Tinder, the popular swiping dating app that launched in 2012 and has over 50 million users in over 140 countries has spurned a new wave of instant dating for the millenial generation. We caught up with the creator of ‘ My Tindertainment’ one of several popular tinder dating blogs centring around one woman’s experiences in the Tinderverse. Conceived in 2015 as a way of documenting her own sexual encounters on Tinder, I sat down with its author Veronica to hear about her sexual anecdotes, thoughts on online dating and whether there is still a stigma attached to single women seeking casual sex.
Tell us how it started, what made you decide to start the blog?
When I signed up to Tinder I had one desire on my mind and that was sex (I’d been pretty much celibate for around seven years by that point when all of a sudden my hormones exploded). What was really on my mind was that I was going to get someone round to shag me while my flatmate was away. Well, that didn’t happen until a couple of weeks later, which incidentally felt like too long at the time, and it wasn’t the “get in, get off, get out” scenario that I’d imagined it would be. I very much took the lead from the men and ended up going on proper dates, which I didn’t expect.
The online dating experience turned out to be so interesting and so much fun – nothing like the horror stories I’d heard about. I was meeting some wonderful people and having a great time. My friends loved hearing my stories, both the good and bad dates, plus all the awesome sex I was having. I thought other people, particularly women, might be interested to hear about it, as perhaps, like me, they’d never joined a dating app before and would like to try it.
Perhaps me doing this might cause people to reflect and change their attitudes, to stop making people (particularly women) who want to have sex feel bad about it. It’s nature!
So do you believe there is a stigma attached to women who ‘sleep around’?
Absolutely, and this isn’t a stigma only emanating from men, though I believe that’s where it started and continues to be fuelled by certain men. There are plenty of women who frown upon casual sex, but this is how engrained social conditioning is – to be brainwashed into believing that you must live your life in a certain way or else you’re
immoral. I used to be one of those women. I was so scared in the past of being labelled a “whore” if I slept around that I shied away from casual sex. That’s partly why I’d only slept with three men by the age of 34. It’s not often that men suffer this type of shame for doing the same thing.
Just the other day a man verbally attacked me on an Instagram page, calling me a slut, a cunt, “unclassy enough to use an app for sex”, a degenerate, lonely and pathetic. Regardless of his particular gripe, if he even had one, he resorted to attacking my sexuality as a way to “bring me down”. This is a fine example of misogyny and attempted patriarchy. It’s unfortunate that this still happens, but you know, there are lots of great men out there too. That very same evening I received a lovely message from another guy to say that he loved my attitude (to sex), accompanied by other wonderful and supportive comments. I’ve had such a positive response and men have actually been my biggest supporters.
I mean, the majority of men I speak to absolutely love that I talk so openly about sex. The amount of times they’ve said “You are giving me a boner” when I’ve literally just said “This is how I like it. I like my nipples being sucked and riding a guy” is countless. It’s exciting for us both.
I’ve often reflected whether it’s just a case of men thinking I’m easy to get into bed, i.e. they would encourage my openness and willingness to have casual sex so that they can get laid, and to some degree that’s probably true. But that’s not a bad thing to me because it means I get laid too. If they’re taking advantage of me, I’m taking advantage of them right back. But I don’t think either of us are taking advantage. We’re just enjoying each other and what Mother Nature gave us, without the need for it to result in procreation or marriage. What’s wrong with that?
Have you had any negative reactions to your blog?
Surprisingly only one guy so far. He said all I was doing with my life was having sex with strangers and telling the world about it, that I was young and should do something better blah blah blah. He clearly had an archaic view about women. Sex is perfectly natural though; as natural as eating, sleeping, breathing and so on. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s not dirty, so how have we allowed this to ever be considered wrong or shameful? I just don’t understand that mentality.
The feedback I get is overwhelmingly positive, I’m stunned by the reaction actually. I’ve been praised for my honesty, openness and confidence. This is what the vast majority of men want to see in women, despite what I’ve said about a select negative few. The men I go on dates with know that the best sex happens when all participants are relaxed, happy and feel good about themselves. It’s sexy and attractive – I understand this now. They also find the blog an interesting insight into sex from a woman’s point of view. I’ve been told it’s funny and all that kind of stuff and I think great, that’s what I want it to be.
Why do you only identify each date with their first initial, age and nationality?
Regarding the nationality, even though I was born and grew up in the UK, I’ve always strongly identified with my Italian half. I love being part of two differing cultures/backgrounds. I love diversity and I thought the reader may be interested to see the different kinds of people you can meet and have fun with, or not as the case may be.
Age is an issue of maturity, I guess. I’ve had differing experiences with people of all ages. It tends to show there’s no real pattern, i.e. not all young men are immature and inexperienced.
As for the initial, I need to refer to my dates as something. I wish to keep them anonymous, so I decided not to use their full name. Aside from anything else, the blog isn’t really about them specifically, even though I talk about them in a lot of detail sometimes; it’s more about the experience as a whole. But I use their real initial because otherwise it’ll just get too confusing for me when I’m writing it up.
Have you noticed anything in common with the guys you’ve slept with?
Well, the vast majority have been wonderful people to spend time with and have sex with, but sometimes aftercare can be a problem.
What do you mean by aftercare?
There is little care in how they treat you sometimes, after the event. They are all very enthusiastic and friendly leading up to the date, but then everything goes quiet. Bearing in mind frequent chatting and excitement can go on for a while leading up to a date, so you kind of get used to them being prominent in your life. Therefore it’s a bit of a shock to the system when they go completely silent. I form quite strong connections with people, so when guys ignore me afterwards it makes me think “Oh, maybe they didn’t enjoy my company as much as I thought they did.” I don’t ignore their messages, even if I don’t want to see them again. Being nice costs nothing.
Then again, I realise everyone has their own life to lead, but I always hope to make friends out of these connections at the very least, and I have made some great friends. I think men sometimes fear that women will automatically want a relationship, so they avoid being too friendly afterwards in case she gets the wrong idea. This is a misconception. Not every woman wants to be in a relationship, just as not every man wants to avoid them. It’s silly. We all just need to be honest with each other. It may be painful to hear someone doesn’t like you as much as you like them, if that’s even an issue, but at least then you know and you can move on.
What makes you swipe right (tap like) for a guy?
In terms of aesthetics, a full head of hair is a deal breaker for me, thus far – sorry to all the bald blokes out there. I love to run my fingers through a man’s hair, so if they don’t have any it doesn’t really work for me. I also love a pretty face, but that’s subjective. I do have a varied taste. Other things include a good smile/teeth, kissable lips, preferably blue or green eyes, around the 6ft mark, intelligence and honesty. Humour is also massive bonus. I can be laughed into bed, for sure.
But my blog will show that I’ve been out with many guys who don’t have all of these qualities. I try not to be shallow and besides, while I love sex in its abundance, I also just like meeting people platonically. I met up with a guy once who was bald – I wasn’t attracted to him at all, but he seemed like such a nice guy and what he said in his profile was so lovely, I really wanted to meet him. I don’t always match with people on dating apps to date them, though for the most part I do. Occasionally I will just match with people who I’d like to talk to, to find out how their experience is going, see if they have anything insightful to say and see if anything comes of the connection.
How can Tinder be improved?
I think height should be declared. Too often, men are reluctant to put their height on there and I’m getting sick of having arguments about it or having to explain why it’s important to me. Men need to remember that this is a virtual connection at the start and height is really the only thing in pictures that you can’t gauge. At 5’7” I need a man to be sufficiently taller than me, to dominate me, because that’s what turns me on. ‘Shorter’ men might be fabulous human beings, but the fact is I’m using dating apps to date people for the most part – not to meet every human in London simply to see if we get on.
It may be shallow to judge people based on their physical appearance, and that’s not limited to height, but to some degree that is the nature of life. If you see a beautiful flower in the field, you may appreciate the beauty in it, but another person might not find it as beautiful as the next. The same is the case with humans. I don’t fancy the same men as my friends – far from it, and not all men fancy me. I wouldn’t expect or want them to. Physical attraction isn’t the single most important thing, but it is still important.
Some people have argued that Tinder and similar dating apps have ‘killed romance’, what is your opinion?
To me, dating apps are just an alternative place to meet people. It shouldn’t lessen the chance of love, per se, and I know of quite a few examples where a “match” has resulted in a long-term relationship. What I have noticed about this virtual world, however, is the propensity to treat each other badly, simply because you’re not face-to-face. It’s easier to discard a person or be rude/threatening/abusive than it is in real life.
On that note, I also thought Tinder was very shallow in the beginning – to decide who’s ‘good enough’ based only on their looks. But as time went by I came to realise that it’s not so different from real life. If you have the benefit of vision, physical appearance is often what attracts us to one another first. Then you might get the opportunity to speak to each other, just as you do when you match on Tinder.
The only things that are missing by meeting someone this way are eye contact and body language. Using Tinder has highlighted how important these additional qualities are in terms of what I find attractive in a person in real life. But, you know, Tinder isn’t perfect – it’s just an alternative.
Would you like a boyfriend/relationship?
It’s not something I go looking for. It would feel very synthetic if I did. When I first signed up to a dating app, I wanted sex, plain and simple. The thought of a relationship did not inspire me, but that’s something that might happen in the future. A fuck buddy has always been an ideal solution because then I could take the sexual exploration further than I’d want to with a one-nighter. But in reality it’s not always practical because you both have to be available when the other wants some action. I have a high sex drive and I feel like I need it regularly in order to function. There was one guy I was seeing for a while and we had a great time, but we both had things going on in our lives and he had concerns that he wouldn’t be able to give me as much sex as I wanted. And he was right – it wasn’t enough. Ultimately I don’t feel the need to be in a relationship in order to live a happy life. It’s not a driver for me.
Date #48 (J, 30yr old Spanish ) seems promising. Could he be ‘the one’?
*Laughs*. The first “date” we had was very exciting and the sex was fantastic. That inspired me to see him again, which resulted in a fabulous second “date” with equal amounts of excitement (should I go into detail?).
I don’t really believe in “the one”. We’re still in close contact, but at the moment I have a vast number of other people who I’d like to meet too. We’re both keen to be friends at least, which I’m pleased about because he’s such a pleasure to be around, sex or no sex. As for anything else, I don’t know. I’m certainly not besotted with him, but I could be if we saw each other more often perhaps. I don’t want to pressure him to be with me. That wouldn’t turn me on or make me happy.
Do you plan on quitting soon?
I’m thinking about it. I probably won’t quit dating, but I may stop writing about it (so much). If I decide to stop and miss it, then I’ll start it again. I’m taking my time over deciding who will be date #50. If I do decide to stop at that point, I want to go out with a bang, literally. But there are still plenty of things to write about, and I may still write about the really good or bad dates – just not the more mundane ones.
What advice would you offer girls who also wish to use Tinder and other online apps for hookups or casual dating?
Here are four points of advice I would give:
The art of selection is a fine thing. The reason I’ve had mostly great dates is because I was very selective about who I’d meet. I devised my own Q&A to test the basics of compatibility, which nicely filtered out the undesirables.
Honesty is paramount. There’s no sense in playing games – life is too short. There’s nothing wrong with stipulating upfront what you want and what your parameters are. It’s all about finding the right match for you, not simply accepting what is available – and believe me, in London there is an abundance of opportunities. It’s a wonderfully diverse city.
Always practice safe sex, and that includes oral sex. It’s not worth the risk to have unprotected sex with people you hardly know. I’ve slipped a few times, which thankfully hasn’t resulted in anything serious, but it could. It only takes that one time.
Don’t take things so seriously. If the connection is meant to be, it will naturally continue. Just have fun and enjoy life. Get as many orgasms as you can, whether it’s with one person or many!
Update: After date #50 Veronica is taking a break from Tinder blogging