Vanity Fair Warns of Incoming “Dating Apocalypse”, But Isn’t That How It’s Always Been?

Vanity Fair let Nancy Jo Sales go deep on Tinder and the so-called “dating apocalypse”, and revealed the cold, hard truth that anyone with a phone and five minutes on Tinder already knows: dating is really awesome for men, but terribly shitty for women.

Sales spent some time in the hell-mouth, talking to finance bros about their dating life and while her findings aren’t that revelatory, it’s still pretty bad to hear these hard truths straight from the source. In case you were wondering if dating is really all that bad, guess what: it is! Here’s Alex, a “budding investment banker”, talking about the veritable buffet of “Tinderellas” available at his fingertips:

You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.

Cool, cool. So reassuring to know that the person you’ve gamely selected to engage in a few half-hearted texts has possibly slept with more people than you conceivably know in real life. Also very cool to know that if you’re actually looking for a relationship on one of these things — it is possible, you know — that the dude on the other end is probably not interested. But, hey, at least he’s up front about it. Quoth Alex, again:

 I always make a point of disclosing I’m not looking for anything serious. I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens … If I were ever in a court of law I could point to the transcript.

What Sales rightfully points out is that online dating is the new normal. As we move away from the traditional ways of meeting people — the formality of a blind date, meeting someone at the grocery store, dating people on your block — the nature of the interactions evolve. But, what’s happening is that we treat dating with the same consideration we’d treat a text or liking someone’s shoe selfie on Instagram – as barely a second thought. Just ask Dan, one of the baby finance bros, who says that “It’s like Seamless…but you’re ordering a person.”

Romantic! Dashing. Charming. Even if you don’t believe in romance, monogamy, true love or the notion that there is someone out there waiting for you and only you, this shit is pretty fucking bleak. Tinder, Hinge, Happn, and their ilk are used by  men primarily for one goal: to sleep with as many women as they can possibly manage, like Pokemon but real, live girls.

This is super cool for the women, too. I was pleasantly reassured to find out that it’s not just the gross late-30s dudes that message strangers super-disgusting shit. An example, from Amy Watanabe:

‘I’m looking for a cute girl like you that has a bit of a kinky side, so I’m curious if you fantasize about rough sex. Do you think you would like to get choke-fucked, tied up, slapped, throat-fucked and cummed on? I think we could have a wild afternoon together but I am happy just to share brunch with you.’

That’s one way to get a girl to notice you, but is it the best? Some advice, dudes: think about how fucked up it sounds before you type the message. Just because you saw a picture that makes you want to bang your dick against your phone screen in a fit of lust and passion doesn’t mean that you should use said dick to tell someone you’ve never met that you want to throat-fuck them.

Most of the women that Sales interviewed are young — in college, or just graduated — and the stories coming from the trenches of our nation’s future are grim.  When you turn the quest for sex into a numbers game, you sacrifice emotional intimacy for notches on a bedpost, and that only hurts the person that’s possibly emotionally invested. In this case, it’s the women. This is not anyone’s assumption based on the inference that women are consistently in their feelings. Here it is, straight from Amanda and Fallon, two young women Sales spoke to:

Sex should stem from emotional intimacy, and it’s the opposite with us right now, and I think it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images….But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism.

If you’re a man reading this and swiping through Tinder at the same time, do better. If you’re a woman reading this, I don’t know if this is true, but I’d like it to be: it will one day, maybe, possibly, get better.