In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then and

But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. ’ ” says Jennifer, 22, a senior at Indiana University Southeast, in New Albany.

There’s always something better.” “If you had a reservation somewhere and then a table at Per Se opened up, you’d want to go there,” Alex offers.“Guys view everything as a competition,” he elaborates with his deep, reassuring voice. ” With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling.

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Some, like writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is …

bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued.

In fact, they can remember whom Alex has slept with in the past week more readily than he can.“Brittany, Morgan, Amber,” Marty says, counting on his fingers. Alex, his friends agree, is a Tinder King, a young man of such deft “text game”—“That’s the ability to actually convince someone to do something over text,” Marty explains—that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.“How does he ”But Marty, who prefers Hinge to Tinder (“Hinge is my thing”), is no slouch at “racking up girls.” He says he’s slept with 30 to 40 women in the last year: “I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy,” in order to win them over, “but then they start wanting me to more …

and I just don’t.”“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way.

As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex.

Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship.

“I always make a point of disclosing I’m not looking for anything serious.

I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens …

“I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”And is this “good for women”?

Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women.

The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app.