I have a friend, Mike, who joined Tinder. Now, there’s nothing new in that. Mike is a sophisticated, well-educated and cultured man. Now, there is something new! But the biggest difference with Mike (AKA Michael Jarosky) is that he decided to date as many women as possible, and then write all his experiences down in the form of an educational book on dating in the modern era. The result is Swipe: The Game Has Changed.
I don’t normally write book reviews and I wouldn’t say this necessarily is a book review, but before I left for my trip to the US, I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of Mike’s book. True to my profession, I am always intrigued by what others get up to in the world of dating, relationships, and sex. And I also knew some saucy details would be waiting inside the pages. (Yes, I love to read about sex, too, surprise!)
In summation, I loved the book. I also loved the golden tan I acquired while reading it on a beach in Hawaii. It was a great combination of tantalising sex tales mixed with advice for modern dating – especially the type of dating that involves swiping left-to-right on a mobile phone. As someone who until only recently had an active profile on Tinder (and often wrote it off as research), I only wish I could have handed this book to the many men who typed “Hi” or “What’s up?” on my profile. Their lazy messages gave me absolutely no inspiration to respond. (NB: To all the guys out there on Tinder, don’t just stop at “Hi”. Instead, try starting some interesting banter that warrants a response, gives women some indication of who you are, or at least makes her laugh.)
I also wish I could give this book to all the men who posted profile pictures with their girlfriends, wives (ex or current), sent cock shots, asked if I was “DTF” (down to fuck) straightaway, or whose “about” sections read like a script from a bad porno. Yes, welcome to the world of Tinder dating. I’m sure many of these men could have provided great dinner date conversation and a few laughs, but their inability to maintain a decent conversation in the online dating world meant they fell short of achieving anything, be it sex or a date. If you are a guy struggling and swiping, you need Mike, and you need to pick up his book – fast!
But it wasn’t just the great advice for both men and women – Mike swiped 200 times as a female, just to see what it was like, and I commend him for putting himself in our shoes – that drew me into this book, it was the actions of the women he chatted with, dated and bedded.
I am a woman who enjoys sex and is open about it (now, there is another surprise), but I often feel that I’m in the minority. I find that I am sometimes judged when I speak my mind. I feel as though I know what women secretly think behind all that imposed social judgment. I know their struggle between adhering to societal norms and desiring the fulfillment of a sexual fantasy (call it the superpowers of a sexologist). So, to actually read about the sexual escapades of other women on Tinder with Mike was refreshing for someone like myself who believes in female sexual empowerment. It had me wanting to throw my hands up in the air on the beach in Hawaii and shout, “See? There is proof, women like sex, too!” But I didn’t, in case I spilt my mai tai cocktail in the process.
But why can’t women have sex like men? Maybe because many of these men are happy to engage in casual sex with women, but when it comes to relationships, they are still looking for a somewhat innocent girl – it’s the old Madonna/whore paradigm. As much as I wish it didn’t exist, I can’t deny this paradigm has become an actuality in the dating world. There is an invisible line between healthy “sexploration” and what I like to call “Slutsville”, which prevents some women from confidently seeking out their desires for fear of being labelled as a whore, rather than the pure Madonna. To put it another way, the bedded, not the wedded.
After some witty and humorous banter online, then over wine and pizza, Mike was able to casually bed, and even have orgies with what sounded like some amazingly smart and sexy women (and quite a number of them, too, I might add). Is this really possible? The one thing to note to men who might see this as a goal or challenge is that Mike engaged these women with respect and decency, something the realm of the ordinary casual fling seems to lack.
If a woman and a man choose to engage in casual sex, why shouldn’t it be done with class, a glass of pinot and respect? If, as the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey, then you can definitely bed more people using good manners – and Mike is good proof of this. He was able to invite women over to his apartment after only a few chats and bubbles or two glasses of wine at a bar, and he even had women on their knees at his front door, fulfilling his sexual requests. And this was all done without a cheesy pick-up line or game-playing tactics. Mike achieved it through a sense of humour, good manners, respect and honesty. “Men need to get the message,” says Mike, “Connect with a woman’s mind before you get into her dating schedule or her pants.” This is not a request for commitment or marriage, but just a little bit of chit-chat to establish a connection.
In Mike’s quest to help men pick up their game, he advises to be kinder, a better date and, most of all, to be a gentleman. He also asks for us ladies to help in his call to action. If we want men with better manners, better respect and to be more outgoing on the dating scene, then it’s not entirely up to them (or books like Mike’s), it’s up to the ladies dating them, too. If you want to find a gentleman, then act like a lady worthy of one (please note: I’m not taking about the type of lady that keeps her legs crossed, we are, after all, in a modern dating world). You must demand respect, whether that be on a casual date or a one-night stand (yes, that’s possible, too). Call him out on his ill manners and let him know what you’re waiting for. And if you are a bit lost on how to do that, why not give Mike’s book Swipe: The Game Has Changed a read.
And to finish off, some wise words from Mike on dating in the age of the swipe and apps like Tinder. “Just remember, no matter what you seek, there’s an individual on the other side of that screen who laughs, loves, hurts, cries, smiles and has friends, family and fun like the rest of us. Man or woman, that person deserves respect from a gentleman… and from a lady.”
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