The Life of a Tinder Muse
A mutual swipe right unlocks an exhibitionist archive, and new arenas of desire.
The difference between the Tinder and iPhone camera screens is subtle, but I know it well. The tell is a bright orange shutter button, often visible between my partner’s thumbs. He uses Tinder, although not for its intended dating utility. Instead, he uses Tinder moments to document our life together and share it semi-anonymously with his (or our – we often play together) matches. It’s an exhibitionist archive, a diary that can only be unlocked by a mutual swipe right.
We both started using Tinder about a year into our relationship. In the summer of ‘14, Tinder was a social activity. My friends, my partner, and I stood in a circle, looking down at our phones while facing each other, gossiping in real time about who we had matched with, who had messaged us. Even though one of our friends kept telling the story of a girl he met through Tinder who gave him the best head of his life, most of our friends insisted they had never, would never actually meet someone from the app. It was enough just to swipe, just to look, be looked at, get a buzz in your pocket and be matched.