If I were ever in a court of law I could point to the transcript.” But something about the whole scenario seems to bother him, despite all his mild-mannered bravado.“I think to an extent it is, like, sinister,” he says, “ ‘cause I know that the average girl will think that there’s a chance that she can turn the tables.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.
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.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.In fact, they can remember whom Alex has slept with in the past week more readily than he can.“Brittany, Morgan, Amber,” Marty says, counting on his fingers. Alex, his friends agree, is a Tinder King, a young man of such deft “text game”—“That’s the ability to actually convince someone to do something over text,” Marty explains—that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.“How does he ”But Marty, who prefers Hinge to Tinder (“Hinge is my thing”), is no slouch at “racking up girls.” He says he’s slept with 30 to 40 women in the last year: “I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy,” in order to win them over, “but then they start wanting me to more …and I just don’t.”“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way.In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then and But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. ’ ” says Jennifer, 22, a senior at Indiana University Southeast, in New Albany.“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.As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex.Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship.