“Just install the software,” says Sinulate’s web site, “plug in your Interactive Fleshlight, and pick a partner!” Kyle Machulis, operator of slashdong.org, a Web site about the combination of sex and technology and a self-described “tinkerer/hacker/pioneer/visionary in the realm of sex technology,” is a major proponent of open-source teledildonics.Patterns emerged: apparently almost every woman under 30 in this city "Loves whiskey," is really into Hallmark-caliber affirmation quotes, and fake moustaches. So much swiping, so much chatting, only to be disappointed in the flesh. The app represents an enormous market (Tinder claims it matches over 10 million horny users a day) and a mammoth valuation (as high as billion).With a mix of a huge crowd and lots of money, it would make sense for Tinder to attract a more industrious determined type of user: sex workers.What originally seemed like a new frontier for the sex trade turned out to be a fairly simple money making scheme by some enterprising programmers.And for titillated bros looking for real-life escorts with the ease of Tinder? I don’t know where the real user was located, but our virtual meeting space within Second Life was called “The Netherlands.” Or maybe “she” was really a he, controlling a female avatar. If it’s not clear already, “virtual sex” can be a little complicated.
After all, their pictures didn't look that different from real backpage ads you'd find in your local alt weekly.The site, which advertises itself as a dating page, notes that it was created by "a handful of forward-thinking women who realized that women like hooking up as much as men do." The page is convoluted, and not nearly as appealing as Tinder; it looks like one of those websites that flood your screen as pop-up ads on You Porn. I wanted to get in touch and confirm my suspicions, so I made a profile.Upon signing in, inputting some information—name, age, city of residence—and being encouraged to pay for a premium package, I finally came to the personal pages of the women I had seen on Tinder.Gone were the text ads for their services, and low and behold, they weren't anywhere near Brooklyn.The women were now listed in Miami, Seattle, and suburban Washington. What is the motivation in luring horny dudes to a profile of a non-existent person with no monetary exchange, and not even the decency of a robot reply?Users who open the app for the first time are now often greeted—to their surprise and delight—by a series of familiar figures: lingerie-clad women posing in front of a mirror offering various favors.For the most part these consist of a BBBJ (Bare Back Blow Job, as in no condom) and GFE (Girlfriend Experience, as in she will treat you with artificial affection and give you the "experience" of making love as your girlfriend), with slight variations in the pitch.For escorts (and their backers), Tinder's anonymity and ease of use make it a natural fit.Of all the dating sites, a photo-based app like Tinder is most like a billboard: it advertises only your best features, with no screen-space for blemishes.The point: it seemed like users could easily skip the chit-chat and just pay someone for sex without leaving their i Phone.From terms of service, it forbids commercial solicitation of any kind—including "advertising or soliciting any user to buy or sell any products or services not offered by the Company." Yet and still, escorts on Tinder appear to have become enough of an issue to prompt New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria to blast the app specifically in his attempt to "clean up" dating sites. Is there some cyber pimp wearing Geordi La Forge glasses running the show via smartphone? It didn't take all that long to understand what was really going on.