Tinder in India is useless,” they say and yet I know so many people who have the app stored on their phones. They swipe away to glory all day every day — doesn’t matter if it’s left or right. The fact of the matter is it gives you an ego boost — people giving you sexual attention. Many of us even like showing it off. Especially those who are (apparently) AGAINST the idea of casual sex. They were probably the first ones to enter the online dating clan.
Proudly, they’ll open their Tinder apps and nicely show you all the, “Hey I find you pretty” messages. Certainly, your online stalkers are a thing to show off in this superficial world.
But my question is — what is any online dating platform about? For messages from random people and going on dates with them. No?
I don’t see any point in hiding the fact that you’re open to casual flings anymore. If you’re up for casual make outs and you’re not a virgin, you’re obviously prepared for casual sex. No big deal. It’s simple. Yes that’s the word. We get it easy and what’s the harm, we don’t have to get emotionally f*cked for simple pleasures in life. We don’t need a relationship, along with all the other tensions that come with it just to get some physical satisfaction.
I was not always like this. Don’t judge me before even knowing me. Yes I belong to this complicated generation where my physical needs overpower my emotional needs most of the times but that does not mean I like what our generation has come down to.
“Just because you’re open to something does not mean you’re all about it,” I had said to a friend once out of frustration and he asked me to pause and repeat the quote again. He wrote it in his diary.
But what I’m trying to say here is, at the end of the day, every day, I feel empty. I feel hollow on the inside, because I feel that I’ve been forced to feel nothing. I was in love once and now, I run away from it. But is it my fault? When things are readily available at your doorstep, it forces you to indulge. Like you got addicted to online shopping or online matrimony. Online dating has made sex available at our doorsteps. Extra marital affair is possible online today for crying out loud.
Ashley Madison would be working so well in India. It ranks 1400 on alexa — meaning it gets about 3 million Indian visitors every month. Founders of this amazing website certainly had a foresighted vision.
So who was I (and what’s with all the rant)?
I was one of those 20 year old kids who had no idea what, ‘Do you want to hang out at my place?’ meant between opposite sexes.
A guy once asked me from my theatre group in the UK, “You want to hang out after the party, I can order the cab and your house comes on the way.” I had said, “Ya man sure.”
Next thing I knew, he had his hand up my thigh from under the table, I was wearing a short white dress. That ticked me off so bad, I was furious for a while and then disturbed, I didn’t even realise what prompted him to make such a move. Rhys and I had hardly ever spoken with each other till that night, in fact I always thought he was a bit of a racist. Most english people are, according to me. And for god’s sake, he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend who was in India who he knew about. I was a loyal partner, the kinds who’d skip parties to FaceTime with her beloved. I stormed off from that party that day and Rhys and I never spoke again.
Naïve as I was about the ways of hookup culture, I still blamed myself and my stupidity. I reached home and first thing I did was to tell my boyfriend about what had happened because I felt guilty. My priorities were about right at that point I guess. I cared about things and I had a self-esteem.
I remember my friend saying once to someone about me — “She’s a compulsive Dater”.
I didn’t like it when my friends spoke about me like that. But at least I felt protected all the time. I used to sometimes feel sorry for my girlfriends who hadn’t dated in the longest time. I felt sorry for nobody ever asked them out because before they could, they had probably already done everything a couple does with them. Kissing, holding hands, cuddling in bed and so much more, that I could only think of sharing with my boyfriend at that time. I failed to realise then that my girlfriends had tasted something I didn’t know the meaning of. They had been there done that.
They didn’t mind being the other girl. And I frowned upon that fact. They used to say, “I’m not his girlfriend”.
There were times I turned agony aunt to them but more than that, I felt bad. Like I feel sad for myself today. There was a time I always had somebody to go back to at the end of the most depressing days. I knew exactly who to call for a night over or to take a room with in a fancy hotel without any guilt. And it wasn’t sex every time. There were times I just took a room with my boyfriend to talk, to spend alone time. Love was beautiful for me then. I knew my friends couldn’t do that.
Who am (are) I (we) today?
It’s funny how just five years down the line I’m exactly the opposite. The beauty is I don’t know whether to be happy or feel incredibly sad about the state of affairs in my head. I firmly believe in the hook-up culture and I certainly judge those who frown upon it. I was always a relationship person, in fact till a year ago I was madly in love. I never got a window to experience the so-called ‘hook-up culture‘ our generation was so hooked on to.
Today I’m a different person, the people I used to judge once upon a time — I am them.
This is what singledom does to you in our generation. We can live without commitment but not without sex, regardless of any sort of STDs it may bring along with it. But like it’s said, your environment shapes you. I’m no different. I’d like to say and unabashedly so, that I got influenced. My break up played a role but more than that, I played a role.
A girl who lost her virginity at 21 and had sex with the one person she fell in love with, she became incapable of lending her heart again.
When a 5-minute drunk kiss (using the tongue by the way) became a usual thing, I didn’t realise. Suddenly, emotional intimacy had no meaning. I became clumsy when it came to meeting men and ‘hanging out’ with them. I became clumsy in the sense, condom or no condom, it makes no difference. Girlfriend no girlfriend, as long as I’m satisfied, I’m good. It may be a guy I’ve known since forever or a guy I just met. All it needed was a guy who can hold a conversation. I didn’t want to be outrightly termed as a slut, even though in my head I feel pretty much like that, when I think about the big German guy (who’s name I didn’t remember) I found sleeping right next to me on a tiny bed in my dorm on my Thailand trip. Justification — I was too drunk.
“You turn into a whore when you’re drunk,” the guy who despite my past or present has fallen for me, says to me every time and all I do is laugh. No guilt, no shame. But I don’t feel any of these. I’m shamelessly straightforward now.
What’s the conclusion?
I’m a product of my environment, doesn’t mean I like the environment I’m in. I feel incapable. Today I understand why my girlfriends couldn’t fall in love, now I understand what’s stopping many of us from getting married. I’m scared that the concept of marriage will cease to exist in the near future and generations will carry on because single motherhood will soon become a thing. I don’t say it’s a bad thing but it’s a bad thing if you don’t even give love a chance. I felt the love when I was in a relationship and I have seen the emptiness and pure pleasure of casual sex.
And let me tell you it’s a bad thing if you think sex is convenient.
I’m scared our generation has turned a blind eye to emotions like love and affection. The one emotion we feel is Sex — that’s the start and end to our days. The fact of the matter is the dating apps suck ass right now in this country so many of us are still sane. But unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they always will be lame.
At some point, they will get the drift and I fear that day.