I Went Looking for Love at Tinder’s Launch Party
Tinder’s popularity rises with the increasing number of lonely people in the world. Largely capitalizing on the solitude of the city-dwelling 20-somethings who form the majority of the app’s users, it has reduced the human romantic experience down to its most basic level. Your iPhone flashes up a picture of a stranger’s face. Put your thumb on it and swipe left if you don’t want to have sex with them; swipe right if you do. If you’re the kind of puritanical moralist who has issues with that, then fuck you. When you’re little more than a faceless urban speck, wedged in that sticky interim period between formal education and a living wage, techno-dogging offers a welcome distraction.
However, I was still a little surprised when my friend forwarded me this invitation to an official Tinder “Launch Party” in London, England:
Why was this party occurring over a year after the app’s actual launch? Maybe the launch was going to serve as an inaugural huzzah for a sort of Tinder elite, a pool of the most right-swiped people in Britain. Maybe the people who run Tinder just want to renew the hype around it after a couple of months of the media talking it to death. Could it perhaps be an orgy? Obviously I had nothing better to do that evening, so I went down to take a look and find out what Tinder’s finest really thought of Jack, 24, Peckham.
A New App Lets You Bribe People for Dates
We live in a big cyber world filled to the brim with dating apps and websites. Anyone these days can try to find love with the click of a button, from farmers and ranchers to the obsessively gluten-free. So, what’s the hubbub with this new one called Carrot Dating, which surprisingly is not the name for either of the previous sites mentioned?
MIT graduate and evident ladies’ man Brandon Wade invented an app that bribes women into going on dates with men. (Although the site’s FAQ page states that the briber can be of any demographic or sexual orientation—that is, women are allowed to bribe the men, too—77 percent of the bribers are male.) You see, it’s called Carrot Dating in reference to the idiomatic “carrot and stick.” Back in the old days, a cart driver would dangle a carrot attached to a stick in front of a donkey which would trick the donkey into moving forward, thus moving his cart. To Brandon, women are those finicky donkeys who don’t want to follow an unattractive, self-obsessed cart driver unless he dangles a yummy carrot in front of them.
Tinder and Grindr Users See Some Crazy Shit
Too Good to Be True
It was November of last year, so it was at the very beginning of my Tinder experience, and I had found a guy who seemed incredible. Perhaps too good to be true. He was a pro golfer, born and raised in Switzerland, he came over to Canada and went to school on a full scholarship, and was just killing it running his own business. He was incredibly ambitious and really good-looking, and we hit it off right away.
We ended up meeting up on a Thursday night for some drinks and dinner. That Wednesday I had actually gotten into a pretty serious car accident. I’m fine but the car was totaled. I was really shook up that day but thought maybe the date would cheer me up.
While we were on our way to the restaurant I started explaining to him that I had been in a car accident, so he starts trying to relate to me with his car issues. He tells me he’s had 19 speeding tickets, he’s been arrested twice, and he pays over $900 a month in insurance. I knew right off the bat this was a red flag.
While we were out at a sushi restaurant he just suddenly looked up from his food and said, “You’re so pretty, you’re probably the prettiest Filipino I’ve ever met.” I actually spit out my drink, because I am the farthest thing from Filipino. I’m very white, and probably look more Italian or Jewish, but certainly not Filipino. I actually had to Google “Filipino” on my phone and show it to him so he could understand how wrong he was.
At this point I was just enjoying the entertainment value of the date, so I agreed to a drink after dinner, and we headed over to an Irish Pub downtown. While we were having a drink he started talking about religion, which is a subject I try to avoid on first dates whenever possible, but he brought it up, so I told him I was pretty much an atheist and don’t really practice anything. He said, “That’s interesting, I’m part of the Illuminati.” He goes on to tell me about how his grandfather has all the secrets of the world and all these conspiracy theories that he’s aware of.
It became pretty obvious at this point that this guy was a pathological liar and that most of his profile was made up. I doubt he’s a pro golfer or a small business owner or that he’s ever lived in Switzerland.
So I told him I was really tired and needed to go home, and he dropped me off back at my place. At the end of the date he went in for the kiss, and I went for a hug. I’ve never heard from him since.
More Tinder/Grindr nightmares
Are You “Quirky” and “Interesting”? This Bullshit Dating Website Could Be for You!
Last week I was forwarded a press release for a new dating website called LoveFlutter.com. Interestingly, it promises to screen out people who are “boring”:
“To coincide with our launch we’ve worked with Dr. Simon Moore of the British Psychological Society to create a 60-second test that scores how interesting a person is, out of 100. It’s called The Quirky-Interesting Test and we’re harnessing it to exclude any ‘unexciting’ types at sign-up. Potential members must pass the test in order to join LoveFlutter.”
Wow. An innovative new test backed by a real-life scientist who deems himself an authority on what is “quirky” and “interesting”? This sounded like exactly the kind of tonic my love life has long been in dire need of. Could science tell me whether I was interesting enough to be allowed to have sex with people?
Whenever a new social media platform becomes popular, the VICE Tumblr Team is frequently asked about our strategy for said platform. "How are you activating pix.fux?" "What are you doing on coolz-E?" Generally, our answer is “nothing,” because most social media sites are stupid and everyone forgets about them in like a month and it’s always easier (and often wiser) to just do nothing. But every once in a while one sticks and we’re obliged to create an account. And so, we’re proud to announce that we’ve finally decided upon our Snapchat strategy.
We’ve created an account, username: vicemag, and we want you to send us pictures. We will look at them, and if we like them we’ll take a screenshot. (Yes, we know that screenshotting Snapchats goes against the medium, but the VICE Tumblr Team hails from So-Cal, the DGAF capital of the world.) Then, assuming we’re sent cool photos, we’ll post a weekly round-up of our favorites on this here Tumblr. We won’t use your names. Also, we might send you some photos of our own. Cool?
US Soldiers in Afghanistan Are Hot and Need Your Cock
“aaaaauuuuuhhh … aaauuuuuyyyy.”
An American soldier stationed in Afghanistan whom I’ll call “Steve” keeps texting me moaning noises. He’s not in pain, he just wants me to fuck him, or more specifically, wants me to “shove that mother fukin’ cock inside my pussy and watch me ride that cock with my tight pussy walls…” A handsome, mixed-race serviceman from DC, Steve is very, very horny because he’s been on active duty for months, which means it’s been at least that long since he’s gotten laid. So he spends a lot of time on an iPhone app called Scruff spelling out elaborate sexual fantasies of what he’d like me to do to him. Most of them involve me choking him with my dick.
Scruff is a gay hook-up service that allows you to check out dudes living anywhere in the world and basically take a gay vacation without having to leave your apartment. You can enter the address of your childhood home, for example, and you’ll probably run into most of the dudes you thought were gay in high school looking for sex. If you punch in Saudi Arabia, you’ll get a bunch of hairy headless torsos and pictures of cars. But if you select Afghanistan, you end up with dozens of US Armed Forces personnel posing in their uniforms or with their assault rifles, desperately looking for distraction.
When I downloaded Scruff, I didn’t have much interest in chatting with guys down the street who wanted to get in my pants as quickly as possible (“Wanna fuck?” “No”), so I started chatting with soldiers overseas, which seemed a lot more interesting and hot. Plus, given how paranoid the military is about people talking to soldiers in war zones, it seems like a weird loophole that you can just download a free app on your iPhone and get them to send you a picture of their penis.
The first guy I started chatting with was a muscular black guy who likes to post photos of himself in his underwear. He’s been mostly stationed in Germany (he really likes German guys), though now he’s in Afghanistan trying not to get killed. He likes to show off his dick, which is legitimately impressive, and sent me a lot of photos of himself shirtless in his barracks in front of an American flag. Although he seems pretty horny most the time, he says he’s never used Scruff to hook up with other guys while deployed, but he did once use Adam4Adam (a gay dating and hookup site) to meet another soldier for sex in the showers at 3 AM when nobody was around.