When I’m hanging out with my friends, it doesn’t take long for the topic of dating apps to come up. Among 20-something women living in Los Angeles, this is normal (as is hearing the Muslim Sites dating app phrases “It’s hard out here” and “Wait, let me swipe for you” repeated). Recently, a friend of a friend in the group just joined Raya-the members-only, celeb-featuring dating app-after six months of unsuccessful Tindering, Bumbling, Hinging, OkCupiding, and all the other -ings internet dating has to offer. “Is there another app I should be using instead?” she posed to the group.
Secretly, I had an answer for this woman. However, I didn’t know her very well, and I was nervous it was not the one she was looking for, so instead, I shrugged and took a slurp of my cocktail. I was hesitant because my dating app success story wasn’t that I wholesomely swiped my way to long-lasting romantic love; instead, it’s that I ended up meeting one of my closest female friends while looking for threesome partners on Feeld-a sex-positive app aimed at helping “open-minded” users fulfill their freakiest fantasies.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: If you’re looking for friends, Amanda, why not sign up for Bumble BFF, or join a book club, instead of swiping through the fetish-y app once known as 3nder [pronounced like “thrinder,” a terribly clever portmanteau that served as the application’s title until they got sued and had to rebrand]? The answer is simple: I had no idea until meeting Amanda K. that having a platonic pal with whom I not only shared all the regular friend interests (in our case, orange wine and road trips… and even a first name), but also our left-of-center kinks and sexual experiences, was something I was sorely missing.
However, after a year of swiping, I realized that the quantity of options apps provide does not necessarily elevate the quality of one’s dating life
It’s no secret that in American dating culture, apps like Tinder and Bumble enjoy a mixed reputation. (more…)