I was sitting at home on a wonderful Thursday afternoon, bored out of my mind. I needed inspiration to write so naturally, I set up a Tinder account in search of bants. The things I do for TNC…
For the uninitiated, Tinder is a dating app. It pulls information from your Facebook account to make a profile, and it uses your location to recommend singles in your area. You can also set how far or near you want the search radius to be. This could be handy if you want to outsource your Yoruba demonhood (put like 50 kilometres) or if you need a cuddy buddy nearby (max 1-3 kilometres). Whatever needs you have, Tinder’s gatchu. Once I set up a profile and told my online Cupid what I needed, I was good to go.
The way Tinder works is that it presents you with cards on the app’s homepage, almost like a stack of polaroid pics. You then swipe left or tap the red cross if you’re not interested, following which Tinder proceeds to stamp “NOPE” on the guy’s pic in big red caps. (Ouch! Luckily, the people you reject don’t know sha.) Alternatively, if you like what you see, you swipe right or tap the green heart and wait for the person to respond. If they also like you, you can start chatting.
And so the experiment began. My main aim was to test if Tinder men were as pervy as I had been told. My methods were:
- to collect a rough sample by swiping right on every sixth guy – no matter what they looked like
- to have different tactics for messaging the guys who matched with me and compare reactions
Full disclosure: I didn’t follow method A to the letter because there were some profiles that just caught my eye. I still got a rough sample of guys from different backgrounds and races sha. Ended up having conversations with only white and black guys though I liked quite a few Asian guys’ pics. Only very few matched with me, and even then, they didn’t start a chat.
Back to my experiment… Now, you may wonder what my “tactics” were. I had four main approaches:
N – White guy, Works in a hotel, 40 E – Black guy, Student, 28
This group was mainly for me to send very neutral, polite messages and see if things escalated. Most went ok, but the convo was usually dead. I have to say though, most of the polite chats were actually started by guys. The guys who messaged me first (once we matched) were all polite – hellos, good mornings and how are yous. The white guy went a bit flirty and I humoured him but that was it.
N trying to see if I was about that swirl life!
The other four guys who were all black kept it pretty PG. One Zimbabwean brother was particularly memorable.
D – Black guy, 34 (E say “gazed” LMAO)
Picked two gym rats for this one. Both were shirtless, 19 packs – the whole nine yards – so it was easy to be a bit forward. L wrote something encouraging girls to say hi if they’re interested and he’ll take it from there, hence my opening line.
L – Black guy, Martial Arts Enthusiast, 28
L also dropped his number. Considering he was willing to journey across The Great Divide to South East London, this was the most successful tactic BY FAR. R on the other hand…
R – White guy, CEO of Fitness company, 30
Ela of life. Maybe he fainted?
Tried cheesy conversation starters with two guys. One had an interesting name so I asked where it was from. He replied and I followed up to ask what it means and dude disappeared. I’m sure he thought I was sent from his village to interrupt his destiny. People were out to get laid and I was there dissecting his name. I imagine this is how he felt:
The other guy wrote something about being able to read minds in his profile so I messaged him saying “Read my mind ;)” Crickets till this day.
Saying “Hey 🙂”
This is the kiss of death. 4 out of 6 guys didn’t respond to the hello plus smiley approach. Whether it’s the lack of imagination that goes into simply saying hello or the quest for better banter, if you adopt this tactic, diaris no road.
Hands down, this goes out to one F, who didn’t message me first but went from zero to 100 REAL QUICK. Ironically, he was one of the two guys who responded to “Hey :)”. I’ll give him a 10/10 for banter.
F – Self-employed, 36 (Yes, I stopped responding once I had enough bants for this post. No, I did not take up his offer for “an oral sex”. I know. I’m terrible.)
So, following this complex experiment, here are my findings:
If you want to prosper on Tinder, use a sexy pic
As you can see from my Osuofia outfit in the profile pic, my markate was not well displayed. The pic was taken on a cold day, please don’t judge me. My point is ALL the matches I had on Tinder were from men whose pics I first swiped right. NO ONE swiped right on me first during the roughly 24 hours I had my account open. Since the pic is the only info people have to go on before swiping, it’s safe to blame the pic for this. The less sexy your pic, the more often you’ll have to make the first move.
If you want to prosper on Tinder, be a bad bitch
Ain’t no hello/hi up in here, bih! People are here to nack! Act accordingly.
Tinder guys come out to play at night
The really flirty conversations took off at night. Even when I sent suggestive messages earlier in the day, the guys seemed to take the bait and get into the conversation as the night went on. This could be because they waited to get off work or were just hornier at night. Who knows?
Tinder guys want you to make the first move
Of the 23 matches I had, I messaged 11 guys first and 7 didn’t talk at all because I didn’t message them first. Only 5 guys started a chat – and 4 of them were black. If you wanna be starting something on Tinder, ladies, start the chat.
Tinder guys are surprisingly well-behaved
Didn’t get as much filth as I expected, and black guys were particularly pleasant (maybe even a bit boring?). There’s the obvious brutality of simply not responding if you’re not about that life which could be seen as rude. Still, on the whole, out of the ones who did respond only one conversation became overtly sexual (Oshey F!). Again, I might have to redo this experiment with my markate displayed but one night is enough, biko.
There you have it, boys and girls of TNC! A detailed report of a Yoruba girl’s adventures on Tinder. Feel free to extrapolate lessons from this brief research to the wider dating pool. They may or may not be relevant.