Tinder and Hookup- Culture Promotion . The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups. Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. Her friends smirk, not looking up.“Tinder sucks,” they say.
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But they don’t stop swiping. At a booth in the back, three handsome twentysomething guys in button- downs are having beers. They are Dan, Alex, and Marty, budding investment bankers at the same financial firm, which recruited Alex and Marty straight from an Ivy League campus. You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 1.
He says that he himself has slept with five different women he met on Tinder—“Tinderellas,” the guys call them—in the last eight days. Dan and Marty, also Alex’s roommates in a shiny high- rise apartment building near Wall Street, can vouch for that. In fact, they can remember whom Alex has slept with in the past week more readily than he can.“Brittany, Morgan, Amber,” Marty says, counting on his fingers.
Asked what these women are like, he shrugs. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance . Alex, his friends agree, is a Tinder King, a young man of such deft “text game”—“That’s the ability to actually convince someone to do something over text,” Marty explains—that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.“How does he do it?,” Marty asks, blinking. I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens .
If I were like, Hey, I just wanna bone, very few people would want to meet up with you . Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur- like rituals of courtship.
In the 9. 0s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then Match. Kiss. com. But the lengthy, heartfelt e- mails exchanged by the main characters in You’ve Got Mail (1. Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. In February, one study reported there were nearly 1. Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all- day, every- day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida.
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Dating apps are the free- market economy come to sex. The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. Ok. Cupid soon adopted the function. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G. P. S. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 2. Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app. You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 2.
New York. Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1. Some, like Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is . When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short- term dating. Marriages become unstable. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short- term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”Now hold on there a minute. Alex the Wall Streeter is overly optimistic when he assumes that every woman he sleeps with would “turn the tables” and date him seriously if she could.
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And yet, his assumption may be a sign of the more “sinister” thing he references, the big fish swimming underneath the ice: “For young women the problem in navigating sexuality and relationships is still gender inequality,” says Elizabeth Armstrong, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who specializes in sexuality and gender. We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena.”RELATED: Tinder’s New Group- Date Feature Reveals Which of Your Friends Are on Tinder“Hit It and Quit It”. The study, published in May in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, became a talking point for its surprising conclusion that millennials are having sex with fewer people than Gen X- ers and baby- boomers at the same age. When I asked Jean Twenge and Ryne Sherman, two of the study’s authors, about their methodology, they said their analysis was based partly on projections derived from a statistical model, not entirely from direct side- by- side comparisons of numbers of sex partners reported by respondents. Or Ok. Cupiding, or Happning, or Hinging. The tables are filled with young women and men drinking sake and beer and intermittently checking their phones and swiping.
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They’re seniors from Boston College, all in New York for summer internships, ranging from work in a medical- research lab to a luxury department store. They’re attractive and fashionable, with bright eyes highlighted with dark eyeliner wings. None of them are in relationships, they say. I ask them how they’re finding New York dating.“New York guys, from our experience, they’re not really looking for girlfriends,” says the blonde named Reese. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one.
You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your . No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”They give a wary laugh. They tell me how, at their school, an adjunct instructor in philosophy, Kerry Cronin, teaches a freshman class in which an optional assignment is going out on an actual date. And I know that’s scary.”They say they think their own anxiety about intimacy comes from having “grown up on social media,” so “we don’t know how to talk to each other face- to- face.” “You form your first impression based off Facebook rather than forming a connection with someone, so you’re, like, forming your connection with their profile,” says Stephanie, smiling grimly at the absurdity of it. When it comes to hooking up, they say, it’s not as simple as just having sex. By “doing everything right” she means “not texting back too soon; never double texting; liking the right amount of his stuff,” on social media.“And it reaches a point,” says Jane, “where, if you receive a text message” from a guy, “you forward the message to, like, seven different people: ?
Oh my God, he just texted me!’ It becomes a surprise. If it’s after midnight, it’s just for your body,” says Amanda. It’s not, she says, that women don’t want to have sex. But it feels bad when they’re like, . Do you think you would like to get choke- fucked, tied up, slapped, throat- fucked and cummed on? I think we could have a wild afternoon together but I am happy just to share brunch with you.’ ” She drops her i. Phone on the bar in mock horror.
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On another busy night at the same bar, at the same table in the front, three good- looking guys are having beers. They are John, Nick, and Brian, 2. John is the marketing executive mentioned above, Nick works in the fitness industry, and Brian is an educator. When asked about their experience with dating apps, their assessment is quite different from the interns from Boston College.
He goes on to describe each date, one of which he says began with the young woman asking him on Tinder to “ . Afterwards she goes, . That he fulfills none of the requirements identified by evolutionary psychologists as what women supposedly look for in mates—he’s neither rich nor tall; he also lives with his mom—doesn’t seem to have any effect on his ability to get rampantly laid. In his i. Phone, he has a list of more than 4.
It empowers them,” he jokes. Before, I could go out to a bar and talk to one girl, but now I can sit home on Tinder and talk to 1. Without spending any money,” John chimes in.
Neither Nick nor John has had a girlfriend in the last few years; Brian had one until recently but confesses, “I cheated. She found out by looking at my phone—rookie mistake, not deleting everything.” Some guys, they say, in order to hide their multiple sex partners from each other, will assign them fake names in their phones, such as “Crazy Mike.”“When it’s so easy, when it’s so available to you,” Brian says intensely, “and you can meet somebody and fuck them in 2. I’ve gotten numbers on Tinder just by sending emojis,” says John. Girls do the same, but they get judged.
I don’t want it to be like that, but sometimes the world is the way it is and I can’t change it, so I just embrace it.”They all say they don’t want to be in relationships. After a moment, John says, “I think at some points it does.”“But that’s assuming that that’s something that I want, which I don’t,” Nick says, a trifle annoyed. I go to work—I’m busy. And when I’m not, I go out with my friends.”“Or you meet someone on Tinder,” offers John.“Exactly,” Nick says. He’s a womanizer, an especially callous one, as well as kind of a loser. The word has been around for at least a decade with different meanings; it’s only in about the last year that it has become so frequently used by women and girls to refer to their hookups.“What percentage of boys now do you think are fuckboys?,” I asked some young women from New Albany, Indiana.“One hundred percent,” said Meredith, 2.