Tag Archives: Tinder

Dating Apps and Ghost Dicks

15 Jan

Iby Kiersten Hallie Krum

Everyone who has been on a dating app/site has horror stories. In Alisha Rai’s book, Serving Pleasure (a must read), the heroine goes on a series of first dates in an attempt to meet the kind of man her traditional mother would approve and thus be the daughter she believes her mother wants. To research this book, Ms. Rai joined dating apps and went on a series of dates, some hilarious disasters she live chronicled on Twitter. So when I joined early in 2017, I was well prepped to endure many toads before finding even the hint of a potential prince.

I did not anticipate Ghost Dicks.

I’ve been on two “dating” apps since last March, though I didn’t start actively engaging until July. I went in with a healthy skepticism, shields at the ready, prepared to swipe left far more often than I would right. Over the past months, I’ve met a shocking (to me) amount of married men looking for a fling and the expected quota of boy men looking for hookups. Some engagements have been quite flattering. I’m not ashamed to admit to enjoying being called beautiful and sexy even with the foreknowledge that such compliments may be merely a line. Everyone on dating apps has an agenda. Even me.

Despite my metaphoric arched eyebrow over the whole process, I went into this with a few outright, perhaps obvious goals. But in the last few months, my goals have changed. Before I was looking for a date (among other things); now, I’m just hoping they don’t turn out to be a Ghost Dick.

Ghosting is (apparently) pop-culture parlance that all the kids are fluent in, but which was new to me. It’s when someone with whom you’ve been communicating…disappears with now warning. Poof. Gone.


It’s supremely vexing.

My best friend coined the phrase “Ghost Dicks,” because ghosting is a seriously dick move. I’ve had multiple connections with potential dates where sometimes weeks of texting and communicating ends in stunning, inexplicable silence. I’m not talking “this chick is cray cray, she’s totally getting blocked,” I’m talking about “I can’t wait to meet you” and then…absolutely nothing. There were even interactions with one or two of these men that developed into intense, intimate sharing, things I don’t lightly reveal to just anyone, so I was invested in a potential in-person meeting, which made me even more gobsmacked when instead, I was treated to more utterly asinine behavior. Just the other day, I read a Facebook post of someone whose date got too handsy on their first time out. I immediately thought, “damn, at least you got a date.”

I began to wonder if something was wrong on my end. Was I too open? Too forward? Too needy? Too pushy? Things women have been conditioned to think, to blame themselves, when something involving a man goes wonky. But then I remembered–it is so not remotely related to me. Not as a person or as a woman. Nor is it a silent commentary on my worthiness or attractiveness as a prospective date. They are just being total dicks.

Ghost Dicks aren’t limited to any specific age or profession or lifestyle or race or anything outside of them having an XY chromosome. Not for nothing, but one of the things that really cranks me up about the experience is knowing that I just have to start all over again only to risk having the same thing happen. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve said at the start, “be a man and don’t ghost on me” and still, the bastard disappeared!

Who needs a relationship? I’m going through most of the stages of one from attraction to breakup without even meeting the wankers!

Has no one learned the basics of respect? Because I don’t think it’s naïve or silly to expect someone who’s considering being physically and emotionally intimate with me to be an actual adult and not a juvenile coward. Most wouldn’t bail on a business associate like this–not and hope to keep the business. So why is it OK to simply disappear from a romantic entanglement–even if it’s only still in the potential stages–without even the basic courtesy of “sorry babe, this isn’t working for me”?

I know high school never ends, but really?!?!

On one actual in-person date, I ask the guy what was the deal with guys ghosting. His theory was that guys did this when they moved on to a “better prospect” but didn’t want to completely sever the connection in case the new one didn’t work out. In what crazy world would a woman take a guy back after such treatment? Because we’re all, what, contestants on The Bachelor desperate for your special snowflake attention? Please.

I’ll admit, my reaction may seem a bit…extreme. But I have no patience for bullshit, especially when it involves people’s emotions, and let’s face it, if you’re on a dating site, you’re emotionally invested on some level. I’m not saying you want to marry every dude (or lady) you “like”, merely that the act of preparing to open yourself to someone new, to some picture and profile on a dating app, involves making yourself emotionally accessible. Being vulnerable. Have some bloody respect for that, damn it.

Am I expecting too much? Is my bar set too high? Can there be a “too high” setting on something like this–an attempt to emotionally (and, let’s face it, sexually) connect with someone who will respect you enough to at least say “goodbye”? Have you been on a dating app/site and experienced a Ghost  Dick? Got a theory as to why such pricks are so prevalent? Let me know in the comments.

Follow Lady Smut. We won’t ghost on you. Promise.

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the award-winning author of Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novels.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life. Find out more about Kiersten and her books on her website www.kierstenkrum.com

The Master of None “First Date” episode made me glad I’m not on Tinder

19 May

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I’m writing this post while binge watching Season 2 of Master of None, the Netflix comedy created (and often written and directed) by and starring Aziz Ansari as actor and newly single Dev Shah.

Here’s the trailer for Season 2:

It took me a little while to warm up to the show; I started Season 1 soon after it debuted, but didn’t get far. But over the last week I’ve been making my way through Season 1, then went right into Season 2.

There have been moments of recognition, but episode four of the new season, titled “First Date,” was one that made me grateful that I’m not using dating apps. I almost wrote, “grateful that I’m not single,” but that’s not totally accurate. While I’m happy to be in a five-year long-term relationship, even back when I was single, I could barely handle online dating, let alone dating apps.

I think the reason they never did the trick is that, unlike the woman Dev goes out with who, mid-date, starts using the app where they met, Love at First Sight, because she’s both just not that into him and truly enjoys swiping, I was never “into dating,” I was into meeting someone I could connect with. I hated the awkwardness of first dates, the way they could very easily feel like job interviews in more casual settings.

Back in 2010, I went on what’s still my worst date ever, in which a guy seemed to be deliberately trying to make our date agonizing. The thing is, on a dating site or app, it’s relatively easy to make yourself seem more interesting than you are in real life. The converse, for me, was also true: the few times I did using dating sites, I always felt torn between being honest about who I am and trying to upsell myself. If I painted too rosy a picture, I worried I wouldn’t be able to live up to the hype. But when would the right time have been to tell someone I was a hoarder who couldn’t open the door to her apartment without slamming her body weight against it? That’s just not something that would ever work in the context of an “about me” blurb.

But Tinder, which I’ve only observed on a friend’s phone, seems to take all the pressure of summarizing yourself and presenting a pretty image to a whole new level. I imagine that if I were on it, I would also become obsessed with not the quality of my matches, but the quantity. My mood would swoop up or down depending on how popular I found myself with the people there. And while there are exceptions, I have trouble imagining I’d have met someone who I could actually settle down with via a dating app.

I’ve always preferred to meet people I date more organically, either through a shared activity (like playing Boggle or trivia, both of which have yielded me dates), via a mutual friend or simply by chance. As my sex column and erotica writing career developed, I also faced a clash between my public, online persona and the “real me.” That’s not to say that I wasn’t myself in my writing—I always was (and am), to a fault—but it’s awkward when someone can Google you and find out you like giving blowjobs or have posed nude or an endless stream of other details I’ve shared with the world. There is a tension between the me who sits around in sweats and binges TV shows, who’s super dorky and romantic and cries easily, and the more readily available version that comes up via Google. They’re all parts of me, but ones that are hard to convey in an hour or two, especially when there’s all the pressure of a first date.

I know there are some people who simply enjoy the act of dating, of going out and meeting multiple people, no matter the outcome. But I was never one of them. I was more about the destination than the journey. That’s not to say I didn’t like when a date went perfectly, the kind where I lost track of time and wound up getting home in the wee hours when I’d planned to be back early. But watching Dev go on so many dates on Master of None, I didn’t feel a shred of envy. I didn’t think I was missing out on anything, and while I don’t plan to ever be single again, if that should ever happen, I won’t be using technology to help me bond with anyone. I’ll fumble through the madness that is dating all by myself. At least I don’t have a Tinder worst date story, right?

What do you think? Are dating apps a modern blessing or curse? Leave a comment and let us know!


Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

%d bloggers like this: