Never go on Tinder. That way one of the things that will make you a "creature unlike any other" is that you have never been on Tinder.
Hilary White sent me this link to an article on smartphone dating in Vanity Fair. Read as much as you can bear and then get back to me.
A few things called out to me from the pages. The first is that some of the girls mentioned go to Boston College, which is, like, you know, advertised as a Catholic college, and indeed you can find Catholicism taught there, go to Mass, find people who don't think you are insulting them when you explain you don't want to have sex with them, etc. The second is that the girls had taken Kerry Cronin's famous philosophy class, the one with the optional assignment of going on a date.
I think the Newman Society wailed and moaned over that, but it is, in fact, a BRILLIANT idea. Professor Cronin was a shining light when I was at BC, and we chatted at the Lonergan Center about things students would tell her about their personal lives. Crazy, absolutely crazy stuff was going on. One poor boy went over to a girl's house and found himself sitting on the couch while she voluntarily did a pole dance for him. She had a pole of her own in the sitting-room; it was the latest thing. And an elderly professor mentioned, also in the Lonergan Center, that it was common practice for shy freshmen to get absolutely hammered on beer at parties to kill their inhibitions and have sex with strangers. I'm not sure he did anything about this except shake his head and sigh; Kerry, at least, provides an alternative vision.
Speaking of action versus apathy, get Mr Horndog: "The double standard is real," Nick says. "If I'm a guy and I'm going out and ******* a different girl every night, my friends are gonna give me high-fives and we're gonna crack a beer and talk about it. Girls do the same, but they get judged. I don't want it to be like that, but sometimes the world is the way it is and I can't change it, so I just embrace it."
The girls could stop all this, of course, by refusing to go along. I would, however, like to congratulate Tinder on being well on its way to eradicating the world's oldest profession in the USA by convincing beautiful, educated, employed, middle-class women (among others) to turn tricks for free.
But the gross commodification of people--not just sex, as I see the whoremongers choose their voluntary whores on the basis of looks, age and profession--is not limited to men. I had a very weird, yet strangely old-fashioned (now that I've read that Vanity Fair piece), conversation with a pretty young lady about introducing her to a young man I know. Because of her ethnicity, I had her pegged as at least a cultural Roman Catholic, but I was wrong.
"Is he Catholic?" she asked, narrowing her eyes with suspicion.
"Yes," I said, wondering why this might be a deal-breaker.
"Does he, like, not believe in sex in before marriage?"
"I shouldn't think so," I said, taking a very honest look at the reputation of the young man and deciding that he really didn't. "He a nice, marriageable boy."
"But I could never marry anyone without a test drive," said the girl, which was--come to think of it--a brave thing to say to B.A. and me.
"What do you mean 'a test drive'?" we yowled. "What a lot of nonsense."
Neither of us felt comfortable explaining why the whole concept of a "test drive" is a complete crock when it comes to human sexuality and marital happiness. I did not bloody well "test drive" B.A., but I didn't feel like saying that in front of him. However, just thinking of B.A. gave me an idea.
"What if your father gave you a Porsche for your birthday?" I asked the girl. "A brand, new, shiny red Porsche. Would you say, 'Aw, Dad, you shouldn't have bought me this car without letting me test drive it! Aw. Take it away'? "
"But what if the Porsche has the engine of a Ford?" she asked. "Or what if I put the key in the ignition and it doesn't start at all?"
"People are not cars," I huffed, and that was the end of the conversation, not to mention any chance of the wee lassie meeting the nice, marriageable boy.
It was the end of the conversation because I knew exactly what she was talking about, and it was about the sexual performance of a man, any man, the first time he has sex with a woman, any woman, although naturally she was thinking of herself. What if I married a man who is bad in bed? think young women, having heard of the concept of "bad in bed" but not of that of "frank communication between spouses." In the premarital sex scenario, the mechanics of sex are the most important thing in an intimate relationship, more important than offspring, conversation, jokes, loyalty, support, shared enjoyment of meals, films, books, ideas, fellowship and mutual commitment to any cause save that of St. O.
I suspect this is because sexually active unmarried women are too scared to ASK for anything, for fear the men will leave them. Thus, the men better be great in the sack right from the start, for God forbid the women ever suggest to them what they might do to improve. Married women can make any old suggestion; leaving us is a much more expensive and bothersome option, and we know it.
Is "bad in bed" a myth? Probably not, but also not worth losing your soul over, or reducing an eternal being made in the image and likeness of God to the status of an automobile. (The condition probably could also be cured.) It seems to me that the poor "Tinderellas" lose more than half their value to their temporary owners once they are driven off the lot.
So there's the horror. Where's the hope?
The hope is that virginity, thanks to its rarity, will become valuable again. I don't want to turn virginity into the commodity it always used to be, but I do want to point out that eventually young men are going to feel sick to their stomach by all their whoring, or the whoring of their peers, and all the women who allowed, and even encouraged them, to behave that way.
When this day comes, the thought of girls and women who do not behave that way, and have never behaved that way, will come as a welcome glass of water to the sin-parched throats of these terribly disappointed men.
Once again, unless you live in a small, close-knit, community of church-going young people, do not expect to marry a man under the age of thirty. You might be younger than thirty, but chances are, he just isn't going to be.