The word is out: Girls are using Tinder to see how many pizzas they can get via the online hookup service. Their victims? Highly gullible, extremely naive but relentlessly hopeful guys who use the widely popular (50 million and rising**) dating app. The punchline? Most of these guys have never met the girl they are showering with the Internet’s most popular cuisine.
With an app whose average user spends more than 90 minutes per day** surfing and with the catchphrase “Any swipe can change your life,” it should come as no surprise that “Tinder pizza” is a thing. It is surprising, however, that it’s just surfacing now. Chicagoist was the first to blow the whistle on the “Tinder Games” and, not so surprisingly, Buzzfeed followed suit.
But the fact of the matter is that Tinder pizza is more harmful than quoting Bin Laden’s love letters or Jaden Smith’s head-scratching, off the wall tweets as pick-up lines. It’s perpetuating a real problem in the dating world—girls use guys like ATMs at times and punish them when they come to collect. Men generally tend to have an entitlement issue, and girls, like the ones getting pizza on Tinder, are exploiting it.
I decided to put Tinder pizza to the test. Under the advice of a friend, I joined Tinder before the day to start to “cultivate relationships.” I had never joined a dating site and I was never good at math but I figured: “Swipe right frequency + #GPOY selfies + close attention to conversation = greater chance of pizza.” I chose “Cats and Pizza” as my bio and the reporting began.
Sure, “do you want to straddle my face” was blunt and “Weed get along well” was adorable. The ambiguity of responsibility is to be expected, meaning I’m not going to track these guys down and be like, “What did you just say to me?!” and these overzealous guys know that. But I wasn’t there to find true blue, I was there for pizza.
It was about 8:30PM when the office cleared out and I was left with Joshua, my editor. I decided to go with the slow and steady approach, you know, feed on empathy. I went with: “I’m broke until next week” or ”I’m working late in the office, can you do me a favor?” I played that up until some guys started to ask questions about it. However, when I asked for the (sacred) favor, they became guarded. A few were so clever as to post the Buzzfeed article in our chat.
First, I went for the guy who told me I was a goddess right out of the gate, figuring he would treat me like one. However, he sort of caught on to my act, dared me to unmatch him and I did. It’s hard to turn down a dare.
The next guy I chose had started hot and heavy with an “I love you.” Apparently, though, his love was short lived.
A hour and a half of solicitation and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was starting to think it wasn’t going to happen, and in many ways I was relieved. I didn’t want to think I could get away with free pizza off Tinder by simply conversing with guys.
I handed the phone over to my editor for a while since he professed to “know men” and how they think. Reverse psychology was his strategy—that and the reassurance that even if “I” didn’t give the guy anything else that night at least he had my “address.” Needless to say he was just as unsuccessful as I was.
It was about 10:30PM when it happened. I had found a nice, kind hearted guy who was willing to “help me out.” I gave him my editor’s phone number, he sent a screenshot of the receipt and before I knew it, we were staring at a pizza. It was Hawaiian….whatever.
My biggest interest in this experiment was exploring female privilege. Why I chose Tinder was specifically because of the Chicagoist article I read via Facebook. (Most) women believe and stand by the fact that they can’t be bought. Yet on Tinder, under the safety net of the internet, they lead men to believe that they could be, that they like it and there could be a reward.
It’s no secret that when you are at the bar and a guy offers to buy you a drink your first thought will always be, “hope he doesn’t think I’m going to sleep with him.” Even though it’s over the Internet the expectation remains. The app is location based after all.
Women feel that because there are no immediate repercussions, they can get away with getting pizza, or other cuisines, because men are dogs right? Guys are such players, why can’t girls play too? They deserve it.
But isn’t that contributing to the problem? Honestly, we can’t change antiquated dating techniques if we, as women, exploit them and enable them. We might not be able to change common male perceptions of dating or the expectations we confront daily, but we can change ourselves.
“It’s only a few bucks, like, what’s it going to hurt me to go out on a limb?” Rahmeaun Rahming, the guy who blindly bought me pizza, said.
I couldn’t imagine writing this article without following through, so I got back in touch with Rahming, 26. We arranged a meet up, with pizza, which I paid for.
“It seemed like we started texting and it was like, ‘Now! Hurry up! I want the pizza! Are you going to do it?’, with all these emoticons and stuff. I’m like, this seems a bit rushed. I don’t know but I just decided to do it anyway against my better judgement. I figured I would do it anyway, I already said yes,” Rahming said.
Rahming was texting with my editor instead of me and had sent him the receipt of the Grubhub order once it was all said and done. Throughout his whole decision-making process, Rahming’s friend, who was over to make some gaming videos, had told him not to do it. “You will send her the pizza and never hear from her again,” Rahming recalled his buddy telling him.
Rahming is a nice guy, very conversational and a total tech nerd. He means well—maybe too well. He joined Tinder eight months ago in search of a serious relationship. It’s not that he is or was naive, but rather he figured he had nothing to lose by sending a broke girl he barely knew a pizza.
“I feel like most females are on Tinder for attention, or any of these dating sites. They match with someone and you realize that, oh, you matched with a nice ego boost,” Rahming said.
It’s true, there is a thrill from that attention. I experienced it myself and it was a delightful power trip. Because most girls assume guys are playing games already, it becomes okay to play games too.
“One side of it is merely fun, that’s it. Its fun to play games and come out on top. I think the internet is really doing something different for guys versus girls as far as what that relationship should be. Now girls can just put one picture of their face up there are a bunch of guys lined up ready to talk to her,” Rahming said.
He continued, “Whereas before a girl would wait for a guy to approach them. Now girls are allowed to be forward put themselves out there and see what they rake in. Now that they are raking in, they are doing what guys have been doing many years before. We are doing the same thing to each other.”
So what have I learned from all of this? Female privilege is a dirty word and assumed to be non-existent. There are certain tricks of the trade that end in pay-outs. As far as Tinder goes, getting pizza from guys, who may or may not be total players, isn’t that big of a deal because girls don’t play as dirty as men. When in all actually reality, these girls don’t really want to be treated like they treat men on Tinder.
On the bright side, women are starting to be more forward and confident in the dating world. We shouldn’t break out the fireworks just yet because this is an example of that idea’s exploitation. But this confidence is expected on places like Tinder and that’s what’s important. But until female forwardness is the widely known expectation, women must decide between payback or the higher road.
** From information acquired by Maria Claire