The point: it seemed like users could easily skip the chit-chat and just pay someone for sex without leaving their i Phone.
I moved back to New York from Cairo in January of 2014, and among the biggest culture shocks was American Tinder.
In Cairo, there was the occasional woman, mostly Russian tourists on holiday, using the mobile dating app; in New York, I met a torrent of instant flirtation.
Patterns emerged: apparently almost every woman under 30 in this city "Loves whiskey," is really into Hallmark-caliber affirmation quotes, and fake moustaches. So much swiping, so much chatting, only to be disappointed in the flesh. The app represents an enormous market (Tinder claims it matches over 10 million horny users a day) and a mammoth valuation (as high as $5 billion).
With a mix of a huge crowd and lots of money, it would make sense for Tinder to attract a more industrious determined type of user: sex workers.
For escorts (and their backers), Tinder's anonymity and ease of use make it a natural fit.
Of all the dating sites, a photo-based app like Tinder is most like a billboard: it advertises only your best features, with no screen-space for blemishes.
Users who open the app for the first time are now often greeted—to their surprise and delight—by a series of familiar figures: lingerie-clad women posing in front of a mirror offering various favors.
For the most part these consist of a BBBJ (Bare Back Blow Job, as in no condom) and GFE (Girlfriend Experience, as in she will treat you with artificial affection and give you the "experience" of making love as your girlfriend), with slight variations in the pitch.
It is quite possible that at some point recently there really were flesh and blood escorts using Tinder, but the new and ubiquitous ones flooding my stream seem nothing more than artificial profiles. After matching with one of the women/bots advertising their services I messaged them, "Hey! I tried this on and off over the course of 24 hours.