I Used Tinder to Score as Much Free Shit as I Could
I got tons of food from guys online by posing as a girl—but what could I get IRL as a man?
This post originally appeared on VICE UK
Dating apps were invented so that people could idly pass the time scrolling through the faces of strangers they might want to have sex with. But there are plenty of other uses for these apps that aren't being exploited. For example, making someone believe you actually like them, getting them to buy you stuff, then disappearing into the night forever.
We thought we'd try that potential usage by asking three writers—a straight girl on LUXY, a gay guy on Grindr, and a straight guy on Tinder—to use their respective app to score as much free stuff as they could, armed only with a 3G phone and a concerning lack of guilt. This is the third installment.
First, a bit of backstory.
The first time I went on Tinder, I—like everyone else who's ever used it—thought it was fantastic. I'd peer at endless profiles of girls as a kaleidoscope of potential romantic futures unfurled themselves on my tiny iPhone screen: flirty texts, belly butterflies, beach holidays, jewelry shops, babies' names, brewer's droop, screaming matches in IKEA, burying her grandpa—literally the whole gamut.
Its full potential, however, was not made clear to me until one day at work, a day at work like so many others that I was enduring through the gauze of a nerve-shredding hangover. Unable to face the outside world, I decided to try my luck by seeing if I could successfully ask a girl from Tinder to send a pizza to my work. To the disbelief of myself and my colleagues, within a couple of hours my shaking face was devouring a carnivorously topped pizza that had been paid for by a total stranger and delivered straight to my doorstep.
Tinder swiftly became my favorite app. Its possibilities seemed endless. It was also plainly clear to me that, if I—a 20-year-old with an ugly mug—was able to get a pizza off Tinder, then a hot blonde girl certainly could. I proceeded to do what any guy would do and set up a fake account with a female friend's pictures. And from that fateful day forth, I have been enjoying Asian cuisine from a variety of takeaway places all across London for absolutely nothing.
Not content with inhaling half of Just Eat, ordered like one of life's eternal cowards from behind my phone screen, I decided to see what I could score in real life, as a straight man, from women. I took once again to Tinder and, after swiping "yes" to every single profile that I came across, I started talking to a 21-year-old primary school teacher from Buckinghamshire.
We arranged to meet at a pub in Shoreditch at 9 PM. I had already hinted within the brief exchange of messages on the dating app that she was going to buy the first round. I purposefully arrived ten minutes late in the hope that she would have a round of drinks waiting for me—in hindsight this may have not been the best tactic, as the idea was to get free stuff, not piss her off.
After a a brief exchange of hellos and kisses on cheeks I decided to make my first request of the evening: for her to get a round of drinks in. She wasn't too impressed, but did as I had asked and £17.50 (about $27) later we were sharing a bottle of something called La Serrana Macabeo.
I led her through the busy bar into the beer garden, which was lit up by fairy lights and a gas heater. It was hard to find seats at first, it being a Friday night—however, I managed to find some space towards the back of the garden. We were right next to a big locked gate, which I was eyeing up just in case the date took a horrendous turn for the worse and I had to make an athletic escape.
I was utterly determined that I was going to get through this date without spending a penny. And, after a glass and a half of wine, she seemed to forget that I had made her pay for the bottle. She was really charming.
It didn't take us long to sink the wine though, which led to the first seriously awkward moment of the night: ten minutes of glancing at each others' glasses to see who would give in first and offer to buy the second bottle. Determined to be brave, I maintained my game face and asked her to get another, a request that she laughed off, saying it was my turn.
This was gonna be tough. Trying to keep things light-hearted, I for some reason forced myself into a prolonged improvised speech about dating conventions and how we should try to explode them by getting her to pay for all of the drinks. This did not go down too well. She was disgusted that I had implied it should be her funding this supposedly romantic night. She excused herself to the toilet, probably to make a phone call to one of her friends to say how much of an asshole I was.
At this this point I sat alone seriously wishing I was hiding behind my phone screen, demanding takeaways off of strangers. But unfortunately this is reality and in reality you have to pay for your own La Serrana Macabeo and Thai green curries.
After the longest five minutes of my life she returned to say she best be off as she didn't want to get back too late, making an excuse about having a family meal she had to be on form for the next day. From this moment, I knew it was time to wave the white flag. She reluctantly gave me a kiss on the cheek and just like that, she left. Literally no one else I tried that night wanted to meet up with me.
Overall the date was incredibly regrettable. I couldn't help but feel that I had let myself down. In my head I had the idea that I was going to be drinking Grey Goose and champagne until the sun came up, but it modern day dating it seems that by default the man still buys the drinks. Or at least isn't an utter scrub and pays his way.