So far, I’ve reflected on some of the weird and frustrating aspects of my five months within the Hive. But, now I want to share more of the personal side of my experiences using Bumble in a fumbling attempt to search, flirt, date and do what bunnies do.
Please join me in a tantalizing travel back in time to August 22, 2017, two days after I joined the Bumbleverse. I started to feel like none of the hotties I was swiping right on were interested in the adorable, hilarious Venus Fly Trap I had set up via my very carefully selected photos and bio. But, on this day, that all changed.
On the fateful morning of the aforementioned date, finally one of the men I had eagerly swiped yes on swiped right back – woohoo! In my excitement, I spewed texting vomit all over one of my close girlfriends who had continued to be a reliable confidante during discussions regarding the (mis)adventures I was getting up to on Bumble. I think she, like me, had started to wonder if it was simply my swiping game or something had gone terribly awry in modern matchmaking. So, when we heard back from this tanned cutie, do you think you could hear us cheering and engaging in a digital high five from wherever you’re reading this?
Tell me more, tell me more (cue the “Pink Ladies” from Grease)
He was HOT – said my brain and my friend. Equally as important, he posted photos of delicious-looking food. So, I am thinking to myself, “Yes – to both meals.” With the “OK” from my friend, I moved forward in my seduction and attempted to see if I should set up a date with this sweet male bee.
I would like to say, before you continue reading, that I blame Rihanna for this particular set of events. I make this accusation because I was listening to her “Desperado” when I amped up my flirt game with this Mediterranean Romeo – even though his profile read that he was, “looking for friendship and fun,” aka to bang. Oh well, Rhi Rhi and I responded in chorus, as his advances, which seemed to alternate between bold and boyish, made it seem like we were making it work, work, work, work, work.
100 texts later and we’re both LOL’ing (I think?)
If you’ve been following along with this blog, you know I think I am quite funny. Well, la di da, so did this guy. Or, at least that’s what his rampant use of smiley/crying-face emojis implied. For hours we texted throughout the following week. At one point, I wondered how in the Queen Bee’s name someone could possibly maintain employment when their notifications were always popping like kernels. But, after a bit of a dating hiatus, I was into it.
Sooo, what did we talk about? What does one talk about with a stranger who may just be honey material? Lots of the chats were charged with sex, but not all of them were. We ping-ponged back and forth between the weather and whether we liked to do this or that where the sun doesn’t shine. It was all in good fun, and I thought maybe the texting was turning into something worthwhile. However, as with all the stickiest stories, there were a few surprises along the way.
One of the things we shared in common was that we both like men.
Yes, in that way. This handsome man, who looked like someone who may carry you along the beach of a faraway place, was sweeping both men and women off their feet. My interesting conversations with him (and others I encountered along the way) made me realize that more straight-identifying guys are experimenting with other men than we think. Of course, gay men have known this for years, but that’s another story! Anyhow, getting these straight men to articulate exactly what these interactions mean is difficult, almost as hard as learning how to screenshot conversations or images to get your bestie’s once over when you’re a complete luddite. Because OF COURSE my new flame had to frame all these sexy “encounters” with non-gay-affirming assertions. Most commonly, he said it was his girlfriend’s idea, even if she just watched. But, he obviously enjoyed the playtime he partook in with dudes because he seemed rather eager to incorporate the possibility of other penises into our chats – and potentially our future encounters.
Well, even if this doesn’t work out, I guess he can set me up?
I won’t lie, but the potential of this guy being a springboard into a pool of hunks definitely crossed my mind when my match provided an eyebrow-raising photo of one of his previous male encounters. HOLY MOLY! And my friend, previously cited in this article, who was basically a text-third-wheel at this point, did not hesitate to emulate my excitement, “Why didn’t he dump his girlfriend and go out with HIM instead? He is a thing of beauty.”
Sexuality is a lot more fluid than honey, so I was more than happy to keep the buzz going.
All jokes aside, I didn’t at all mind that my new fine-feathered friend also enjoyed the company of men and I still looked forward to meeting him myself.
However, I did find it very interesting my match was this forward about not only sex, but aspects of sex that many men might be timid about sharing given how fragile or under threat masculinity seems to be at this point in time. As both a researcher and human being attempting to navigate romantic social structures, I found this fascinating. Mostly, in this case, I was just an admirer of the pizzazz my potential partner had for wrangling men that were in the seriously scorching-hot temperature bracket.
Alas, I was not looking for a threesome (or, at least that’s not what I thought I was looking for until I opened the digital door on hottie number two – just kidding, sort of). So, cutie number one and I teed up a date, and I look forward to providing all the not-so-juicy details of that experience in my next article.
And, please, if you have anything to share about the constructs of sexuality, its fluidity and how you think dating apps empower, dis-empower or alter them, give us a shout and we’d be glad to elaborate further in a future post.