Dating Apps and the Hook Up Culture

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Ask any single twenty-something with a smartphone whether or not they’ve downloaded a dating app and their answer will probably be “yes”. In fact, Tinder alone has over 50 million unique users who claim to swipe their life away at an average of 90 minutes per day. “Why all the hype?” many outsiders wonder, “What ever happened to a good old-fashioned night at the bar?”

Dating apps make it easy

People are gravitating more and more towards apps in search of sexual encounters for one reason: apps make getting laid unbearably easy. For decades, people have been going to bars in search of casual sex only to leave disappointed (for the most part, anyway). With shattered dreams and an empty wallet they stagger home to watch porn, as finding no-strings-attached sex seems to be out of the question.

Dating apps, however, have changed the game completely. On Tinder, users can find someone to share a meaningless hook-up with in just a matter of minutes. The need for lengthy profile descriptions has been replaced with a simple profile picture, age, and name, and users express their attraction to one another with a quick swipe of their finger. Dating apps such as these bring hundreds of casual encounters to their users’ fingertips every day, offering more opportunity than face to face interaction could provide. One could compare it to the way we order in food. A tap here, a swipe there, and either the delivery guy or a booty call can be at your door within minutes.

But have dating apps made hooking up too easy?

Many argue that dating apps are ruining the idea of romantic relationships altogether. This is a valid point, as the young men who use these apps are starting to see relationships as more of a “short-term” thing due to the fact that they always hundreds more potential partners within reach. On the other hand, women are frustrated by this. It seems that even though they’re presented with the same opportunities, they still favor the idea of a loving, stable relationship.

In fact, some young ladies even claim that they have “given up” on finding love, as the rise of hook up culture and dating apps seems to have made men more unreliable, rude, and in some cases, downright vulgar than ever before. The vulgarity is most present over the screens of their smartphone, as it is common practice for a man to greet a woman by asking if she’d like to “ride his face”. Women often close their dating apps feeling repulsed and awkward, to say the least.

We’ve become hooked on hooking up

Most men in their twenties seem to be all over the idea of dating apps, but many claim that they’d never pursue a real relationship with a woman they found on one of these apps. Strangely, these same men also claim that they lack real intimacy in their lives. So why are they so hooked on hooking up?

It’s probably due to the fact that dating apps can be highly addictive. The idea that you can have someone hot and ready at your door whenever you feel like it, and for free, sure is a captivating one. Dating apps are also great for providing an immediate confidence boost to those with self-esteem issues. Receiving instant confirmation that someone you find attractive thinks the same of you is great for the ego, and especially if this confirmation is just a quick swipe away.

So where does it end?

While dating apps are doing a wonderful job of catering to all the twenty-somethings looking for casual sex, the hype is bound to come to an end at some point. We as a species value intimacy and authenticity in relationships, which dating apps seem to seldom deliver. Once the twenty-somethings go in search of something a little more meaningful than their daily hook up, they’ll probably have to put their phones down to meet people in a more noble way. Rest assured, good old-fashioned online dating platforms like Match and eHarmony will be ready and waiting for when this time comes.

Love and Sex in the Digital Age

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Many people seem to believe that the digital age invented casual sex, but we tend to disagree. In reality, we have been engaging in casual sex since our most prehistoric days. Humans have always gathered in social places such as taverns, bars, clubs, and pubs in hopes of meeting a desirable partner to get it on with. This is because sex is an instinctual animal desire which we all have in common – one which is even necessary for proper health. Building a strong, loving, relationship, however, usually comes second to this.

Regardless of if you’re looking for something a little more prehistoric or a little more refined, online dating can help you find it. The problem is that different platforms cater to different needs, but rest assured this article will help you find the platform that is right for you.

How the digital age made casual sex mainstream

While the digital age isn’t responsible for the invention of casual sex, we will admit that it has made it a little easier to come by. Before technology, not many people were so lucky to be engaging in the art of “hooking up”. Pick up lines didn’t always come out smooth and one couldn’t always tell whether or not they were about to hit on someone who was already in a relationship. We also tend to be a little less forward of our animalistic desires when face to face, but when screen acts as our middle man it seems that there’s nothing to lose.

The introduction of dating websites

In the mid 90’s, the first online dating services began to surface and the trend spread like wildfire. While it was more common for people to sign up with these platforms (e.g. Adult Friend Finder) in search of true love, casual hook ups had also become easier to come by. Denial no longer meant having a drink or slap thrown in your direction. Instead, users could simply shrug and look for someone else to share their animalistic desires with. The average person’s range of possibilities had grown significantly – it seemed as if there were always hundreds of potential partners within reach.

And then came the smartphone

Casual sex encounters really began to pick up with the introduction of smartphones and “friend finder” apps. These apps left personality quizzes and lengthy profile descriptions out of the equation to focus on the only things that really matter in a sex-based relationship – gender, age, and location. Most importantly, the process was simple, quick, and convenient, reflecting the exact qualities of a sex-based relationship. With a smartphone in hand, people could find a booty call similar to the way that they order a pizza. The people using these fast and convenient dating apps were almost always interested in the same thing and could even see who was “open for business” at that very moment.

And since smartphones made the online dating experience portable people could find a booty call no matter where they were or what they were doing.  The obstacle of carrying around bulky equipment such as a laptop or desktop computer no longer existed. Needless to say, the trend of dating apps spread even faster than online dating platforms.

But what method is best for you?

The answer is clear. Since the introduction of smartphone “friend finder” apps, those just looking for casual sex have deserted online dating platforms. Now, online dating platforms seem to be filled exclusively with people looking for a serious relationship while dating apps are loaded with people looking for their “quick fix”. Choose the medium with people looking for the same thing you are and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Zoosk vs. Tinder – The differences

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With so many dating platforms on the market today the general population is having more and more trouble picking out one which is right for them. This is especially true for Zoosk and Tinder, the dating sites which trample the rest with an overwhelming 50 million users each. Since they’re so similar, we decided it was about time to make a direct comparison between the two. There is also a latest Zoosk Review on Au.Dating-Navigator.com which we took into consideration.

Both platforms have a lot in common based on the fact that they’re both very simplistic and aim to provide users with a “casual dating” experience. Users are only required to provide the basics of age, name, general location, and a couple pictures – all of which can conveniently be pulled from already existing social media profiles. This simplicity and ease of use is actually what the apps owe most of their success to.

But while the basics are quite similar, the functionality is not. Tinder, for example, matches their users completely randomly, while Zoosk matches users a little more strategically​.

On Tinder, users are shown profiles and have the option to either swipe left or right depending on whether a profile catches their interest. The profiles presented to users are completely random, filtered only by the guidelines of age, sexual orientation, and proximity. That being said, Tinder users often come in contact with people they really have nothing in common with, resulting in some pretty meaningless connections.

Zoosk, on the other hand, shows users other profiles based on their intuitive “behavioral matchmaking” system. This behavioral matchmaking system records a user’s actions on the site to get a better feel for their likes and dislikes in potential partners. The more users use the app, the more the app learns about the users, resulting in some quality matches. Not only does the behavioral matchmaking system create matches which are much better suited for each other, but it also does away with the need for long, annoying personality questionnaires which users say they are very happy about.

Since Tinder doesn’t really have much to it in the way of intuitive technology, the app is also considerably cheaper. In fact, Tinder users don’t have to pay any sort of fee to use all the features necessary to meet someone. Meanwhile, Zoosk requires that members pay for even the basics, including the ability to view full profiles and communicate with other members.

With functions in mind, making a final decision between the platforms comes down to statistics. 80% of Tinder users seek meaningful, long-term relationships, yet more stories surface about awkward, meaningless hook-ups than anything else. On the other hand, 86% of Zoosk users seek meaningful, long-term relationships, and many success stories surface to prove that the platform is capable of just that.

At the end of the day, it seems you’ll have to dig out some cash if a serious relationship is what you seek. But if meaningless booty calls fit the bill, Tinder will do a fine job of bringing you just that.

Dating Habits in North America and Australia

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Dating culture varies depending on where you are in the world. While customs and traditions usually change along with language, there are two English speaking areas which share little to no dating similarities. These areas are that of North America and Australia. So, if you’re looking to go down under on someone from Down Under, here are the differences you need to be aware of.

First off, you’re going to have to ditch the current method you use to ask someone on a date. While the common phrases in America are “Would you like to go out with me” or “Could I take you out for dinner”, these phrases will only turn Australians off.

And it’s not because Australians are uptight or prudent, but rather because they prefer the setting of group dates. In fact, the majority of Australians don’t experience a formal one-on-one date until they’re 20 years old. Australians find that the setting of a group date creates a more fun and carefree atmosphere, while one-on-one dates only create an intimidating and stressful atmosphere. We’re going to say that the Aussies are giving themselves the upper-hand here, as a recent survey showed that most people decide whether or not they’d like to see each other for a second date within 12 minutes on a first date. Talk about nerve-wracking!

Another big difference between dating in Australia and North America lies in the gender roles. In Australia, women are just as willing as men are to initiate a first date once the time is right. Australian women hold no shame in making dinner reservations or planning fun-filled day for their man of interest, and especially in the beginning of a relationship. Meanwhile, many women in America shy away from doing these things as they view them as desperate or degrading.

And while 63% of American women expect men to pay the bill on the first couple dates, Australian women see things differently. Not only is it customary in Australia for the man and the women to split the bill on the first couple dates, but it’s much appreciated (and especially in romantic relationships).

The basics do remain the same for both sides once the awkward dating stages have passed, however. North Americans and Australians both express their love for one another in the same way, and are even beginning to find each other in the same way. Nearly 40% of the American population use online dating services, while 52% of the Australian population has at least tried them. That being said, if it’s an Australian accent and tanned skin that fits your fancy, a change in your preferred proximity may be all that’s required to find your “happily ever after”.