The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app.
You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York.
“But you’re ordering a person.”The comparison to online shopping seems an apt one.
Dating apps are the free-market economy come to sex. tracking to show whether matches have recently “crossed paths,” use it too.
In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida.
“It’s like ordering Seamless,” says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service.
and I just don’t.”“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way.
“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.
“They’ll tell you, ‘Come over and sit on my face,’ ” says her friend, Ashley, 19.
Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating.