Most often, though, I didn’t have sex at all
It can be harder to walk away when you’ve met through Tinder
You’re trusting people you barely know. After a few dates with “Manchester”, I agreed to visit his hotel room next time he was in London. I’d always been diligent about practising safe sex, but he had trouble getting in the mood with the condoms and went against my wishes at the last moment. The next morning I wrote him an angry text. He replied that he would wire me ?40 for the morning-after pill. I’ve never felt so violated.
Of the 57 men I met in a year, I probably had sex with about 10%-15%. I generally left home open to the possibility but found, when my date showed up, that I didn’t want to see him again, let alone see him naked. There was no spark, or he was dull or gross or just too pushy. One date chased me to the tube trying to shove his tongue down my throat. Another – who started promisingly – changed after his second drink, spilling a glass of wine on me without apologising, and cutting me off each time I spoke. When you’re matched, you can spend days – in some cases, weeks, months – exchanging messages, texting and working yourselves up, filling in the gaps with your imagination. By the time you meet, you’ve both invested so much, you’ve raised your hopes and his.
I met one guy who was a likely contender for a boyfriend. “Eton” was hot, hilarious, he spoke five languages – everything on my wish list. Our dates weren’t fancy – we probably spent ?10 between the two of us – but each time I met him, my cheeks would literally hurt from so much smiling.
In some ways Tinder can even work against you finding a partner
We went on five dates without sex, just a kiss and a hug. Then one night, he arrived at my place stinking of booze and likely female escort in Saint Paul MN high on something. The sex was over in seconds – a massive anticlimax after such a build-up. We never saw each other again. If we’d met another way, that could have been a blip, an awkward beginning. On Tinder everything’s disposable, there’s always more, you move on fast. You start browsing again, he starts browsing – and you can see when anyone was last on it. If five days pass with no messaging between you, it’s history.
At times, Tinder seemed less like fun, more like a gruelling trek across an arid desert of small talk and apathetic texting. More than once, I deleted the app, but always came back to it. It was more addictive than gambling. I never dreamed I’d end up dating 57 men in less than a year.
I’m off it now. Four months ago, I met a man – “Hackney Boy” – through Tinder and at first, I carried on seeing him and dating others. After a while, he wanted to get more serious. He’s older than me and didn’t want to waste time with Tinder any more. I had one last fling with “French Guy”, then made a decision to stop.
What did Tinder give me? I had the chance to live the Sex and the City fantasy. It has made me less judgmental and changed my attitude to monogamy too. I used to be committed to it – now I think, if it’s just sex, a one-night hook-up, where’s the harm? I’m more open to the idea of swinging, open relationships, which is something I’d never have expected.