Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age (2018) - full transcript

Author Nancy Jo Sales investigates the online dating industry's impact on gender issues, examining how it has changed the way people date, mate and think about the apps on their phones, and...

( chatter )

( rock music playing )

♪ You walk by and already
I'm on needles and pins ♪

♪ But I know it's gonna end
before it even begins ♪

( indistinct chatter )

I use Snapchat to talk to
the boys I'm not supposed to,

because the messages disappear,
if I'm being completely honest.

At least that way nobody knows
if I'm talking to them

except for me and him.

Female Interviewer:
What do you mean the boys
you're not supposed to talk to?

Well, I am in
a committed relationship
with a man I love,

and I really, really,
really love him,

but there's times
where I've seen him

Snapping girls
he's not supposed to,

or being on Tinder
on the third page
of his phone,

so I'm like, "You know..."

He tells me to move past it,
we'll move past it,

but I'm like,
"I'm going to do
the same thing."

I've seen some
of the conversations
people have on Tinder,

and it's like,
I'm a bold and brash man,
but I'm not that bold.

It works for some people
some of the time, they're like,
"Hey, wanna suck my dick?"

and they're like,
"Yeah, of course. Come over."

Dick pics on Instagram,

got a lot of private DMs

where people show me
their penis

and they're like,
"I would love to ride you."

I'm like...

( chatter )

It's pretty fast, you know,

it's like people are trying
to just hook up.

- Man: How long?
- I don't know.

An hour, in some cases.

An exchange of,
like, six messages.

( man mock screams )

I think women are
just as justified--

and should do this
if they so choose--

- to use it in the same way.
- Woman: That's true,

and I agree with you completely,

but the playing field
has not been even,

and it has really
never been even.

What does it mean to be even?

No one's forcing anyone to do

what they don't want to,
ya know?

It's social coercion.

( indistinct yelling )

( rock music playing )

♪ So it's agreed
to scratch me till I bleed ♪

♪ That's what I need ♪

♪ Just take a minute ♪

♪ And go ahead, baby,
and break the skin ♪

♪ At the point where
the conversation always fails ♪

♪ I want you to lay me down
on your bed of nails ♪

Thanks for watching our
Internet edition of Nightline.

There is a major breakthrough
headed to American consumers.

It's the iPhone--

an iPod, a cell phone,
and portable Internet,

all in a little
lightweight package.

The announcement
has set off a major stir,

and it could change
the way you live.

I am a child of the Internet.

I started going online at,
you know, age ten.

My mom tells me that I started
playing on the computer
when I was three,

and I've basically
been on it ever since.

I got my first phone
when I was in eighth grade,

and that completely influenced
the way I interacted with girls.

People get phones
in middle school,

so nudes start
when you get a cell phone.

Well, I used to do,
like, a video call,

on Skype or AIM,

where it was just like
both of us masturbating.

I was 14 or 15
whenever Grindr came out,

and I remember getting it
and then lying about my age.

I think I got a Tinder, like,
my senior year in high school.

I think I started one of those
in high school,

I was probably, like, 16.

I do remember when you used to
call people on the phone,

like if you had
a crush on someone,

I think it was seventh grade,
eighth grade.

Just shoot the shit
over the phone.

And then you'd like hang up

and you kind of feel
that warm kind of fuzzy feeling.

That probably
doesn't happen anymore.

I think if you called someone
these days,

you'd probably get labeled
a psychopath.

( chatter )

So we've really seen

two major transitions

since the evolution
of social monogamy,

some 4 to 4.4 million years ago.

The first major transition
was the rise

of the Agricultural Revolution,
10 to 15,000 years ago.

And the second major transition,
I think,

has been the rise
of the Internet.

And with the rise
of the Internet,

we are in evolutionarily
unprecedented waters.

We are experiencing a time

that people can engage
with each other,

and particularly around
issues of romance and sex,

in ways that are totally novel.

Now, that's not to say that
we're not going to activate

ancient biological
parts of our behavior

as we use the Internet

and as we use technology
to engage,

but what it does suggest
is that as a platform

it is totally novel,
it is totally unprecedented.

If a girl is, like,
very distinctly attractive,

then that's a swipe right.

If there are three girls

and some of them
are moderately attractive,

then you go through
and see who's who.

Usually what'll happen is,

I'll go through,
and if I see a girl

that I think
is really attractive,

swipe right,

and if we match,
then I go through

and then I look
at their profile,

because you can't really send
a chat-up line

without anything to go off of.

Let me show you,
'cause I don't know

what this girl
really looks like.

She's got this
kind of ambiguous profile.

- Female Interviewer: She's 18?
- Is she?

Well, I'm 22.

They all blend together
at some point.

- Hey.
- Hi!

- How are you?
- Good, how are you?

- Good. Glad you made it.
- Sorry, traffic was a bitch.

Yeah, it's a bad time.
Do you want coffee?


Where do you work?

I work at an Italian restaurant.

- Nice.
- I'm a waitress. Yeah.

I had three dogs growing up,

and a bunch of cats
and chickens
and cows and goats.

I lived on a farm.

Totally, yeah.
That makes sense.

- Yeah, yeah.
- Oh, man, I, um--

So whenever I'm in a new class
and it's like,
"What's your fun fact?"

My fun fact is always that
I'm related to Pocahontas--

- What?!
- Yeah.

But that's an aside.

The other one is that
I helped birth a goat
on a farm once,

and they named the goat
after me.

That's very cool.

Tell me about your puppy.

- Her name is Maya.
- Nice.

Named after Maya Angelou.

That's what I was gonna guess.


Do you play any instruments
or do any art, or...

No, I think that--
this is gonna sound
super-pretentious and lame--

but I think I'm,
like, an artist,

I just don't make
a lot of art.

So I have to go meet my friends,
but I really want
to do this again.

- Yeah, for sure.
- Excellent.

Hey, I'll text you.
Thanks for meeting me.

- Yeah, oh, thank you.
- I had a good time.

- I'll talk to you soon.
- Yeah, talk to you soon.


Hey, dude, what are you doing?

If you just had dates
where you go and you, like,

the conversation's good,

but you know
it's not gonna go anywhere,

it was kinda like that.

Like a friendly date.

Like, you know that, like,

you're looking for an "in"
to progress the conversation

into something more intimate
or, like, sexual or something,

and it just never
really happened.

I think you take Tinder
a lot differently

than other people,

based on
the first interaction

being at a coffee house,

instead of your house

or, "Hey, meet me
at this alley."

- Open the door for her.
- Yeah, exactly.

Yeah, that is indicative
of a different intention,
definitely. Definitely.

'Cause, Eli, I think
most of your Tinder dates

- take place in the--
- Get physical real quick.

- in the home.
- Yeah.

We evolved in the context
of small groups

where, say, ranging
from 50 to 150 individuals.

In small group living,

with limited
geographical mobility,

you would have only encountered

perhaps a few dozen
potential mates

in your entire lifetime.

So what's weird
is that we take

this small-group
mating psychology,

where the number of potential
mates is very limited,

and transplant it
to the modern world

where we have
thousands and thousands
of potential mates

that we can keep
swiping through,

and it triggers this
short-term mating psychology

in a way that never would have
been triggered ancestrally.

I have a funny perspective
on it,

because we used to be roommates.

And really, the funny part was,
it was just out of the blue,

there was never
any discussion of it,

but it would just be

a completely normal
Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m.,

and there'd be
a knock at the door
and I'd answer the door,

and it would be a girl
I'd never seen before.

And Eli would be like,
"Oh, this is my friend.
Here we go."

So it was very casual,
and I always--

Yeah, I remember that.
It was all of September.

Every single day,
I'd be on Tinder,

maybe like 10, 20 swipes a day.

It's all the numbers game.

So like once a week,

pretty much on a Tuesday night,

'cause I remember
my Wednesday class,

always being so happy
in that class.

( all laughing )

I have always wanted to,
you know,

have that super-cute
romantic thing

where, like,
I'm at a bookstore,

and this really cute stranger
bumps into me

and I'm like,
"Oh, my God, I'm so sorry."

And we have this really sweet,
simple exchange,

and then we part ways,
then we come back
together later.

And, um, I feel like
that doesn't really...

it doesn't really
happen anymore.

I think what's
so refreshing about it

is just that someone
would put themselves out there.

In person, I think
there's a vulnerability

that people use social media
to hide behind now

and not have to do that
in-person interaction
where they can be rejected.

And he did that, which...
I think is so much
more attractive.

It's also oddly flattering
then, as opposed to--

'cause I had a Tinder
for two days,

and I got a lot of hits
in that time,

but it was people
just being like,

"Hey, what's up,
you wanna hang out tonight?"

And I'm like,
"Uh, I don't know who you are."

You can't completely know
a person

when all you know
of them is behind a screen.

- Right.
- As much as you want to think

that you know about them,
you don't know their habits,

you don't know all those tiny
little things, the nuances.

And the thing about that is,
you get to choose
what you share.

I'm very aware
of the sort of pressure

and the need to, like,

be manicured and beautiful

and have, like,
a uniform Instagram feed

that people will want to follow
and pay attention to.

I'm constantly haunted
by FOMO.

I can easily fall
into rabbit holes

where I'll spend hours

just scrolling through blogs

that have these pictures of
beautiful, beautiful women

that I'm never gonna be,

and these houses
and these clothes

and these vacations
that I'm never gonna have.

I don't have
the greatest self-esteem,

which is something I've been
trying to work on,

which is another reason why

I've been trying
to sort of step back

from spending
so much time online.

OK, swipe right.

OK. Sexually provocative,

showing breasts, cleavage...

...doing the duck lip shot.

Because you see the picture,

it tends to swamp
all the other information

in the past you did find out--

you knew about
the person's education,

you spent some time
with the person,

so you found out
about his personality,

is he emotionally stable,

is this person dependable,

how intelligent are they,

how worldly are they?

And now, with the dating apps,

physical appearance

all that other information

and takes on
a disproportionately large role,

I think, in mating.

When we look at dating apps

and we see the pictures
that people are posting,

the ways they're
presenting themselves,

what's very interesting is that

the men tend to present

in very stereotypically
male ways--

as providers, as fishing,
as hunting,

as they're up on a mountain,

or they're
puffing their chests,

they look like they're cut,

they have these perfect bodies.

Whereas women
tend to present themselves

in more sexual ways.

And this goes back
to the basics.

You know, the old
Barbie and Ken culture.

One of the worst accounts

are the guys looking
for the "swolemates."

Woman: Oh!

I hate the "swolemate"
fucking profile.

- Oh, my God!
- Kim: Oh, my God, I love that!

I just want to know,
guys are out fishing,

and they're like, "I just caught
this big-ass trout.

Bro, will you take
a photo of me with this fish?"

"I really need it
for my Tinder profile.

Can you help me out, bro?"

Breasts, friendliness, breasts,

breasts and friendliness,
you get the pucker...

Yeah, because sex sells.
Sex always sells.

Go back to anything ever,
and sex always fuckin' sells.

And I hate it. I hate it.
I hate it.

And I also hate the fact that
we live in this world now

where everything
and so much of what you are

is so dependent on
how you look.

And, like, I hate--

I'm getting really emotional
about this.

It's, like, I hate...
( sniffles )


What's up, guys. Today
I'm gonna be rating people
on their hotness.

We'll call it "How Hot?" Ha ha!

Seven. Fuckin' ten.

Yeah, eight.
Like, a five.

- Eight point five.
- Men: Whoa!

That's like
a bootleg Ariana Grande.

( men laughing )

For Corey, we got nine,

for Madison Beer,
we got six point five.

Man 1:
Bro, what's heavier--
her or the couch?

Man 2:
Oh, my God.

Fuckin' ten. Ten!

That's one hot-looking girl.

So, if there's an opportunity
to see women as body parts,

or sexual objects,
instead of as whole
human beings,

that opportunity
will be taken.

And I would say that
the whole setup,

the whole structure,
the whole architecture
of dating apps

that depend on
split-second decisions

of "Are you hot or not?"

is one of the ways that
that is being exploited.

What was Facemash,
and it is still up and running?

Mark Zuckerberg:
No, Congressman.

Facemash was
a prank website

that I launched in college,
in my dorm room...

Silicon Valley,
you've gotta understand

that a lot of the companies
are started by boys--

they're not men, they're boys.

And one of the reasons
for that is because

they all go to
the same schools together,

Stanford or Harvard
or whatever it is, right?

And they all live
in the boys' dorms,

and they sit around
on their computers,
nerdin' out,

and they say,
"Wouldn't it be cool

if you had this thing
where you could do this thing?"

And then something inevitably
ends up becoming a company,

and it's all the boys,
the bros,

that go and build these apps
together, these sites together.

And that's predominantly
why it is the way it is.

( chatter )

We were looking
for different areas

that had disruption available.

Places that hadn't jumped into
the mobile market so well.

We were very focused
on mobile-first, mobile-only,

and we saw the dating market
as one of those things.

The dating industry
was extremely shunned upon

in the young, hip,
millennial college market.

If you looked at any of those
other dating services,

you would only really use them
if you were...

I don't want to say "desperate,"
but almost desperate, right?

The idea of
a one-click sign-on,

which was a natural outgrowth
of mobile phones

and social networks,

was the idea
that you can take contacts

that already exists for a user,

so, their Facebook profile
already exists,

they can just plug that in,

their location
is already being fed out

by the GPS
on their mobile phone,

their friend networks are
already mapped out by Facebook,

and so it was a lot easier
to just click a button,

we know everything we need
to know about you already,

and we can start introducing you
to the right people instantly.

And it became so easy,

it was like,
"Why wouldn't you do it?"

I wrote the original

the iPhone application,

and I also came up
with the swipe.

The swipe mechanic
really was

the mechanic that worked
for a mobile generation

who had short attention spans,

was always on
their 3-1/2 inch screens,

and, yeah, I think it worked.

We have 1.5 billion swipes
a day.

A long time ago,
in the early days,

I think I had figured out

if the average swipe
or something was,

I don't know,
like an inch or something,

I can't remember how many times

you could wrap around the earth
with the number of swipes.

And that was a long time ago,

so we might be on our way
to Mars now or something,

I'm not sure.

Wolfe Herd:
I'll never forget
the very first time

I really took Tinder
to a university.

I landed on the SMU campus,

I went into
the sorority houses,

and I basically got up
on those tables,

stood up on a chair,

screamed over hundreds of girls
eating dinner,

and pretty much imposed Tinder
onto every single phone.

And then I ran as fast
as I could with my, you know,

fun, enthusiastic girlfriends,
two or three of them,

and we went into
the frat houses.

And we had already
put the women on the app, right?

So we went into
the frat houses,

and we said, "Guys!
Attention! Listen up!"

It was really hard
to get that attention

during feeding time, right,
at the frat house,

because this is
the chapter meeting,

so it's dinnertime,

and we basically said,
you know, "Every...

every Kappa, every Pi Phi,
every Theta,

they're on this app

and they're waiting for you
to match with them.

Download it! Download it!
Download it!"

Plainfield is
exactly how it sounds,

just, like,
a lot of plain fields.

It was very hard
growing up here

as, like, a black girl,

because it's such
a predominantly white town,

and it's such a small town.

Like, me and my sister
were probably

two of the only ones

when we first started
going to public school

in Plainfield.

I was boy crazy in high school,

but none of 'em, like--
they were all intimidated by me.

I really thought I would never
actually date, ever.

I probably used
every dating app ever made,

except for, like, Grindr,

and that's
because I'm straight.

I remember when I was like 21,

I was bored one summer
and I wanted to try OkCupid,

'cause I lived at home,
didn't have a car,

I was like, "The hell else
am I supposed to do?"

Might as well just, like,
work a dating app,
it'll be fun."

What was your name again?

I'm not telling you my name.

It's the best name!
You have to say it.

OK, fine.
I don't care.

She told me this,
like, forever ago.

My name was Ms. Berry on there.

Yeah, 'cause it was like
right when I cut my hair,

and I was feeling my self.

I had somebody send me
a 14-page message

of just vulgarity,

I can't even say
what was said on it.

Mostly, I don't remember,

but something about
farting down somebody's throat.

On dating sites, it gets
overly sexualized sometimes,

just because people
will automatically just
want to have sex with you.

All the guys on there,
they're not looking for shit
but hookups.

And quick that-night hookups.

Like if they want
to schedule a date,

it's probably that night,

and they're probably gonna try
to have sex with you that night.

Here's how you get treated
as a black woman
when you're on a dating site.

Either they don't want to fuck
with you because you're black,

I don't know why that
freaks so many people out,

or, "You're so exotic
'cause you're black.

I never fucked a black girl

Like they never seen
a black woman before.

They say "no blacks, no fats,"

no, like-- just like that.

It's exactly like that.

If you're chubby, they be like,
"No fat women, no blacks,

no Latinos, only whites.

Only 18 to 25."

I feel like I've--
I can't be myself

or I don't want to, like,

let them into
who I really am,

because I don't trust them.

And I just don't want
to get, like,

my emotions played with
and crushed,

so it's better
to keep it out of it,

because they're not worth it.

Unless they are.

I think that guys
are way more harsh

than they've ever been before.

I think they think
they deserve perfect tens,

and they are not even
a ten themselves.

That's what I'm sayin'.

And that's what's
really messed up.

Women are like that, too.

Not nearly as much.

I feel like
they're more critical

and they give you
unrealistic expectations,

because you got
the bombshell bra on,

face full of makeup,

the weave or the wigs
or some shit, yeah,

and when all that comes off,

then once they see
the natural you,

then they're not even
attracted to you anymore.

I feel for guys, like,

the social media,

the dating sites
like Tinder and OkCupid,

it's like a catalogue for them,

because you have
all these girls,

hundreds of millions of girls,

you have different pictures
to choose from,

they can just go through

( electric guitar playing )

So I went on Tinder
about a year ago.

And it became, like,
an easy thing,

I'm just like,
I'll lay in bed,
I'll wake up,

psht, psht, psht..

It's like a little
mini-adrenaline rush

every time you do it.

Common symptom with
a lot of the girls

I went on dates with was,
I was the rebound guy.

So if I went on a date,
it would come out

to a couple of weeks later
where they'd either ghost me

or they would just be like,

"Oh, well, this happened,

and I'm in love with that guy,

and I just broke up
with my boyfriend."

And once that happened,
then they would go away.

( electric guitar playing )

So after that
I kinda wised up

to the fact that
this might be, like, a thing.

So in the course
of my Tinder messaging,

I might have 20 different
text messages going on,

and each one of those
you kind of like keep following.

And that's the thing
that comes into multi-messaging

because some women
could do it to you,

or you do it to some women.

I think I deleted it.

And then I redownloaded it,

because I was feeling lonely.

And, uh, and that's when
it kinda,

like that phrase
"When it rains, it pours"?

It got to the point where

I might have this one
over here,

and then I'd go on a date
with that girl,

and develop another
with that girl,

and then all of a sudden
it became, like,

"This girl's Monday,
that gir-- Wait. No.

I'll switch that around,"

and figuring out my schedule
for all these different women.

There was one bar in particular
that I would bring
some of these women,

I knew the bartender,

and he'd be, like, "Hey,
is this a date tonight?"

It was like, "Yeah."
He's like, "Same girl?"

I'm like, "Not exactly."

I would find myself walking,
bumping into people,

I'm just like, "Right, right,
left, right."

It's like
a little video game.

Gamification is turning
an experience

that is not a game
into a game,

so giving it all the elements
of a game,

things like points that say,
"You have done this well."

Like when you're playing
a slot machine,

the machine will tell you
when you've won

with ringing bells
and flashing lights,

and a lot of the apps
we use now have

- ( app beeping )
- elements of that built in.

Even when they aren't
really about games.

We have some of these
almost game-like elements

where you almost feel like
you're being rewarded,

it kind of works
like a slot machine.

Or you're-- there's one...

You're excited to see
who the next person is,

or, hopefully,
you're even excited to see

"Did I get the match?"

and get that
"It's a match" screen.

That's a nice little rush.

You get a match on Tinder
and your screen just pops.

It's this huge
visual stimulation.


And that's gotta be

Like, it feels good.

- ( app beeping )
- Kyle: Ooh.

Hey now.

I had several classes
in college

where we learned about this,

from my business management
courses to psych courses,

I think, if I remember,
it's called the Variable Ratio--

or Intermittent Reward Schedule
or something like that,

where it is-- it's the...

having unpredictable,
yet frequent, rewards

is the best way
to motivate somebody
to keep moving forward.

There's a very famous experiment
run in the early 1970s

with some white pigeons,

and the pigeons
learned to peck a little light,

and when they pecked,
they got food.

And so these pigeons
live in a box

and they just keep
pecking the light
and they get food.

But the experimenter
had a couple of different ways
of rewarding them.

So some of them,
every ten pecks,

they got a certain number
of food pellets,

and then they ate,

and others,
every ten pecks,

sometimes they got food,
and sometimes they didn't.

It turns out that the pigeons
that gambled,

that effectively pecked
but may not get a reward,

they were the ones
who were much more engaged.

Even to the point where
they weren't hungry anymore,

they'd peck because it was
just fun to play the game.

So in the same sense,

these apps that give you
this kind of variable feedback

rather than consistent
predictable feedback,

they have this built-in
mechanism for being addictive

in the same way that
a gambling device is addictive.

There is a good example
of how you can move

from the pigeon
to the human case,

because one of the schedules

which is very effective
with rats or pigeons

is what we call
the Variable Ratio Schedule,

and that is at the heart
of all gambling devices

and has the same effect.

A pigeon can become
a pathological gambler

just as a person can.

"It's a match."

It's like hitting the jackpot.

Then you can do more,

then you unlock the ability
to message them.

- Woman 2: It's true.
- And it feels good.

Or you can go back
and test your luck again.

- Woman: Yeah, it's true!
- Man, it's so weird,

'cause, yeah,
it really is a game.

As someone
who is female-bodied--

I actually don't identify
as a woman or a girl,

I identify as non-binary,

so I am trans in that way,

that although my body
is assigned female,

I identify more outside of that.

I think there's a lot of
pressure when you're using it,

knowing that, like,
I don't know,

knowing that people on there,

they're like
"Men seeking women,"

and then you're part
of a stack of, like, women,

and, that people, like, the guys
that you might want to date

date stereotypically feminine,
gender role-conforming people,

and there's a lot of pressure.

Oh, my God,
when people's profiles,

when they're, like,
like, "I don't-- like,

I don't fuck
with crazy bitches"
or something...

Yeah. "If you're not
trying to fuck, swipe left."

And I'm, like,
not trying to fuck. Swipe left.

"We all know
why we're here."

It's like,
"But you don't know me!"

Yeah, like, trying to be,
like, the cool, like,

"Yeah, I'm kinda like,
I'm, like, bad."

Hookup sex is bad,

and for me personally, like,

there has to be
more intimacy to sex.

It can't-- You know,
there has to be this connection,

there has to be this thing
that I think is really cool
about the other person,

and you don't get that

when you talked on Tinder
for a day.

They're like,
"Oh, why don't you come over?"

Like, "We'll smoke, like,

we can sit on my bed and,
like, listen to records."

I'm like, "OK, that's bullshit,
but, like, whatever--

like, OK, I know what this is."

And you show up
and it's uncomfortable.

You kind of go in
with this understanding,

and I think a lot of people
go into these situations

kind of feeling obligated to.

I know that's something
that I feel a lot, where,

you're going over,
and it doesn't really matter

if you're in the mood
that day or not,

because you're going over
to, like, have sex.

And you never have enough time
to establish some chemistry,

you just, like,
start making out,

and then, like,

you have this sex where they--

and it's always,
you know, like--

it's typically
first encounters,

unless you see this person

as a hookup regularly

but, like, they don't know
what you like,

you don't know what they like,

they're doing something
and you're like,

"That's kinda weird,"

and I'm sure
I do the same thing for them.

And, um... yeah.


( camera clicks )

The dating apps,

how they play into
the sexual compulsive behavior

and the sex addiction,

is because of the accessibility

of so many partners
at any given moment.

I think compulsive behavior
is really about the high,

not about a pleasure--

it's two different things,
isn't it?

With pleasure, it really--

you kind of need to connect
with yourself,

and be connected
and present with yourself.

And it really involves
real connection on some level

with yourself and another.

I've always been clear
with what I wanted

on those dating apps,

and I've gotten
what I've wanted,

and again, I feel like that's
made me a stronger person,

being able to say,
"This is what I want,
this is what I don't."

For the most part,

people have extremely respected
what I've told them.

And maybe that's because
a lot of the time I was saying

"I want casual sex,"

and guys are like, "Yeah!
I'm OK with that!"

But I don't know,
if, ya know,

if you're not clear
with what you want,

you're not gonna
get what you want,

I think.

It's not good to generalize,

but we do see, in the data,

differences in the way that men
and women use these services,

in the way of
how selective they are,

in the way that
they reflect their intentions

for what they're looking for.

It's just true that men
and women, taken as groups,

think about these things

That doesn't mean all men
are looking for a hookup,

it doesn't mean all women
are looking for a relationship.

But on the whole,
a majority of women

are looking
pretty much exclusively

for a relationship
on these services,

and a majority of the men

are primarily
looking to hook up.

And you can say that
that isn't so different

than society at large,

but I do think the way that
these services are designed

sort of tips the scale
in culture towards hookups,

and sort of gives men,

or gives those
looking for hookups

the upper hand, essentially,
in this new world.

And at 4:00 a.m.
I got a text message

that went...

something like:

"Hey, you. Wake up. Time to come
sit on my face now."

♪ Are you lookin' for me? ♪

♪ Are you lookin'
for someone? ♪

♪ Where can you be? ♪

Hi, I'm Maurice.

I'm an executive by day
and a wild man by night.

I'm looking for the goddess.

Are you the goddess?

Who is the goddess?

The goddess is the woman,
is a woman,

is any woman...

What I'm not looking for is

some big, overgrown monster

that's always
thinkin' about food.

A figure that is sexy,
slim, tight,

excellent legs...

If you think of courtship
as something

that has always existed,

what's really new about dating

is that it takes courtship
away from private spaces,

sort of away from the home,
away from family,

and explicitly puts it
in market spaces.

So it puts it in places
where people spend money
and consume,

and I would argue that,
in a way,

maybe is
the most distinctive change.

And that means
that from 1900 onward,

or from the invention
of dating onward,

dating is shaped
by market dynamics.

To me, the real turning point
or watershed

is when you start having
mobile dating apps,

that everyone
has it on their phones.

The effect of
mobile dating apps

is to feel like
we can be dating
all the time

and that you should always
be putting yourself out there,

always kind of promoting
your "product."

And I think that also takes away
from the ability to just
relax and enjoy.

'Cause it's hard work,
that self-presentation stuff,

which we all have to do
when we're using dating apps
and online dating.

It's all self-presentation,
it's all self-work,

it's all self-consciousness,
it's all performing.

And when you go on
lots of dates,

you have to do that again
and again and again and again.

I usually delete it after
I've been on a few bad dates,

or I'm just like sick
of constantly getting messages
from people.

I'm like, "I'm over
weeding through all of
this bullshit that I get,

those hundreds
of messages a day."

I'm like, "This is exhausting,
this is taking a lot of effort,

it's taking a lot of time.

This is actually
like work right now."

Just in economic terms,

if you have
a surplus of options,

then the value goes down.

I can see a Tinder profile
that I'm excited about.

If I met that person
in real life,

I would have
this sense of urgency.

But I think on Tinder,
if I see that profile,

well, then I just swipe
one way or another--

I'm just swiping--

and then there's
somebody else immediately.

You know,
it is this application

of the logic
of consumer capitalism
to private life,

in this sort of way
that romantic and sexual desire

are used almost as a lure

to get you to keep consuming.

Maybe we don't think of it
as part of the economy

because a lot of apps are free,

but what you're doing
when you swipe and swipe,

you know, swipe up
and super-like
or whatever it is,

is you are providing
valuable data

to IAC, in that case,

or to whatever corporation
owns the app in question.

The quicker that you can go
from A to B,

the more people are gonna use
that service.

And that's how they make money,

so if they can help you
get laid quicker

by you paying for some feature
that allows you to engage

with someone more or faster,
with a better emoji, whatever,

that's how
they're gonna make money.

And so the thing
that's so frustrating

is when you hear
these dating apps talk about,

"Well, all these people
have gotten married on our app."

It's like, "No! That's not
why you're doing this!"

I get inundated every day

with people thanking us for,
you know,

getting married on Tinder,
or meeting their best friend

or whatnot,
and that's a beautiful thing.

Do you have data
on how many people

who've met on Tinder
have gotten married

or been in
committed relationships?

We do not have
that information available.

But I can tell you that
I am inundated with emails
on a daily basis,

as are multiple members
of the customer service team,

the PR team,
from people who said,

"I met my best friend
on Tinder,"

"I met somebody who I am dating
and now living with,"

"I met a man who
I am going to marry,"

"I met this guy two years ago,
we married a year ago,

and we're having a baby."

It's incredible,

the number of people
who have met via Tinder.

Some people do use it
to have more casual

I mean, it is used
that way as well.

People meet people at church,

or meet people at their schools,

and they have casual
relationships with them as well.

You can meet somebody
in any context

and have a casual relationship
with them.

That's why they can't
get a relationship,

we findin' out,
we helpin' y'all.

But you know what?
This old man, he told me,

he said, "The fruit
on the top of the tree

is the best, freshest fruit."

He said, "You always want
to have to reach

to get what you want."

He said,
"The fruit at your foot,

on the ground,
you don't want that.

The fruit that's
throwin' itself at you,

leave it alone."

Am I tellin' the truth?


I think people, older people,

like their fifties and forties,

they don't really get
what it means to date now.

They kinda don't understand,

of course we want to get married
and have kids and stuff,

but you can't
get yourself pregnant
and marry yourself.

I don't know what
y'all problem is,

'cause I never
had a problem datin'.

- We didn't have social media.
- Right.

And we had to go out.

We had to meet.
We went to games,

parties and...

you know,
guys wanted to date you.

They wasn't like, "Oh, I wanna
date you, you, you and you."

I think the social media
is an issue,

because when I was comin' up,

you had to actually get out
to socialize, in person,

where here you can
go on Facebook

and the Snapchat
or whatever that is, Twitter.

And so I see
a lot of their interactions

is through devices,

as opposed to
social interacting.

Go to museums.
Go to classy places.

I met my guy at the club,

Everybody here
met their boyfriend
at a bar or a club.

He's not my boyfriend.
But we've been dating
for three years.

So you're not in
a committed relationship?

We're in a "situationship,"

What does that mean?

A situationship
is pretty much

when, like, people are together,

and they-- I don't want
to say committed,

they're sleeping with each other
only, I guess you could say.

They're sleeping with each other
and acting like they're dating
each other,

but they're not

they're not dating...

and that's a situationship.

To me, that's friends
with benefits.

I didn't ask him
to make me his girlfriend.

What if I didn't want
him to be my boyfriend?

But wouldn't that be
a commitment

if you guys
are exclusive?

We're still, like--
I feel like as a young woman

I'm still trying
to get my money,

I want to go back
to grad school...

You don't want
to be tied down?

It's not about being tied down.
It's about still having options.

How can you be exclusive
but not exclusive?

I didn't say
we were exclusive.

But you said
you're not committed,

but you're not sleeping
with someone else.

Yeah, we're monogamous.

But don't that mean

Guys say that a lot.
They want girls with benefits,

or situationships, whatever,

and they don't want
committed relationships.

A lot of girls want
committed rela--

I want a boyfriend,
I don't want a fuck buddy.

Yeah, me either.

I don't want
a situ-relationship either,
or whatever the hell it is.

I don't want that either.

If I'm gonna be seeing a man,

and especially if I'm gonna
be having sex with him,

I at least want to be
the title of a girlfriend.

We're just gonna be
single forever.

( laughter, chatter )

So, dating is changing
because of the dating app,

but dating is also changing
because of the Internet.

I have a friend
that once said to me,

"The entire Internet
is a dating app."

Because there are
things that you do

if you're interested
in someone,

if you like someone
on Twitter,

you can't, you know,
swipe right on them,

but you can start hearting
all their tweets

or replying to them
or whatever it is,

sharing their articles
they like.

And these are things that happen
on every single platform.

If you don't know the person

and they're liking
all your stuff,

they wanna fuck.

( phone chimes )

How to Bag a Man
on Social Media 101.

So you find a guy
on social media,

you show him to all your girls,

your girls approve,
say he's cute,

so you go through,
you "like" some of his pictures,

but you have to be very smart
about which pictures you like,

and it has to be spaced out

at, like, a good increment.

Do your research.
Make sure he doesn't
have a girlfriend.

Tagged photos.
Always go through
his tagged photos.

Tagged photos
let you know everything
about somebody.

That's the real truth
about someone.

Who he's around,

what he really gets into,
things like that.

So after that,
you follow him.

So you let that go by,
he'll usually follow you back,

'cause, I mean,
we're all bad as fuck,

so most people
follow us back.

And that's when
the game really starts.

That's when you play
this mind game with each other.

For a few days you're liking
each other's pictures,

doing these little comments
and things like that,

and heart eyes, and you do
the little eye emojis...

There's two eye emojis.
There's like the small ones,

and there's the individual
eye emojis.

And then...

by like day five,

maybe less,

you wake up
and he's in your DMs.

He DM'ed you. Yes.

And at that point
you start chit-chatting,

and it's like, "Hey,"
blah blah blah--

then you get the number.

So you start texting,
boom boom boom,

there's always
a move in New York,

"I'm gonna see you
at this move."

You link up at the move...

Catch the trick
real quick...

- And then that's that.
- ...and there it is.

Men in New York
stress me out so much.

They stress me out!

This is why
I don't have a boyfriend.

Guys will have
one girlfriend per network.

I'll see a dude all over
one girl's Instagram,

a different girl
all over Twitter,

a different girl
all over Facebook,

have a different bitch
on Snapchat.

- Mm-hmm.
- Yes.

Dylan goes into
your deep, dark secrets,

like back to high school--
she looks you up.

'Cause they always
use the excuse of,

"Oh, but that's not my girl."

"Oh, I'm not sleepin' with her."

"Oh, we don't even
talk like that."

And the thing is,
you never really know,
you never know.

He could have her number saved
under Papa John's.

How to catch your man cheating.

A savvy cheater may be using
less obvious ways

to communicate with the person
they're cheating with.

For example,
Instagram messages,

Twitter direct messages,
or Snaps on Snapchat.

You can't trust anyone
these days. It's sad but true.

I bagged with this one dude
at this function,

and then he kept messaging me
on Snapchat,

like, "Come to Queens,"
or "I'm trying to see you,"
blah blah blah.

But I found his Instagram.

I was on it that evening.
I found it in like 15 minutes.

And he has
a ho-ass girlfriend.

And then there was
another occasion

with a dude that I was actually
like talking to

and hooking up with,

who had an entire
relationship as well,

and I didn't know
until I went through

his tagged photos on Instagram.

And this is one
recurring thing

that I've dealt with
for the last three years.

You have Type 1,
the dude who literally

has his girl
in half of his photos,

and he's like,
"My girl is my everything,
I love this woman,"

very passionate, romantic,

and he'll be the first one
in your DMs begging you

to come to his house
at an ungodly hour,

trying to smoke you out,
buy you drinks,

have sex with you
with his girlfriend's stuff
all over his apartment,

but he's "so in love with her"
on social media.

It's like, my first time
really getting my heart broken--

It's all coming back,
'cause it happened for
the first time last year.

When it first happened,
I, like...

it was the most I cried ever.

But I'd never felt that low

in my entire life, ever.

I feel like he treated me
like I was an object, almost.

This is gonna sound so lame.

Reminded me of, like,
Nora from A Doll's House,

like I was this...

trophy girlfriend

with the cool clothes

and a lot of followers
on Instagram.

And I was a trendy DJ,

and I was just cool to be with.

But I don't think
he genuinely,

really, really wanted me.

( indistinct )

When I was a kid,

like, Sharon Stone in 1995

would be just like
up on a pedestal

and so inaccessible to me.

And now the current
version of that is like,

"OK, she's just a swipe away,
or she's just a message away."

So, Instagram is full
of beautiful women,

pretty girls,
popular celebrities,

and a lot of you guys are like,
"Hey, let me shoot my shot,"

but don't know how to do it.

Rise and shine,
ya cock knobs!

I'm teachin' ya
how to slide into DMs,

which just means
directly messaging someone,

trying to get their phone number

and/or trying to get
their genitals

smashed up against yours
after a couple of drinks.


men who did have
a lot of sexual access to women

tended to be higher in status.

What you have is what I call
Clark Kent Syndrome.

You have these guys
who may be mild-mannered
in real life,

but doesn't everybody
want to be Superman?

And this culture
allows these guys

who may, their whole lives,
feel insignificant--

and certainly I'm not saying
all of them feel this way--

to feel powerful.

And what's
the most powerful situation,

is being aggressive,
especially sexually aggressive.

I just got a dick pic
the other night

from my friend's baby's daddy.

Any guy will send you
any stupid shit on there.
That's what I'm sayin'.

When you get a dick pic
that you are not requesting,

it's like a violation.

If I'm refusing
to see your penis
in real life,

I don't want to see it
in a digital version.

- We're about to see--
- OK! ( laughs )

Is it still on?

Oh! Another one!

( both laughing )

He's like hitting me with dicks!

Smacking you
with dicks.

Eww! ( gagging )

Wolfe Herd:
So, enter Bumble.

What is Bumble,
and how does it strive to

actually tackle this broken
system of heteronormativity?


if you think about the way
in which men and women

generally connect,

or the way that
they're raised to connect,

starting at a very young age,

boys are taught
to be the aggressor--
"Go get her."

Bumble looks at that dynamic
and says, "You know what?

Only women are gonna
make the first move."

And why?
Why are we gonna do that?

Because women
can have a voice.

They are allowed
to make the first move,

they are allowed
to go after what they want,

and in turn, it takes
all this pressure

and this insecure,
reactive aggression,

away from the masculine side,

because now
the woman reaches out.

You've just solved half
of this predisposed problem.

He doesn't have to be
geared up to react

to the rejection, right?

So you've taken away
the rejection

and you've replaced it
with flattery.

So there's this idea
that Bumble somehow

fixes the mistakes
that Tinder has made.

I honestly don't see
how it does that.

Now the rule is, "The man
doesn't have to lift a finger

to even type you out
a three-word message

because he's not allowed to."

So once again,
women are shouldering

so much more of the burdens
of dating--

the communication work,
the emotions work,

all that stuff, the admin.

Bumble is just codifying
that women have to do more work.

No, no-- OK.

Yeah. There we go.
There's the match.

He said, "I'm only in Brooklyn
for 12 hours,

if you want to meet up,
then let's do this."

And then he says,
"Are you tr--"

Then he says,
"Are you trans?

Are you trans?"

Then I say,
"What the fuck?


Down to fuck,
but can't tonight.

Meet me Tuesday or Wednesday
in Manhattan."


that's Bumble for you.

That is Bumble for you.

Uh, yeah.

So this is my girlfriend Alex.

And I met her on Tinder,

and her tagline was
"Stoned in the bath,
eating Clementines."

Fuck, babe!
( laughs )

Hook, line and sinker--
fell for it.

He was sleeping with

five girls a week on Tinder.

- And then what?
- And then he met me.

I mean, in our case,
it just kinda happened.

The more time we spent
together, I was like,

"Man, this chick
is really cool,"

and it kinda
just materialized.

And I'm like,
"Now I really like
hanging out with her,

more like in that best-friend
kind of quality,

rather than just

the "Hit it and quit it" or...

Hit it and quit it?

So given that,
we have discussed--

because Alex is what
I guess you can define
as heteroflexible--

( laughs )

So given that,

we have been, uh,

like, experimenting
with having a third.

Just so it feels like

there's not
some sort of restraint

or constriction
on the relationship.

Also it's fun, because--
that we get to, like--

we get to play
with Tinder again.

So you guys swipe together now
on Tinder?

- Yeah, we have a joint--
- On Binder,

and on OkCupid,
we have a joint
OkCupid account.

Oh, she's so beautiful.

Uhh. Ohh, maybe not.

She works out.

Homegirl has
too many tattoos.

Homegirl has
too many cats.

Weird eyebrows.

She's, like, my type
but not your type.

No, I--
I would do her.

We like big boobs.
( laughs )

If you look
at our previous generation

or the generation before,

it's like, you meet someone
in your hometown,

you date them, they're like
your high school sweetheart
and you date them,

and that's the only person
that you've really been with.

And that kind of monogamy
is super-scary,

it can go on for like 60 years

in a vanilla type of existence,

and it's super-bland,
and then you die.

So praising
the whole swiping fad

that's going on now,
it introduces you to people

that you may never
have crossed paths with.

Could we see each other
doing this forever?
I don't know.

I mean, definitely
not past 60.

( laughs )
Not past 60?

I was thinking, like,
not past...

I'm 27, so not past 30?

Oh. OK.

( dance music playing )

One thing we do know is that
with the rise of the Internet

many people that previously
had a hard time connecting

can now find someone else.

So for instance,
in our data

where we know that
over a third of people

have met someone
through the Internet,

that number is even higher
for gay men and lesbian women.

And if you think about it,

in many places
it might be easy enough

for a gay man
or a lesbian woman
to meet someone to date,

but in many places
throughout the United States,

it might not be that easy.

If you're talking about
a population

that is a minority group,

in this case
a sexual minority group,

you then have to
find someone else that

meets the same criteria,
and that might be kinda hard.

And on top of that,
in many places in the U.S.

it still might not be
all that safe

for a gay man or a lesbian woman

to walk into a bar
and try and pick someone up.

So the Internet
has allowed people

of so many different
walks of life,

to find each other,
to connect with each other,

and possibly start dating
and have a relationship.

We met on Grindr
when he first moved here.

Explain Grindr.

Grindr is a gay dating app,
mostly used for sex.

It's a grid of pictures of guys
in your area,

ranked by how close they are,

and... lots of torsos.

Whenever you told
straight people about Grindr

two years ago, I mean,
they were like, "Wow! Crazy!

Do you do that all the time?"

You're like,
"No, but it is a thing

because it's harder
for us to meet people."

It's so funny because
men that label themselves
as "straight"

and then they just put
like a headless torso
and they're like,

"I'm on the DL,"
but I'm like, "Are you really,
if you're on this app?"

And there's people on Grindr
who are, like, "anon,"

they don't show their face,
they don't want to know a name.

You'll get those messages
that are like, uh...

"Depending on if you're
the top or the bottom."

It's like,
"You can just walk in

and I'll be blindfolded
on all fours.

And you just fuck me
and then leave."

I had a couple of friends
who would get just
almost zombified

looking at the phone
or checking for a hookup

or trying to
make something happen.

Even when we were
all out together.

So it started to change
the gay clubs

because we'd all be there,

and half the people were
just looking at their phone.

And you thought, "Well...

but we're all already
at the dance."

You know?

I think Grindr is
the new way of hiding,

because people are still
hooking up all the time,

but now they're sneaking
into your apartment building
or whatever,

it's like this kind of
respectability politics

- It's not like people--
- Man: Yeah.

They think we don't have to
cruise anymore, so we shouldn't,

because we can just
go on Grindr,

"Why would you want to cruise
when you can go on Grindr?"

Well, because cruising is hot,
it's fun,

it's part of our history,
it's part of our culture...

I feel like it's really popular
just to stigmatize Grindr
and everything,

and being like,
"Only nasty people use that,
I would never do it."

But then they go home
and then they use it.

And it's like,
that's what they do,
that how they get laid.

Their profile says, like,
"I hate this app."

( all laugh )

Knowing that there's
that technology there,

like if I see a cute guy
in the bar,

I'm gonna immediately
get on Grindr or Scruff

and be like,
"Well, is he on it?"

'Cause I can just,
like, say hi there.

Or just woof at him there.

And then maybe... ( laughs )

he'll check it and see me
across the bar.

I know everything changes,

and I'm acceptable to change,

but there's parts of it
that are like,

"Oh, it's the future,"

and there's part of it that's
like, "That's ridiculous."

Like the amount of times
I've lost with my friends

just 'cause
they're on their cell phone
the entire time.

And I can't tell you how many
dates I've been on with girls

that are on their cell phone
the entire time.

I've been on a date
with a girl,

she was talking to this dude
she was kind of stringing along,

while we were going on
our first couple dates.

'Cause I've met girls
that they're so involved

with what they look like
on the Internet,

or spend so much time on making
this image of themselves,

and they worry about
more Internet shit
than real life.

( music, no audible dialogue )

Typically, tidy space,
tidy mind,

or whatever they say.

Tidy area, tidy mind.

No, tidy space, tidy mind.

Basically, if your surroundings
are tidy and neat

and cleared out
and nice and clean,

I find that
I just operate better...

I've thought about that
when I hook up with people,

I'm just like,
"Do I look sexy right now?

Do I look like appealing,
do I look--

Do I look good?
Does my face look weird--

from their angle?

Does, like-- Is--

Is my hair cascading out
right behind me?"

Like, all this stuff.
And I'm just like, "This is--"

And because of that,

I get super-removed
from the moment,

which is probably a big reason

why I don't enjoy
doing sexual stuff with people,

because I'm so caught up
in how I look.

And then I'm also caught up
in how they look.

Alex, that guy
that I just started dating,

I guess-- that's so weird
to say out loud--

he left his leftovers
in my fridge,

so I'm here to drop them off.

I do love the emoji
where it looks like you're...

smiling with all your teeth--
I send that one a lot.

I've sent him that
a couple times.

To some people that I love,
I'll just send a row of emojis

that's, like, a sunflower
and a bouquet of flowers

and then a star
and a sparkly thing

and a pink heart
and then a yellow heart
and then a blue heart.

And then they know
exactly what I'm saying.
So it's great.

- Hello. ( laughs )
- Hey!

- How are you?
- Pretty good.

- Good. This is yours.
- Oh, thanks.

You're so welcome.
How are you?

I'm doing well.

Oh. ( laughs )

- How was your shift? Yeah?
- Really slow. Yeah.

I hope this
isn't terrible now.

I hope so too, but it's OK
if it's wilted and gross.

- I might throw it away, though.
- That's OK.

He sent me a text
with a heart emoji

and then a smiley face
and then another heart emoji.

Which, like,
it was just really cute,

'cause that never happens,
because for some reason,

boys don't like to use emojis.

See? I'm tellin' you,

full hearts, not heart eyes.

Wild, right?

What a concept!

( laughs )

( riders shrieking )

Young Man:
I feel like
that's been a big switch, too.

I feel like back in,
like, the '90s and '80s,

it was all about who could
kind of show more.

Like back then
you'd have people
serenading people,

like showing up
outside of windows
with boom boxes

or bringing people flowers,

like huge, ridiculous
things of flowers out in public.

I feel like it's definitely,
not like casual,

but way more nonchalant

It's almost like you don't
want to seem like you care.

What if you do care?

You have to not show it.

Like, that sucks.
If you do really care

but you're trying
to not show it,

I feel like that
kinda sucks.

Yeah, I guess.
I mean, I don't--

I don't know,
I've never experienced

something where I care so bad

that I have to hide my care.

( chatter )

( music, chatter )

( no audible dialogue )

Definitely with technology
progressing more and more,

it's kind of like
that awkward stage
in generations

where it's like
do you just do technology
to meet people,

or do you actually go out
and have experiences.

It's kind of at the point
where it's like, "All right,

let's slide in those DMs,

let's hit up Tinder"
or something.

But it's not as real,
you know what I mean?

What's a Tinderella?

It's like a Cinderella,
but with a Tinder.

It's a slut.
She's a Tinder slut.
She's a Tinder slut. Yep.

Yeah, she has acts with men
through Tinder.

Yes. It's a Tinder whore.

Yeah, bas--
Well put.

Who wants to slap
the fuckin' bag?!

Oh, yeah!

...four, five, six, seven,

seven, seven, seven, seven!

Last night I went to a party,
met a couple girls,

you know,
hooked up with a couple girls,

and I now have their Instagram,

and that's a way
to keep in touch.

It's not like a way to...

a way to, like...

I don't know,
force anything on someone,

you're not gonna be like,
"Let me get your number,

I'm texting you constantly
to stay connected.

You hooked up with
a couple of girls

at the same party?

No-- Oh, yeah,
at the same party--

Not the party
we were at last night
with you.

We went to
a different party.

I hooked up with two girls
at the same party.

That's wild.

( laughs )

Do you guys
watch a lot of porn?

He watches porn,
he watches porn,

he watches porn,
he watches porn.

I don't watch porn.
( laughs )

Porn feeds into all of it.

Porn feeds into
sexual expectation,

and the reason why
I'm blaming porn

is because the Internet
has become such
an integral part

of just existing
on this planet.

And we had Internet access
as very young children,

- because we're--
- Porn has been cultivated.

I was into porn
before the Internet.

( all talking )

Porn opens your mind up
to new experiences.

- Porn teaches you things.
- Porn can teach you.

Even though
some things you might
feel like it's wrong,

the older you get,
the more sex you have,

some of the shit that you like
in porn, like choking and
getting choked, is real.

Yeah, some girls
like that shit.

( all talking )

I feel like porn
makes a lot of guys,

like they don't know
the female body at all,

they don't understand
how to make a woman orgasm.

And they look more at--

'Cause when you watch
usual porn,

it's like the girls
usually getting gagged
or something,

it's all about
the male's pleasure,

you don't really see
anything with the female.

Unless it's lesbian porn.

What really shocked me
about Internet pornography

the first time I saw it

was the fact that
the pornographers

consistently framed these
regular old vanilla sex acts

that everybody does sometimes

as a form of humiliation
for the women involved.

It's not about their orgasm,
except as,

"It's sexy that it happens
to always be a function
of the male ejaculation"

or the male pounding
or whatever.

In every mainstream porn gallery
on the Web,

we can find
the "Rape" category

side by side with
the "Humiliation" category,

"Abuse" category,
"Crying" category

and so on.

With porn,
people get flooded with images.

Then when they do meet people
on the apps,

they expect
the same kind of interaction

and in fact,
they're not really having sex

with the person
in front of them--

very often they might have sex

playing out the images
in their head.

Like, ejaculating
on a woman's face

is not a naturally thrilling,
attractive thing to do,

until you see it in pornography,
and you're like,

"That looks awesome,
I'm gonna do that."

Guys get addicted to it,
and girls get addicted to it,

and it's fuckin' insane.

I have this one friend
back home who's like,

he's like,
"Yeah, I can't finish
unless I watch porn."

- What?
- Yeah.

Like he'll be fucking a girl,
and then he's like,

"I have to jack off
or something to finish."

It sounds like he has
something wrong with him.

Sounds like he watches
way too much porn.

Yeah, he watches
way too much porn.

The mind, like, de--
Yeah, desensitized.

Yeah, it desensitizes,
for sure.

There are guys my age
suffering from ED,

because when they have a sexual
relationship with a girl

they can't perform
because their mind is so...

skewed already by porn.

- It's an epidemic.
- Interviewer: What do you mean?

Men who, when they
put a condom on,

they lose their erection
right away.

And then they try to use that

to weasel out
of wearing a condom.

They're like,
"Oh, come on.

We don't need it.
I just got tested."

And I'm like,
"No, you didn't.

I know you didn't
just get tested."

I think the condom problem
is because of porn,

because I feel like men
are really

used to their rough hand
or something.

And then like, they're like,

"Oh, I'm not sensitive
with a condom,

and I can't feel you."

I'm like, "Hmm..."

It's not even just porn.

It's the appropriation
of porn in culture.

'Cause sex sells.
Sex is everywhere.

You go to billboards,
there's a bitch in a bra
and basically nothing else.

I have to be 100% real
with you guys

about the best pictures that
us guys like to get from girls.

Because I know that YouTube
and people be like,

"Uhh, the best curve
on a woman's body is her smile."

- ( record scratching )
- ( ding )

You know damn well
the best curve on a woman's body

- is that ass.
- ( applause )

- It's gonna look like that.
- OK.

- And then you shoot it...
- See, she's pointing it down.

I'm pointing it down
so the angle comes from
the bottom.

Kim Kardashian goes naked.

Kourtney Kardashian
shows off her nipple,

and Kylie Jenner
gets in the mix, too.

What the hell is going on here?

One thing we're seeing
an increase in,

for instance,
is sexting.

People are exchanging
sexual messages and images,

via text, via email,

and sometimes via
particular apps.

I would say that nudes
don't have to be pornography,

but the way they generally exist
and are treated,

they are pornography
by my definition,

they're sexualized
that circulate.

And the circulation is key,

because the problem with
the way they're circulated is,

that tends to eroticize use--

to eroticize just using
somebody else's body

for your own gratification.

If it's in the right context,

I really do like
getting a dick pic--

it can be really great.

But you have to
be in the mood,

and you have to want it,

and there should be,
like, a lead-up to it.

'Cause if you just
get a dick pic cold, it's...

Like, "I wasn't around.

What did it for you?"

I think that if
you're already fucking,

sending a nude
throughout the day

is just kind of like,
A) Thinking of you.

B) Reminding you
how good that sex was
the other day.

'Cause, like, you know,

sometimes if it's been,
like, two days

you're just like,
"Yo, refresher course.

This was great, huh?"
Like... ( laughs )

We can imagine that
there are so many people

with long-distance

or perhaps they're busy
with work

and don't see each other enough,

or perhaps they just
want to communicate,

"Hey, I'm turned on by you,
I'm thinking about you."

And sexting for them
can be, perhaps,

a totally fine,
totally healthy way
to communicate

and share these erotic images.

But there is an inherent risk.

And in fact, that risk
can also build intimacy--

knowing that you're exposing
yourself to someone.

Maybe not a good use of words.

Nowadays, the fact that
guys think it's so cool

to expose girls,

it makes it so hard
for you to even feel like

a guy that you're messing with
can have a picture of you naked.

Because if you guys ever
stopped talkin' to each other,

it's like, "Is he gonna
put me on Twitter?

Is he gonna put it
on Instagram?"

I got my phone taken away

because I sent a picture
to a guy

in my bra and underwear
in eighth grade,
I remember that.

He asked me for a picture,

and I sent him a picture
of my face.

Then he was like,
"No, not that type of picture."

They always say that.

And then you're like,
"What type of picture you want?"

And he's like, "You know,
just less clothes."

And it was just like--
I don't know.

And he was showing everybody.

You're young
and you want to be cool

and you don't want the person
to, the next day,

say something about you,
like you're a kid
or something like that.

What often is called
"revenge porn,"

which we could just say is

the non-consensual distribution
of sexual imagery, right,

is when people violate, often,

people's trust and confidence,

and then post nude images
of someone

without their consent,

and often knowingly
in violation of their privacy.

And when it appears online,
or on Twitter,

when it appears in any online
network spaces and is shared,

it will then often appear
in a search of someone's name.

Right? Which,
when you search someone,
who's searching for you?

Clients, employers, friends,
people you care about.

And that's where
the harm comes in,

the potential for economic,

and sort of emotional harm.

So, I was using a dating app
when I met this guy.

I'd gone on
a few dates with him,

but I hadn't gone home with him
and slept with him, basically.

And it didn't seem
to be an issue for me,
I didn't think it was awkward,

but he seemed to think
it was a thing.

I found this website,

and it was--

that was on his blog,
it was a blog entry,

like, a whole page
dedicated to me

and how much I sucked,

And he had gone through
the last ten years
of my social media

on Facebook, Instagram,
all these outlets,

and taken the worst photos
of me that exist.

It's quite common for people
to set up a site,

often in the victim's
or the targeted person's name,

that says, for example,
"Don't hire so-and-so"

or "So-and-so is a crackhead."

That would be the name,
the domain name, of the site.

Right? And that what you do
on that site

is essentially
do whatever you can

to hurt the reputation
and to terrify the person.

And he make this huge,
like, mosaic of, like--

it was at least 20 photos,

maybe 30 or more,

it was like--
it was a lot of photos

of just all these up-close
terrible shots me

like, drinking,

parties when I'm 17, 18,
or whatever,

and just looking awful,
you know?

And it was so embarrassing,

and it was like,
"Fuck, what is this?"

And then he posted under it

like, a story that was
completely, like,

made up and shit, that said--

I think it said that
"Nicole Disser smoked crack"

and all this stuff.

And it was crack
specifically, you know.

It's like,
"That's outrageous and weird."

So I tried contacting
the web host or whatever
who hosts the domain,

and they never got back to me,

and then I contacted Instagram
and Facebook

to be like, "This guy
is using my photos
without my permission,"

and I never heard
from any of them.

And then it was the dating app
that I contacted,

and they said
to call the police,

because they couldn't
do anything.

You've got officers
who are great at street crimes--

it's what they know well.

But when you come to them
with a problem that involves

having to investigate
your online footprints
and who it is that did this,

they just feel outpaced
by the technology,
they don't know what to do.

I thought that it might be
a good opportunity

for one of those companies

to sort of come
to the rescue in a way,

and be like, "Look,
we protect our users."

Ya know?
Especially the dating app.

I thought that they would
maybe have a better reaction

than very just sort of,
I don't know,

like "It's not our issue,"
I guess.

The ethical implications
of what we're doing

are always weighing upon us.

Everything from bullying

to just inappropriate behavior.

And it's something that...

almost every conversation
we have around here

is about how we can help that.

It's included with
every new thing that

we come up with,
making sure that we create

a safe and comfortable
environment for our users.

There's a lot more
that we could do,

just like every platform.

And we're gonna--

we're working on
all sorts of things.

Don't know all the ways
we're going to do that,

but collectively, we'll figure
something out, I'm sure.

We better. We have to.

Have you ever
heard from anybody

who's had something bad happen?

Directly, I have not.

Nobody's personally
come to me with it.

But there's certainly been a few
different news stories and all

that have occurred.

I don't know any specifically.

There are stories
from a hundred years ago

of women being murdered
when meeting a man

that advertised in
the Lonely Hearts section
of the newspaper.

Luckily, these are not
everyday stories,

but they do underscore
the huge risks involved,

and moreover, they do
kind of ask us

to think more deeply
about why it is

that when a woman is murdered,
it is likely to be by

someone who she's in a sort of
intimate situation with.

So we do need to get beyond
just blaming dating apps,

we need to also think about
what's going on

more deeply in society

that for all the gains
women have made,

the domestic violence figures
speak for themselves,

murder figures
speak for themselves,

women are still being murdered

and physically abused by men

on a hugely regular basis.

This dude is freaking psychotic.

He drunkenly came to my house
at like 5:00 in the morning.

Mind you, I'd invited him over
at probably like 11:00,

thinking he was gonna
get there by, like, 1:00

and I could kick him out
around 3:00.

'Cause I didn't want
to sleep with him at the time,

it was way too early.

So he comes there mad late,
clearly drunk as hell,

so I'm like, "All right."

And he took a cab there
from wherever he was.

So I'm like, "OK,
I don't want to be a bitch

because you just
spent all this money
to get to my house,

I understand you're late

and you probably
want to just sleep,

it is what it is,
I'll let you crash."

He gets in my bed,

literally tries
to force himself on me,

and I just wasn't rockin'.

And I literally had
to hold my clothes,

push this nigga off me,

I'm not yelling
because I don't want
to wake my roommates up,

'cause I'm not getting raped

and I'm thinking eventually
he's gonna get a hint.

Then he drunkenly passes out,
I wait about an hour,

and I'm like freaking out,

and then I kick him out
of my apartment.

And obviously, I kind of
set myself up for it,

so I'm kind of
an idiot for that.

I'm not emotionally distraught
over it or anything.

Just one of those, like,
"Y'all need to do better."

And I'm so glad
that it didn't get worse,

'cause there are
so many scenarios

where I've heard,
like, where it has,

where other women,
not with him in particular,

but just in general.

And I know so many

of my very, very, very,
very close female friends

have experienced very negative
encounters with men,

and I'm just grateful
that nothing on that level
has happened,

'cause it's very possible,
and I pray that it never does.

I wouldn't even wish that shit
on my enemies.

Even when I had
my old boyfriend

and we would do stuff like...

he always kind of vaguely
pressured me into stuff,

which wasn't cool.

So we'd be hanging out
and we'd be watching TV,

and I just wanted to cuddle
and watch TV,

and then he would start
kissing my neck or whatever

and sort of get on top of me,

and I would kinda pull away
and be like,

"I just kinda
want to sit here,"

and then he would
put his hands up my shirt

and all this kinda stuff.

And I would just
try and turn away.

And then it always
just got to a point--

He knew that I would just
get to a point where I was like,

( sighs ) "OK,
I guess we're doing this."

And so we'd do whatever.

And it was literally...
every single time we were alone.

Every single time.

I'm realizing now,
looking back on it,

that it was a little bit more
fucked up than I thought it was.

I see people try
to justify, like,

the rape of a spouse,

or the rape of a girlfriend
or a boyfriend.

These are things that
are embedded in our society.

It's definitely something

that the Internet
and social media

is enlightening
a lot of young women

to realize "I'm valuable,

I don't have to put up
with your shit,

and I also
don't have to be treated

like a sex object
for the rest of my life,

and I'm also capable
of doing whatever I want,

and if your politics
don't correlate with mine,
that's cool,

but I'm gonna still do me
at the end of the day."

( laughter, chatter )

So what if there's
a dating app

that was designed around
how women perceive attraction?

Like, would that be different?

What if you designed
a dating app?
What would it be like?

If I'm designing a dating app--
I don't know.

I feel like there's no way
to get around the fact that men

- can be fucking disgusting.
- Oh, absolutely.

I think it's the fact that
women have always been seen

as an object of pleasure

or an object of, like,
something secondary,
something inferior.

- A vessel.
- Yeah, it's a vessel.

And even nowadays,
it's sort of like,

"The only reason that
you exist in this space

is for my viewing pleasure."

I'm not saying that everyone
who does dating apps

is terrible or gross
or anything,

but the fact that
you have to work your way
through so many people

that are just like
either total bullshitters
or obviously only after sex,

and not after
anything substantial,
so you're like, "OK,"

and it just gets exhausting,
so I'm just like "Why bother?"

Young Woman:

( siren wails,
horn honks )

What the #MeToo movement
has done,

it's really created
this huge voice

in the community,

and that voice is strong,
and I do feel as a woman

running the largest
set of dating products
in the world,

that we have to listen
to that voice

and we have to
adapt our products,

how we work internally,
our sensitivity to things,

and especially as we--
we are creating social products

that sit in the hands of women,

and this is a time where we--

I do think it's important for us
to both protect, listen,

and create products
that are relevant to women.

Then how are you
going to do that?

I mean, I think
there's a couple of things

that we need to do.

One, we have safety tips.

First of all,
it's really important

that women don't meet people--

they never go
to someone's house,

they meet in a public place,
they don't drink,

they let someone know
where they're going,

they are-- they take precaution,

they let a person know
that they're on a date
with someone else,

they never go
into someone's car,

and so there's a number
of safety tips that
we provide for people,

and I just think that people
also have to just take
real precaution.

There have been reports
of a rise in sexual violence

related to online dating.

Do you think dating apps
are contributing
to rape culture?

The sad thing is that,
you know,

because there's so many millions
and millions of people

on our products--

one out of every two
single people

have a profile on a dating app
today in the United States--

then it is truly
what happens in a society

happens on the apps as well.

I don't see it slowing down.
I mean, why would it slow down?

It's making a lot of money
for a lot of different
companies and a lot of people.

We're getting better
at designing experiences
that are addictive

because we understand it more
now than we ever did before.

So I don't see it slowing down.

I think it's only
gonna be weaponized,

and I think when virtual
and augmented reality
become a really big deal,

can you imagine dating apps
where you can actually interact

in a room with the people
that you're swiping?

Why wouldn't people spend
24 hours a day on these apps

if they feel like
they're actually in a room
with other people?

And if they don't like them,
they can get rid of them ASAP,

no problem,

but if they do,

you're actually
that much closer

to actually being
on a date with them

without having to do anything.

You can sit in
your boxer shorts at home

and be on a date with someone--

why wouldn't you do that?

We know there are sex robots,

and we know that
now there are appendages
that you can attach to yourself

that make an experience
feel like sex.

And so it's just gonna be
a more immersive version
of that over time,

the virtual
and augmented reality.

I don't know,
we were just drifting
further and further apart,

and, like, towards the end

it felt like we weren't
even really...

like, in a relationship.

I definitely became
more distant. I don't know why.

Yeah, you used to
four or five times a day
be, like,

"I'm gonna marry you,
you know that?"

I could have been delusional,
but it felt right at the time.

- Whatever.
- He was just excited

about having
somebody to love.

It's sweet.
There's nothing
wrong with that.

All I wanted to do
is just say,

"Let's be friends,
but let's keep it open-ended."

- He went on a date on Friday...
- Friday.

- I don't know.
- Well, he got laid.

You've got laid too.
Get the fuck out of here.

Yeah, I have gotten laid,
but I didn't get laid
on Friday on my date.

- He met the-- on Tinder.
- You downloaded Tinder too.

- OK, yeah.
- You're just as guilty.

Tinder exhausts me.

I'm so, like,

I just downloaded it
so that I could judge people

and, like, swipe.

I like doing the swiping.
I always have.


Yeah. And then--

"And then I end up
going on a date with a guy."

Well, no, he seems nice,

but I wasn't planning
on sleeping with him.

But yeah, and then
I was like, "Hmm.
Yeah, I don't know."

I just-- He came back
from the bathroom,
and I was like...

"I'm really sorry.

I just-- I just
wanna go home."

( laughs )

And then I just left.

So, ya know,
I'm not like, uh...

I don't know.

I just wanted
someone to talk to...

for, like, an hour.

But I don't know.
Tinder is exhausting.
I don't wanna--

Nothing good happens
from Tinder.


Well, we met on Tinder.

( music playing )