It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering.
The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups.
They are Dan, Alex, and Marty, budding investment bankers at the same financial firm, which recruited Alex and Marty straight from an Ivy League campus.
“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.“The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,” leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract.“And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.”People used to meet their partners through proximity, through family and friends, but now Internet meeting is surpassing every other form.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.It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.”He says that he himself has slept with five different women he met on Tinder—“Tinderellas,” the guys call them—in the last eight days. ”“We don’t know what the girls are like,” Marty says.“And they don’t know us,” says Alex.Dan and Marty, also Alex’s roommates in a shiny high-rise apartment building near Wall Street, can vouch for that. “She works at—” He says the name of a high-end art auction house. And yet a lack of an intimate knowledge of his potential sex partners never presents him with an obstacle to physical intimacy, Alex says.“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.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.