The hack of the “cheat on your spouse” site AshleyMadison.com has been big in the news lately. When the average person hears of this hack, their minds almost always go to two places:
1) “Oh wow! Those cheaters are about to get what they deserve! Justice! Wait until their wives find out!”
2) “I wonder which celebrities and politicians will end up getting caught up in this whole thing.”
Unfortunately, while these are the obvious reactions — and much of the media focus — they obscure the biggest and most interesting story to come out of the situation.
AshleyMadison was a scam.
That’s right. The men on the site were trying to be cheaters, but they were the ones being cheated. They weren’t being cheated romantically, but rather financially.
The numbers are staggering. There were over 20 million men who checked their messages on AshleyMadison, while fewer than 1500 women did so.
That’s amazing. It means that there were 13,586 men actively using AshleyMadison for every ONE woman. Talk about tough competition!
Needless to say, very few guys actually had an affair through AshleyMadison. So the guys caught using it through hack are getting the worst of both worlds — the stigma (and consequences) of having an affair, while not getting to enjoy the affair itself!
How did AshleyMadison stay in business with such a staggering gender disparity?
Easy. They loaded the site with millions of phony female accounts. In addition, many female accounts were either fakes created by users, or “one and done” accounts created by women to examine the site (or scan for their husbands), where they logged in once and never returned. On the surface, AshleyMadison seems to have a semi-reasonable, if not still skewed gender ratio:
AshleyMadison had 5.55 million female accounts, but almost none (fewer than 1500) checked a single message received there. So the 5.55 million female accounts were simply eye candy in order to entice male members to pay the (rather steep) fees for the site, while not actually providing any benefit at all to the members.
It was all an illusion.
This, in my opinion, is the most important part of the AshleyMadison hack story.
It demonstrates once and for all that “get laid now with women who are just as horny as you are” type sites are all a sham. If you sign up for one of these sites and pay for their services, you are being cheated. There are almost no women who sign up on sites explicitly to have sex with strangers. Think perhaps it’s just AshleyMadison, because of its “married men” stigma? Think again. Earlier this year, AdultFriendFinder, a site for sexual and fetish hookups, was also hacked. Again, it was found that the entire site was a “sausage fest”, and that very few real females actually used the site to find sexual partners. It was an unfortunate threesome of horny men, bots, and other horny men pretending to be women. Yuck.
Simply put, it isn’t that easy. There aren’t horny women wishing they could have sex with you right now, if only they could connect with you in some way.
So what about Tinder? Surely you’ve heard stories from friends who have hooked up with real (and sometimes very attractive) women for casual sex from Tinder. Are those stories also falsified?
No. Tinder is a bit different, and I’ll get to that shortly.
I used to hang out in chat rooms. I was part of them for many years, and I got to notice that as the years moved on and the technology changed, certain basic facts didn’t. I came to realize that there were indeed a lot of lonely, and in some cases sexually-charged women in chat rooms, but they didn’t want to see themselves that way. That is, each of these women, no matter how easy, wanted to believe that they weren’t in the chat room simply looking for casual sex — even if they were quite willing to engage in it.
If you attempted to approach these women with overt sexual come-ons, or if you sent them explicit pictures right off the bat, you would be rejected. They would call you a disgusting pervert, or simply just ignore you and block your account. However, if you approached them with respect and didn’t bring up the topic of sex, they would move the topic there themselves fairly quickly!
I stumbled upon this accidentally. I never approached women online with overt sexual come-ons because I found it to be crass and tacky. So if I saw a woman online that I liked, I simply started a conversation about whatever topic I felt would pique their interest — something about the chat room, something they mentioned in their profile, etc. Usually after talking for an hour (and sometimes less), they would suddenly open up and start talking sexually to me on their own. This would happen even more often if I got their phone number and talked to them that way. (This, of course, was back in the day when people used their phones to actually have conversations!)
At the same time, these same women who were almost throwing themselves at me after an hour of conversation were the same ones complaining about the “perverts” and “assholes” who had attempted to break the ice with penis pictures or sexual questions.
So what’s my point?
Women want some sort of emotional/mental connection — even a brief one — before feeling it’s okay to have sex. Men are willing to have sex with anything that moves and they find physically attractive. That’s why women don’t sign up for sites like AshleyMadison or AdultFriendFinder, aside from a few outliers. Signing up for sites like that is essentially an admission that you are looking for casual sex with complete strangers, and even lonely, sex-starved women aren’t really on board for making that admission to themselves.
So let’s go back to Tinder.
On the surface, Tinder seems to be a tool to have sex with strangers. You see a picture of a potential mate, and a very brief profile attached to it. You swipe right on your phone if you’re interested, and left if you don’t like them and want to pass. If both people swipe right, you are matched. So isn’t that the same as something like AdultFriendFinder or AshleyMadison?
No. Surprisingly, women using Tinder don’t necessarily believe they are using a sex tool. They think they are using a dating tool. So while the men believe (often accurately) that a mutual-swipe-right will get them laid tonight, women believe that they have simply scored a date with a man they find attractive. So Tinder is actually a dating app, not a sex app, even if men see it much more as a sex app and utilize it that way. (It is said that many men simply swipe right for ALL women, and then simply go down the list of matches from most attractive to least attractive, attempt to establish a date, and move on the the next one if unsuccessful.)
That’s the reason Tinder works. It masquerades as something it’s not. While casual sex sites almost never interest women, dating sites/apps very much do, and in fact now are the leading way that romantic relationships begin in the United States.
That’s not to say that all women want long term relationships. Some do, some don’t. Either way, almost none of them want to feel easy or slutty. They don’t want to feel like objects being used. Tinder makes them feel as if they are simply establishing a regular date with someone they find physically attractive, then assessing the situation from there and seeing if there’s a connection. That satisfies their need to “connect first” prior to agreeing to have sex, which is why you hear about so many successful (at least in the short term) Tinder hookups.
Tinder, of course, isn’t for everyone. It heavily favors the guys who are good looking, while greatly handicapping the average looking and ugly guys, as they have much less of a chance to show off their other attributes, such as intellect, common interests, or sense of humor (as they would in a chat room or dating site).
What’s the lesson here? If you are a guy who wants to get laid online, you need to forget about the “have sex tonight” type sites, and take the indirect approach.
The women online who would be willing to have sex with you are out there. You just can’t approach them like you know they are.