Valentine’s Day. Bah Humbug. No, not really, I don’t actually mind Valentine’s Day. Not being able to get into a bar as they’ve all been converted in ‘bijoux’ dining venues with tables so close together that you’re practically whispering sweet nothings into a total stranger’s ear and the forced gift giving and once-a-year flower requirements I’m not so keen on, but the overall sentiment of the day is lovely.
It’s also a time of year (along with New Year’s Day) that singles flood dating sites, full of firm convictions that they absolutely, adamantly WILL NOT be alone at this time next year.
I’ve been on a few dating sites in the last couple of years and have found the whole experience vaguely depressing. There’s the hopeful email from the man old enough to be your father, the barely literate ones full of winking emoticons and ‘mega lolz’. There’s the lovely chap who in person turns out to be a bit full on and calls you three times the following day asking if you want to meet his mum. There are also the downright offensive propositions, usually sent by people who think a photo taken in a toilet of a washboard stomach is an appropriate substitute for their face or that a pic of their car is better at describing them than a head shot could ever be…to be fair those men are probably right on the money.
My strangest email was from a guy who opened with this: “I read a survey that says 95% of women sing in the shower. The other 5% masturbate, which one are you.” Oh stop it you Casanova you.
At the start of the year I started using Tinder. Tinder is fun, it’s like a game, albeit a game that sends you a bit mad and will often leave you drunk with power, swiping the screen and sending hapless suitors mercilessly towards the ‘Nope’ side while giggling maniacally.
Tinder is simple. It loads Facebook pictures for you and sets a search area and age range and leaves you to swipe away happily. Tinder is also popular, with thousands of people on it and countless articles written about it, like this gentlemen’s guide in The Independent, or this man’s perspective in The Telegraph. But as soon as you start using Tinder is becomes patently obvious that not everyone has read the gentlemen’s guide.
It’s a rare session that you manage to use Tinder without having at least one shot of a random man’s penis. He’s clearly proud of it, good for him, I’m sure it’s a very nice, fully functioning piece of genitalia. But as a profile picture? A profile picture that has clearly come from their Facebook account? Perhaps they think they are being risqué and provocative. Perhaps it’s a comment on the aesthetic emphasis of our society and they are taking us back to the primal, animal instinct of mating. Perhaps it’s a work of avant-garde theatre, inviting the watcher to view their most private moments through a voyeuristic window. Or perhaps they’re just hoping to get laid.
Is that a gun in your sad baggy boxers or are you just pleased to see me/a bit desperate and crap at taking pictures?
It’s not just the cock shots either, Tinder is awash with bizarre, unsettling and frankly what the fuck images. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s a collection of my favourite screenshots, all of which are potential dates that have popped up on my or my friend Kathrin’s mobile. Enjoy and please feel free to share your own monstrosities, or check out this web page, which does it for you on Tindercreeps.com.
This is creepy. So if I don’t smile you’ll stand behind and force me to with some sort of cartoon Chelsea smile?
How could any woman refuse those come to bed eyes?
If you feel your Tinder needs some cosmetic help, The Huffington Post wrote a 10-step guide on pimping your profile, which you can read here.
*Names have been removed for modesty’s sake..although these pictures are available on Tinder and Facebook.