Never Give App on Love: Sex in the Time of Tinder | ÏU Mag
Published by ÏU Mag, July 2016
At the grand old age of 32, I have somehow managed to remain a Tinder virgin. Quite how this has happened when I’ve been single for two years and the smell of sex permeates the air everywhere you go in Ibiza, I don’t know, but up until about two weeks ago, I had escaped the Tinder brush and I was pretty happy about that - because GOD, isn’t mindless, try-hard sex chat with a stranger excruciating? Call me old fashioned, but isn’t it nicer to have an actual conversation with someone who made you laugh once? Or someone who looks like an Adonis without the aid of Photoshop? They’ve both got to be preferable to some dude you’ve accidentally swiped right on at 2AM in the morning, right? Maybe I’m part of a dying breed who still thinks like that, but I’ve also heard some pretty terrifying Tinder tales, and all of this combined makes me feel anxious and consequently, a little bit sweaty - not in a way that might turn you on if we were sexting. So it was with some reluctance that in the name of research, I put all these preconceptions aside, and for two weeks now, I’ve been a fully-fledged member of the Tinder squad in all its judgemental, gratuitous glory. Go forth and discover! Said my head. Run as fast as you can in the other direction! Said my heart. So we met somewhere in the middle.
I should preface this by stating that I’m not against online dating as a rule - one of my best friends met her husband online, and they’re now expecting a baby (yay) - so I know it has its benefits. But as I very quickly found out, Tinder isn’t about meeting a soul mate, falling in love, and spawning a child. Tinder is about sex. And in Ibiza, there are - surprise - a lot of men who want to have sex. So many, in fact, that signing up and maintaining your presence on the app becomes like a full time job. You get matches, messages and sordid sex requests - and it is incessant. From morning till night you receive a barrage of communication - some of it charming chit chat ‘Hola, que tal? De donde eres?’, some of it so cringeworthy you could chew your own face off ‘Let’s play with each other and snuggle,’ - some guy who obviously didn’t recognise his resemblance to Buddy the Elf. And if you’re foolish enough to give out your phone number (rookie error), you’ll then be bombarded on WhatsApp too. Only this is worse, because now they’ll know when you’re ignoring them. One guy sent me a slew of sad face emojis every time I read his message and didn’t reply within 45 seconds, while another sent me an unrequested and quite confusing video of him pleasing himself - dick pics have gone virtual, apparently. The plus point of this stage, at least, is the swiping process - because really, is anything funnier than a guy seductively posing for a selfie in his pants, in a lift at a 2-star hotel, as a means to snare sex? Not in my experience.
The dates themselves were equally as mind-boggling. Some guy wanted to take me to Es Vedrà for sunset, which sounds lovely until you start wondering if he’s going to attempt pushing you off a secluded clifftop (he didn’t, but he did try to touch me up behind a bush, wahey). With another, I spoke on the phone for hours pre-date; then when we actually met, we had nothing to say to each other. He asked me if I liked football, I said no, so we went to a bar to watch football. I asked him if he liked tequila, he said no, so I had four shots and was home by 8.30 PM. One dude got so drunk he could hardly speak (a blessing in disguise), another was so sleazy I left while he was in the bathroom, and the most perplexing of all was the one who turned up looking one foot shorter, three stone heavier and with different coloured hair, than in his profile picture - that’s just bad advertising, mate. Over the course of two weeks, my enthusiasm waned, and while I’m sure there are frequent Tinder success stories outside of having all the sex, I don’t think it’s for me. Yes, it provided lots of lols, and yes, it’s great if you want to get laid, but if it’s romance you’re after, you’ll find more at the bottom of a sardine can. So that’s where you’ll find me, for now.