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Impersonators who are paid to flirt on dating apps (qz.com)
371 points by imartin2k 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 313 comments

It is very informative to make a an online dating profile of the opposite gender. I'm a man, but when I made an account on tinder with a female friend's pictures I was blown away by just how radically different the experience was.

Almost every person would match with me. Everyone would message me straight away. If I didn't reply most would message again in a few hours. A few would get very angry/upset that I didn't reply.

I think Tinder is a real stroke of genius. All users, men and women, get given the same interface and the same choices. But of course things are not really equal. Men shotgun and women pick and choose. Tinder has essentially made Bumble, but they have plausible deniability. No need to enforce any rules about women messaging first when that emerges naturally.

I worked for $large_dating_site for a number of years. The real genius of Tinder was giving women the power. We came to the same realization as well: that no matter how bad you make the user experience for men, they will use the app endlessly if real women are there. Online dating business models are exclusively based around enticing men with sex, and giving women the power to choose precisely who they want.

What I’ve long wondered is how women react in the real world now that they have all the power on dating apps. Why would they try to find a date in any other way?

There were a few articles that came out a few years ago arguing that, no, dating apps were terrible for women because it makes men even more noncommittal with such easy access to dates. My hypothesis was that the women they interviewed for those pieces were all going after the same small group of elite men. Thus, ~3% of the whole male population is sleeping around with ~20% of the female population. Makes me wonder if polygamy is the natural course of things.

> What I’ve long wondered is how women react in the real world now that they have all the power on dating apps

Women always had that specific kind of power in real world. When/if you go to a party, observe the people who are alone, standing against a wall; they're invariably men, without absolutely no exception. This says everything about power.

Having said that, bear in mind that this kind of power is only a (arguably small) part of relationships between the sexes. It says a lot, but it's still a (small) part.

> Why would they try to find a date in any other way?

Because the dating medium strongly correlates with the interest of the people involved. Not everybody's looking for the Tinder type of relationship.

"Before Tinder", one would just go to a nightclub. It's exactly the same experience; and for the same reason, not everybody goes to nightclubs.

It took me half a lifetime to realize this, but you are correct. It's the man's job to try, and it's the woman's job to choose.

It's honestly changed the way I think about relationships.

> It's the man's job to try, and it's the woman's job to choose.

Is that a descriptive or prescriptive statement?

Or put another way: Are you observing and remarking on cultural norms, or stating "This is how things should be?"

I only ask because when someone says "It's X's job to [whatever]" the connotation is "X should [whatever]" but the context surrounding this made it ambiguous.

Not the parent but it's definitely descriptive.

Should it be that way? The answer likely depends on whether you're a man or a woman. From the male's POV changing the game benefits us since there's less work to do. If you're a woman then it's the opposite and a net negative.

This sexual dynamic evolved for a reason, so changing it seems like the epitome of an uphill battle.

> The answer likely depends on whether you're a man or a woman. From the male's POV changing the game benefits us since there's less work to do. If you're a woman then it's the opposite and a net negative.

I don't have a horse in that race, but I do have an ethical concern.

If you tell men that they're supposed to try, then it's likely that a lack of success will be met with trying harder.

What does this result in, practically speaking? Being more forward? Being more touchy? Being more in their face putting in the effort?

a.k.a. creepy, stalkerish behavior and possibly an increase in the incidence of sexual assault and/or harassment.

That's the concern I have with the "should" position.

That's an interesting definition of "trying harder". I think the person employing that strategy would quickly find that it doesn't work as well as some other ways of trying harder. Those could include:

Inhabiting different environments. E.g. a female friend suggested I take up yoga as yoga classes tend to be more/mostly female. Within a few classes I was dating a woman I met there.

"Putting it out there" by which I mean proactively telling friends that you're interested in meeting women. This was suggested to me and my first reaction was "That's silly. Everyone knows I'm single and looking..." but in fact most people - even your friends - aren't prioritizing your dating life. If you mention it to them it sometimes can trigger a "Hey, that reminds me, I know someone who's also single...you two might be a good match."

Increasing your velocity. At the end of the day meeting someone you want to date is a numbers game. The more women you meet the more likely you are to find a match. "Trying harder" can simply be making more attempts to meet more women.

I.e. trying harder doesn't have to be creepy.

> That's an interesting definition of "trying harder".

See also: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16898821

> I think the person employing that strategy would quickly find that it doesn't work as well as some other ways of trying harder.

You'd think, but in practice, not always. Aren't humans amazing?

I think if we're being prescriptive, I think working towards a culture where all parties involved do both choosing and trying. Put forth the effort to get to know people, then choose who you want to be romantically/sexually involved with among the people for whom there is even a remote mutual desire.

The population imbalance in China/India is a separate issue.

>Aren't humans amazing?

I wasn't suggesting it's not tried. Simply that it's unlikely to be successful and thus will find fewer adherents.

>working towards a culture where all parties involved do both choosing and trying

This happens already. Women pursue men all the time, they just don't have to expend as much energy as men do.

> The population imbalance in China/India is a separate issue.

The observable consequences of this imbalance offers insight into human nature. The article and comments in that thread delve far into them.

It's worth reading.

That results in what is basically the dating schema for the last century. Men put forth the effort, and women choose the winners. If a man does not try, he does not find anything. If a woman does not try, she just gets poor suitors.

You could also argue it's a small contribution ( don't want to give it too much credit) to the creation of `incel` which now has driven multiple frustrated young men to commit mass murders.

The one making the choice is more likely to end up with preferred partner. The one accepting/rejecting existing proposal has less chance to end up with most preferred partner.

Women can make choices too. It’s just that it’s frowned upon when a woman makes the first move. That’s your downside.

Men can brag Baku their sexual lives and even exaggerate it. Women have to do the opposite and be very secretive.

Perhaps it ties to the dynamic. Women are buyers. Men are sellers. Easy to spend $1000 to buy things, hard to earn $1000 to sell something.

Western dating is a totally different beast than other countries.

I compared advantages of active vs passive person in that model - that holds true regardless of which gender is on which side.

I think there are three different datings - the one when you look for partner, the one where you seek temporary fun and then the one when you seek brag points/social status through trophy partner you don't really care about. These discussions tend to confuse them.

> It's the man's job to try, and it's the woman's job to choose.

IMO this is very close, but missing an important point. It's a man's job to escalate, it's a woman's job to choose.

Women definitely try. They put a lot of effort into how they are perceived (looks, mannerisms, etc.) and giving us subtextual clues that they are interested.

All we have to do is be a little vulnerable and ask them out on a date, go for that first kiss, get down on one knee and so on.

> All we have to do is be a little vulnerable and ask them out on a date, go for that first kiss, get down on one knee and so on.

It's a lot more complicated than that. Getting down on one knee can be more expensive than a knee replacement.

Relevant: "Why Don't Women Ask Men Out on First Dates? Despite greater equality, women still don't ask. Why?" https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-how-and-why-sex-...

with most animals, it is the male that pursues and the female that chooses. i honestly cannot think of an exception to this pattern.

Not really. This is old thinking. The theory of sexual selection has been evolving in the past few years.

BBC has a good intro on the subject: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160624-we-have-the-wrong-id...

i skimmed the article and did not find anything stating that females frequently and actively compete for males. there are a lot of other counterexamples to anthropomorphic behavior there [that has been assigned to sexes] but not the specific one we're discussing here. i think the generalization at hand is on pretty solid footing.

it's really the same for all generalizations. i can make the statement, "males are attracted to females" and it will be true in 95%+ of cases. just because some limited counterexamples exist does not make this generalization a poor representation - these are not laws of physics or mathematical axioms that need absolute conformance to be usefully true.

That's historically the case: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/24/women-men-dn...

The other implication of polygamy is that a lot of men simply didn't have a chance to pass on their genes at all.

I sometimes wonder if a big reason why monogamous marriage exists as a concept in human society is as a strategy for mitigating violent upheaval. By using cultural pressure to force single-partner relationships (at least on the surface), you no longer had a large group of sexually frustrated men with nothing to lose looking around and wondering how to get a piece of what the elite have that they don't.

>I sometimes wonder if a big reason why monogamous marriage exists as a concept in human society is as a strategy for mitigating violent upheaval.

Yes, many anthropologists have theorized the same idea. William Tucker (journalist) wrote a whole book about marriage being a social mechanism to reduce violence:


A lot of what we think of as “marriage” comes from the entirety of human history where women were bought and sold as bargaining chips in their male family member’s lives. They were used to ensure inheritance, line of succession, and to cement business relationships. Not until just the past couple centuries in western society has there even been a concept of marrying for romantic love.

Behavior you describe is traditionally attributed to the upper classes of pre-modern nobility. At least that's how popular imagination paints it (see Game of Thrones).

I am not so sure this was modus operandi for commoners when it came to marriage. Caste-bound poor village dwellers, with few prospects and no family wealth to maintain, I imagine married for love more often than not.

Poor village workers had to work physically and strength mattered a lot. Also, you paid taxes per household making it very hard for single women to make it. E.g. girl has to marry cause living without man is super hard.

You dated two weeks at 15 and then announced marriage and then it was for live.

And that somehow precludes marrying for love?.. You are a village girl, you've been around the village, you know all the boys you age. You marry the one you like. Love.

I am not denying that pre-arranged marriages are a thing, and that they played a more prominent role in the past, but to say that genuine love played no part in the match making process until 200 years ago, like the OP suggested, is an exaggeration.

Love is a part of human evolutionary toolbox, it's been around for a while. Accordingly, the subject of love, and marrying for love, comes up in literary works since the start of recorded history.

I personally belive this to be the case.

I cam across an interesting article here on HN posted about the link between polygamy and upheaval in the Economist https://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21732695-p... .

Whilst its not evidence, it certainly makes the case.

Related to this, as a bit of cause and a bit of effect, is that std deviation intelligence/posperity/success is significantly wider for males.

Mentally ill people and geniuses are overwhelmingly male.

Could that just be an observational effect? That it's maybe been historically easier for mentally ill women to hide at home, and for genius women to not be discovered? I realize I'm asking a question we can't answer at the moment, but I bring it up because we've "recently" (I'm old) learned that girls can struggle in school just like boys, but their problems go undetected because they behave in class and teachers are less likely to look for problems. The crisis has always been the 7th grade boy who can't read- it turns out there are a lot of 7th grade girls who can't read either, but they were undiagnosed.

Doubtful. It's pretty well established that alcoholism, autism, psychopathy, and to some extent downs syndrome predominantly affect men. (And counterexample: depression is twice as common among women.)

Alcoholism rates change over time. And the gap between men and women was getting smaller.

Heck, even today, I've noticed a lot of people don't know women can have austism/aspergers.

Perhaps experience for finding dates through dating apps is similar to finding dates in night clubs. I wonder , if percieved level of anonymity (chances are you will not run into that person in your daily life) and appearance of abundance (if this person is not ideal, we are quick to move on), makes one less accountable (hence prominence of ghosting). Apps give perception that you get to know the person before going on a date, setting it apart from meeting a random person in a nightclub and appealing to women. But the flip side is that those dates don't carry the same level of obligation to another human being as meeting a date though friends/school/work would have, hence carry potential for highly unpleasant experience for women. So, perhaps it's not about elite group of men, but about level of risk taking that makes women uncomfortable.

I recall seeing in the movie A Beautiful Mind a scene where a group of colluding men improved their dating outcomes by instituting and honoring one rule: "nobody goes for the best one". Nash demonstrated his game theory concept, and it worked the exposition into the screenplay without going too deeply into the math.

So females should probably collude to enforce dating-monogamy, to encourage males to clearly commit or reject. Polygamy works only when females judge 1/Nth of the attention of the best males to be worth more than 100% of a lesser male. Polyandry doesn't work well, because the males have negative incentive to participate--why compete over one woman when those men could just compete on the same terms for all women?

I can envision a system wherein all the women establish a ranking of their top prospects, and an algorithm deconflicts their preferences, such that only one woman can contact a given man through the system at one time, until one or the other publicly repudiates the match. If a woman expresses her preference for only alphas, she may be in a situation where she cannot contact any of them, because they're all "busy" at the time. If she tags a bunch of betas--or even omegas--she might be able to date several of them concurrently. It forces the males to judge based on "good enough for me, or not" rather than "better or worse than potential alternatives". The women would always be dating "the best available that does not compete with the other women".

It's just not realistic to implement a symmetric experience on dating apps.

The system you envision is Gale–Shapley algorithm for solving the stable marriage problem, but with roles reversed.

A modified version of the algorithm is used in the US for matching graduating medical students with hospital positions. It's interesting topic ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match_Day_(medicine) )

Almost, but not quite.

For one, the male class is not given any opportunity to rank females, as it is presumed that most males would attempt to game their own preference rankings to maximize their chances at getting a match. Secondly, the classes are not closed, and additional members may be added or removed at any time, when some matches may already be dating.

To be sure, whomever it is that figures out the fair dating algorithm would have to cite Gale-Shapley as a starting point.

Particularly given that in the current environment any form of flirting can be treated as sexual harassment and have dire consequences for the party taking the initiative.

If you think that flirting can be mistaken as sexual harassment then that tells me you have no idea how to flirt.

Any sort of flirting in a workplace can backfire on your face. Just takes one person to take it the wrong way and you’re shown the door.

That’s why there is a famous saying “Don’t shit where you eat”. Workplace relationships seldom end well.

Well, yes, you're right. Knowing when it's ok to flirt is part of knowing how to flirt. I'm not sure what your point is beyond the obvious: people go to work to get paid, not to find dates. Flirt elsewhere.

Well, yeah, context is a thing.

Flirting in criminal court and at funerals are also probably bad ideas.

It doesn't work like that. Every assumption from a reasonable person that hasn't had cynicism seared into them through experience would make the same conclusion about the world as you do, but, well, here's a reddit comment that explains it better than I ever could:


> Men, most men, arent afraid that they dont know how to treat women with respect. Which every single comment to the article suggests men dont...every fucking one. [...]

> What men are worried about is how can they interact with women and KNOW that there is no way they are going to have to defend against a sexual harassment accusation and lose their careers. Thats the question men want answers to and thats why suddenly even crack-pot [Vice President] Pence makes some fucking sense.

> Which is what the NYT couldnt bring itself to say. Because even if it did, it knows theres no answer.

If that's what you're worried about you might as well just never leave your house.

I worry about dying in car crash but that doesn't mean I never get in a car.

It is harassment when 30 random guys are constantly piling on unwanted flirt after unwanted flirt.

It's not like these 30 random guys have organized themselves to make their approaches as harassing as possible. These 30 don't and can't know if you've been approached before or how often.

Intent matters a whole lot and their intent is not to harass you but rather to reach out and probe for your potential interest.

Accusing people of harassment, for simply trying to approach you, is imho a seriously crappy thing to do and very unreasonable.

So that's it? 30 people "interest probe" a woman at work, in the street, at the grocery store, etc. and as long as they didn't intend to be one part of the endless steam of harassment, the harassment doesn't exist?

That situation isn't actual harassment, at least not in the legal definition of the term as long as you are talking about an out of work context and these guys just approached you once.

Is being approached by a beggar harassment? Is it these individual guys fault that many little annoyances add up to be a big headache/borderline harassment? It's not like clairvoyance is an actual thing, so what are you actually blaming them individually for? And what could they, individually, ever do to prevent that situation?

The expectation you are having here is that all males should instead always be passive and never approach a female of interest because she might or might not have been approached before and thus feel harassed. Doing this "equal" would mean females should also never approach males, where would that leave us?

Tbh there is no easy solution to this because there are issues for both sides: Females getting dogpiled and males usually getting nowhere without taking opportunities leading to said dogpiling.

On a more practical note: There are subtle ways to prevent at least some approaches from happening and deflecting them somewhat effectively. Like wearing visible headphones when in public, instantly, but politely, declining the approach with body language by keeping a steady pace of urgency and slightly shaking the head.

With time this is bound to get better, at least if eroding of societal role expectations happens equally for all genders and females actively approaching males becomes something that isn't considered "out of the ordinary" due to its sheer rarity of happening. Imho that's something that very likely will require a multigenerational effort.

>a few articles

Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse” https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-cu...

I think is noted literature in that field


While divorce rates may be around 55% and if, for the sake of argument, the total percentage of unhappy marriages is 30% (although combining lack of sex with domestic abuse is a strange categorisation to me) don't you think a lot of those unhappy marriages end in divorce? The remaining "happy" couples is probably higher than 10%.

On top of that I think you're using some very vague statistics and a stated concern for women's mental health to justify a misanthropic and potentially misogynistic world-view. It's not a very healthy mental position to take, for yourself, to believe that the majority of women or society at large is set against your own happiness.

This incel philosophy is dangerous and spreading. There was just an awful terrorist attack by an incel in Toronto.

There is actually an insane correlation between abuse and sex.

Draw what inferences you will from this, but women in abusive relationships overwhelmingly report having fantastic sex lives.

Anyone who’s been in a long-term, safe relationship may have noticed that it takes work, on the part of both partners, to keep the candles burning.

Learning stuff like this seems to defy everything that one knows, but this is the construct.

There is actually an insane correlation between abuse and sex. Draw what inferences you will from this, but women in abusive relationships overwhelmingly report having fantastic sex lives.

If true, it seems like the research backing this up wouldn't be shouted from the rooftops because it makes people uncomfortable, but I'm unable to find anything backing up your fairly wild claim.

In fact, here's a study showing the opposite (from what I can tell): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5296519/#b14

That study references this one: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10896-015-9744-...

From that second study: For both men and women, greater increases in victimization were related to lower satisfaction.

Would love to see any research backing up your claim.

One could probably cite the immense popularity of Fifty shades of gray. It's supposed to be "BDSM themed", but actually, it's just a story about an abusive relationship build on "great sex" [0].

Most people familiar with BDSM practices/norms hate those books/movies with a passion due to how they misrepresent BDSM like it's just an abusive relationship.

The article also quotes a 2000 paper about consent by legal scholar Robin West [1], imho it's relevant to the discussion at hand as it argues that even violent and abusive marriages are often traceable back to acts of consent by the woman.

[0] https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/co...

[1] https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1847983

As I mentioned to above poster. Here is a source from "The Science of Trust" by Dr. John M. Gottman, foremost expert on this subject.

"As we interview these abused women, Neil and I were astounded by one consistent story about half of these women told us. They said that the best sex they had ever had in their lives occurred right after a violent beating they took from their husbands. The very thought of having sex with someone who had just hit you was totally out of the realm of our experience. Is that the combined result of dopamine and oxytocin."

There is more but really I'm at a -4 for making this post, so trying to teach people uncomfortable truths is not well-rewarded around here.

Maybe you're being downvoted because you're spouting unsourced nonsense with a wink-wink as to why it might be true, instead of "teaching truths"?

A line in a book about interviews of abused women doesn't really equal actual research sufficient to back up your wild claim here. Further, you stated that women in abusive relationships "overwhelmingly report have fantastic sex lives", but you've posted a line from a book stating that roughly half (of some) abused women said their best sexual encounters had occurred immediately after physical abuse.

That's a world of difference, and it really draws into sharp relief the underlying point you were trying to make (your clever "draw what you will from this, but..." notwithstanding) and how far from the truth it actually lies.

Don't you think your comments would be more convincing if you had sources?

Yes. It would. Here's one from "The Science of Trust" by Dr. John M. Gottman, foremost expert on this subject.

"As we interview these abused women, Neil and I were astounded by one consistent story about half of these women told us. They said that the best sex they had ever had in their lives occurred right after a violent beating they took from their husbands. The very thought of having sex with someone who had just hit you was totally out of the realm of our experience. Is that the combined result of dopamine and oxytocin."

I suggest reading the whole book. It's fantastic.

What a bunch of redpill bullshit.

While I disagree with a lot of the specifics of what tajen said, I can definitely say that I have a lot of female friends and acquaintances who conflate “men they can casually date due to dating apps” with “men they have a chance of marrying”.

They always wonder why they seem to get ghosted or why their dream guy ends up “cheating” on them. It’s not really a mystery from my point of view.

Is this happening in a large city? What ages are your male and female friends getting married?

Birds of a feather...

OK rather than outright calling this out as "redpill bullshit" can you refute it with any substance?

Refute what exactly? A bunch of assumptions and pseudo-statistics?

Well, yeah, sure, why not?

"A bunch of assumptions and pseudo-statistics" could be Hacker News' official tag line. What makes this thread special?

"The illusion of choice." Would women be better off if we could somehow free them from those false expectations, even if it meant losing their freedom to experiment?

“It gives them the illusion of choice, and many women build false expectations, feeling that they could settle with any of those Don Juans, which is false.”

Why flag? Why not respond.

I think women learn pretty quickly that these “Don Juan” types will not settle with them. They learn this when they attempt to settle with these “Don Juan” types, who readily cast aside any disillusionment about them settling.

I don’t mind that they experiment, but not building wrong expectations is important. Without this illusion of choice, they might be more satisfied with an average guy.

They might settle younger, spend time building the relationship with a man who’ll enjoy paying for her studies and who will remember her beauty for the rest of his life; and both will rise in their career by receiving more affection in their 20ies. Then at 30 have kids, without the impression of having lost her youth like when you have the illusion of choice, and without the impression of getting second-hand goods with a lot of baggage (fat on one side, kids pension on the other).

Can we remove the illusion of choice without removing freedom? That’s the problem with traditionalists. But I’m convinced we should at least try to convey the message, so little girls know where not to fall, or explain that the Charming Prince doesn’t exist. But we’re far, far from having a discussion like this is the current education.

And somehow the bachelor carousel is more attractive. Humans. (I’m joking, I know both genders are desperate in such situations, one of the big problems being the illusion of choice).

Don't try to match with the top 10% if you are not in there yourself? It's not the app creating an illusion, if you are delusional to begin with...

Except people's expectations and standards are shaped by what they are surrounded by; what's available. Now that you're exposed to way more profiles, that all feel available, standards naturally rise.

okcupid published some nice research into this, iirc women consider ~80% males to be "below average". So female standards are seriously skewed towards a small number of super-alphas, who, given a totally free market, would get all the dates

Yeah, but what about the flip side? Not all women are desirable to men: fat, unattractive, already have kids, etc. There's a lot of women who just never get a date, because their photos aren't very attractive and men want pretty women (I'm a man and I'll admit this readily: if a woman is a little overweight that's an automatic disqualifier for me).

Here's the published article: https://theblog.okcupid.com/your-looks-and-your-inbox-8715c0...

Basically, men rate women more along a bell curve, but mostly message the upper end of attractiveness, whereas women rate most men as ugly and then reply anyway.

It's nice that you can afford to be picky, but Okcupid talked about this as well, iirc _any_ woman short of actual physical deformity will get plenty of suitors. Compare this to about 50% of men who will not get any at all. In pre-historic times, only 40% of males procreated (again, iirc)

So the flip side seems quite small.

Are you overweight yourself at all ?

No, not at all. My last girlfriend was largely attracted to me because I'm thin, and she's a fitness nazi and hates fatness.

Seems pretty normal. Like women with shorter guys (and many other stuff on both genders etc)

pretty == underdeveloped. Ignore this phenomenon to your own peril.

What's this supposed to mean? You think only ugly women are developed or something? This doesn't even make sense.

Maybe he meant that if someone is pretty, they don't really need to have other good skills.

Plus their character might spoil, since people like them anyway just based on looks...

Except some guys do know how to "look" at girls rather than ogle

I get the impression you've never actually spoken to a woman in your life.

It was a bad comment for HN, but please don't reply to a bad comment by breaking the site rules yourself. That just makes this place even worse.


The general dynamics tends to he highly tilted, with men doing all the work. It matches with some online experiments:

- "Men on Tinder Explain Why They Swipe Right on Literally Everyone" (https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ae55xk/men-who-swipe-...)

- "Cupid on Trial: A 4-month Online Dating Experiment Using 10 Fictional Singletons" (http://jonmillward.com/blog/attraction-dating/cupid-on-trial...)

A larger context in the "taking initiative" section of "Dating for Nerds (part 2): gender differences" (http://p.migdal.pl/2017/09/30/dating-for-nerds-gender-differ...).

> they will use the app endlessly if real women are there

Do they actually? I've spoken to many men and those apps don't seem to work at all. Usually gets deleted after a few days of usage. Like what's the point of being there if absolutely noone wants to write?

Hope - the best commodity that you can sell.

It's no wonder Tinder is up there on the Play Store as the second highest grossing app alongside all the online gambling apps. That's because Tinder and all the online dating platforms are exactly designed to mimic gambling.

You can't win if you're not in the game.

The experience is not the same everywhere and in every country. In some countries Tinder has worked for me tremendously.

I created several tinder profiles of men of different ethnicities. As a white person, tinder does wonders. As a brown person, you’re the least desirable.

In Asian countries, white guys are the choosers.

As a brown person I don't agree. I think it comes down to how "handsome" you look. Your color might help but not that much.

Fair enough - having said that, I'm pretty sure you would have done alright with or without Tinder.

The issue is selling hope to incels. That's where the real money's at.

I used tinder in college and it worked pretty well for me (male). I would swipe right 100%, and get 3-10 matches per day. Out of all of the matches, maybe 5% would message me. That would be the first time i even looked at the profile, and would decide to go for it or not. Out of that 5% i might actually go on a date with 1% of that group. It wasnt great, but wasnt terrible either.

That's 1 potential date per year.

I think it was 6 during my undergrad, 2 of which ended up in relationships, one of which lasted for 2 years. If i was just looking for a hookup it would have been more, but those % were based off people i thought i would honestly be compatable with. I blew off a lot of people looking for hookups

An individual man will not continue to use something they don't perceive as providing access to women.

Men in aggregate will crawl across an interface made of broken glass if they perceive it as providing access to women.

I know men in both categories.

Hmm. Tinder and Bumble both absolutely work. I'm kinda old, but I've used them and two of my best friends have used them, and we've all had pretty great success achieving our goals through the apps. I would definitely say that these apps work well.

And on that note I'll be cancelling my dating site subscriptions immediately.


You're part of the problem you know. By judging people based on their success or failure in the sexual market, you're helping to build the mentality that causes people to do things like get in a van and drive down the sidewalk for a while.

Hmm. I'm not sure why my comment above is getting downvotes. It seems like a perfectly rational response to the very interesting insider revelation posted by the parent.

To be honest I'd suspected this for a while based on conversations with female friends, and had therefore considered shutting down the relevant accounts. Now I've had it confirmed, it's simply provided the push I needed: why continue to do something that's mostly an unsatisfying waste of time when I could spend that time on something more interesting instead?

And, whilst I realise you were being sarcastic, what's to mourn for anyone? Certainly nothing for me.

response ot your note: mostly because the traditional HN culture values comments with content in them, rahter than joke filler comments. Your second comment appears to fit in much better!

tinder isn't giving women the power, since the user experience is identical for both genders. what gives women the power is the dynamics of the dating market.

> no matter how bad you make the user experience for men, they will use the app endlessly if real women are there.

Awful to see it written out like that.

Bumble is an interesting platform. The promise is that women have to message first, luring in men who are frustrated with lack of replies, and women who are frustrated with endless spam.

From what I’ve heard from my friends, 99% of first messages on Bumble are ”hi” or a single emoji, kicking the ball straight back on the men’s side of the field.

I wish dating as a research subject wasn’t so wrapped in weird MRA activism and other politics, there’s a lot of fascinating phenomenoma to be observed.

IME even a "hi" or a wave emoji is far better than on other platforms in terms of the reply rate I get after sending my own message. It gives the woman a double-filter, yes, but it doesn't take much empathy to see why a bit of an imbalance in that direction might result in a better overall environment given the frequency of bad actors/spammers/dick pics on the male side of the fence.

You have to be quicker/better at texting-style communication, though, compared to something like OK Cupid which was a bit more email-like back when I used it last.

I used Bumble for a while a bit under 3 years ago and id say 85% of my matches fell into the bucket of 'hi' first messages.

I found that if I only responded to people who actually sent me a 'real' first message it was an actually good experience, good conversation and led to easily the majority of my dates.

Even with the immediate passing of control, the premise still works, because women perform the first pass of filtering, giving them an opportunity to preemptively reject the most undesirable of the pool before they have a chance to reach out. It's also an effective tool to fight the sheer volume of spam.

The same kind of invitation plays out in real life with eye contact and body language.

Tinder and Bumble (and Coffee Meets Bagel, the League, etc.) have each party approve the other. The only major thing that distinguishes Bumble from Tinder is the female-message first policy, which is often side-stepped as described above.

Saying "hi" is still a stronger signal than swiping right.

I can see why you would think that. Based on my experiences actually using both Tinder and Bumble, it's possible that your experiences might differ significantly from mine.

It's not side-stepping. On Tinder, it's very common for someone to match, and then just never say anything or respond. Women's profiles complain about this a lot.

Well, I'd say it's 90% side-stepping. Composing a message takes more work than swiping, especially more customized messages. Just saying "Hi" is not much more work than swiping, and so mostly defeats the purpose.

Maybe saying "hi" isn't much more work than swiping in your opinion, but in reality, it seems that it is because so many people don't bother to do it. Maybe they're waiting for the other person to make the first move, or maybe they just want to collect matches, or maybe they're busy chatting up someone else and don't want to start up something new just yet but still want to keep that person around as a possibility; whatever the reason, I've seen a fair number of profiles where the person complains about matches not saying anything at all.

And I forgot to mention, I've also had the experience many, many times where I've said "hi" myself (actually, I say something a little longer than that for my first message, I try to say or ask something about something I saw in their profile or photos), and then just never get a response, but they never unmatch me either.

It's not side-stepped. It's the best indication of sexual interest you can get, and that's what the dating platform is about, isn't it?

Being able to just say "hi" and get a date is a massive privilege.

No, I wouldn't say best. A longer comment demonstrates more interest.

The first pass of filtering is both people liking each other (okcupid and tinder both require this)

The second pass is her sending the first message.

Isnt that what swiping left on tinder does?

Anecdotally, I have a real problem striking up conversations with strangers, but even a simple "hi" really seems to put me at ease. I think they're onto something for a subset of the population with my problem, and that's why I prefer Bumble to Tinder.

When I was using dating sites, I did the same on OkCupid, and signed up a fake account with the photos of a woman that was slightly above average in appearance. I was curious to see how many messages I would receive, but more importantly, the type and quality of those messages. I thought that would give me a better idea of how to write my own messages (e.g. if 90% of messages were asking the same question, I didn't want to also be asking that same boring question).

The first day I was surprised at the amount of messages I received. I think it was at least 10 in a few hours. However, it quickly faded, and after a few days, I was lucky to receive one message a day. That gave me a little confidence, knowing after the first day, the average woman was not receiving hundreds of daily messages.

Similar to what you said, a few people would get angry if I didn't reply. A third of the messages hinted at sex, thinking they were being clever with winky emojis.

In the end, on my real profile, I think I was decent with messaging. I sent out 200 messages on OkCupid (I focused on roughly the top 10% of profiles over a large radius), and had over 50% of those turn into conversations. My first messages were always similar. I would write one or two sentences that joked about something in their profile and asked a simple question. The idea was it needed to show I read their profile, it needed to make an attempt at being funny, and most importantly, it needed to be easy to reply to within a few seconds. When you write long messages with complicated questions, people don't want to invest the time in a reply, so they'll respond "tomorrow", which never happens. The other thing I did was almost always message women that were online at that moment, and I tried to turn the messages into a real-time conversation with instant replies.

As a simple example, let's say a woman's profile said she liked the Fast & Furious movies. I would write a first message saying, "If you had to choose between me and Vin Diesel, who would you rather date?". There's a high chance she would respond saying the obvious, "Vin Diesel :P", and then I would reply, "Would it change your mind if I said I had 100% more hair than Vin Diesel, and I go for ice cream on first dates?". These type of messages are very easy to reply to, innocent, and people can be creative and fun with their responses. In that example, I'm even hinting at a date, and it doesn't seem pushy. In this case I would then keep writing playful messages and then ask her to meet up for the ice cream like I originally suggested.

Your comment also reminded me of something I saw. Some guy put the photos of a male model on his profile then started messaging women with really crude/direct messages that there is no way the average guy would have got anywhere with or would have been shouted down - from what he made out nearly all of them sent him their number straight away

It's essentially a meme at this point:

Step by step guide to to getting a date on an online dating site:

1) Be attractive

Casually Explained's videos on Dating and Is She Into you are strokes of beauty.

Dating: https://youtu.be/ZuzPcW4djrA

Is She Into You: https://youtu.be/xa-4IAR_9Yw

> Some guy put the photos of a male model on his profile then started messaging women with really crude/direct messages

Did they do the same test where identical messages were sent, only with a "reasonably handsome" guy? Because being bold and displaying confidence goes a loooong way.

if you look at Tinder nightmares you will see lots of examples of regular guys saying these things.


But I think OP's getting results because he's being funny, sounds interesting and is creative. That gets you a long way with most people, men or women.

Most guys on dating sites (going from the women who've shown me profiles of those who messaged them), are creepy, reek of desperation, and have absolutely no self-esteem.

Sounds like you should dress and pose like a model.

Yes, because models are attractive because of their clothes and the poses they take.

No, but most people can do a lot about their appearance.

Neil Strauss once in frustration pointed out that after The Game was published, his look became a cliche because guys were copying him. Not because it was particularly fantastic, but because the changes he'd made to his own style were quick and simple fixes. E.g. balding? Not easy to fix, but easy to shave it all off. Bad sense of style? Some things are hard to get wrong, so follow some basic "safe" advice and stick to it.

It won't get you to model looks, but look around you and see how many people wear clothes that don't fit properly, for example, and how awful it often looks. It's not hard to fix, yet people (me included) often just see themselves blind to it because for most guys it's well down the priority list.

Right. This is important and it's pretty obvious that a lot of guys just put zero effort into presenting themselves in a positive way. I went through my entire twenties living like some kind of goblin. The rules are things that everyone knows, but they take a small amount of effort that some people aren't willing to expend, even for the sake of getting a date. Take a shower, brush those teeth, and wear deodorant! Interpersonal Skills 101: Be honest, be respectful, be yourself. Have some manners and open doors for other people wherever there are doors and other people. For crying out loud, chew with your mouth closed, you troll! Don't wear clothes with food stains on them. Go for a run and stop smoking. Just have some self-respect and try to be a more thoughtful individual. Now I'll be the first to admit that it took me many years to start checking the blocks on this list. But it costs essentially nothing, yet as always, people remain change-resistant.

Models go to great effort to select the clothes, the photographer, the pose, etc., because it works.

If your photos become more modelly this would work much better than you'd think.

Pedantic: there's a good chance you have infinitely more hair than Vin Diesel, not just twice as much.

You guys are good. But I have a suggestion. Have your friend reach out first and say he knows someone she will really click with. If she doesn’t go for it, THEN you reach out.

Dating as it stands is only a recent phenomenon. It is far better when three people with different preferences keep the others in mind when out dating. Far better to do introductions than always be out for yourself.

I don't think that would work well online. I see two major issues:

1. It implies you're so desperately single that even your friends are trying to set you up with people.

2. Whether true or not, it sounds like your "friend" is actually you, which comes across as very cheesy.

Why don't you try it? I did. I got a large response rate and the women were interested and curious because everyone else was out for themselves.

That reminds me of this, also an interesting idea:


Real stroke of genius would be making prostitution legal, and family a big deal.

It'd solve men's natural urges, and women's constant insecurity that they're going to be abandoned, once they get wrinkles. It'd remove so much undisclosed resentment and tension within families and society.

It'd free up people involved in billions upon billions of dollars worth of industry, to do something useful, instead of preying on people's monkey-brain urges and insecurities.

I'm a dreamer, maaan.

Prostitution is legal in New Zealand and we have exactly the same problems with dating culture that people have been commenting about here.

I'm sure there are problems within dating culture - my point is 'dating culture' is itself the problem.

See my point about family values. Families are longterm. Dating is by definition short term.

People don't like short term human interactions - we want stability. We don't want new friends every few weeks, or a new job, or a new anything. We don't like change, we like change every now and again, in things that don't matter, like seeing a new movie or going to a new restaurant.

Modern societies are in a strange place where whatever is most profitable (except hard drugs), is what is 'good'. Candy? Good. Tinder? Good. Coffee? Good. 'Working hard'? Good.

It's a vector that has nothing to do with what people actually value longterm. Hence people have 'stuff' and companies have 'profit' (short term), neither have much integrity (longterm). Oh well :)

Australia is legal too and probably a very healthy industry.

But apps like Tinder are like gambling. If you are one of the guys that that matches several times a day, it can get addictive with

No, what we really need is common acceptance of polyamory, and people getting together in 3-6 adult households. It'd make affording housing a lot easier, it'd solve a lot of loneliness problems, everyone would get more sex, and people could finally get past this idea that their partner needed to satisfy all their check-boxes.

Interestingly, if you look at the polyamory community, you find that men are much more accepting of this lifestyle than women, even though women stand to benefit from it more.

The landlords wouldn't like it, though.

You mean something like southern Europe 40 years ago.

Wasn't that ideal, for what concerned family and societal tensions.

could you clarify your point. I'm interested, but this is all I could find:


While prostitution was seldom legal in the catholic belt (unlike in countries north of the Austrian border), brothels played an important role in male culture as much as family. Men would usually lose their virginity with professionals, often as part of the "man-making" ritual happening during conscription (e.g. money received from the Army as a refund for the expenses to reach the conscription offices to get the first medical evaluation, often in the regional capital far away from home, would be spent on booze, cigarettes and hookers).

For what concerns Italy, maybe Tinto Brass' "Paprika" and other of his movies are a good NSFW primer on this specific subject.

The "natural urge" is to procreate, not to simply have sex.

I've read things that stated the opposite was true for men, that their natural urge is to have sex, not to create children.

The children are just the product of successful sex, and we are just vessels for our genes.

My own experience confirms this, as I greatly desire sex and have no inclination whatsoever to have children. Though before the advent of contraception I likely would have ended up with children regardless because I pursued sex so much.

Your sex drive is a naturally evolved mechanism to get you to have those kids. Whether or not you consciously want those kids is more about conditioning. The whole reason sex feels so good is to get us to divert such focus and energy to getting laid and making kids. Getting in each others’ jeans is, like, in our genes man.

Yes, I understand this.

Sex feeling good is the incentive to have sex and as a result, procreate.

What I'm saying is that the urge to have sex itself is the natural urge, not the resulting offspring, and it sounds like you're agreeing with me.

I hear you there.

What I’m arguing is that the urge to have sex itself is the manifestion of the true urge, which is to procreate. You want to have sex because you naturally want to procreate, even if you don’t consciously want to.

Thinking about it more though, you might be right. There might be a reason that not 100% of sex turns into procreation. If we were truly focused on optimal procreation, why did we evolve into small familial groups? Maybe there is more natural purpose to sex beyond simply procreating. Maybe we do truly yearn for sex in of itself because it represents opportunity or potential, creating a metric for determining the best mate to procreate with. And that’s what we are actually focused on subconsciously...who knows.

It will be, because birth control will affect the evolution of our mental traits. Given the high effectiveness of birth control, this evolution is likely to be rapid.

I don't understand where the "men only want sex" thing comes from. I think most men want companionship. I know I do.

This paper does some interesting work to try and unpack why that is the case: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1607.01952.pdf

> It is very informative to make a an online dating profile of the opposite gender. I'm a man, but when I made an account on tinder with a female friend's pictures I was blown away by just how radically different the experience was.

It sounds like I'm joking, but if you're a moderately attractive male in a smaller city, a Grindr account will give you a very similar experience. Within an hour I had quite a surprising number of, let's say, risque images sent to me.

Nowhere near the same number of weird or inappropriate messages, though. Some of them were pretty blunt, but nothing I didn't mostly expect, and nothing like the awful things I sometimes see being said to women on the internet.

threads like these make me despair about ever dating ever again. as a society we should be concerned about what tinder and bumble are doing to us, but -no one- has the power to stop it because it appeals to such base instincts.

I met my girlfriend on Bumble. We have a great relationship, now almost a year in.

Bumble, Tinder etc. are only tools, it's how we use them and plenty of us are quite capable of using them in a "moral" and savoury way.

So it's "doing" nothing to many of us.

in the same way that soda and junk food is readily available and is causing an obesity crisis. if "plenty of you" are quite capable of eating well despite that, it still is a problem. Have empathy for problems that you don't personally have.

As a single guy who has little interaction with women, it terrifies me. It's pretty much the only way I'll ever meet someone, but it doesn't fucking work for me.

Ask yourself why it terrifies you though. Is it really the being alone that bothers you, or just the fear of judgement from society and your peers for being alone?

If it is the former, you can work at it if you really want it. If it is the latter, then realize that you don't have to put that pressure on yourself, even if it sometimes feels like it. On the whole, people judge others by the metrics they're winning at. Computer nerds look down on others because they don't know as much about computers, for instance. It's just a silly thing the human mind does. you can simply choose to not care, because you have other priorities in life.

Not OP. Your idea of "you can work at it if you really want it" is plainly wrong. We here on HN are a crowd from over the world. You have no idea of the specific circumstances people are living in, the type of dating culture they have where they live, or any other context information to begin with.

You act as if you are privy to an established truth about human interactions that holds at least a majority if situations people find themselves in. That is just not the case.

And btw, you have only a limited say-so in your own desires and actual needs. Social and sexual interaction is a pretty basic, that is not something you shut on and of. It is what defines you as a human being.

What are they doing to us?


...is a source I often point to when I'm personally lamenting how weirdly...impersonal dating seems to have become.

> Men shotgun and women pick and choose.

The problem is that that is a vicious cycle. The more men shotgun the more women have to be picky. So nobody answers and man have to write to even more women...

Usually this get's "fixed" by limiting the amount of messages men can send. But that doesn't really work.

There should be a system that "punishes" women for being picky and men for being desperate. Maybe publicly show the ratio of received/sent messages, or so?

>Usually this get's "fixed" by limiting the amount of messages men can send. But that doesn't really work.

Tinder has a bit of a mechanism for this: you can only right-swipe on 100 people per day (as an unpaid user). That helps limit the "shotgun" approach to an extent, though it's probably not enough.

I tried the shotgun approach for a very short time once on Tinder. I stopped soon after because I got so many matches from women that I just wasn't interested in or attracted to, and I felt really bad about popping up as a match for them, and then disappearing suddenly, which I've seen women complain about. (Plus I ran into that 100-person limit.) So I only right-swipe for women I have some interest in now.

> There should be a system that "punishes" women for being picky

I don’t want to misinterpret you, so is this what you meant to write?

Yes, but that's why punish is in " ".

There's an obvious imbalance in pickyness between the genders. So counter-weight that somehow.

It should encourage being picky for men, and discourage it for women.

As a woman, what if I know what I want, it's hard to find in my area, and I have to dig through a lot of noise to find it? Should I then just right swipe on a bunch of dudes I'm not interested in, leading them on and wasting everybody's time, just so I can keep using the app? This is absurd.

Yeah you're right... We can't really make people not picky.

So we have to limit something for men, because it's easier to become picky.

What if you could sort people by the ratio of messages to answers? E.g. as a man you would show up more easily in results if you don't shotgun. And as a woman you will stay more hidden if your postbox is already overflowing.

However I strongly assume that most women on those site just are picky. Looking for something they can't find in real life... So the system is just broken anyway, at least for "normal" men.

> It is very informative to make a an online dating profile of the opposite gender.

Don't even need a whole profile, as a teen in the 90's I'd regularly mess around with different names on an online chat system, didn't even have user profiles back then.

Just the name alone would make a major difference how interactions with people went. Barely anybody was interested in talking to "RandomMaleName", but once you logged in as "Tina21" everybody would be all over you and if you played it right, they'd tell you all kinds of personal details about themselves, while I only revealed made up information about a fake persona.

Juvenile me would get an extra kick out of hosing all those guys asking Tina21 for sexting/phone number for phone sex, I'd start sexting with them and after a certain point just write them really weird, off turning stuff, usually ending the whole interaction by notifying them that they tried to jerk off to a 15-year-old dude.

To this day I'm not sure if that was a good thing to do or a bad thing? I guess, at least I taught a couple of people a valuable lesson about the Internet and anonymity.

> when I made an account on tinder with a female friend's pictures I was blown away by just how radically different the experience was

You should try dressing up as a woman and walking down a random street. I bet it's a totally different experience as well.

To be honest I think this is true of dating sites in General.

It sounds accurate for Grindr, Scruff and Hornet in the world of gay 'dating' apps as well.

All dating should be like gay apps/dating... theres always someone wanting to talk to you, trade pics and try to hook up with you. At least if you have a nice body, decent face and are 20 to 40... unfortunately being white might help too.

Str8 dating app scams barely exist on gay/bi apps. There's no need for it due to how men are. Horny and looking 24/7.

What I don’t understand is why so many people (at least women anyway) come to dating apps and declare they are just “looking for friends”.

Is this really a thing or is it code for something else? Who is really so oblivious to think that looking for friends of the opposite sex on a dating app where people are there for more than just friendship is a good idea?

I would never go on a dating app to find platonic friends. That is exactly the last place I would go.

Some people are using "just looking for friends" as a filter. They want the person who talks to them to be ok with being friends first before they switch to being romantic.

There is often an element of self-deception too. "I'm not the sort of person who would use a dating app, I don't need it" You see a lot of "I'm just trying out this app to kill time" people too.

Other people use it as a built-in refusal. They can say "Sorry, I'm just looking for friends" when they are asked on a date by someone they aren't interested in. When someone more appealing asks them out no one will complain that they aren't following their "just friends" rule.

Dating is full of interesting meta-behaviour like this.

Just friends == polite way of ‘not interested’

"Just looking for friends" is BS 100% of the time and "No one night stands" is BS 90% of the time. This comes from my personal experience. It's plausible deniability for the girl so if her friends see her on Tinder she doesn't get slut-shamed (Tinder has a bad rep).

People say that on dating apps to create plausible deniability. If a friend, family member, or co-worker spots the profile and says hey what were you doing on that app they have an excuse. That's doubly true for those that are "kind of" dating someone who might wander across the profile.

They're looking for attention, while protecting their ego in case anyone asks why they were on there - 'oh I was just bored, haha'.

I think purity is more fitting than ego.

Code for "hookup that sleeps over, repeatedly"

Is this really true? I find in my own experience that men want sex more than women is a stereotype of sorts. That women are more selective than men is a distinct observation but I'm not so sure how true that is either and how much of it is merely due to traditional gender roles.

The evidence of a stronger male sex drive is overwhelming.

”The sex drive refers to the strength of sexual motivation. Across many different studies and measures, men have been shown to have more frequent and more intense sexual desires than women, as reflected in spontaneous thoughts about sex, frequency and variety of sexual fantasies, desired frequency of intercourse, desired number of partners, masturbation, liking for various sexual practices, willingness to forego sex, initiating versus refusing sex, making sacrifices for sex, and other measures. No contrary findings (indicating stronger sexual motivation among women) were found. Hence we conclude that the male sex drive is stronger than the female sex drive. The gender difference in sex drive should not be generalized to other constructs such as sexual or orgasmic capacity, enjoyment of sex, or extrinsically motivated sex."


This kind of research depends on some degree of frankness that may not always be available due to social stereotypes, religious stereotypes and other traditional 'purity' and shaming constraints operating on women.

It would be healthier to assume both sexes have fully functioning sex drives, perhaps stronger in some individuals and discard the outdated notion that women are not as 'interested' in sex or need to be 'persuaded'.

These outdated notions introduce some problematic concepts, reinforce traditional gender roles and taint a mutually beneficial activity into an unhealthy construct of 'giving' and 'taking'.

There are differences. Testosterone makes makes men more aggressive and this may well show in all range of behaviors including sexual but must be tempered with the fact that human beings do have control. Men are also unlikely to be turned on by social status but many women respond to both physicality and things like status which complicates attractiveness and drive.

It’s pretty naive to think that any disparity between sex drives is a social construct

I'd say it's the opposite of naive. That boys are different than girls is taken as an obvious truth by young children. Believing otherwise requires advanced mental gymnastics. (Or advanced insight, depending on your opinion on the issue.)

We need new studies on the subject, but in the context of internet pornography. Given pornography consumption, are there changes in the relative sex drives of men and women?

Take a look at the number of gay-male postings vs the number of lesbian-woman postings on casual hookup sites. Neither of these groups fall into "traditional gender roles", yet males still post significantly more.

Gender is distinct from sexual orientation. Moreover, women in general feel societal pressures to conform to gender norms regardless of their sexual preference, and it's hard to disentangle whether that's innate or not, and if gender norms (and norms about sex) were to change if we'd see different behavior.

These aren’t just arbitrary “social norms” though. Cost of accidentally getting pregnant and child bearing is very high and it simply does not exist for men.

A couple where neither member can produce sperm is not at risk of accidental pregnancy.

A couple where both can produce sperm is unlikely to produce offspring either. Still don’t see what that has to do with anything.

I think the point is that the pregnancy risk issues you pointed out do not apply to lesbians, therefore do not help explain the lower promiscuity of lesbians compared to gay men.

But it does, if you consider the evolutionary perspective. Biologically, women are far more careful about sex, for the reasons I described. Sexual orientation is not hereditary by definition, so the evolutionary imperative and cost benefit analysis both stand. This is also why women prefer older and wealthier men.

Pump enough testosterone into women and you will change the dating dynamic.

traditional fraudsters, however, know no sexual orientation boundaries: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grindr-frauds...

And I’ve made more friends than dates with Her, so I guess the stereotypes hold true for lesbian apps as well.

Making friends or long term friends with benefits on Grindr or Scruff is a joke. We are all distracted by something new and shinier. So it's a joke for building anymore then a sex buddy relationship where you see each other every month or so for a release.

Though that might be different for the really good looking to hot guys.

Uh. Maybe I'm then the exception that makes the rule... Four years now together and it just gets better every year. I may just have been very lucky.

Can you elaborate? My reading of the top comment is about how tinder has radically different experiences for men as for women. What is the similar dynamic on gay dating apps?

Just read the article and LoL there's zero effort on bi/gay hook up apps... just post the hottest pic of your 20 to 40 (maybe on up to 50)yourself .. face or body pic and boom filter through to find the ones your into.

Another interesting thing you can become old news(after months of having the same picture in your town) yet if you travel 10 to 20 miles down the road your new hot news and the instant gratification of lots of prospects continues.

Hiring a ghost writer to do the work on a bi/gay hook up is laughable. Though wow str8 app dating has gotten so hard guys are hiring ghost writers and fakes of himself to chat up/seal a date. WOW thats ridiculous lets kill these apps and meet the old fashion way!!!

Seconded. Interesting discussion.

I'm reminded of RFJason's Craigslist experiment. He posted responses and images. Much hilarity ensued. Until he was sued by a guy in Illinois, and lost ~$75K.

I figured something like this would exist, but I don't think it's very useful.

I've walked the dark path of trying to implement "pickup artist" material(can't imagine that'll be received well), and I can say that:

  A) an objective approach works (if you're humble and willing to recognize/adjust for failure)
  B) there's a torrent of snake oil out there
  C) you learn a lot when you try this stuff. A lot.
A lot of that material is laughably bad, but the general formula of "know your value, be confident and unapologetic about what you want, be ready to accept 'no' quickly and gracefully" is the buried gold. Maybe it's just me but grinding through failure after failure after failure taught me those things.

You can't buy them, and if you don't have them, it shows in your behavior.

You can't have someone Cyrano de Bergerac your way into a date by behaving that way, because in the end the girl shows up and meets you.

Furthermore, the proposition that this is a service for people who don't have time to send messages in these apps doesn't hold water. Not having the time to respond promptly is an asset. Bailing on some conversations is an asset. You're a busy man with a lot going on, not a desperate man glued to every prospect.

That's my two cents.

While I agree with the general thrust of this, and am perfectly fine with the consequences and outcomes that redpill might land you if you're showing responsibility and taking steps to flirt with someone to such length -- I genuinely loathe appealing to a stereotype of women that are interested in this, because the kind of person it appeals to, or the kind of relationship it generates doesn't get me anything I like when it works!

That is to say, unless I feel like being more plastic than a Ken barbie doll, and less significant in identity, emotion, and purpose than the next 5,000 Ken models off the factory line, then I don't see how I couldn't possibly feel any more alone after applying redpill?

What I found after taking redpill and succeeding by their standards, I didn't find myself in any way happier or more at peace with myself, or happier in the company of anyone that is attracted to that. Maybe it has just been highly successful at producing traumatic experiences, which does help me grow. But there has been nothing redpill or the women it has been able to match me with that has been able to counter the type of gutless, "take-take", or just purely sexual tension-oriented relationships it seems to encourage men to get involved with! Those are highly destructive experiences if you're not careful.

My peace of mind is worth so much more than that.

I can respect redpill, because I understand what it's for. But I don't enjoy the people it connects me with. I think it boils down to a lack of a proper examination of personal happiness in redpill's promise at large, and i don't think they contend with that subject nearly as much as they should! (Though I can understand why the women like it, because it encourages men to not care about what they need to grow as a person, while essentially demeaning them to the point of being uncompensated and emotionally-deprived and ego-devalued sex servants =P)

Exactly. I think there's a huge flaw in even the toned-down version of that that both sexes buy into -- making a dating profile (or just their public personality) as generically appealing as possible. Yes, highlighting your travel and exercise pics to the exclusion of all else will probably get you more dates.. but how satisfying will the connection generally be? "Likes: food, laughter, exercise, travel, dogs" tells me maybe 1% of the information I need to know to determine compatibility.. especially when most people are exaggerating the importance of the travel and the exercise in their daily life. So the 'matches' made on those generic terms, in my experience, are largely unsatisfying and based on physical attraction -- not exactly the recipe for a rewarding long-term relationship.

Meanwhile, the people who were bold enough to actually talk about their more individualized interests got my attention and resulted in some great conversation and dates, even if they didn't result in relationships.

I fell into the trap in my 20's of being generically appealing. I did very well in the 'dating' market, had attractive partners, married a particularly beautiful one. Then I realized that 'success rate' meant squat other than a minor ego boost, and I was stuck with a person attracted to generically appealing me and not ME. And physical attraction fades.

Luckily I got out of that situation, started representing myself accurately, and I live in a large enough city to be able to find at least some women online who do the same. The conversation, dates, and relationships have been SO much more rewarding, because the people connect with ME and not a generically appealing version of me.

I think being generically appealing does build confidence, and confidence is important. But hopefully redpillers and all the generic profile creators online can eventually see the value of specificity.. and attracting quality over quantity. I think it'll breed a lot more happy relationships.

Redpill is the extreme end of that path, not the middle ground.

I've also applied PUA and redpill is toxic, mysoginistic trash. It's nearly impossible to find PUA stuff that's not toxic and mysoginistic.

The only reason I call it PUA is that I don't know what else to call approaching strangers I find attractive in a respectful and honest way, especially because it seems that where I live or the people I go out with never meet new people.

6cd6beb encapsulated it wonderfully, if PUA is taken as only this and not the manipulative alpha male b/s that is taught, I believe it can teach men a lot of perspective and respect towards the opposite sex:

[...] the general formula of "know your value, be confident and unapologetic about what you want, be ready to accept 'no' quickly and gracefully" is the buried gold. Maybe it's just me but grinding through failure after failure after failure taught me those things.

> I've walked the dark path of trying to implement "pickup artist" material(can't imagine that'll be received well)

It's really kind of a shame that the entire pickup community is judged by the scummy, the scammy, and the worst of the MRA/Redpillers (themselves judged by the worst among them) because they really do have the ability to help. Society has given us a completely broken model of how attraction works, and if you don't learn that that model is just something people talk about as a form of virtue-signalling, you try and apply it and find out just how crap it is. You get frustrated, angry, and depressed because the world doesn't conform to your broken model, and when you turn to people for help they feed you back that same broken model.

The real value of pickup isn't techniques, 'game', or tricks, it's showing you how utterly ridiculous that broken model is and helping you to construct a more accurate one.

Here is my two cents.

A) Is superior in every way.

Now let me fill in the gaps a little bit and maybe some-one else will find this information useful.

First step is to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself `do` you find yourself physically attractive? Do you have good posture, Do you have a low 10%-16% body fat percentage? Are you dressed to impress or just dress just it over with?

If you answered no, then 10000% work on those aspects of yourself first before wasting time with dating apps and also meeting people in person.

For the remainder or if you're curious keep reading.

You're going to have to come to the realization there are going to be certain percentage of women out there who want to have sex with you. You're going to appeal to a group of women, Hispanic, Greek, Asian, Caucasian, Indian and age groups. How are you going to find this out? You're going to put yourself out there and be judged by women. It sux's, you're going to get some women who're going to receptive to you and there are some women who literally will run away from your approach to them. Though that is going to be the only way you're going to find out what type of Women are attracted to your personality and your appearance.

Finally, forget dating app's. Unless you're the top 5% tall guy with a six pack and a fantastic smile you're wasting your time and money.

Time that is better spent approaching women and learning.

I think there's some truth in that. If you're dating you should definitely be putting your best foot forward and part of that means exercising, buying some nice clothes, getting your hair cut etc. When I was dating I also made an effort to work on my "social" presentation. For me that meant trying to take in some relatable media: seeing popular films, reading more widely and just trying to make sure I had topics I could talk about which weren't videogames and sci-fi novels.

I don't think you need to be in the top 5% physically at all. Perhaps if all you want is a hook-up that helps, but I got plenty of dates and I'm now engaged to a woman I met on Tinder and I definitely am not some greek sculpture.

Dating app's I would recommend healthy body fat% and that is 16% to 20% range. Although I still recommend meeting people in person instead of dating apps as the odd's for guys are really stacked against them.

Although I'm mostly for hook-up's for guys bellow the age of 30. I don't think its healthy for a guy to meet one women and declare her the love of his life. Women in western countries have it too easy to make a mans life living hell.

The biggest player I know is/was short and overweight. He however was always looking, fairly charming, and had reasonable expectations.

When the shirt comes off that dad bob isn't going to impress anyone also its bloody unhealthy and put you a serious risk of CHD and diabetes. Yes you can get women with being short and overweight, just you have to ask yourself the type of women and the expectations of women that you pull in are.

~25% body fat is that grey area before obesity where there are minimal health impacts especially when short due to low BMI, and plenty of women may find you attractive with the shirt on. It's approachable in a way that 15% body fat percentage tends to be off putting.

> 15% body fat percentage tends to be off putting.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892674/ `Also of note is that observers adjusted both the attractive and healthy male body figures to consist of approximately 16% fat and 80% muscle, given a mean body weight of 78.24kg for the subject identities. The figure of 16% lies within the healthy fat range of 8–21% for young adult Caucasian males `

15% is actually very close to the ideal attractiveness for males.

~25% Body Fat https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995441/

25% BF isn't much to go off, but above 25 BMI you're putting yourself at un-necessary risk. 25% BF still is very high. Heath wise you should look at 8–21%.

What is also important is the way you move in that body. Posture and flexibility, balance etc. Martial artists and dancers get an insta-boost just from that, no matter the rest of their appearance.

> First step is to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself `do` you find yourself physically attractive? Do you have good posture, Do you have a low 10%-16% body fat percentage? Are you dressed to impress or just dress just it over with?

I've had exactly none of those things and I have had a fair degree of success with women. In fact, when I started bodybuilding/lifting, I found that my sex drive became unbearably strong and would scare away many women due to how aggressive I had become.

The key is not trying too hard and becoming a good conversationalist/wordsmith. That's what I like to call the right hand path. Of course, there is also the left hand path as well. That involves using pharmaceutical agents such as nootropics like Phenibut or GABA PAMs like Etizolam, but the cost is possible addiction, so I wouldn't recommend it.

> C) you learn a lot when you try this stuff. A lot.

It basically teaches you how to do sales and run a lead-to-conversion pipeline.

I knew a guy who ran his own personal CRM.

I think the real "strategy" is to be comfortable being alone and to meet people in real life.

Of course you learn a lot by doing something day day out until it works.

One important part IMO is that you are optimizing a very specific skillset, and depending on your goal it might not be an optimal for you.

It’s the same as driving for days around town in your car to learn how other people drive, how they react to your car, how your town is structured and dramaticaly improve your driving. You’ll gain invaluable insight from the experience, but from your perspective for instance you could have prefered grinding on tinder instead.

TLDR: people choose their battles

"I could totally do that if I tried"

His blog may not be to everyone's taste, but the writer 'Delicious Tacos' pioneered this with OK Cupid years ago. On his blog he shares his online dating exploits along with some nice openers ("You are attractive, and I want to go out with you. Basically" being one that I stole and overused).

Anyway, all that online dating made him horribly cynical. But damn if it doesn't make for good writing:

> If she doesn’t give the number, if she ignores your request and tries to continue the conversation– it’s dead. Maybe means no. Hesitation means no. I’ve had a few exceptions. But frankly, if a woman wants to make you work for it, it’s an insult. And all online conversation is just a chance to f%ck up. The point of OKCupid is that we are dehumanized slabs of f%ckmeat and there are a million of us. No individual matters. Move on.

For more: https://delicioustacos.com/2014/08/04/okcupid-starter-kit-co...

I heard the horror stories about online dating however my experience as a man was nothing but positive.

I got responses maybe half the time and a date (coffee, nothing involving alcohol) maybe a third - I probably messaged 15 women over a year.

Two proper relationships and one that is two years old in July and I plan to spend the rest of my life in.

I did not use the shotgun approach, I excluded any woman who didn't fill her profile in with information (if they don't tell you about themselves how the hell do you know if you have anything potentially in common), excluded ones with terrible spelling and grammar (I'm not Chaucer but again it shows effort) and then only replied to ones where we had at least some interests in common (the two relationships where cycling and heavy metal respectively).

I wasn't looking for one night stands, didn't push for dates, asked questions relevant to their interests and discussed mine.

And it was all fine.

My current partner showed me her messages after we'd been dating for a while and it was just a sea of "hey Babi, want sum fuck?", I mean she speaks three languages and has a degree in finance that approach was never going to open a conversation.

My bar was "if I didn't find this person attractive would I want to be friends with them?"

If the answer wasn't yes then it was a pass.

I wasn't on there just for sex, if that was the goal I can just go out on the piss on a Saturday night.

I also avoided tinder like the plague, it's just too shallow (for me), I did like OKC though (where I met my current partner).

OK, so... since no one else has asked... are you really hot?

I realize the targeted approach also works much better for me than the shotgun approach. (Should this be surprising? ;) Speaking of myself, I'm not hot, barely average lol.

So I signed up at OKC before and deleted my account at some point frustrated. Actually I even had 2 dates through it - after tons of right swiping and writing so many messages that I had to delete ones from my Sent folder.

When I recently signed up again, at first it didn't really work out again. I swiped right when I thought the person looks good.

So I changed my approach: I swipe right when I imagine I would feel at least kind of comfortable meeting that person. And tadah, I have far more matches. Also I recommend stopping to write a person immediately when there is obviously no interest, that just brings frustration which doesn't improve the writing in turn. So I think 3 women were then willing to date me, although somehow it didn't happen because of difficulties finding a proper date/time. (Yup that also changed, I prioritize realworld higher than online ;) - doesn't really help with dating but maybe better for general happiness)

Fuck no, I was a solid 5 all my 20's

I gather been in good shape in your late 30's gets you a few bonus points.

Okcupid adopted a Tinder mechanic recently. You now have to swipe on photos and match before you can send a message.

> Maybe means no. Hesitation means no.

Not sure it is cynical. It might just be interpreting contemporary human communication correctly. In other contexts, "maybe" tends to be used when the other person don't really want to do whatever you want them to do. If you just spent two days trying to convince someone to go white water kayaking, then it normally means he dont want to be kayaking, it is the same.

His later writing is a lot more cynical. And brilliant.

Such thinking work as a quick filter so you don't get to get committed a lot.

I guess unless your good looking to hot as a guy Tinder is crickets as girls filter you out.

I'm bi so i use all apps .. i sure as hell wish Tinder was like Grindr and Scruff are for me. Open either app and have tons of messages .. pick and choose who you want to chat with and boom you have a collection of potential guys to meet up with for fun when the mood hits you. I guess that's what its like for average to good looking to hot women ... have a collection of guys to pick, choose and chat. Guess it's the Same for good looking to hot str8 guys.

Not surprised about paid dating apps and their fake news scams. Match.com suddenly sends you a ton of winks and messages just as your subscription is about to expire yet there all fake or paid impersonators. Not sure how that is legal?

> Guess it's the Same for good looking to hot str8 guys.

Unless you don't meet the minimum height requirement. That's more important than looks.

Eh. I'm 5'6". Tinder worked quite well for me. (I look good, to be clear)

I'm sure it would have worked even better if I were 6' and looked the same. But looks on their own do very well.

This was even true on okcupid, where you had to list height. I also got a lot of attention, and routinely got that "congrats, you're attractive" notification the site would send.

(If any short man is reading this, my advice would be: Get lean, and get muscles. This matters far more for you than for taller men, who can coast.)

I honestly feel that IRL, height is less important than a lot of people think. I'm a 5'5 man.

It is ultimately superficial once someone knows more about you, but that doesn't stop people from setting it as their pre-filter before they see what they truly want.

You ask people to improve the carriage, they'll tell you to make a faster horse. If you ask a woman what they want, they'll tell you tall dark and handsome.

Yeah they all want the guy who has a lot to choose from and who can treat them like crap. Hopping from one chick to another and those chicks complain about being treated like crap yet stick with it because of reproduction. I’ll take that guy many girls want who has no job over the one not many want even if they are semi-successful.

Yeah, I'm sure that being short makes it harder to get past the initial filter, but the nice thing is, once you get past it, you know that it's because they like you internally, not just superficially.


"Tall dark and handsome" is a Western cliche. You can adjust it as you see fit based on regional prejudices.

Even if it is legal is definitely not moral.

Well it's the Internet where half to more of what we read and experience is made up crap to make someone else and their buddies rich.

> As we grow accustomed to foisting more and more complicated emotional tasks onto digital butlers, we lose our ability to tolerate inelegance or find value in social failure. Moments of awkwardness and heartbreak are an inevitable part of the dating experience, and they are essential in our evolution into mature adults.

That is a very recent, Western view of finding a partner. For much of history, and even now in large parts of the world, a person's family had/has the job of finding a suitable match often with the aid of "professional" matchmakers. I wonder what percentage of people who grew up in this current Western model of individuals dating and finding partners would trade it for the other model if they could?

This is not like courtship or arranged marriages. In what you call "much of history" it was done openly and it was clear that you were arranging a marriage for you son or daughter or what have you. This is more covert and deceitful.

The main problem with the non-Western version (epitomized probably by how it's done in India) is that it enforces a very high degree of social conformity: everyone must have the same relationship model, and the same life goals (monogamous marriage, children, etc.), with very little room for variation.

It's impossible I think to say either one is "better", unless you can specify what exactly your goal as a society is. If your goal is a very stable society with everyone following the traditional monogamous marriage + kids path, and minimizing divorce, it seems that the Indian way probably produces better results. If you desire more freedom as an individual, it doesn't.

I can see the evolution of this: ripe for machine learning disruption. Then in a few years all we have are AI bots chatting each other up, and then informing us who we are to mate.

You might like the TV series Black Mirror. Especially Season 4 Episode 4.

One of my favorite episodes of the whole run, actually.

What they are doing doesn't even require ai, you can just look for the keywords and output the given phrases. But yes generally Ai can probably get you better results than humans can, it can probably give us some insights about dating.


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