Online dating is becoming more and more commonplace in our generation. Simultaneously, hookup culture is still booming, hence the birth of Tinder, a convenient dating app. Tinder pulls pictures from your Facebook and voila, you’re skimming pictures of potential hookup partners, and Tinder makes it easy as a swipe left for no and right for yes. Only people who swipe each other right can talk. Your decision is based on one to six pictures, possibly a pretentious quote made in an attempt to seem profound, and maybe a height typed in to avoid that awkward conversation.
In an interview with Tech Crunch, Tinder claimed to make over six million matches daily. How many of these people are actually meeting up? A lot of people seem to think Tinder is “over” already, while a lot of girls claim to mainly use it as a joke. Men view these girls as simply searching for an ego boost, while they wind up with some hilarious conversations. There is even a popular Tumblr blog called “How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder”, where a girl says the weirdest and grossest things she can think of in attempt to test the persistence of guys prowling for hookups. Grandmas, cats, incest, and other generally neurotic statements seem to deter few. The shallow nature of the app is seen as convenient to some, and offensive to others.
While online dating practice generally sees men as being the shallow prowlers, as “How to Lose a Guy In One Tinder” demonstrates, this app provides women a chance to be just as shallow. It then becomes a question of whether women should be emulating the behavior criticized in men, to assert their equality, or if they’re falling into a trap. Women are typically seen as more emotional and less sex-driven—a tired tune. Tinder allows women to be sexual aggressors, which isn’t inherently better or worse than being the pursued, but it is not the norm. The opportunity in conventional sexual practice for women to be the desiring party as opposed to the desired object is limited. On another more traditional dating site, OkCupid, it is very much the same. Women are the ones being pursued, and a woman sending the first message is frowned upon and against the expected site protocol. On Tinder, women have to express interest to even start a conversation. This also contrasts expected codes for hookups in bars it is generally expected that men approach women.
This shift in female sexuality isn’t a recent event, but practice is beginning to reflect a more modern idea of women in hookup culture. Rather than sitting back and waiting for messages to come in, Tinder lets women prowl through men, expressing their sexual desire with a simple swipe. Another shift for millennials is that surprisingly, it is becoming common for serious relationships to be born from Tinder hookups. It leads to some interesting fake “meet-cutes” for mom, but what it says about the nature of relationships in our generation is that shallow sexual connections are the beginning point of a deeper relationship. It also demonstrates that men are becoming more accepting of sexually aggressive women as respectable and desirable for a relationship beyond just sex. This norm is one I’m all for—being the sexual aggressor is a powerful identity as a woman. If you’re interested in casual hookups, it seems Tinder is a leveling field allowing women to play the role of pursuer as much as any man can.
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur, its staff or Rollins College.