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On this episode of Vibe Check, we delve into how people’s dating lives have changed while self-quarantining. Host Jian DeLeon talks to Karley Sciortino, a writer, host, and founder of Slutever. The two discuss how dating apps have evolved in an age of social distancing, with a special focus on Bumble, which empowers women.
Sciortino recounts a story of friends meeting on Bumble, offers advice on keeping the momentum of online dating going, how to rethink sex, and more. Hit play above to listen to the full episode and read on for an excerpt from the conversation.
The below interview is a transcribed version of Vibe Check. It has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Jian DeLeon (JD): Speaking of virtual dating, it’s such a weird concept because the whole concept of online dating apps are pretty recent. But now Bumble has the whole virtual dating badge for people that are open to taking on virtual dates, and it has this direct video calling feature. I mean, it feels a bit retro to me because… I mean, I remember back in high school, if someone had a private line in their home that was sort of like a flex. It’s like now everyone’s looking forward to chatting with someone via the phone as opposed to texting, I feel like.
Karley Sciortino (KS): Totally. I mean, if you can make a joke about it, I think it’s actually a good idea because there’s also a lot of people who feel super awkward about that. I mean, there is something that is a little awkward about going on a video date. But I think that awkwardness can sometimes be sweet. Dating also can be awkward when you’re face to face with somebody. So I think making a joke about it or also if you have that badge on your profile and someone would otherwise be nervous to ask to do that, then you’re showing confidence that that’s something that you’re interested in.
JD: To what extent do you think Bumble and features like video calling and virtual dates are in a way restoring the art of conversation? It’s like, everybody was texting for a while and now it’s, we’re going from the late-night “wyd” text to meeting up with intent online to just actually have a real conversation with somebody.
KS: I think it’s great. I really think that. I mean, there are no distractions. If you go to a bar and you’re having drinks and you’re talking to the bartender and you both have your phones and sometimes people are checking their phones or you’re talking about the people next to you. You are ordering. I mean, there’s all these things that you can interject or that naturally appear as interjections into your date in conversation. Without having those, I think it becomes a lot more vulnerable. Also, without being able to touch someone’s leg, for example, or kiss them at the end of the date, which again, are signifiers that “I like you. This is going well,” but without having to actually articulate it.
I think people have become a lot more verbal, which is scary, right? It’s something that we’re not trained to do. So you have to say, “I really am enjoying talking to you. I think you’re really attractive. I had so much fun on this date. I would really like to do this again.” These things where it’s sort of… It’s like a TBT, old-school courtship in a way. If all you have is talking, then I think that you’re going to get to know someone in a really deep way.
Tune in to new episodes of ‘Vibe Check’ every Tuesday and Thursday.