Technically, Tinder is a mobile app launched in 2012 which provides a location-based service that facilitates telecommunication between mutually interested users. Ahem! To you and me, it’s a hookup app which finally drags heterosexuals into the digital playground that homosexual people have been frolicking in since 2009, thanks to Grinder.
“What about the old-fashioned way where you just meet someone in a bar?” bleat the luddites, and, ironically, one of my Tinder dates. The old-fashioned way? You mean when you drink too much in a bar and then grab the man closest to you who could be a stranger but more often turns out to be a friend or colleague whom you may later move town to avoid? Or the one where you flirt with someone all night only to find he can’t summon the guts or the words to move it from the bar to the bed, and you’re too turned off by his lack of initiative to do it yourself, again? Or is it the one where you party all night and go home in the wee hours of the morning, only to taste the sad bitter truth of the song “Too Drunk to Fuck”?
Now, I do like the old-fashioned way as well, but it holds no more genuine romance than your cross-processed, filtered photograph of the sunrise after Sant Joan last year. The sun may look all pretty and romantic, but both you and I know that the beach really resembled the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.
In place of romance, Tinder provides an honesty of sorts. Still expect people to lie about their jobs, interests and relationship status and, in all likelihood, completely fake an interest in your life. However, you’re all there for one thing, everyone knows it and this fast-forwards things to the fun part.
To get started, download Tinder and set up your profile. If you have trouble with the technicalities, ask a friendly child to help you. Once installed, a guy’s profile will pop up on your screen, swipe left to reject and right to accept. You can’t move on to the next person until you swipe. Based on a few photographs and your current mental state (ie, level of sexual frustration) you need to decide yes or no. Is he handsome with a great body, but makes gangsta hand signs while pouting in one of his photographs? You need to make up your mind if it’s a deal breaker right there and then. If the other person swipes right as well, you have a match. A message will pop up on your screen giving you the option to message them or keep playing. Personally, I say keep playing.
My first month on Tinder was rather educational. After multiple chats, I managed to meet up with four of the chosen ones:
#1 Mr. Aesthetically Challenged
The first guy turned out to be very unattractive. Yes, I had seen his pictures and had some idea, but I’ve got a thing for ugly-man sexy. He was not sexy. He was also a barrio boy: born, lived and worked in the same barrio all his life. He did bring a gorgeous blue-eyed grey-haired Weimaraner named Maggie along on the date but she wasn’t quite enough.
#2 Mr. Madre Mia
The next guy was six years younger than me, tall, cute and a fitness instructor. Ahhh! Yet it never went beyond a couple of dates and fumbling in the stairwell. Perhaps it was the fact that he lived at home with his parents. Or perhaps it was the fact his self-confidence had been shattered by Señor Crisis, that omnipresent crusher of the human spirit.
#3 Mr. Legally Lame
Also six years younger than me, contestant number three was a wannabe yuppie. I was hoping this one would have the confidence factor. Sadly he strutted, and not in the Butch Cassidy kind of way, but more in the Legally Blonde kind of way. When he wasn’t trying to kiss me, he was telling me about the fast-track career and management position he envisioned for himself.
#4 Mr. 5,937 KM
The one I call Conference Guy listed telecommunications as his job and was in town for the Mobile World Congress. Eight years older than me and hot, hot, hot! He lived in Vietnam and also owned a craft beer bar. I grilled him on life in Vietnam. I grilled him on craft beers. We went to beer bars. He told me how much he hated the congress. He laughed when I made fun of him and was able to make fun of me in return. We went home and had crazy sexy times until he had to leave early in the morning to catch his flight. By that evening, instead of 2 miles away, his profile said he was 5,937 miles away. A little sad maybe, but who cares. He probably philanders wantonly. Or secretly eats his own boogers. It’d only be a matter of time before I woke up in the night with him trying to steal one of mine. Nah, I say keep playing.