NinjaEconomics on Tinder (from the comments)

I’m not convinced women who are on Tinder who say “no hookups” actually mean that.

First of all, Tinder is for young people and young women don’t have a hard time meeting men in real life. So, for someone to go to a place that is known to be where casual sex seekers meet and announce THEY aren’t at all interested in casual sex seems fishy. If I’m not in the market to buy shag carpeting that’s full of vomit and fleas, I don’t go shopping at the used carpet store that specializes in shag carpeting that’s full of vomit and fleas. I certainly don’t go there and ask where I can find silk hand-knotted rugs from Central Persia for basically the same price and get offended when I’m offered vomit and fleas.

More likely, these women are interested in hooking up (or at least open to some opportunities of it happening) but don’t want their friends and colleagues knowing this should someone come across their profile, so like the Playboy readers who buy the magazine for the articles, these women are on Tinder “just for the lulz.”

Which brings me to my second point: Despite their loud claims, women are not on Tinder to find their husbands. Getting married is easy. It is so easy that almost anyone can do it! Very unattractive, very poor, mentally unstable people can do it. Now, you might not be able to marry someone who meets all the required characteristics but if Tinder women were sincere in husband-hunting, rather than just stating “no hookups”, which is spectacularly unhelpful, they’d actually list their requirements in order to speed up the process.

And, if the internet (and online dating in particular) is so hostile to women, why would any reasonable woman who has above-average chances of meeting someone in traditional ways subject herself to unbearable and avoidable sexual harassment online? If she’ll assume the risk of verbal abuse from potential suitors, she must be very motivated to meet someone using this platform and I doubt she will be in the top 5-10% of all available women (or perhaps she’s more resilient and online interactions are not emotionally harmful to her). So compared to the top 5-10% of the men she’s vying for (attractive, educated, marriage-minded men in their 20s are quite rare), she won’t have the upper hand, so making brusque dismissals right out of the gate just seems more like an attempt to demonstrate dominance. The point is, the women who really don’t want to hook up aren’t on Tinder and the ones who do say that on Tinder aren’t being honest.


That is from NinjaEconomics, the original post is here.


I'm surprised you don't evaluate this from a simpler information theory perspective. It's really hard to a) know exactly what is out there, b) what kind of men you can make interested. Tinder is a great way to fine tune signalling, e.g changing photos, conversation styles etc, and a rich testing ground for many young people who are still discovering/tweaking their identities (which is getting ever more complicated to properly evolve).

Is there any other app which even comes close to addressing these problems with minimal risk? You philosophise about the future of higher ed learning, what about the future of the self-affirmation process?

On the Internet, they don't know . . . they don't know . . . well, they really don't know anything.

So basically you are saying Tinder is a place for girls/guys who dont know what they want... could be true :)

Or what they want in themselves. There's a two-way experimentation going on that I think is a little deeper than mate selection and economic trade-off perception. I mean, what do you think selfies are? What positive net good are they when they're liked by 15 people you barely know instagram? All of these things are cheap discovery mechanisms.

I am too old for all this, but doesn't Tinder connect with a less cognitive, more primal, idea of "fitness?"

Probably better matches world be made by serious readers of Jane Austen, but those are introspective outliers.

Men and women both probably over-select for individuals suited to a preindustrial age.

There's still filtering. Conversations move to social networks not soon after. Tinder interface sucks for chat and people always move. People's facebook accounts are highly informative. People are never satisfied with just 6 small photos and a random bar name/time.

I am not 100% confident what you are getting at, but most women do prefer a man who looks good, dresses well, and grooms himself.

There might be some preference towards these traits, particularly among the younger crowd, but you can't really fault women for not gravitating towards cheeto-covered neckbeards.

I am not singling out women. I think both sexes choose "in the moment" based on sub-conscious clues about "fitness." Those apparent physical attributes probably are over-weighted compared to more esoteric things like educational history or financial management skills. more here, pdf

"Those apparent physical attributes probably are over-weighted compared to more esoteric things like educational history or financial management skills" - why would they be over-weighted? If this is how sufficiently many people choose a mate (and to the extent that they continue to do so in the future, no sign of abating ...) they are accurately weighted and possibly under-weighted. See Keynesian Beauty Contest.

Remember - fitness is not only about surviving but crucially also about creating sexually viable and successful offspring (preferably with a consensual partner). See the peacock's tail - as long as the peahens like it, it pays to grow one even if this is esoteric, vein, misguided, etc.

How dare he call something what it is! Unbelievable!

Sexism here is staggering.....

Literally didn't even think it was worth bothering asking a woman.

I thought NinjaEconomics is a woman...

Interesting. Not sure that changes my view, but interesting.

Doesn't change mine in the least, assuming that the commenter is actually the person being presented as NinjaEconomics - impersonation is not exactly hard here, after all.

Such a degraded perspective about women are held by men and women both. But a couple of passages seem odd, stylistically, reading like absolutely standard MRA garbage (and that part about vomit, fleas, and carpets is a truly odd juxtaposition, that might be more revealing of the author than they are aware of).

Because who has ever heard of a woman with a negative view of sluts?

NinjaEconomics did write that, see her tweet:

'Because who has ever heard of a woman with a negative view of sluts?'

Unlike men?

And slut is such an interesting word in practice, already apparently assuming a negative framework merely by being used to describe someone's behavior. Though maybe this comment section is the perfect place to ask - what is the complimentary term for a woman that likes to have sex?

It seems as if NinjaEconomics is unaware of it, so maybe somebody here can help her out.

"what is the complimentary term for a woman that likes to have sex?"

I suggest getting a dictionary and learning the real definition of the word "slut."

A complementary synoym for slut? "Easy?" That doesn't really fit. I'm sure if people other than prior_test wanted to compliment slutty women, they'd have made up a term by now.

"what is the complimentary term for a woman that likes to have sex? "


"And slut is such an interesting word in practice, already apparently assuming a negative framework merely by being used to describe someone’s behavior" - haha, what would be the complimentary term for a man who beats puppies? After all, that "merely" describes one's behavior. Damn patriarchy .....

“what is the complimentary term for a woman that likes to have sex?”


Please, if women understood more about themselves and their situations than men do, then God wouldn't have created mansplaining.

I'm a little unclear as to what's supposed to be sexist about this.

I'm gay, so I don't use Tindr, but I have a lot of experience with Grindr. Despite the fact that Grindr is used almost exclusively for arranging casual sex, if you ever open the app you will see a large number of profiles that say "No hookups." Some of these people may be telling the truth, but many of them are lying. I know that they are lying because I personally have hooked up with many of them.

There are lots of reasons why a man on Grindr might say "no hookups" when he fully intends to hook up. Indeed, on Grindr, everyone knows that "no hookups" does not usually mean "no hookups;" there is obviously nothing sexist about saying so. I would be very interested to know why the same claim becomes sexist when it is made about women on Tindr.

Obviously it would be sexist to suppose that "no hookups" means "I want to hookup with you right now, so please send me a million pics of your junk and then berate me if I refuse to pleasure you." But that is not what ninja is claiming. The claim is that "no hookups" actually means something like "I'm open to a hookup, if the right opportunity comes along, but it probably won't be with you," which seems obviously true and unproblematic.

I think its the broad, sweeping generalizations:

"The point is, the women who really don’t want to hook up aren’t on Tinder and the ones who do say that on Tinder aren’t being honest."

Just throw in some caveats like "many women" or "most women" or "some women" and I think its fine. Or at least better. The tone still comes off as judgmental to me. That's not sexist per se, but when you start making it sound like women having casual sex is bad and, by omission, implying that men having casual sex is not negative in the same way....

And perhaps the discussion leading to the post would provide some context, but it's unclear to me why the argument outlined in the OP applies to women any more than men. So why make it about gender at all?

To me, the most obvious interpretation of "not in to hook ups" is "not in to date rape" or "not into guys assuming they have a right to fuck me just because I put hook ups in my profile and bought me dinner".

But that's a guess. You know a really great way to understand women's behavior? Ask women. They whole tone of " I know what all women are really thinking without even asking them" is quite off putting and implies a view that women's own stated views don't matter here.

I also am uncomfortable with the sort of sad view that there is one homogeneous axis of dating quality upon which women can be ranked. Just misses the actual way a lot of people find love. Very naive and a little sexist.

That plus the harsh language ("fleas and vomit" "lie") and lack of qualifiers like " some" or "most" and I think I came away finding the piece both immature and harmful to women.

Put it this way - with what probability is the wide publication of this view likely to increase date rape? Decrease it? Which is higher?

“not into guys assuming they have a right to fuck me just because I put hook ups in my profile and bought me dinner”

In other words, still in to hookups, with the right guys in the right circumstances, on tinder. Which is what the author of this article is saying. You've just been scandalized by an opinion you also hold.

Maybe I ought to start a Tinder account, put "no hookups, I don't cheat on my wife, just curious to see what I'm missing" and see what kind of responses I get. Just trying to raise my perceived value?

One of the most tedious things about betas is their lack of insight into the minds of the opposite sex.

In this case, the beta of the hour Andrew Edwards cannot recognize that the entire post was authored by a chick before reflexively white knighting for all the world to see.

Not as tedious as pick up artists and their alphas and betas.

The amusing part:
Andrew demands we ask women what they think.

PUAs actually do practice their "art" with women and refine their approaches based on immediate feed-back.

It aint just a river in Egypt, Greg.

It's staggeringly sexist to assume I'm not a woman because I'm in the field of economics.

Literally didn't even think it was worth bothering clicking the link to my profile to find out my gender.

Or assumed you were a man because of the sexism.

Anyone who intends to get involved in online dating should Google "Redpill"

Given the trend in comments here over the past year or two I doubt there's anyone who isn't either one of you date rapists or have heard of you all.

And then run away screaming. There is a grain of truth to Red Pill, but it's so obsessed with sex and manipulation that it's easy to get into the mode of "gaming" everyone you meet.

Even the guy who wrote The Game things Red Pill is mostly garbage.

Could it just be that tinder skews toward people of both genders in their 20s, while other dating sites now skew more toward 30s? My impression is that match skews oldest, okcupid a bit younger, and tinder youngest, but I don't really know.

Roughly correct. I've been on all 3 at times over the past 15+ years. However, there has been a noticeable increase in 35+ aged women on Tinder over the past year as they've (my theory) realized they have more control than on platforms like Match and OKC.

So there is a stereotype among non-economist lefties which dismiss economics as a set of oversimplified models that serve mostly to confirm or justify biases held by poorly socially calibrated white dudes. Regardless of NinjaEconomics' background, this is pretty much the gold standard of what they have in mind.

The basic problem is the assumption that because women get a lot of sexual advances on and offline, they must have their pick of a lot of desirable partners, either for casual sex or a long term relationship. Reality refuses to fit that model.

As far as Tinder specifically goes, it has a large user base concentrated in a fairly tight age range. It's sufficiently large to support multiple ecosystems which attempt to avoid interacting each other (for instance, people that post pictures of themselves fishing and people that mock those that do). There are attempts to create social networks that are creep-proof (Bumble being the most prominent), but they suffer from smaller userbases due to the coordination problem, and the fact that creeps see themselves as having strong incentives to invade non-creep places.

"So there is a stereotype among non-economist lefties which dismiss economics as a set of oversimplified models that serve mostly to confirm or justify biases held by poorly socially calibrated white dudes."

Yep. A recent FB post of mine on SF housing prices was met with some dismissal of rather basic economics - stuff that both left and right economists would overwhelmingly agree on - in favor of the notion, from what I could gather, that builders are all acting in concert to build a ton of housing unimpeded by regulations AND that this will keep prices sky-high.

It's like "OK, I don't have a rebuttal because I don't care about studying economics, but just….eww."

Sure, sometimes people just aren't well-informed and resent those who are.

But given how confident some people are in economics as a kind of social super-science (with some justification), it's worth considering remembering the old proverb "garbage in, garbage out".

In this case, the use of signaling theory and rational choice theory can't fix the fact that the base hypothesis is "those lying sluts have it sooo easy".

Here is an alternative theory.

Many people actually mean what they say.

And here is yet another alternative theory:

NinjaEconomics is not a mind reader, despite her apparently confident assertions that imply the opposite.

Your alternative theory belies so many things we know about evolution, signalling, and economics that you must be new to this blog. Try reading up on homo hypocritus.

Signalling is real. But I think some folks around here significantly overstate the case. People also do/say things because they simply want to, or think it's the right thing.

For a matter as simple as clothes: wearing certain clothes isn't necessarily signalling (although it may be in some cases), in many cases it can be showing a preference in addition to actually wanting to BE that different thing. E.g., wearing a band shirt - it's not signalling, it's saying "this is what I like" and they wear it because it is part of their character, not because they care what other people think.

Just don't ask for too much evidence for these rock solid findings in evolution and signaling. Creative writing profs aren't the only ones getting stories published these days.

No means yes, huh?

And I bet some of those women saying no hookups also wear short skirts in social situations.

And that anyone talking about carpets with vomits and fleas in connection with people meeting, with sex a possibility of such meetings, probably has the sort of personality that is unable to understand just how disgusting they are.

At a minimum that was a really odd choice for an analogy.

Presumably this is what young women saying "no hookups" think about "hookups." The analogy is apt.

^^ beta is going to beta.

Purity and sexual self control are attractive qualities in a female mate for rather obvious reasons. It is not surprising that women try to represent themselves as not interested in quick sex on tinder. It is for the as reason women have always played hard to get. It attracts better males

This. Guys don't want to date sluts.

Overall a good comment from NinjaEconomics. However, it's easy to see why a woman who was husband hunting would go on Tinder, "because that's where the men are." It may be very easy for a woman to get married(just as it is very easy for a woman to find casual sex), but it's that quality that matters.

No. if you are looking for a husband on Tinder, then you probably need to be hospitalized in a mental instituition.

Possibly this describes a sizable fraction of the American population. I do know girls looking for husbands on Tinder. They have high standards and feel like they have exhausted other options.

Maybe they have not truly tried all their other options, but Tinder is eeeasssssssyyyyyyy. Right swipe, left swipe. Buffet of men. Instant feed-back if a guy likes you as well.

More correctly, if you are looking for a husband on Tinder, you have some woefully mistaken assumptions about the world and your own mating market value and need to revisit some of your priors. Also get out in the world and stop hiding behind a screen.

Whole business seems rancid. Of course, knocking about in bars trolling for a screw is not exactly an elevated activity. I've known people who married well who met at school (and married before their 25th birthday), who met through friends and relations, who met at work. Not really any other way (unless you count the happy couple who met over the counter at the farmers' market).

The overwhelming majority of tinder accounts are machine-generated; among those generated by people the majority are basically screwing around in that they create an account, use it for five min, and then never use the app again. Older people use it because they can't really be excluded. Probably less than one in ten thousand users are using the app in the way it is intended to be used. So while it is true that people who don't want to hook up aren't on tinder, the profiles indicating non hookups are based on honesty in fact, in that the profile or template creator is so committed to not doing so they won't ever use the app.

A lot of the specific comments Ninja makes are false, in particular a lot of things are demographics driven.

1 in 10,000?

Not likely given the dozens of people I know actively using and it dating multiple people on there.

I really think you're confusing tinder with Ashley Madison.

Not impressed by this comment. I just take "no hookups" as an attempt by the girl to raise her value, not as a statement of fact. Hardly shocking.

Secondly, getting married to a high quality man is not easy at all, and yes, women are always on the lookout for that, including on Tinder. "Listing requirements" seems patronizing and I, as a high quality man, would pass.

"Secondly, getting married to a high quality man is not easy at all "
-BOOM. Standards matter.

That is my understanding too, 'no hookups' just translates to raising the bar. Means: 'try harder, stupid'. A way of trying to convene that is not going to be as easy as with other girls, it is just plain signalling.
Reminds me of the explanation for the Nigerian prince with lots of money, the phrase helps the other side sort itself out.

I view Tinder as a type of portfolio diversification. Many of the women I see on Tinder I also see on other dating apps (Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, OKC, etc.), which are perceived to be more mating oriented. I think some (many?) women on Tinder are ultimately looking for a relationship of some kind, but biding their time on Tinder so they can "have fun" until they find the right person on another app.

In this particular case I think Ms. Than underestimates the power and speed at which culture changes technological usage. A few years ago was known as the site where people just came to hook up. No one says that anymore (because it's no longer true, in part because of the emergence of new apps like Tinder). Likewise, I think usage of Tinder is currently expanding beyond merely people looking for one night stands and toward a variety of distinct groups that could probably be segmented into some anthropological categorization (people new to a city and looking to make friends quickly, ravers looking for raving buddies, and frequent travelers that are lonely and possibly open to a hook up, but also seeking companionship away from home all come to mind based on what I've seen in profiles and through chatting). I'm sure there are many more categories.

Some women undoubtedly say they aren't looking for a hook up when they actually are, but of course some women say they're only looking for a hook up only to become immediately attached (this happens to men as well). "Not looking for a hook up" is probably at least as much about signaling to oneself as it is about signaling to others. Because of the prevalence of slut shaming women may want to view themselves (and, yes, have others view them) as having some other agenda than merely engaging in sexual intercourse.

The semantic issue of what "hooking up" actually means is probably key to this discussion. Not looking for a hook up could mean one isn't interested in a one night stand (ie. "Netflix and chill"), but open to a friends with benefits arrangement or even casual or short-term dating, which involves lots of sex with only minor commitment.

I read a post (maybe even here!) about why more fashion models looked so haughty and unfriendly. It was interpreted as a signal of value ("I'm better than you") and something that elites had always adopted. This may be similar to "no hookups".

Wow, you guys are clearly not Tinder users.
As a guy in his 50's who uses Tinder (and kinda loves it) let me tell you my experience -- women ARE looking to hook up, but also for long term relationships -- both. And this includes a LOT of women in their 40's and 50's, who have had the husband, the kids are gone, and they want a. good sex, and b. a true love.
In my experience, Tinder females are no more likely to be 'sluts' than females were. This might be different if I were 20, but I don't think so. I teach uni level, know a lot of students, and their experience is WIDelY variable, too. So, guys -- here's the amazing, wildly subersive truth. Women are as varied in their use of Tinder as -- GASP - you might imagine them to be! But a lot of them are, yes, looking for SEX - but usually sex WITH love. I've had some Tinder females who didn't even want to KISS on the first meeting, let alone do the nasty. And there have been some who DO want sex fairly quickly. The other cool thing about Tinder is -- there are women 'matching' with you almost every day! I never liked the bar scene, so it's just fabulous for me. I'm sure it pays to be relatively handsome, to have your hair, muscles, et cetera, yes -- but isn't that true in bars, too? The idea that 'high quality women' are not on Tinder is -- again, in my personal, anecdotal experience - utter bullshit. They are there, and you can enjoy them -- just as they can enjoy you. And I don't have a ton of money or a 12 inch dick. I do live in a cool place, I do have university teaching jobs (I'm an adjunct at two pretty elite schools - but you know the pay is shit.) But I still do just lower limit for attracting Tinder babes is about 45 (I'm 60, but I lie and say I'm 52). Most of the really fabulous sex (and I'm on it for sex, yes) is with women in their 50's. Women in their 50's today are like women in their early 40's were in the 1960's. At least here in Los Angeles. I mean, they look fabulous. And they know how to um...DO things. LOL. So relax and stop being so worried about Tinder. Maybe try using it! Just don't be evil.

PS -- this Asian chick who wrote this looks gorgeous from her photograph. Tyler's probably horndogging her a bit - I wouldn't blame him. But her statement that 'high quality women' wouldn't use Tinder because they've got 'other more traditional means to meet me' -- that's utter BS. Those 'traditional means' don't expose them to more than a handful of dudes a week unless she wants to hit the bar scene constantly -- and dudes at bars can be abusive, too -- WAY more so than just a Tinder link, which remember, you can sever just by punching a button! Sorting dudes on Tinder offers WAY more chances to hook up with someone great. What women SHOULD be worried about with Tinder, however, is precisely THAT. I can tell you that it's made ME -- a horny, middle aged dude who looks pretty good in pictures and has high education levels (you got to list that on your Tinder front page) WAY more picky and choosy about who I go out with -- there are so many hot or semi-hot women who I match with on Tinder that it's freakin' awesome -- sometimes two a day! T'other day I had a match with a drop dead gorgeous 45 year old girl -- but i did something wrong and lost the Match by hitting the wrong button. But I didn't even get upset. I know there will be another coming along. I've got several dates set up for the next week. Will I go to all of them? No way! There just isn't enough time. IMHO, that's a net benefit to ME -- as a dude who hates bars and who doesn't go to a lot of social events (I also have an internet business). Of course, I meet lots of 30 ish women at the two universities I teach at as well, but believe me, fucking your students for a professor these days is a cool stick of shit fire with a wick in it! Tinder is amazingly good for dudes -- is what I'm saying -- and probably less great for women -- but man, there are lots of women on it! NAMASTE, bros and hos! Remember, don't be evil! Be kind and be honest in your intentions -- on Tinder or anywhere else. I wants me some sex and some laughs -- that's me! It might make the hot Asian chick who sparked all of this blow her lid and hate on me -- but at least now she'll know WHY she might be worried -- if she wants Mr. Right and JUST Mr. Right -- which I assume she does. The ladeez gots to give up the sex a lot more these days than they used to -- and the choices for dudes are way more than they used to be. I LOVE BEING ALIVE RIGHT NOW!!!

Wooww thats good news for me... I still have time to enjoy life :)

I salute you, Douglas! Go on my son

Although Douglas writes in a different style than I might, his overall point is one I agree with.

I feel (mostly) the same way about my experience on Tinder. Indeed, it is good to be pretty in pictures.

Ray, you're not fooling anybody with this alias.

I am way past (age) all this silly stuff. Here would be my silly Tindr post: "Wanted rich nymphomaniac that owns liquor store." Howz that for signaling?

I have bad experience with alcoholic floozies. They often accumulate a large coterie of past lovers and admirers which can at any moment disturb the peace.

On the other hand, I am all for marrying into wealth. I have dated several very rich women, but was unable to put up with their nonsense for long enough to benefit from the wealth. But there are always plenty of, especially older, women around in case you run out of money.

No women blogging into this site, in order to have contact with men. Not even any mental hookups here.

What is the average number of lifetime sex partners conditional on being a Tinder user? 10? And then you assume that this group is similarly disposed to have sex with people met offline, including boyfriend/girlfriends. So maybe the average Tinder user gets 5 extra lifetime sex partners for using the app (assuming these people get zero sex partners from every other online dating app combined). If users generally use the app for several years that's a long way away from the company PR that gets published in the NYT (and this comment section, natch).

Oh brother.... 10? 5? really? I'm glad I was an adult in the pre-AIDS era.

Ninja's bases her model on the supposition that getting married is easy. It is not easy if women have high standards. I do know a girl looking for her husband on Tinder, which she used only after dating many men on other websites. She eventually asked me to introduce her to my brother-in-law. Most women like my brother-in-law, since his personality is blue eyes, blonde hair, and 6'2. She has settled into a relationship with a guy who I suspect is STRONGLY influenced by the Red Pill (takes one to know one after all).

Where I agree with Ninja is conclusion "most women on Tinder are interested in hook-ups," but that's because a majority of women are in fact open to "casual" relationships with the "right" man. Even my born-again sister-in-law had a one night stand with a man, and frantically called my Wife early in the morning because the condom had broke.

That doesn't count because she's born-again, though.

Not sure how this relates to anything in this thread, except perhaps it contradicts it, but in the Philippines--and my experiences show this is true--the girls interested in MARRYING (not just screwing) a foreigner are found in the foreign 'green card' dating sites here (there are several). The girls not online are the hookers. From my personal experience.

"if the internet (and online dating in particular) is so hostile to women, why would any reasonable woman who has above-average chances of meeting someone in traditional ways subject herself to unbearable and avoidable sexual harassment online?"

I would say that a lot of internet hostility toward women comes from frustrated men who have trouble meeting women and entering relationships. A traditional dating site allows unsolicited messages so these men will send messages that they know have a low chance of receiving a positive reply; when they get ignored out turned down as expected, they'll lash out.

Tinder, as I understand it, only allows participants to message after they have both indicated attraction toward each others photos. So men have already have gotten a little ego boost and realize they have a chance, and they'll be on their best behavior.

When women say "no hookups" they don't mean no hookups *at all*, what they mean is no hookups with *you*. This is as true on the Internet as it is off.

"no hookups with *you*."

The Sex Nazi?

Too much modeling here, not enough correct definition of terms. "Hookup" does not mean "sex," it means "quick obligatory anonymous sex." "No hookups" means "no bringing a sixpack to my place, getting off, and leaving."

Tinder is not the only site on which women write "no hookups," but maybe the most common because it doesn't have the same range of "what are you looking for" options that serve to implicitly state the same thing that other sites do. It's not now nor has it ever been Grindr for straight people, because Grindr for straight people is impossible. What it is is addictive *and* a reasonably accurate simulation of how people meet to date in real life. A picture of a cute girl at your favorite team's baseball stadium is kind of like seeing a cute girl in line for beer at a baseball game. You don't read essays about her life story, you find it out organically by texting on the app or some other method. I've been on and witnessed dozens and dozens of Tinder dates -- they sound mostly like a date where two people met and exchanged numbers in a coffee shop and now are learning about each other.

As a first order of approximation, I assume people are telling the truth. I think women who say "no hookups" are telling the truth, even when they hook up using Tinder. Specifically:

These women are saying "I will not hook up directly off of Tinder" - that is to say, they won't go straight from a Tinder contact to hooking up with a guy from Tinder.

What does happen is these women will go out with a guy from Tinder with no expectation of hookup. They'll treat it as a date. If the date goes well, they might hook up. If it goes badly, they leave with no umet expectations. The way they see it, the hooking up results from the date (and the date results from Tinder).

In the first, Tinder is the proximate cause of the hookup. In the second, it is the ultimate cause, and the date is the proximate cause. "No hookups" means "No hookups directly from Tinder". It doesn't mean "No hookups with anyone initially met on Tinder"

This seems like good sense on the part of the women. Spending some time with your potential hookup in a public environment for a couple hours is likely to lead to more enjoyable partners and safer evenings.

I generally take "no hookups" to mean "ask me on a real date, not Netflix and chilling at your place."

It appears I had the wrong impression of what Netflix and Chill was all about. I thought it was some marketing mechanism to get people comfy with being on the couch and watching Netflix. Guess not. Not by a long shot.

Who thinks watching Netflix is a promising beginning to getting laid on a first date? Bar hopping, or somehow keeping it exciting, would seem to be a basic pre-requisite. If you're lucky, so to speak, there's chemistry and you get laid.

Second date? Possibly, but I'd assume you've really, really hit it off, and are moving into what established relationships entail: being a couch potato together.

I can tell you from experience that as a 20 something male who uses Tinder, the "Im not here for hook-ups" line is almost a guarantee "hook-up" if you can get a date with her. Its hilarious and sad, and most guys my age can see through the BS right away.

Now, this isn't to say that there are no "high quality" woman on Tinder, but the social stigma of telling your friends and family that you met your partner on Tinder is usually too humiliating for most and I think it sends the quality women elsewhere (those who are looking to find a mate, anyway).

With all that being said, Tinder is the most efficient way to meet women and is the ultimate dating practice field. Highly recommended.

Unnecessarily convoluted post and discussion. It's signaling, plain and simple.

Whether it's signaling to potential partners or friends who use the app (or more likely both), she's just trying to appear selective and like someone who is 'not a ho'.

Of course she's probably interested in hookups, as long as she finds the partner attractive and it doesn't do too much damage to her social reputation. Nearly everyone, male or female (and _especially_ males and females on tinder), is in this category.

Not much useful analysis I think to be had here.

Tinder is a symptom of a larger male/female imbalance:


You don't understand Tinder. Some key facts:

1. It's not just for young people.
2. The Tinder model requires both the sides to 'swipe' aka indicate interest before a "match" is made and the two parties are allowed to communicate.
3. The result is that Tinder attracts a far larger proportion of upscale and attractive women because they can limit interactions to only those individuals they have an interest in.
4. That being said, it is my contention that a lot of women on the site are merely window shopping or angling for compliments. Which is different than looking for a hookup.

Young women may meet plenty of men in real life, but in the era of the paradox of choice, swiping online encourages assortative mating by giving people immediate access to their natural "social mate value" counterparts - the best they can get. If a woman's real desire is to hook up, why claim otherwise? That's a pretty poor marketing strategy - it's not as if guys on Tinder are bound to fall for "I've never done this with anyone before..."

As a blogger who writes a lot about behavioral economics in dating, I am well acquainted with Tinder as an online dating platform. It's a marketplace mostly bifurcated by sociosexuality - the promiscuous find one another easily, and those seeking relationships filter effectively by unmatching promiscuous messages or requests for quick hookups. In this way, Tinder has produced many serious relationships as well as casual hookups.

It has also spawned new platforms even more attuned to assortative mating, including Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, and most recently Bumble. From my recent post on this newest platform:

Like Tinder, Bumble pulls in details from Facebook, which makes women feel safer. But Bumble adds a new feature, which is even more useful as a filter for assortative mating. Each photo contains:

Education: school attended and graduation date
Place of work

Bumble was founded by the sexually harassed female founder of Tinder - and it puts women in the driver's seat. Only women can initiate texts with the men they find attractive. This gives high status singles a strong advantage and further encourages the kind of assortative mating ----------> wealth gap Tyler has described.

Hello Susan,

Hope all is well for you.

I know you've read MR at least occasionally before, since I remember you referencing Tyler in some of your posts. I do hope you occasionally drop a comment here, if only to inject something besides the...well, you can see from the comments.

Women tend to narcissism and exhibitionism, thus their will to be desired. Men just want to get laid.

With Tinder women get to know they're desired without having to give it up. Men mostly wind up frustrated but at least with a picture to plug into their fap-fantasies.

It's a woman's world.

Narcissism is apparently a predominantly male disorder:

That aside:
My Best Man and I visited Red Robin a few months ago, and some girls over at the other table were obviously eyeing us up. I didn't care, as I am a married man, and my Best Man is close to that as the girls packed an additional 60 pounds between them.

He smiled though.

"It's nice to be wanted," he said.

Narcissism is apparently a predominantly male disorder:

If you're only sampling homosexuals, that's probably true.

This is intelligent analytical talk about dating... Calling it economics seems silly. Is there any specialized skill economists have over say engineers with stats knowledge in this type of subject?

Lower rates of autism and near-autism.

As a 30 year old who uses Tinder to meet women, I feel the posts on this site about it have been pretty out of touch. First of all, it is a legitimate dating app that many use to find attractive people they vibe with; it is not just a hook up app. Many people who don't use the app have a misconception that it is like a straight version of Grindr, but it isn't. My last serious relationship was with a woman who I had met through Tinder, we met up at an Indian restaurant.

The supply of people outside of your social group is online. The implication they one would want a larger supply for hook ups than marriage doesn't make sense to me. Some women do list their preferences or would like to find that out in person. Overall I found the original post to not offer an insightful perspective. Speculative and wrong.

Tinder is much more approachable than other dating apps because you don't need to craft a large profile and because it requires a mutual match before chatting can occur. On an service like OkCupid, women are inundated with messages, so I've been told. It also feels good to match and I suspect there are people who like that validation and nothing more. People write jokes in their bios about how fewer matches are actually messaging them.

If you're 30 and still unmarried, you're not getting the job done.

The mean age of first marriage for males in the U.S. is 29 today. If he's college educated, you can add a couple of years to that, and keep adding for every graduate degree. "Getting the job done" implies that men seek to marry before age 30 - they don't.

The median age at first marriage for men is 28.3, not 29.

Strange as it may seem to you, the whole population of men is not some Borg creature. Different men have different aims, and he is actively looking by his own admission. Having a dozen years worth of train-wreck 'relationships' and resorting to computer technology may strike you as unremarkable. What it really is is people making ad hoc adjustments to the toxic culture around them (in many cases), people suffering bad fortune (in some cases), and people making dumb decisions (ad seriatim, it would appear).

This is also my understanding based on the feedback of single readers. Anthropologist Helen Fisher on Tinder:

"The bottom line is these are not dating sites," Fisher said. "They’re introducing sites."

You can swipe all you want, but eventually you'll have to meet someone in person.

"And when you get into the bar or into the coffeehouse or whatever [to meet a Tinder date], and you sit down, the ancient human brain works the way it always has and you court the way you did a million years ago," Fisher said.

Tinder is the modern day equivalent of locking eyes across a crowded room.

The Grindr folks tried a heterosexual app and it was a total fail. Turns out most women feel unsafe meeting total strangers for sex. That's why Tinder uses the Facebook platform - it gives women the assurance that the man's identity is real, often with a degree or two of separation from herself.

The sexes use Tinder differently. Dual strategies have evolved that reflect the asymmetrical costs of sex - many men swipe right on *all* women, then filter once they get matches. This results in a low rate of post-match messaging. Apps have begun rewarding males who swipe judiciously with more frequent profile exposure and even special awards for being selective (Bumble does this.)

As far as I can tell, those in the 18-30 age bracket have moved entirely away from full-featured apps like OKCupid and rely on one or more swiping apps for introductions.

Susan, I think your comment is spot on. Thanks.

Late to comment, but thought I'dd add more from the practical perspective of someone who's dated a lot of these women.

My personal experience is that women have several dating modes. Casual sex is one, usually reserved for a post-breakup rebound (or simply "youthful indiscretions"). Sometimes there are several rebounds, sometimes 10 - 20. I've had many interactions with women who are specifically looking for sex.

"No hookups" is real. That means a woman has moved passed the point where she was looking for a fling (if indeed she had ever been looking for a fling), and is telling you straight up what she wants. She's over being treated like a piece of deli meat by pushy guys. Now, this can flip and in the heat of the moment, she can change her mind. What's she's saying with "no hookups" is that for her to feel comfortable with a guy, she has to know 100% that he's cool with not hooking up -- that he's there to get to know her. It's a filter: can you respect and listen to her? (What makes a good sexual partner? A man who can respect and pay attention to her.) Now, this may seem like a contradiction, but it's not. A lady can't just post "You must be able to respect me", because a) it goes without saying and b) that has no filtering value.

Tinder as a dating app is sooo 2015.

I got my current job through Tinder because I used the words "conditional probability" in my first message. Turns out she has a PhD in stats. Now we work together at a startup. Assortative job market app hell yes.

I also use Tinder while traveling. I've found running partners, gone to nice shows, gotten dinner, and met other cool people all through women I've met on Tinder abroad. In fact, the last woman I met while traveling advertised "no hookups" both on her profile and in person (she was adamant). She took me to an amazing music venue and later we hooked up and I spent the night at her place. Turns out she also uses Tinder for business.

What people want and what they say they want are rarely the same but more often, people want lots of different things and the dominant preference depends heavily on context. The best model I've heard is one of lots of people sitting around a conference table trying to make a decision. There might be some general policy against hooking up but when the night gets late and the committee chair takes a bathroom break, other voices can become more powerful and boom, now you're going home with someone.

Interestingly enough, however, that was only the second or third time out of many, many dates that I actually hooked up with someone on our first date after connecting online. I think we assume that other people are having lots more casual sex than we are but I'm not sure that's the case. I do, however, think that as a general rule people are having less sex than they want.

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