The Four Reasons Why Tinder Made My Skin Crawl [update 2021]

Ah, Tinder.  The original dating app. The reason why “swiping” no longer means “stealing.” The piece of technology that brought the term “dick pic” into the public square.

So much to be thankful for.

It was my chronically single friend from LA that first tried to convince me that Tinder was a godsend for men. “Dude,” he implored with that tone that only attorneys seem to have. “You have to try it. It’s Hookup City.”

Seeming as how my divorce was still one of those objects in the side view mirror that was closer than they appear, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be counted in Hookup City’s next census report. But connection sounded nice. Finding someone in the same situation, with the same interests…and yes, at the risk of not sounding like Sensitive Man Bun Guy, sexual connection had a nice ring to it, too. 

For many, Tinder has the same mystical enticement you feel when you’re standing in front of the buffet at the Golden Corral following a ten-day cleanse. It’s all you can freaking eat, and it’s right there in front of you. How awesome is that?

Well, not so awesome, as it turns out. After five days on the app, I blasted my profile into electron oblivion, wishing I could somehow give my frontal lobe a colonic. Here are the 4 Reasons Why Tinder Made My Skin Crawl:

1. Hookup City Is Kinda Nasty

The moment I started my adventures in swiping, it became apparent that Tinder was not the River Styx that leads to eternal one-night stands. “Not looking for a hookup,” was the opening line on a majority of the profiles I saw, except for the ones that read, “Just keep swiping if you’re only looking for sex, you freaking douchebag.”

Honestly, I wasn’t bothered by the freeway closure to Hookup City. I was disappointed by the road signs that obviously had to be put up because previous travelers had been blatantly ignoring the rules of the road. If one bad apple ruins the whole bunch, I was obviously riding in an inflatable dinghy across a sea of rotten fruit.

I kind of imagined that if Hook Up City had a City Council, it'd look like this.
I kind of imagined that if Hookup City had a City Council, it’d look like this.

2. Two Words: Dick Pics

This may be hard to believe, but apparently, women don’t like to receive pictures of your Johnson before they even learn your name. This, too, is made very clear on their profiles. The prevalence of this phenomenon took me by surprise. Here is an actual first conversation I had on the app’s messenger:

Me: Hi! How’s it going?

Her: Don’t send me a dick pic, k?

Me: Uhhhh…let’s try this again. Hi! My name is John!

Her: I’m serious. Just don’t do it.

Me: Well, then don’t you worry about a thing, bae. I guess you could say I’m an old-fashioned guy. I won’t give you a dick pic until the second date, and when I do, I’ll very subtly slide it across the dinner table, and it’ll be an autographed 8×10 color glossy, suitable for framing.


Combined with my experience with point #1 above, I eventually put in my profile, “I don’t even own a penis.” This proved to be…not helpful.

...but if you Google "Hook Up City," you get this. Seriously.
…but if you Google “Hook Up City,” you get this. Seriously.

3. Short People Got No Reason To Live

As my Swipe and Like escapades continued, I received a handful of messages. Want to know what each and every one of them asked? “How tall are you?” I didn’t know how to respond. In reality, I’m 6-6…but was that too tall…or too short? So I started experimenting with answers to see what worked.

 “I’m four-foot-eleven of enlightened human being” got no response, and neither did “I’m seven feet tall, but I have Adult-Onset Achondroplasia and expect to bottom-out at 5-11.” I eventually discovered that 6-4 is the magic number, but the whole experience convinced me that there must be this huge demographic of sex-crazed dwarves with briefcases full of dick pics roaming in herds on Tinder.

Author John Taylor standing next to Hall of Fame Basketball star Yao Ming
Me, standing next to Yao Ming. Yao would ROCK online dating, apparently.

4. False Advertising Is A Crime

I am not Brad Pitt. And because I’m not Brad Pitt, I didn’t have his picture on my profile. I don’t care if you’re 300 pounds. I don’t care if you’re eighty years old. What I do care about is if you can’t love those things about yourself. What depresses me the most is that some guy probably made you feel you had to be something else.

So here’s the thing. A million years ago, when Blargh the Caveman figured out how to carve an image of a Wooly Mammoth on a stone tablet, his brother Blurgh used the technique to carve a picture of his wang. He then gave the tablet immediately to Unga the Cavegirl. In the not-too-distant future, somebody will invent an app that united all the nations of the world together in peace and freedom. That inventor’s business partner will steal the algorithm and use it to create an app that hooks you up with nations’ hottest political leaders.

Connection: it’s what we do. It’s in our DNA. There is no force more powerful in this world than the need to love and be loved in return. We are desperate for connection, so we look for a way to make it happen in everything we do, everything we touch, and everything we create.

And I’m good with that. I’m just meh so far with the app version.

Swiping Right Pairs With: The 2019 Tous Les Jours Pinot Grigio, Lodi

A bottle of 2019 Tous Les Jours Pinot Grigio

Like dating profiles, sometimes you have to go through a lot of wines to get to the one you really love. This was the case when I was trying to find just the right Pinot Grigio for the Tous Les Jours label. But this one from the warm climate of northeast California hit the mark perfectly.

Let me lay my wine snob tendencies right on the table. The flavor profile of American pinot grigio can be vastly different from the PG you find in northeast Italy. Temperature, terroir, and a much more intensive winemaking process are all factors in this. But what you typically find in Italian PGs is much more floral and complex than their American counterparts. 

Ironically, pinot grigio is one of the most popular white wines here in the states, meaning this wildly different creature we created here has come into its own. With the Tous Les Jours Pinot Grigio, I tried to strike a balance between the two styles. Using fruit grown in the heat of Lodi, but opting for stainless tank fermentation, there is both subtlety and complexity in this wine. And at $16, it costs less—and delivers more—than a one-month subscription to dating disappointment.

12 thoughts on “The Four Reasons Why Tinder Made My Skin Crawl [update 2021]”

      1. Well, you’ll need something spicy for the long slog, but not too rough, so you’re not summoning the armies of penis dwarves. A Merlot is just too insipid, a Malbec will send you to livecast pics of yourself dancing a la Die Antwoord if consumed in the appropriate rythm and and a Pinot Noir will summon Paul Giamatti, the Dwarves’ King

  1. Ok, I’m with LC, I am officially in love with this blog after just this post. The wine sounds great, but I may have to go with vodka after that experiment.
    I had a Tinder account for about 3 days. Only one of those days was I single. I actually met someone the second day (not through Tinder) and the other 2 days were strictly for entertainment. Yes, I had guys solicit me for nudes, constantly. I had dick pics offered to me constantly. But guess what? That has happened on every single “dating” site I’ve ever been on. I didn’t get offended, nor did I approach every person I “liked” with “don’t send me dick pics” or “I’m not sending nudes”. That’s a fantastic way to potentially run off a great person.

    1. Thanks, Chloe! Glad there’s a happy ending to your story 🙂 Like I said, I can’t imagine what it must be like being a woman on Tinder. Kinda feel like I need to apologize on behalf of my species…

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