It made him feel a little bad, I think, seeing that if we ever broke up and had to use this app for real, I’d get way more immediate action than he could expect.
I’m convinced this has way less to do with a disparity in our levels of attractiveness than the fact that, as I later found out, men have a tendency to swipe right three times more than women. More than 40% of my matches messaged me despite my asking them not to, while only 6% of Doug’s matches reached out to him.
This meant two things: 1) One third of the men who messaged me had read all of my profile, including the part in which I said I would not respond to them, and 2) they felt that, since they had read my profile, they were better than average and I owed them a conversation about what I was doing. It was totally disturbing – about 12% of the men who messaged me started out aggressively sexual like this. Four out of his seven messages were simply girls saying “hey” – meaning they also did not read his profile.
I’m a firm believer that probably 90% of the time, girls do not owe guys shit. There were guys, though, that took my being on Tinder yet not available to them very personally. I feel like I didn’t do enough damage to you to cause you to say that. He had one girl say she read his profile and was curious what my research was about – totally acknowledging I existed!
My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was attracted to. I felt guilt and shame because I had “failed” in bed. There are many resources for “rebooting” (abstaining from porn, masturbation and orgasm for a period of time to rewire your brain) available that I recommend, my favorite of which is Gary Wilson’s
It preoccupied my mind and I worried that it would happen again. I thought about it so much that it slowly became a belief. My escalating porn use over the years had desensitized and rewired my brain.
This is a perfect example of the way girls get treated almost anywhere on the internet – no matter what we say, guys expect us to owe them conversation. And then, he got two messages from sex workers using the platform to find clients. I suppose just that Tinder really isn’t a place to connect and make new friends. But the way Tinder markets itself as a space for everyone to meet new people made us think that hey, maybe we both won’t get people offering to have sex with us since we said we weren’t interested.
When I was dealing with this performance anxiety, I noticed there were two things that were physically happening in my body as my performance anxiety worsened: One, to be relaxed. In other words, by tensing up, I was sabotaging my body’s natural process of getting an erection.
How would men on Tinder treat someone who told them upfront she had a boyfriend?
How would they treat a girl who asked to be left alone?
And would it be different than how women would treat a boy saying the exact same things?
Doug and I decided to set up Tinder profiles to see.