daily existence. Personally, I’m still waiting for the Jetson’s-style car that I can fold up into a briefcase, but maybe that’s next on Team Apple’s agenda. Oh, and I wish we had some sort of cloning service. Yes, I would benefit greatly from having my own clone. Then again, if I had a clone I would probably never leave the house. If that sounds narcissistic, then you are correct in your assumption.
Speaking of narcissism and clones, I was recently inducted into the world of the dating app. Or hook-up app, if you prefer. It took me almost as long to get involved with this world as it did when Facebook was in its infancy, but I’m finding that there are fascinating things you can learn about people through their brief profiles, strange photographs and messages full of touch screen courage.
With all the varied choices out there, I chose Scruff and avoided its resting-bitch-face little brother Grindr. Not only are the boys on Grindr much douchier and homophobic than Scruff, but something about that skull mask logo gives me the creeps. Not to mention that Grindr has already racked up numerous murders connected to men who hooked up with their killers using the app. Yeah, that’s three strikes, Grindr. You’re out.
The first thing you notice when you join up is, of course, the photos. Let me just start by saying I honestly don’t see the point of posting a picture of your nipple or your navel or your feet. How does that help anyone?
Not to sound too shallow, but when I show up to meet you and you look like Sloth from The Goonies it’s not gonna matter what your abs look like. Your face is where everything starts. The way you smile, the look in your eyes, the lips that are asking to be kissed — that’s what should be first and foremost. Maybe that’s just my humble opinion, but even if I’m just hooking up with someone, the face is the spark that lights the fire.
I look at it this way: if you post a photo of your bicep are you going to show up to a date completely wrapped in bandages like a mummy with just that bicep showing? No. Or at least I hope not. When you show up at a coffee shop or a bar or someone’s door, the first thing they see is your face. So why not just put that on the profile in the first place?
And when I say that I mean a shot of your face from within the last year so you at least look somewhat similar to your photo. I saw a profile picture recently that had been taken outside a movie theatre. The poster on the marquee was Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. That came out in 2002. Which was 12 years ago, kids. At least have a picture in front of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows for fuck’s sake. That was only three years ago.
The second thing I find inherently amusing are the names on these profiles. I understand if you’re hesitant about using your real name, and I know many people use either the first letter of their name or their initials or some variation on that theme, which is fine. But when you’re using a name like FeetAndFisting, NeedHeadNow or BreedMe35, I feel like you’re kinda pigeonholing yourself right from the get-go. I received a message from the eloquently named NeedHeadNow and I asked him if he always needed head when he was online, since you know, it’s now. He told me: “No, I don’t always need head.”
After that, I decided to not delve further into the reasoning behind his screen name. Look, I understand that people want to make their desires known up front, but you can also do that once you talk to someone. You know, like we do in the real world.
That, in itself, is another point. Using a dating app should be like real life. You don’t walk up to someone in the real world with your face covered and say “Hi, my name’s Dick Chugger42” do you? I understand that the concept of doing things online whether it’s Scruff or Tinder or Facebook or Instagram is the alternative to going out into the world and meeting someone to date or to fuck or to be friends with, but sooner or later, face-to-face human experience will be taking place in our lives.
The transition from whom you are online and who you really are shouldn’t be such a leap. The image crafting that we all engage in only puts up roadblocks for the real time interaction that comes with the one thing we all need: personal connection. Truth, above all else, will lead the way to what you truly need. The lies you spin through binary code are just like the lies you tell in real life. They will turn and bite you with sharp teeth.
You say you’re six feet tall and 190 pounds but you’re really five feet seven and 220 pounds? You say you’re into heavy bondage but you’re really only curious about it?
You say that the photo of you online is definitely you and not Nick Youngquest? All of these things will be painfully revealed when you’re standing in front of whomever you’re connecting with. And that won’t be pretty. Honesty, the greatest quality that anyone can possess, is still paramount, even behind the anonymity of a touch screen.
That brings me to the one thing about these apps that I find the most infuriating. The fact that people are online looking for dick or dates when their profile says they are partnered, married or — a term that has absolutely no merit in my world — in an open relationship. Okay, so let me see if I understand this: you have someone to come home to every night, someone to wake up to every morning, someone who takes care of you and supports you, makes you breakfast, kisses you goodnight, laughs with you, argues with you, holds your hand, reminds you to bring an umbrella, tells you you’re beautiful, tells you they love you and that’s not enough for you? Are you kidding me?
I guess I sound like I’m old fashioned or I belong in a Nicholas Sparks movie, but that sounds like it would be enough for me. And if you’re one of these people who are in a relationship that say you’re merely online looking for friendship, why are you putting your stats and desires in your profile? When I meet a new person who I know I’m going be friends with, I try to steer clear of telling them how big my dick is or if I want to be tied up. Unless they ask, of course.
So, tell me: am I missing something? Is there some reason people cannot be satisfied with what they have and need to venture into the global grid of the hook-up apps?
It seems greedy and selfish to me. When I’m with someone I’m with someone. Does temptation rear its muscled head? Of course. Do I struggle with the attentions of a 23-year-old MMA fighter in the gym when things are tough with my boyfriend? Sure, and it’s not easy. But the point remains — love should trump the siren song of a stranger’s touch. I came across a profile recently that said if I was interested in what this user’s ideal guv was, I should check out his partner’s profile. Because “he’s more than I could’ve hoped for.” Really? I mean, come on. If you have everything you could ever hope for, there’s no need to search for more, right?
I know I sound like I’m not a fan of Scruff and the like, but that’s actually not the case. People meet online every day and get what they need, whether it’s a date or a fuck or a future husband. People meet online and discover that the people they meet may not light them up in person but they become friends and take that path instead. It can be an amazing tool for connecting on many different levels. I think that if you truly want the most out of any kind of digital coupling, honesty is the way to go. Honesty will filter out what you don’t want so you can find what you do want — whether it’s for an hour or forever.
Like I said before, treat these apps like you would treat a real life encounter with your face, your name, your wants and needs, your desires — no matter how twisted — your real age, and your real thoughts.
Trust me, these are the tools to pleasing your heart and both your heads. But if you’re one of these guys who supposedly has everything they could ever want in a partner waiting at home for you, stop grazing where you think the grass is greener, because it isn’t. And if you’re a single guy with confidence and sexiness and a smile that melts my heart and drops my pants, I’ll see you online. Woof.