Try a little tinderness

Nan Goldin: Simon and Jessica kissing
Nan Goldin: Simon and Jessica kissing

Let’s talk a little about  sex, or at least the possibility of it.

Why? Well, why not? It’s pretty much everywhere isn’t it?   Or at least, sexual images of women are everywhere in advertising: on billboards, bus stop posters, newspapers and magazines. Sure, we get the occasional campaign involving a male film star or footballer, showing off their six pack and pocket rocket in a pair of tight white pants, but they stand out amongst the semi naked women we see all around us.

So it goes. Sex sells and it always has in some form, ever since advertising was invented, for the simple reason that we humans are generally interested in it. So this post is not some salacious reveal about my sex life, you will be relieved to know. But there are intriguing things I am discovering in the post modern world of app dating that are worthy of a share. And sex is everywhere on these apps.

By the way, I’m not embarrassed about any of this internet stuff. Anyone who knows me knows that I met my husband via online dating, and while that may have not worked out in the end, we got ten years out of it, a child and neither of us are crazy. Although at times that may have been debateable…

But we did this at what seems a more innocent time now, the days before smart phones. You might exchange numbers later on, but essentially you had to wait until you got home from work and send messages via the websites. It was much slower, and there was the potential for too much correspondence before meeting. By this I mean people you had good head to head chat with, but no sexual chemistry face to face.

You learn quickly. Banter is all well and good on paper (for me in particular) but it only matters if you match in the physical world, otherwise it ain’t gonna happen. So there’s no point in delaying the inevitable nerve wracking meet up; even so, it still may have taken a week or so, depending on internet access. This was also pre wi-fi, gasp! Can you young ones imagine such a time?

Of course, these more traditional dating sites still exist, as well as the more ‘discreet’ ones, such as the recently compromised Ashley Madison. Even they now have apps, so you can check your messages and notifications immediately, like everything else. But still…I am not looking for love, I do not really want to date.

However, I am nosey and curious. And dagnabbit, I’m as horny as a sailor on shore leave. Every lady needs a gentleman caller once in a while. Being a reader of the news means I am vaguely aware of current social trends. So whilst I’m no youth, I thought I would check out the swiping phenomenon that to me, symbolises the terrifying ferocity of modern matching: Tinder.

The app takes info directly from your Facebook profile (which you can change if you wish) – for me it picked four pictures –then you can write something below that. I have a short silly message but I have no idea what other women put. Of the men, many have no message at all, just one or two pictures.

The no message pics are of two types: guys who have photos with their kids or even their exes. I have seen profile pics that are those family studio portraits. I mean bless, I suppose the intended message is ‘look, I used to be in a family, I am not a weirdo!’ but it actually comes across as someone who is still kinda hung up on their ex.

The other no message guys are the sex guys. Often they have photos of their torsos or selfies showing their guns. Sidebar: I haven’t seen any of these notorious hunters, but I have seen one or two profiles of guys holding actual guns. Swipe left. Alongside the anonymous torsos.

Once in a while, a no message guy comes along who is so handsome, it would be wrong not to right swipe, even though you have no intention of meeting a 30 something guy. And then ping, you get a match. Because these guys always like everyone but never message people, even the young pretty ones they must get. They collect matches like meaningless vanity trophies, but even then it’s a brief ego boost for an older chick like me not to be discounted by them.

Once in a while, the young men do message you, but whilst I’m open to suggestions, a simple ‘hi’ from a stranger at 1.30am, young or old, doesn’t generally do it for me. For some reason there’s an instinct that they are there for sex chat. But I have no doubt that there are numerous young women who will reply to that half-hearted call. Or maybe not. I can’t pretend to know the sexual behaviour of young women, only my own experiences a generation ago. There’s a vain hope that things are different for the young modern lass, but a suspicion that things haven’t changed much,

In amongst these and the other overtly sexual ones who do have messages (my favourite is the one line ‘looking for something wet to lick’ accompanied by cartoons of men eating very luscious fruits -LEFT), there are people looking for relationships. It seems a strange place to look, but the free and instant thing is appealing. These men often have pictures of their dogs.

While I applaud the optimism of people trying to find love on a site where men want to lick things from women to toilet bowls, maybe they would be better looking elsewhere, even if they have to pay. But who knows, maybe they will succeed. Tinder can be used anyway you want, whatever you want. The only test is if anyone else feels the same way as you.

It’s strange old thing relearning the ropes among the freaks, the perverts and the lonely hearts. And the straightforward weirdos such as myself. But it’s kind of fun finding out how the young ones do it, even if I’m not sure I like it much.

Spartan gods appear to be thin on the ground.

Until next time,

QL.

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