No thanks, guys, we don’t want to quarantine and chill | Nancy Jo Sales | Opinion | #tinder | #pof

“I need a Covid bae. I’m trying to quarantine and chill! Wassup?” says the profile of a man on Bumble. In his photo, he appears to be a New York City firefighter.

“Quarantined with my longtime girlfriend, but who knows how much longer we can last? Distract me please,” says the profile of a man on Tinder. He appears to be a hipster.

“Not looking for anything serious – just a hookup or a buddy to share a drink with during the Covid social distancing,” says the profile of a man on Hinge. He appears to be bald.

If you listen to reports about online dating, you might think that romance has returned to screens, just in time to save singles from the loneliness of quarantine. The New York Times, always a great champion of technological encroachments into the dating space, has run articles about how online dating is going great in lockdown, while the Washington Post ran a romcom-style piece about video dates, which ended with an IRL kiss.

In real real-life, however, straight women seem to be more than a little bit unnerved by the frequency with which they are seeing straight men on dating sites suggesting they meet up, hook up and carry on with business as usual, despite the threat of contagion.

“At first I was really excited because I thought, OK, now the guys are going to have to do the work to actually get to know us, because they can’t come over,” said Ariel, 27. “But then I start swiping and there’s all these profiles saying things like, ‘Covid-free and have a bunch of toilet paper – who wants to hang out?’”

“I’ve been seeing all these idiots saying they’re ‘looking for hookups’ and I’m like, read the room,” said Lauren, 24. “Like, we’re not going to risk our lives for you.”

“To everyone asking ‘you wanna get drinks?’ on dating apps – y’all know we’re in a quarantine, right?” tweeted @Lorraejo.

Dating app companies seem well aware of the possibility that their users are not abiding by guidelines set out by officials – like the one issued by the New York City health department saying your safest sex partner is you – and so they’ve been issuing warnings of their own.

“It’s important to stress that now is not the time to meet IRL with your match,” said a message from Tinder to its users. “Please keep things here [online] for now.”

But this hasn’t stopped some men from trying. “Recovered from the rona, willing to share my antibodies through intercourse. Saving lives, it’s what I do,” says the profile of a man on Tinder who claims to be an ER nurse.

“A guy on Hinge asked me to self-quarantine with him,” tweeted @E_lizaDay. “We’d never met, had been messaging for three minutes. The kicker? He’s a doctor at Mt Sinai.”

Is anyone taking these men up on their offers to “quarantine and chill”?

“I don’t know a single person who has done this,” said Dylan, 26. “But I asked this one guy who told me he’d ‘bring face masks and lube’ – Does this work on anybody? And he said it had. Who knows if he was lying. And then when I refused to invite him over he asked me to send him nudes.”

The unprecedented nature of the crisis we’re facing seems to have done little to change straight males’ behavior when it comes to fishing for booty pics, according to women I spoke to. “I’ve had semi-normal seeming dudes asking me to send them nudes,” said Samantha, 25. “Recently it’s been, like, all the time, and from people I wouldn’t normally expect.”

“All the guys are moaning that they’re ‘lonely’ and asking for nudes. Like, shut up,” Lauren said.

“Nothing has changed,” said Ariel. “In this virtual Covid dating, it’s even more about male privilege. In real life, they have to at least pretend to care, because they have to see you face-to-face, but now it’s like the only purpose of the woman is to provide them with comfort and boob pics and it is literally so insane.”

“They ask you to chaturbate” – or mutually masturbate while chatting online – “right away now,” said Dylan. “And I’m like, excuse me, I’m not going to do that with someone I’ve never even met.”

“Dating in quarantine is rough,” said Samantha.

But then there are the guys who try to make it worth a woman’s while. “Would you be in the market for a sugar daddy?” a man match messaged one young woman (who asked not to be named), although she had not posted anything to suggest she would. He went on: “Our meet would consist of us hanging out and watching HBO and Showtime and drinking wine for an hour while sitting feet apart so as to practice social distancing. I also have clean, unused face masks.”

Unused? What a prince!

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