As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex.
Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship.
The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app.
You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York.
“It’s changing so much about the way we act both romantically and sexually,” Garcia says.
“It is unprecedented from an evolutionary standpoint.” As soon as people could go online they were using it as a way to find partners to date and have sex with.
“I always make a point of disclosing I’m not looking for anything serious.
I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens …
When asked if they’ve been arranging dates on the apps they’ve been swiping at, all say not one date, but two or three: “You can’t be stuck in one lane …
“We are in uncharted territory” when it comes to Tinder et al., says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
“There have been two major transitions” in heterosexual mating “in the last four million years,” he says.
In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then and
But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. ’ ” says Jennifer, 22, a senior at Indiana University Southeast, in New Albany.