Your dating profile – or the bio on whichever app your fingers are getting busy with – is your storefront, your prime advertising space.
Sure, a picture tells a thousand words, but as anyone who’s spent more than a minute in the company of a boyband can tell you, hot looks are no guarantee of a great brain or a good time.
Given that most people are only a swipe away from dating oblivion, you’d think that guys (and girls, of course, if that’s your thing) out there might try a little harder to attract your attention. Sadly, most people are saying very little but a slightly different version of the same 20 or so things – most of them as empty and meaningless to you as hearing about someone’s blow job in a train station in 1973.
Here, I decode a few.
“Might be time for some strings attached.”
Here I am on a sex app, a bit of tech that was created by somebody who wanted to make it easier for people to have sex with perfect strangers, using it to look for sex.
Thing is, I don’t want people to think I’m only here for the sex, oh no. I’m a sensitive soul, you see – I have a lot of thoughts, most of them quite deep and meaningful. I’m not just a piece of meat. So I’m looking for a boyfriend – some ‘strings’, if you like – who can take me away from all these endless cock pics and headless torsos and “what u into”.
But of course, rather than say that I want a relationship and rule myself out of any anonymous boning, I’ll only say that I ‘might’ be looking. Step this way, Prince Charming.
“Tall, dark and handsome to the front of the queue.”
War-torn Afghanistan has nothing on the devastation caused by the hordes vying for my affections. There are catfights, broken hearts and bloodshed at every stage of this miles-long queue, each suitor more beautiful and statuesque than the last.
And when you get to the very front, where I sit like Caesar on a throne made not of marble but made from bathroom selfies and protein shakes, there are the tallest, darkest and most handsome of them all.
Each one is on his knees, praying to his god (that would be me), hoping he’ll be the one selected by me to have uninspiring, brief and regrettable sex in a box room that could really do with vacuuming.
But even I know the truth: ain’t no queue.
“Ages 18–25 only, please. I’ll block oldies and I’m not into daddies.”
I’m an ageist wanker who prefers younger, inexperienced men who perhaps won’t realise I’m a devastatingly disappointing fuck.
“I don’t bite… unless you want me to.”
Spoiler: the sex probably isn’t going to be that good and I will say “fuck, yeah” a lot during the act in the mistaken belief this makes me sound ‘kinky’. Then I’ll bite you.
“I like going out and staying in.”
I am a deeply complex and unusual person! Sometimes I even do both on the same day! Get on this rollercoaster if you dare!
“I love to laugh.”
That’s not to say I do laugh, or indeed will laugh. The chances of me making you laugh are pretty slim.
Usually when I manage a chortle, it’s at something inappropriate like a child falling over, or you, in three months’ time, telling me that this isn’t really working out.
“Looking for a reason to delete this app.”
I, too, am looking for true love, without which I couldn’t possibly press and hold my finger on the icon of this dating app, then press the little ‘x’ that appears in the corner of the icon, deleting it for ever. Yes, I can definitely only do that once I have collected a slew of marriage proposals, not before.
And when people ask us the story of how we fell in love, I can look at the ground, then at you, then at them and, with a tear in my eye, tell them: “He helped me delete Grindr, and from then, I was hooked”.
“I can’t think what to write here. I’m not that good at talking about myself.”
I get up, I go to work, I come home. Sometimes I’ll go for a drink after work with colleagues. But usually I go straight home. There is TV, takeaways, masturbation. Sometimes Grindr.
Oh, and I also head up an international crime syndicate, have a meth lab in my kitchen and have killed a man – but my life’s too uninteresting to talk about really and I never know what to write on these things.
“I like to stay in with a DVD and a bottle of wine.”
I’ve had all my fun being an amazing, exciting, vibrant, sociable person already – before I met you – and now it’s time for me to settle for the boring inevitability of a relationship before I am too old and ugly to snare anyone. And all my friends are doing it.
After a few dates in the pub, we’ll be staying in a lot, whether you like it or not, talking about what to watch next on Netflix. We’ve had our fun; time to leave the scene to the youngsters.
I am 25.
“I’m very discrete.”
I’m married and do not own a dictionary.
“Whatever happened to all the cool guys on here? Am I really the only one looking for more than just a bunk-up with a faceless body, a spiritual connection with someone where you identify not just on a sexual level, but an emotional one too. I guess I’m being unrealistic looking for something deeper on here, but it would be nice to find out. If that’s not what you’re after, keep on moving.”
Pump me raw, stranger.