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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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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Brooke – Insanity Girl

One time I went on a tinder date with this girl, Brooke. She was smoking hot. We’re talking Instagram fame hot. I start talking to her, we exchange numbers, she sent me some topless pics on snapchat. I’m basically on top of the world.

She calls me a day before we meet up and asks me a lot of weird, way too personal questions. Right off the bat her personality seemed pretty weird but I figured she was just kind of quirky.

I take her out to dinner and this girl has horrible table manners. She tells me all about the guy she had been seeing recently, (like a week before I came to find out) and keeps asking me questions about my money, dick size, if I can do a backflip, all kinds of odd shit.

After we eat I take her to my house to watch a movie or something. There were so many red flags going off in my head about this girls personality, but she was so beautiful I didn’t listen to my conscience. (I never do. Beauty always wins.)

I take her to my house and we start watching movies. This girl gets up out of the seat and starts running around my house! Almost aimlessly. Just sprinting. Not saying anything at all. Just running from place to place, not making eye contact with me and not acknowledging anything I say. I was actually terrified at this point. I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt, I was more afraid because I thought I was watching someone who was just clinically insane. She was just totally disconnected… Anyway, so we got to fooling around a little bit after that and I called it quits.

I once had a cat that did that running around aimlessly thing, so it’s pretty normal. Just let them get it out their system, then they come back to the couch and you can pet them again.

She leaves later that night and I’m still processing what happened.

I keep texting her because I’m an idiot and she’s hot.

For some reason she starts getting angry when I don’t text her back within 5 minutes. Literally 5 minutes pass and she said “Fuck you.” Out of nowhere, for no reason. At this point is when my brain finally kicked in and I blocked her, deleted her number, blocked and deleted her on every other form of social media as well.

Other odd thing about her, she told me one day she ate a whole chicken in one sitting and drank the grease up.

No girl is attractive enough to outweigh insanity.

 

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Nadia and Frankie

So I’d been chatting to a girl named Nadia on Tinder for a week or so and we had organized to go on a date the next Thursday; we were both pretty busy and that was the only night we were both free. The weekend comes around and I meet a girl at a party. Frankie (the girl at the party) and I hit it off straight away and we play some beer pong, talk and generally just have a good time. I walked her home and we set a date for Tuesday.

Tuesday comes around and we have a great time. Met for coffee late evening, went for a walk around the city and got dinner. She says that her roommate won’t be home until later and invites me back to her apartment for a movie and after the first half of Guardians of the Galaxy, we get to having sex.

I go to the kitchen to get a drink and, being home alone, I decide that just wearing my underwear will be fine. So I’m at the sink, gulping down water in my underwear when I hear a rattle. It’s not coming from Frankie’s room, it’s coming from the front door. I panicked, turned to face the front door and as it opened, I vaguely recognized the girl’s face.

Turns out Nadia and Frankie lived together.

Obviously almost-naked me is the last thing poor Nadia expected to see when she came home; she managed to get about 3 steps into the hallway before she even noticed someone was there. As soon as she did, she screamed and bundled herself back against the door, clearly thinking I’m some weird guy who breaks into people’s apartments semi-naked to steal tap water or some shit. I go bright red, embarrassed as hell while trying to calm Nadia, who’s seconds away from a heart attack.

By this time, fully naked Frankie comes running into the hallway confused as hell, much to Nadia’s surprise. After she calmed herself down, Nadia was pretty cool about the whole thing. I explained about the party and the date and she was initially kinda pissed but she said she understood and was cool about it. Carried on dating Frankie until she moved to New York for a job. Amazing girl, amazing figure.

 

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Heather – The Family

I went on tinder to try to get more dates. This was a couple of years ago. I’d been working too much. I just wanted to have more fun.

I got a message and set up a date with this girl. It’s my 5th date from the site, it’s been fun. But this one girl was like one of those love at first sight moments when we met at a restaurant. I saw Heather and she was perfect. I tried to play it cool but I felt like I could just cut ties with all the girls I’ve dated and just commit to her.

Physically she was everything I could ever ask for and exactly my type. Her personality seemed about a 10/10. About 30 minutes into sitting down, we didn’t even order cause we were just talking. The chemistry was as good as it was with my first love when I was 14. It was perfect, sparks were flying, I thought I was done and ready to commit here.

But then she tells me to forget about ordering food, let’s go somewhere else, and she has this idea. She won’t say much and I like surprises so I didn’t ask much. We jumped in my car and drove to this restaurant about 20 minutes away kind of out-of-town. It was half way up a mountain near a ski resort. I’m familiar with the area so no big deal.

We walk in and her family is celebrating her aunt’s birthday. There was only family and a lot of it, about 40 people. She introduces me and everybody was happy to meet me and really nice. Everybody also knew that she was out on a first date. They were asking her stuff like, “Is this the guy?” “Is this your date?” “Is this the one?” All of the sudden I wasn’t so cool and relaxed. I felt pressure to be on my best behavior. It was high pressure to the 3rd degree. But everybody was nice so that helped. We sat down and I started being questioned by her older sister, her aunt, and another lady that I forget her relation to my date. The mom started kind of defending me and telling them to back off and let me eat. But the interrogating continued. After I don’t know how long they turned to my date and jokingly said, “we approve.” Then I was able to kind of get my bearings for a minute.

I was totally off-balance all night, just tense. I was afraid the back of my shirt would get that a big wet spot cause I felt sweat on my back. So the sister brings her cute little girl and let’s me hold her and she and my date started taking pictures of me holding her, and somebody else’s baby boy as well. I started to feel like the tone of it all was that we were a couple. I kind of felt like I was married to her and these nice people were my in-laws.

After a couple of hours probably closer to 3 hours, everybody was kind of tiring out and everything began to wind down, keep in mind her car is still at the other restaurant down the hill. Then her dad suddenly asks me “jokingly,” what my intentions are with his daughter. Though I can’t remember how he phrased the question. Everybody looked at the table looked at me which is about half the people there.

I guess I was exhausted from all the questioning (I was questioned by multiple people, multiple times) and the pressure of it all cause I kind of lost it. He asked the question, I looked across the table at her, and she told her dad to stop it. Her dad smiles and jokingly says that he’d really like to hear my response, and her uncle (I think) also said he’d like to know (jokingly). I looked at my date and said, “Can I talk to you alone for a minute.” To which her dad laughs loudly and says “I made him nervous.”

So everybody is laughing now and I guess it was a big joke. I stood up in place, kind of, it was one of those long bench seats and I couldn’t push it back cause other people were sitting on it. Then her sister (I think) says, “Oh there are no secrets in this family, speak your mind.” People then laugh again and everybody starts making jokes about not having secrets and this man who married into the family somehow tells me that he remembers being in my place and he says, “Let me give you some advice, the best thing to do right now is speak your mind and be honest.” Then others join in and echo his sentiment, all jokingly I think.

So I looked at my date and she says something like, “You can tell me anything here, we’re all family.” She also I think was joking. But I had started to lose my ability to tell when people were joking and when they were serious. So the dad says, “Wait, I haven’t gotten an answer to my question.” So finally I speak directly to the dad and say, “I’d like to discuss that with her first.” But I REGRETFULLY, laughed as I said it. So her dad says, “I asked you first, I wanna know.” I turn to my date and she says something like, “Go ahead you can tell me, I’m a big girl I can handle it.”

So I said ok, and sat down then took a couple of breaths while her dad kind of quieted everybody down. I started with “I think I made a huge mistake.”

It all spiraled down from there. I said harsh things like that I felt like I was having a bad dream where I was suddenly married. I questioned her intentions in bringing me there. I said stuff like, “What were you thinking?” Yes, I liked you, but I just met you, and right now I know your aunt (I pointed at her sitting next to me) better than I know you.”

I think she was humiliated but I couldn’t stop, the more I spoke the more bad stuff came out, total fucking tail spin. I said I want to find someone special but I don’t want to skip the first 29 dates and skip to date 30 which is what I’d done that night.

Then people started interrupting and chiming in and suggesting that she and I slow down and have a real first date. I wasn’t having it, I was out of control. I said, “No, it’s too late for that, I feel robbed here, I wanted to meet this girl, get to know her, date her, and maybe fall for her, but now it’s like we’re engaged and her whole family is here and there are all these expectations. We skipped the getting to know each other, and dating part so I feel robbed.” Then I said yet another thing I regret. I said “It’s a HUGE RED FLAG (with an emphatic gesture) that I asked for minute alone with you to talk, and this is what I got instead.” I added something like “you’re all great and a great family, but the lack of certain boundaries is a huge red flag for me. I would never let my relationship become family business.”

My date interrupts me at this point and says, “Okay, so let’s talk in private, let’s go outside and talk, I’m sorry I didn’t give you that minute, let’s go outside and talk privately, I’ll give you all night.” She was visibly shaken and I could tell tears were inevitable. I stood up again and realizing that I had insulted all of them I just quietly walked out. I felt really bad cause they were all nice and had nothing but the best intentions for me. They love her, and they were literally telling me that I was good enough which should’ve been a compliment, but I somehow took it the wrong way and spat in their face. I didn’t even drink.

I drove home alone in silence.

 

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Phicklephily – Tinder Moments

 

Here are even more crazy Tinder posts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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