinder virginity like I was, don’t be afraid to cash that v-card. Just leave the Pippi Longstocking costume at home.