Women Of Tinder: What Should We Charge For Sex?

The market shall set the value.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Okay. So…okay. I’ve discussed at some length how certain men use Tinder as a source of free sex work. The minimal regard these men show for the time, effort, and body autonomy of women is evident everywhere, from your last unfortunate date right on over to the Supreme Court. And if they keep using Tinder for this purpose, I get to continue to tell them to fuck off.

I opened Tinder this morning to peruse my “Top Picks,” the dozen or so actually attractive men Tinder plucks from the pile once a day. I’m allowed to swipe right on just one of them. (But if I pay them $53 or so additional dollars I can swipe on as many of them as I like for the next three months.) As I glanced at them I noticed the profile of this…sure, we can call him human.

Let’s unpack. I’m going to ignore “the doomsday stroking machine” because this is just a really dumb thing to say and I don’t feel like wasting my time, I have a pie in the oven. What I want to talk about instead is this:

“In Brooklyn for the night on 10/21. Who wants to entertain me?

Biiiiitch. Have you heard a more entitled sentence in your entire goddamn life? The arrogance! The pompousness! The stank! Good lord can’t you just picture him? In a blue button down and cheap khakis sitting in a chair with his hands behind his head, just waiting for his effortless, free entertainment to arrive and satiate him? His name isn’t Brad but don’t you feel like his name is Brad?

He might as well have just said: “Women of Tinder, behold! It is I, a marginally attractive, actually tall male human. I know you don’t get many of my kind ‘round here so I’ve decided to allow you to vie for my company. For one night. After that I’ll trot along to where I live with my real girlfriend and Australian sheepdog and I won’t remember your name by the time the free duffel bag I got at a conference and use as luggage rolls by on the carousel. Make your case for why I should choose you: Go.”

Who wants to entertain me. You know, I’m not a violent person, but I want to put my thumbs through his eye sockets, I really do. How many times more will men use the women on Tinder as a free and endless assortment of whatever momentary pleasure they want at any given time? Why are we seen as this? Why are we not seen for what we are, single women who want to meet someone to spend a little enjoyable time with? How did this get so far gone? (For the record, I know there are women who use Tinder strictly for sex too, I’m not talking about them. But there’s definitely a mansplainer who’s going to comment without reading this whole post and I want to have something to refer him back to.)

I have long been an advocate of the legalization and regulation of sex work. I believe it should be legal, I believe there should be standards, and I believe it should be accessible to all who want it, and want to pursue it as a profession. In the meantime, I am not the solution for arcane laws that ignore a profession and pretend it isn’t real just because certain people don’t like it.

But apparently legalization is not going to happen, at least not on a timeline I’m comfortable with, and men are going to keep assuming that women are on Tinder just waiting for a man to require free and unattached sex on a moment’s notice. They’re going to keep assuming we’re there to serve them. So if this is how it’s going to be, I’d like to ask us all:

What should we charge for sex on Tinder?

I don’t want this to be some influencer bullshit where pricing is like the wild west and one woman’s getting 5x what another woman’s getting just because she had the guts to ask. I want us, the women of Tinder, to come together as an economy and decide how much to charge douchebags like this guy. Let’s be proactive, and set a going rate.

I’m treated to this kind of degrading nonsense every time I open a dating app. Reminder after reminder that I’m a dime (or free) a dozen and that men can just scoop up free sex aplenty, since that’s all they want and there are seemingly so many women just sitting around on Tinder waiting to provide it. At least that’s somehow what they’ve come to believe. And I’m never rewarded, much less compensated, for the toll it’s taken on me year by year. So while I might be joking about charging one asshole for his evening of “entertainment,” I am very seriously suggesting that every action a man takes on a dating app should absolutely come with a price.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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