A tinder issue
June 17, 2014 4:12 PM   Subscribe

This feels like a very strange question to ask as I can't figure out if the issue is technical or personal. I will try to explain, however.

I downloaded the tinder app admittedly not *too* long ago, but long enough. I am not on it all the time, but not infrequently either. I have selected the option to have both males and females shown and be shown to me. After a few weeks of moderate usage, I have matched with 118 males and zero females... so maybe males like me better, but this statistic seems somewhat unbelievable. I am shown both females and males, and the vast majority of the times I give a positive response to a male, I am immediately told he selected me as well and we are a match. That happens literally never with females. I am sort of stumped as to what is going on. I guess I am a lipstick... bisexual, so maybe girls just don't respond to that on there as positively as they do in my real life interactions, which are numerous and usually mutual, but I just cant see that there would be a zero percent response rate from females with 118 matches with males in a week or two. I do not state my sexual orientation in my profile, so I don't think this is about men liking the threesome fantasy and/or women being scared off by thinking I have a boyfriend who has a threesome fantasy. So is my app doing something wrong, or am I? I don't even know whether to put this under computers & internet or human relations...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dudes are horny. That's pretty much it.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:14 PM on June 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

My understanding of Tinder (and literally every other dating site or app) is that the vast, vast majority of users are males, so this is probably why.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:14 PM on June 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

My understanding from a totally unscientific study of asking everyone I know who uses Tinder is that men tend to "swipe right" for virtually everyone -- they want to match first and judge second -- whereas women tend to swipe right far, far less. My heterosexual female friends find that the vast majority of the men they swipe right they match (suggesting that most men swipe right for everyone).
posted by telegraph at 4:28 PM on June 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

There's been a lot of dudebro press recently about how it's all a numbers game and that in order for a guy to have success, he's got to game the system a bit.

Everyone is telling guys to give a high rating or like (I think the wording for Tinder has been swipe right?) EVERY SINGLE woman who is not completely hideous. EVERY WOMAN. Because women tend to be very selective when doling out the likes and high ratings.

The more yesses a guy puts out there, it means that if a woman should happen to rate him highly, too, they will be matched. And the woman, seeing that she's already been chosen, is more likely to give the guy a look and be flattered by it.

Women generally have an advantage on dating sites, so don't need to play that game (and also aren't reading the dudebro articles telling them how to game Tinder).

Obviously, you see the system breaks down when queer folks enter the mix.

tl;dr This isn't about women not liking you, this is about guys who want to get laid as a #1 priority liking anybody.
posted by phunniemee at 4:29 PM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your question reminded me of this tongue in cheek article that was going around recently.

For a profile pic of cookie monster, a third of men -- and zero women -- swiped right. I mean, not that you're cookie monster, but women on tinder are apparently swiping right so infrequently they're enacting the half-apocryphal joke about how lesbians are like female sheep: Since ewes show they are ready for mating by standing stock still and waiting to be mounted, supposedly no one has ever confirmed lesbianism in sheep, because all anyone has ever observed is two ewes standing near each other.
posted by lesli212 at 4:41 PM on June 17, 2014 [16 favorites]

I infer from the way you've worded this question that you're a woman (though you could have been clearer about this crucial info, Anonymous — we don't know anything about you). You're a bisexual woman; therefore, aside from bisexuals, the people who are potentially interested in you are straight men and gay women. There are far more straight people than gay people. Also, women have the advantage on dating sites; they can sit back and let others approach them. So women who might be interested in you aren't as motivated to be proactive.
posted by John Cohen at 5:46 PM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

How many women have you actually affirmed? Assume women swipe right one in ten other women. That (sort of means) if there are 100 women interested in women in your area, only 1 of them is a match, and there might not be that many.

Also, consider that women are swiping right fewer men in response to knowing about men swiping right on more women.

Also, it's known that some women's profiles on dating sites, including Tinder, are actually men, so some women may be more reluctant to affirm the prettier you look.

I realize by doing this you contribute to polluting a public good, but my advice is to swipe right on every single woman's profile and expand your age parameters to get some hits and build confidence that Tinder's working.
posted by michaelh at 8:00 PM on June 17, 2014

I read an article on Tinder somewhere (can't recall, or I'd dig it up, maybe it was gawker?) where they said they separated the sexes and orientations pretty strongly, to make sure straight guys never got gay guys (and vice versa) and so straight guys didn't bother lesbians constantly. I would guess it might be an artifact of that system that might be hiding you from one half of the population.
posted by mathowie at 10:52 PM on June 17, 2014

I have a similar problem with tinder, except I have set it to show me only women (I am female), and yet it shows me about 80% men.

I feel like tinder is maybe not as popular with gay women as with straight men.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:15 AM on June 18, 2014

Everyone is telling guys to give a high rating or like (I think the wording for Tinder has been swipe right?) EVERY SINGLE woman who is not completely hideous. EVERY WOMAN. Because women tend to be very selective when doling out the likes and high ratings.

I know people (straight guys) who do this. They just swipe yes for everyone in their area, looking for a hit.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:45 AM on June 18, 2014

[This is a followup from the asker.]
To clarify, yes, I am female - at the time I thought the "lipstick" comment covered that but realize how narrow-minded that assumption was in hindsight. I did assume many men swiped right much more often and with much less discretion than women and maybe even just to gather up more choices in case of rejection by their first choices - as this seems to be the case in the larger scope of life. Now that you guys have narrowed down for me that it is not a problem with the app, but with myself or my approach, I wanted to narrow my question into clarification/advice on the personal facet: do lesbians or bisexual women typically respond better on dating sites and whatnot to women who fall into the category or more "stereotypically lesbian" people? I only ask because I know in real life encounters I've had lesbians not be interested any longer once they find out I am bisexual. Could a feminine outer appearance and vibe be discouraging interest from females because they think I might be not be seriously into them - more specifically, would it be more likely to help or to harm for me to add something in my profile (which is viewed by both genders) clarifying that I am not experimenting or playing around with bisexuality? The only other thing I can possibly think of is that the nature of my photos are not appealing to women? Any advice on that? I am trying not to sound conceited here, but probably will anyway, so I apologize ahead of time - I have absolutely no problem with this in real life with women or men. I know the suggestion would be to stick to real life then - however, the reason I downloaded this app is that I am involved currently involved in a situation which makes lots of my time unavailable and I probably won't get to meet anyone organically new for the time being. Sorry for the long followup and thank you for your answers.
posted by cortex at 8:13 AM on June 18, 2014

I've never used Tinder so can't offer direct advice. However, based on the hilarious Autostraddle article Everybody Fucking Hates Tinder And We Are All Going To Die Alone, you aren't the only woman who has struggled with meeting other women on Tinder, and adding a subtle queer signifier to your profile is a good idea.
posted by introcosm at 8:30 AM on June 18, 2014

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