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“We are in uncharted territory” when it comes to Tinder et al., says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.“There have been two major transitions” in heterosexual mating “in the last four million years,” he says.“I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”And is this “good for women”?Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women.There’s always something better.” “If you had a reservation somewhere and then a table at Per Se opened up, you’d want to go there,” Alex offers.“Guys view everything as a competition,” he elaborates with his deep, reassuring voice. ” With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling.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. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance …
” he asks lightly.‘I call it the Dating Apocalypse,” says a woman in New York, aged 29.
Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. “Ew, this guy has Dad bod,” a young woman says of a potential match, swiping left.
Her friends smirk, not looking up.“Tinder sucks,” they say. At a booth in the back, three handsome twentysomething guys in button-downs are having beers.
Some, like writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is …
bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued.
It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering.