I Really Wish I Didn’t Have to Date in the Age of Apps

“Dating is hard” is something I hear all the time. And I get it. Meeting a new person, trying to get through small talk, and hoping to make a lasting connection can be extremely daunting and scary. But we do it to find our person — the one we’re meant to be with and who makes us want to be better. So all the other stuff — the awkward beginnings, the swiping left and right, the bad dates — is worth it, right?

In theory, dating apps seem like the perfect solution to help with not only finding the one, but also finding the “perfect” one. You can choose whatever physical qualities and values you look for and swipe until you find it. However, I think they’ve made it even harder to find someone, let alone date them.

It’s easy to match with a lot of people, but it’s even easier to keep swiping for a “better” option rather than focusing on one person.

Yes, they provide lots of options for you to choose from, and it allows you to vet a person before actually having to go out with them, but sometimes, too many choices can be a bad thing. I personally find myself getting bored with people I match with and vice versa. It’s easy to match with a lot of people and start talking to them, but it’s even easier to keep swiping for an even “better” option rather than focusing on one person and trying to build something with them.

The first date I ever went on was with a guy I met through OkCupid, and I thought it went really well for a first date. We talked for almost three hours, flirting back and forth with one another. I didn’t mind that he didn’t kiss me at the end of it, and I started to think that dating apps maybe weren’t as bad as I thought. That is until he unmatched and ghosted me without explanation. It really messed with my self-esteem for awhile, but I eventually realized that this was part of dating in the age of apps. We can be with someone great now, but the possibility that someone better could be out there can be thrilling to some. Only, it’s detrimental in the long run. Nobody should ever settle, but always looking for more can make you miss out on something (or someone) that’s right in front of you.

I think a lot about the fact that I’m almost 24 years old and have only gone on that one real date. It makes me afraid that I’m destined to be alone. Growing up, I was never the girl guys thought to ask out. They would ask me to help them ask out my friends and that was it. I always thought I would really start to date in college and meet the love of my life, like my parents did. I was raised to be independent and comfortable in my own skin without the validation of other people, but I still couldn’t help but dream about finally meeting my person in college. But the reality is I went through all four years without going on any dates because, like a lot of others, I didn’t take risks. I missed out on connecting with some really great people because I wanted to find someone perfect, when the truth is that nobody’s perfect.

When you’re face to face with someone, yeah, you might be attracted to their physical qualities, but the emotional connection you build with that person, whether it’s instant or over time, is something no dating app can replicate. There’s something thrilling and exciting about meeting a new person for the first time without any expectations or thoughts of the other 12 people you matched with that day. Sometimes I feel like dating apps discourage us from taking those risks — saying hi to someone in a coffee shop, asking for directions on the train, or just jumping right in and asking someone out because they caught your eye — because people are so buried in their phones. But are we really living if we don’t take a leap of faith once in awhile?

Dating apps are great for a lot of people. I know people who have found their person because of them. But I just wish sometimes that dating wasn’t so consumed by them, because human connections — at least the ones I wish to have — can’t be manufactured by technology, no matter how advanced we’re able to develop it.

 

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Meet The Tinder Prostitutes

Guess what these women on Tinder really mean when they say ‘80 roses an hour’? Hint: it’s got nothing to do with flowers

Sarah went on Tinder for the same reason lots of women our age do – to find out how many single guys there were in her local area and to have an easy, safe way to get in contact with them. But, unlike lots of girls, Sarah doesn’t want to find single men because she looking for a boyfriend. She doesn’t even want a no-strings hookup – at least not in the way you’d think. Unlike you’re average user, when Sarah sleeps with a guy she meets on Tinder she leaves with much more than new number in her a phone and a funny sex story to tell her mates – she leaves with a pocketful of cash. Because unlike most 24-year-old girls using Tinder, Sarah’s a prostitute and she’s using the hookup app to lure in clients.

 

‘It made so much sense – where else do you basically have a database of all the down to fuck men in your area?’

‘Tinder has at least doubled my business,’ Sarah, who had a job in a strip bar before becoming a prostitute four years ago, explains to The Debrief. ‘In the last week alone, I’ve seen 12 clients all from Tinder and have earned over £1,000. I got the idea from a friend of mine who’s also on the game. I think she actually joined Tinder to find a boyfriend or whatever, but was sent dozens of messages from guys asking for no-strings sex, threesomes or naked pictures – there was basically no romance there at all. She just thought to herself “I’m not getting anywhere using Tinder to find a bloke, why don’t I just use it to boost business?” It made so much sense – where else do you basically have a database of all the down to fuck men in your area? – and she found it so easy I thought I might as well give it a go. I just made a profile, wrote caption that made it kind of obvious what I do for a living, matched everyone who I was OK sleeping with and then waited for matches to get in contact with me. I know more and more prostitutes are cottoning on as well – it’s made my job insanely easy.’

There have been reports for some time that Tinder has been being used this way over the globe. New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria specifically blasted the app in his attempt to ‘clean up’ dating websites which allow the soliciting of sex. He told KOB Eyewitness News 4, ‘Our laws can’t and don’t keep pace with technological advancement and there will always be people looking to exploit those loopholes. We’re weak. Our courts have said our pimping laws are not applicable to the internet.’

And it looks like the same thing’s happening here, but should we be surprised? The dating app’s anonymity and pure reach make it a natural fit for sex workers. If you’ve ever borrowed your male mate’s phone to ‘play’ Tinder from the other side of the fence, you’ve no doubt come across a few of the profiles yourself. In between the ordinary profiles, you’ll find one or two pictures of lingerie-clad women provactively posing for selfies. That in itself isn’t exactly unusual, but what sets these profiles apart is what the women are offering in their ‘about’ section.

I was blown away by how quick, easy and transparent it could be to buy sex over Tinder

The ‘kind of obvious’ messages that prostitutes use to distinguish themselves from other girls’ profiles are easy to spot once you know the (admittedly, not hugely subtle) code. In London, at least, they’re easily identifiable by a proclivity for using rose emojis. Descriptions I have come across when I was researching this feature include ‘[rose emoji] 80 roses for the best night of your life’, ‘90 [rose emoji] for BBBJ’ [meaning bare back blowjob – blowjobs without a condom – according to Sarah] and ‘80 roses for an hour, GFE [Sarah says this is for a girlfriend experience] [rose emoji].’ In case you still haven’t figured it out – ‘roses’ mean ‘pounds sterling’.

Using my male housemate’s Tinder account, I was able to chat to three prostitues in one day and was blown away by how quick, easy and transparent it could be to buy sex over Tinder. On all three occasions, the process was the same – match with the girl, chat to them over Tinder about what I wanted and how much they would charge and then they’d send me a mobile number to ring and an address to go to. The price ranged from £70 for an hour with, extras such as blowjobs or anal increasing the price to over £100, to £300 for the entire evening and a full ‘girlfriend experience’. I was able to negotiate these prices without leaving my sofa or even speaking to the girl and that seems to be the point – it’s remarkable how easy Tinder makes it for users to skip the chit-chat and just pay a stranger for sex – all without deviating away from their iPhone.

For Sarah, the appeal seems to be that Tinder allows her to sell sex for cash while remaining anonymous and slipping past any interference from the police. ‘I had always worked at brothels or kerb-crawled before I started using Tinder, which was a nightmare, because you’d have to deal with hassle from the police. I’ve been in a brothel once when it was raided and it’s not an experience I’d like to repeat. And being shooed away by police on street corners is fucking boring. I’ve tried Gumtree and other websites, but they’re now really hot on closing down profiles that are soliciting sex. Tinder lets me get on with it completely privately – they message me, we chat, they come round, I shag them – or sometimes even just chat because it’s not always about the sex – and then they leave. It’s not traceable.’

When anyone reports Sarah’s profile and Tinder shuts it down, all she does is make another Facebook profile and get right back on.

The laws around prostitution in England and Wales are far from simple. The act of prostitution is not in itself illegal – but there are certain laws that criminalise activities around it. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence to cause or incite prostitution or control it for personal gain, and the 1956 Sexual Offences Act prohibits running a brothel and it’s against the law to loiter or solicit sex on the street. So selling sex on Tinder is not only completely within the parameters of the law, it allows these women to bypass any legal issues they might have selling sex through ‘traditional means’. No wonder Sarah finds it so appealing. For their part, Tinder is clear that such activities are against the app’s terms of service, which forbids commercial solicitation of any kind including ‘advertising or soliciting any user to buy or sell any products or services not offered by the Company’. Not that that’s had any affect on Sarah – when anyone reports her profile and Tinder shuts it down, all she does is make another Facebook profile and get right back on. It’s difficult to see how Tinder can keep on top of policing it.

So it certainly seems to be functional for Sarah, but what affect is it having on her emotionally? Using Tinder to solicit clients strips away what little face-to-face communication Sarah had with the people she’s about to have sex with so it becomes completely transactional – almost like doing a supermarket shop. Is she worried about what emotional damage she might be doing to herself? ‘Sometimes I think they forget that there’s an actual human behind the profile and there are times when it hasn’t been ideal,’ she admits. ‘People troll you a bit, but it comes with the territory and I just block them, because it’s a waste of my time. But even in person, people aren’t always very nice. When you meet with clients in the brothel or on the street, they obviously know what you look like in “real life”, but I admit that the pictures I used on my Tinder profile show me looking at my absolute best and, sometimes, the guys are disappointed with what they see when they arrive. Mainly all that people do is make a unkind joke about my appearance – which I can handle – but on one occasion someone actually left, which was obviously a bit shitty. And I do worry about my safety, but if I’m concerned, my male neighbor – who is a good mate – has a key to my house and I just text him if I feel intimidated and he gets rid of them.’

Interestingly, Sarah says that the sex she has through Tinder tends to be more ‘vanilla’ than some of the requests she had when she was working in a brothel. ‘I used to get people asking for weird stuff – one guy wanted me to wank him off into his own mouth– when I was in a brothel, but because the users on Tinder tend to be predominantly men in their twenties and thirties, they usually don’t want anything that niche. The most bizarre request I’ve had from Tinder was from a banker in his late twenties who wanted a classic sub-dom scenario and for me to urinate on him, but that’s not really a big deal to me. I got into this because I love sex and I have a really high sex drive. I get to have sex for a living and I absolutely love my job. Anyway, most of my friends on Tinder have sex with guys who then disappear off the face of the planet. The only difference between me and them is that I’m charging.’

 

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You Will Never Find True Love Until You Learn To Accept These 11 Things

While the dating game may seem challenging, when you do come across someone that you think is THE ONE the question remains – is this really it, or another passing fling? Are you ready to settle down with that someone special? Is this your ‘happily ever after’?

Each time we turn on the television we are met with another story of a celebrity marriage that we all believe would stand the test of time falling apart. Another messy divorce gracing the tabloids. In fact, it is arguable that most couples spend more time planning their wedding day than they do their marriage!

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN FINDING THAT ‘SPECIAL SOMEONE,’ SETTLING DOWN AND STARTING YOUR ‘HAPPILY EVER AFTER,’ YOU NEED TO START BY ACCEPTING THESE THINGS:

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

Behind all successful relationships is a foundation of healthy communication. You need to find someone with which you can keep an honest and open dialogue going about anything and everything in life. This doesn’t mean using the term ‘honesty’ as an excuse to tear one another apart. Instead, you must find someone with which you can share your fears and problems without fear of judgment.

NEVER PLAY THE VICTIM

Victim thinking will destroy even the best of relationships. The second you hand over the victim card, looking for pity and sympathy, you denounce control over your own life. The truth is that you DO have control over your life, and so long as you remember that point you can continue to move in a positive and meaningful direction, working through any challenges that are thrown your way.

TO FIND MR/MRS. RIGHT, YOU MUST FIRST BE MR/MRS. RIGHT

Relationships are a two-way street, and as much as you are looking for a certain kind of person to build your life with, so too are the people that you are meeting along the way. Look back at your former relationships and try to discover what went wrong – why didn’t they work out? It is important that you do so in a completely unbiased manner. If you find that the problem was something you had done, then it is time for you to focus on growing and developing into the partner that will attract your Mr. Right!

LIVE WITH PURPOSE

In order to stay in touch with who we truly are deep down, we must have a thorough understanding of our life’s purpose. If this is an area that you know that you need to improve – start by allowing yourself a little ‘me’ time to focus on the desires of your heart and soul. This doesn’t have to be formal meditation, but you should take the time to relax and think inwardly, reflecting on what you believe you were called to do.

MAKE SURE TO SET YOUR GOALS

Goal setting is an important step in working towards your ideal life. This includes both as an individual as well as goal setting as a couple. In order to effectively do this, you will need to have an idea of what one another is looking to get out of life. Knowing your goals will allow you to be supportive of one another.

REMEMBER THAT REAL LOVE DOESN’T HURT

Sure, every relationship will come with its ups and downs, and calling it ‘true love’ doesn’t mean you are exempt from facing challenges, however, true love is heavily focused on supporting and aiding one another in a sometimes-difficult world. When one, or both of you, face a challenge, the other should be there doing what they can to ensure that you aren’t’ facing it alone. When you stop and reflect back, true love involves more good days than bad.

PRACTICE FORGIVENESS

Everyone is going to hurt you at one time or another in your life, it is part of the human condition. If you are looking to establish a healthy, long-term relationship then you need to acknowledge that there is no place for grudges. When something comes up and you do find that you hurt one another in word or in deed, be prepared to forgive your partner and move on with life rather than wallowing in the difficult times.

ESTABLISH HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

Before entering into a long-term relationship, you need to determine where your boundaries are. Are you willing to settle down with a smoker? Do you tolerate excessive drinking? At what line do you believe criticism turns into verbal abuse? Understanding these boundaries will help you to find someone that fits into your image of the ideal relationship.

TRUE LOVE MEANS LOVING ONE ANOTHER FOR WHO YOU ARE

When you enter into a healthy, lasting relationship it isn’t to find and settle with someone you can ‘mold into’ the perfect person. True love means loving one another as we are, both the good and the bad. It means celebrating one another’s strengths and accepting our faults. If you find that someone is trying to change you, step back and reconsider the relationship.

ALWAYS BE PROACTIVE

You need to be aware of which relationships are healthy and positive, enhancing your life, and which are toxic or negative, detracting from it. Proactively ending friendships and relationships that step over your boundaries or invite negative energies into your life will leave more room for those that should be there. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on those who will help you to discover the best side of yourself.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

We’ve all met that person – they are capable of saying the right thing in every situation, professing their unending love over and over. True love means not only thinking/saying these things but actually acting upon them. Real relationships involve work and dedication, and you are going to have to be able to step up and do what is required to make it last!

 

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White Bustier

“She can’t even get some peace and quiet at her friend’s place as she’s also getting stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.”

Oh man. I used to keep a diary when I was actively dating because there were some doozies. Two come to mind right away. There’s the “You’re going to be such a good father if you get me pregnant” girl, and the Sunday afternoon walk of shame.

Met this chick on Tinder. Pictures of her look great, we share a lot of mutual interests and conversation wasn’t too bad. Plan to meet for an afternoon drink and watch the ballgame at a local bar I love.

I get there a bit early, she’s almost 30 mins late. (You all know I hate that) Bartender knows exactly what’s up and we shoot the shit until she hauls her tardy ass in the door. As she arrives, bartender says “I don’t think this is going to go well” and kind of grimaces at me. I turn to see this girl walk in, makeup still on from last night, white bustier type top, tight black pants and doesn’t look like she’s slept much.

I think to myself, did she seriously just walk of shame from being out at the club last night and fucking a random right to this date? No way, but it appears as such. 30 seconds in and I knew I had no interest, but I had to see where this would go.

She got the minimal amount of attention required as I watched the ballgame, drank beer and ate lunch. She sipped on water and had a few bites of fries. Cut to the chase, she serenades me with the tale of last night, how she was out, came home, couldn’t sleep because her ex-boyfriend (who moved out, to the apartment DIRECTLY above her in the same building) has been banging chicks almost every night and makes it a point to race the bed across the room while doing it. A true assertion of dominance by him, she just can’t take it. So, she apparently went to her friend’s place where she has keys. Went there, crashed on her couch without waking said friend. Wakes up to her friend’s shower running in the morning. Thinks nothing of it until a strange man she doesn’t know walks buck-ass-naked into the living room with his twig-n-berries hanging in all it’s glory. Turns out her friend was also banging a random last night.

Now keep in mind I really couldn’t care less at this point… I tell her there’s a lot of bangin’ going on, where’s her tales of coitus? She begins to break down, how everyone is getting laid except her, she has to listen to her very recent ex-boyfriend taking chicks to the meat market upstairs, and she can’t even get some peace and quiet at her friend’s place as she’s also getting stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.

That’s when I notice the tattoo on her arm. In shitty cursive is the name “Liam”. I just ask “Is his name Liam by chance”? She looks flabbergasted that I just guessed it and asks if I know him or something. “No, not really, but I seem to have a good understanding of who he is”.. I point to her arm and she just looks down in shame.

Ended up walking her to her car, gave her a pity hug and told her she seemed like a nice girl, but she should probably take some time before hitting the dating scene. She wrote me later that day and thanked me for being so nice and she was sorry she was such a mess. I wished her well.

She came up on a “People you may know” Facebook suggestion a few months back. Doesn’t look like she’s doing much better, sadly. Poor girl.

 

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Surprise: Highly Religious Couples Have a Better Sex Life, Survey Finds

Couples who are highly religious are more likely to be satisfied with their sex life than those who are less religious or who claim no religion, according to a new report.

The World Family Map report by the Institute for Family Studies was based on 9,566 interviews in 11 countries.

“There is a strong association between shared regular participation in a religious community and both relationship quality and sexual satisfaction in our sample of married and cohabiting heterosexual couples,” says the report, which was released this month.

“While both women and men in highly religious couples reported significantly higher overall relationship quality and satisfaction with their sex life, the results in both cases were strongest for women in these couples. In fact, women in highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts,” it says.

The report placed couples into three groups. “Highly religious” couples were defined as those who attend services at least 2-3 times a month. “Less/mixed” religious couples were those who attend services once per month or less, or that include one partner who regularly attends and another partner who rarely or never attends. “Shared secular” couples were those who never attend religious services.

“We also found that married couples reported significantly higher levels of relationship quality than cohabiting couples,” the report says.

The National Review’s David French said the report provides a stark contrast to the conventional wisdom in the entertainment world.

“How many happy, sexually vibrant religious married couples have you seen on popular television shows or movies — even in this era of fragmented, targeted entertainment?” he asked in a Wednesday column. “Now, compare that number (which is very, very close to zero) with the number of times you’ve seen liberation from religion portrayed as the key to sexual fulfillment.”

Sexual liberation, he wrote, “has all too often” brought “neither sex nor liberation.”

“[T]hanks to the work of the IFS, we can respond to felt need with real data,” French wrote. “Are you seeking love in this life? The church doors are always open, and while matchmaking isn’t its purpose, the connection to a holy God carries with it connection to his flawd people, and in those connections you can find profound joy.”

The 11 countries surveyed were Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States. The World Family Map report only included data from married or cohabitating heterosexual couples.

 

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How Using Marijuana Could Benefit Your Relationship

So much for the lazy, snacking stoner stereotype.

New research reveals that cannabis use between couples increases might benefit their relationship, in the bedroom and beyond.

“We found robust support for these positive effects within two hours of when couples use marijuana together or in the presence of their partner,” says Maria Testa, a social psychologist at the University of Buffalo and the study’s lead author. “The findings were the same for both the male and female partners.”

What they call “intimacy events” include demonstrations of love, caring and support.

For the study, Testa and her colleagues found 183 married or cohabitating heterosexual couples that had been living together more than six months, with at least one partner who uses cannabis a minimum of twice a week. Participants were between 18 and 30-years-old, and had no history of mental illness or addiction.

During a month-long period, each partner independently reported instances of cannabis use and intimacy events in real time via their smartphones. Researchers limited events attributable to the drugs to a two hour window after the fact, according to previous studies showing that cannabis’ effects diminish after about two or three hours.

A separate paper by Testa using the same sample group also showed a slight increase in conflict following cannabis use, but those effects were marginal compared to the positive events. She hopes results of both reports will help inform medical practitioners with patients who use the drug habitually.

“If you’re a treatment provider it’s going to be difficult to get people to reduce or stop their use entirely because these couples see marijuana as something positive in their relationship,” says Testa. “To ignore that is to make it more difficult for people to change their behavior.”

Testa has extensively studied how alcohol effects romantic relationships, and later expanded her research into cannabis, which has not yet been investigated through this lens. The current study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and appears in the journal Cannabis.

“I’ve studied alcohol as a predictor of intimate partner aggression for years,” she says. “Because alcohol is related to aggression in general, it’s not surprising to find that aggressive effect in the domain of relationships.”

She thinks there are too many presumptions made about how pot affects relationships.

“We need to know about the effects of marijuana use, instead of merely assuming what those effects may be,” says Testa, also adding, “There is very little research on the immediate consequences of marijuana use and intimacy, so this study fills an important gap in the literature.”

“On a personal note, I have found that when I am under the influence of marijuana I experience more intense orgasmic sensations… not in my genitals but in my mind. The sudden explosion of positive chemicals in my brain can only be described as… absolutely incredible.

Try it!

 

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10 Men You Should Never Marry

(Editor’s Note: The below examples are not intended to gender stereotype. This is merely a list of common pitfalls.)

1. The Late Night Texter
You know, the guy who only texts you after midnight. He’s the guy who only contacts you when he wants something or someone to talk to. You can go weeks without hearing from this person, only to rarely get a text full of smiley faces and a message that reads, “Hey! How are you?” They aren’t consistent. Don’t fall into the trap. (or… he’s texting you to hook up ‘ late night’ after every other skank at the bar has turned him down!)

2. The Slacker
He’s the guy who has no dreams, vision, or passion to get up and do anything. Don’t let his smooth words trick you into a relationship that will be full of dull moments and half-hearted plans.

3. The Liar

Don’t trust a man who is constantly lying to you. If you continue to ignore his inconsistencies, he could eventually do something detrimental to your relationship.

4. The Flake
This is the guy who calls off dates, constantly changes plans, and never shows up when he promises. If you think this will change once you’re married, you’re wrong. A flaky man will never put his woman first.

5. The Cheater
I’m all for grace and second chances, but the last thing you want is to find yourself in a marriage with someone you can’t even trust. I’m a huge believer that everyone can change, but please don’t get caught up in the lie that cheating is just a normal part of life. You deserve better.

6. The Partier
Stay away from him. Although he may seem fun and outgoing, I guarantee you will be better off with someone who stays away from gatherings full of bad mistakes and regretful decisions. The lifestyle of a partier never fits well with the maturity needed in marriage.

7. The Fake
He’s the guy who claims to be one thing, but in person never steps up to the plate. Not only is this unfair to your relationship, but you need to understand this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Look for a man who is who he claims to be. Fakes can only pretend for so long.

8. The Hypocrite
He goes back and forth between his beliefs, standards, and regulations on life. Most of the time this man will change things to better suit his personal life. Don’t expect yourself to have a thriving relationship with someone who is constantly hypocritical in their words and actions.

9. The Flirt
This man loves to flirtatiously chat with strangers, waiters, and even your friends. The man you should seek is one who flirts with you and only you, no matter the circumstance. That last thing you want is to be married to someone who will deliberately flirt with people in front of you, let alone behind your back.

10. The Jerk
Simple. Don’t marry a jerk. You deserve more than that this guy can offer you. Look for someone who is kind, generous, selfless, and chivalrous. The last thing you want is to be embarrassed about bringing your man in public, all due to his attitude. Not to mention, verbal abuse is a widely spread problem that I don’t believe any woman should have to encounter.

***

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

 

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