“Do it! You’ll enjoy it!”
“I don’t think so… I’m not really that kind of girl.”
“Oh, come on! What have you got to lose?”
“Nothing, I just…”
“Come on! I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.”
“… Okay, I guess… But don’t tell my parents, I’d die of shame.”
And that was how I was forced into prostitution.
No, that’s a complete lie, but it is how I was encouraged to download the app Tinder at the behest of a friend who enthused about it and said I would find it a bit of a lark. I did have my apprehensions because I have never had any desire to join on-line dating sites or anything like that, mostly because of my tendency to attract absolute weirdos; you know the type that dwell in the darkest, most bizarre areas of the internet and eventually crawl out when they see my giant eyes having a bit of a nose around. The whole ‘oh look, she’s weird and quite chubby; SHE WILL LOVE MY INCEST BANTER!’ (Never okay, guys), but also because I’m a lot more interesting on the internet and I always imagine when I meet people they look at me and visibly deflate in enthusiasm, especially when I trip over or walk into a door and they become horrifically disappointed in me for having absolutely no social skills whatsoever. Also because I’m terrified of being captured and forced into a sex ring a la Taken. My dad is not Liam Neeson, he’d probably just tell them to keep me.
I assumed Tinder would be different after reading the description. It’s a totally anonymous application, where if you reject someone it doesn’t come up with ‘this person rejected your face… let’s exact revenge!’ equally, if you click the like button on someone’s face and they don’t like you back, you’re none the wiser. The rejection part was generally the big pull for me, it allows me to reject humans without even having to speak to them, from the comfort of my bed when I have my hair scraped back and no make up on – it’s strangely empowering to a chubby, weird looking, presumably drunk girl like me. That does sound decidedly harsh, but I can only imagine that there are more than plenty of people who see my giant face appear on their screens and click the massive cross button that stamps my image with a big old ‘NOPE’ and I’m fine with that, because there is a definite sense of joy to be felt when clicking that big old button on images of men with their insanely honed abdominals threatening me with fitness, pants hanging ridiculously low on their beyond tanned and slender hips – I imagine these are the types of people who see me in real life and shudder with absolute disgust, not interested in knowing how hilarious and brilliant at everything I am, so it does feel quite empowering to be able to think ‘I don’t fancy you types of people at all, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!’ and rejecting them happily. Although, part of me does want them to know that I find them horrendous, which is why I’m putting that on here – you’re all very unattractive, muscles are horrible, STOP OFFENDING ME WITH THEM!
I do have to admit that it’s not as hilarious as I thought I was going to be, because no interaction between the people you reject is actually not as fun as having someone valiantly try to chat you up for you to reject with a humorous anecdote in your comedy satchel for when you want to tell someone about your exploration into online photo appreciation, I guess. I’m quite annoyed by the whole thing if I’m being honest, because when I decided to take it seriously and started clicking the like button (I don’t swipe like everyone else, because I sometimes get my left and right mixed up and I’d smash my phone, screaming bloody murder if I ever rejected someone super interesting) I didn’t realise that people had, obviously, also been clicking buttons on my face and it came up with ‘It’s a match! Talk to this person!’ which is horrific and scary. I didn’t, because I’m a terrible person, but some of them do also chat to you and I’ve found that everyone I’ve spoken to has been really funny and interesting. Damn it all! I didn’t expect that. I’ve spoken to writers, avid readers, one particularly awesome Rolling Stone enthusiast and Chef, comic book nerds and people who have left me messages beginning with quotes from Goodfellas and they’ve all been able to hold pretty hilarious conversations. It has been refreshing, but also really bloody annoying, because my friend promised me I’d get some weirdos to interact with and I’ve only really had one, who I didn’t really interact with as much as I should have because I was drunk.
This guy looked normal and we did have a lot of mutual interests and a lot of his photos had him smiling with friends and wearing a dorky Christmas jumper and he had a really nice smile, with a kind face around it, so he didn’t look like he was going to be creep 101, in my defence. He’d already liked my face and then sent me a message, which was really normal, we said hello and asked one another how we were and what we did for a living etc and then, pretty much right after I told him I had a new job, he then asked me for my number so I could send him some nudes? What? Eh? No thanks, pal! I suppose that’s part of the deal when you download apps like this, but I didn’t expect full on perversion from a lanky dork in a shitty Christmas jumper. I told him no, because I’m a classy kinda gal and I’m also not a fan of giving my number to internet folk and he got really arsey about it.
“Because I don’t want to.”
“Why, what’s wrong with you? Are you fat?”
“Excuse me? Because I don’t want to send nude pictures of myself to an absolute stranger, it must be because I’m fat? Not at all because I have self respect, high standards and decent morals?”
“Other girls do it”
“Well, you must not speak to many intelligent, self assured women, then.”
“You’re not intelligent.”
“You fucking what?”
“You can’t be, you’re on Tinder looking for a lad”
“Actually, I’m on Tinder so I can write about it on my blog. Took a screenshot of your picture as well, pal, so you’ll be on my blog by the end of the weekend… Enjoy!”
And I sent him a link. I didn’t screen shot his face, nor would I ever be so cruel to someone, but I did instil the fear of God into him for a little while, at least.