"Swipe Right: Stories from Tinder", by Oscar Schwartz


Illustration by Sara Drake.



That night I went out to a club. On the dance floor I saw my friend Josh. He was dressed nicely in a blue and white striped shirt, black jeans and brown dress shoes. I asked him why he was dressed so formally. He said he had just been on a date.

“I actually saw your Facebook post today, and I wanted to tell you. It was someone I met on Tinder,” Josh said.

“How did it go?” I asked.

“Very badly.”

Over the loud electronic music, Josh told me that he uses Tinder a lot but that he isn’t very successful on it. He is good at having conversations with girls on the app, but he is no good at “closing the deal”, that is, meeting them in real life and having sex. He took out his iPhone and showed me a screenshot of a conversation he had with a girl on Tinder. Josh started the conversation by saying, “What do you prefer: Tinder or Angry Birds?” The girl wrote back, “lol you’re funny!”

I spoke to Josh the next day on Facebook chat.

Me: Why do you think girls like talking to you on Tinder?

Josh: I start by asking them questions that would not usually be asked. Like, ‘What’s your favourite fruit?’ – or something like that. Then sometimes I ask if we can snapchat each other and if we like what we see we can go on a date, and if not we can block each other. Recently I snapchatted a girl and she just sent a dark picture that said ‘hey’ on it. So it could’ve been a guy or something.

Me: Did you snapchat her back?

Josh: Yeh. I sent her a picture of a coke bottle dancing to that song ‘Coco Jumbo’.

Me: So I’m guessing you blocked each other after that?

Josh: Nope. It’s a date.

Josh had been using Tinder for three months and had just been on his first date when I bumped into him; it was “tremendously awkward”, not that it worried him. “I use it more to have funny conversations, or when I’m bored after a big night as like a substitute for games or other distractions,” Josh said. “Other people use it almost exclusively for hook ups though.” Josh explained that his male friends love showing the explicit conversations they have with girls to their friends, as a way of bragging. “They all have different tactics to get girls to talk to them. Like some will ask random questions and try to make the girl laugh, like me. But others will be more direct and ask straight out things like “what do you think of the classic one night stand?”

I asked if those more direct tactics work for his friends. He said they definitely do, and told me about a relative of his who hooks-up with at least one Tinder girl every week. “He can’t drink alcohol so he doesn’t go out with his mates on the weekend. He just sits at home and talks to girls on Tinder and then goes out to fuck them. He has a point system too. Ten points for sex. Some Saturday nights he’ll message me saying, ‘definite 10 points tonight’, or something like that. Also, he’s not picky. He’s an animal.” I asked Josh if he’d send me his relative’s email address so I could ask him some questions. “Sure,” Josh said.

A few hours later Josh wrote to me on Facebook chat: “I asked my relative and he said, ‘I’m not giving away any of my Tinder secrets.’ Sorry. You should just download Tinder and see for yourself.”


For more stories from Tinder, grab a copy of The Lifted Brow #21, The Sex Issue!