Think of it this way: If you only sleep with people connected to your social scene, then the regular gossip will result in everyone knowing who you’re banging.And if you’re someone who sleeps around even a little bit, that could lead to you getting a bad rep (especially if you’re a woman).She says she doesn’t do dating apps, because she doesn’t make sense in 2-D: “I’m just better in context,” Kaitlin recently told me over the phone. ”“That actually sounds horrifying to me,” she said.“I’m kind of a lot—most people, when they meet me, want to fuck me or kill me. I’m not afraid to low-key blackout while drinking, so it just makes more sense that I meet people in the wild. “I’m just not interested in anonymous experiences or having sex with people outside the culture industry.”Ultimately, what Kaitlin wants is for men to be vetted—whether through social connections, or simply by having her friends help her assess whether a guy at the bar is fuck-worthy.He bought me a drink and told me he flew planes as a hobby.He put his hand up my skirt a bit, and invited me to go with him and his friends to a bar downtown. “I’m just going to run next door to my place and change out of my suit.” We half-kissed.Sure, I could pick a handful of photos where I look traditionally hot—from photo shoots, with a strong flash—but then what if the guy shows up thinking I’m this pretty, sweet writer, only to realize that I’m a babbling alcoholic who can’t even apply eyeliner? I’d rather meet someone in a bar, where they can process my worst qualities right off the bat.”And the men Kaitlin goes for—well, they aren’t app-friendly for a different reason. “I only sleep with squad and squad-adjacent people, because even if you don’t end up liking each other, the guy still has to be polite to you when he sees you,” she said. No man should be able to ghost me and get away with it.”All valid points.“I’m not known for dating superhot people,” she said. I’m attracted to everyone I date, but if all the men I’m having sex with right now were presented to me on an app, I’m almost positive I wouldn’t swipe right on any of them. But I wanted an expert opinion on this apps-versus-bars dispute, so I called up my Internet friend Bernie Hogan, a research fellow at Oxford who’s an expert in social networks and online relationships. “What’s interesting is that the norms have flipped,” Hogan told me.
—that’s for weirdos and losers.’ Today, you go to a bar to chat with your friends, not to hook up.” Which, in turn, clearly has made the latter a harder thing to do in recent years.Hogan told me, “By using dating apps, you can be very sexually active without most of your personal network knowing anything.By making your social group irrelevant to your dating life, you remove yourself from their judgment.” He put it concisely: “With trust comes constraint.Twenty minutes later he was back, now wearing a deep V-neck T-shirt, giant gold sneakers, and aviator lenses. In the space of one drink, my tweedy, intellectual Jew had transformed into a DJ from Ibiza.People say that you never know who you’re talking to online.