Guest Post: How to Tinder

The Most Interesting Woman in the World, my good friend V, has decided to officially grace us with her online presence! Instead of my bumbling attempts to consolidate her pearls of dating wisdom (she affectionately calls me her “Dating Hawk”; I, in turn, have lovingly dubbed her “Sensei”), she offered to contribute a post to the site, in which she begins to reveal the little known secrets to effectively navigating one of the ubiquitous and most high profile apps of our generation’s lifestyle: This, ladies and gents, is her guide to Tinder:

Tinder: It scares your mother. This is reason enough to love it.

Tinder is basically the most fun thing in the world; it has many wonderful  uses, as well as a bonus “skeezy” reputation as a “hook-up app.” Most people know by now that it’s a app that allows you to look at 6-image/500-word profiles of people in your general area and swipe right if you like what they’re working with, or left if they seem creepy-weird instead of fun-weird. You can date them; you can gawk at them; you can just tell them all of your problems until they stop responding to your messages. What you do with this app is pretty much your own problem.

Your mom definitely thinks Tinder is just for “hooking up.” She heard it on the Today Show or Wendy Williams and she knows all about kids these days and their internet hook-ups, although they definitely never did things like that when she was young, no sir.

Tinder is a dating app, just like any other dating app. If you want to use it to find people to hook up with, then do that. If you want to use it to find people to go on a date with, then do that. Whatever, I’m not telling you what to do with your genitals or time. I am, however, telling you that if you want to hook up with randoms, you can use okCupid, lame clubs, or yoga class to meet those people. Tinder certainly does not have the monopoly on people who want to bump uglies with you and then never talk to you again.

Let’s explore the multifarious uses of this magical world:

People watching, aided by technology.

Unsurprisingly, it’s fucking fun to check out who is within 3 miles of you and 25-33.* I suggest this both as a group activity, and a fun travel activity.

Wondering if the neighborhood you’ve wandered into on vacation is hip or too hip? Look at Tinder. See how many people have perfectly maintained high-and-tight haircuts. In group pictures, is everyone holding a craft cocktail? Are 1/3 or more of profile pictures staged in front of street art?

If you’re near your home base, it’s never a bad idea to throw back a few drinks with your besties and survey the population. Sure you could do this irl in a bar, and you probably are.

Weirdly, it’s also a good conversation starter: “Hey, cute person sitting next to me at bar, do you think this potential Tinderella (P.T.) is a serial killer?” L’s and I deffinnnitely met some boys when we were Tinder-ing in a bar one Wednesday night in Nola. They came up to us, and we ended up trading phones with them, swiping left and right on the ladies we found to be the most datable while they swiped away on our phones.

Self-esteem booster.

This is self-explanatory, but I’ll expound anyways. Go on Tinder. Swipe right on some people. Some of them will swipe right on you. Look! Others find you attractive! You don’t have to talk to them. You don’t have to do anything, but know that you still got it.

Sometimes these people are awesome but maybe you’re in the best relationship of your life so you can’t exactly take on any sidepieces. They will still say nice things to you like: “Hey, I want to braid our mohawks together like the last of the Mohicans.” A real girl sent me that message, and it was adorable. I’m not sexually into adorable, however, so it did not go anywhere.

What to look for in a Tinder profile (assuming you actually want to talk to the person, not just “hook up,” as your mom says)

As L’s and I are aspiring art historians, I’m going to break down what makes a good profile when all you’ve got to work with are a few pictures:

1. How many pictures did the P.T. Post? Are there, like two, and one looks really good and the other is blurry? This person is not worth your time swiping right because they put absolutely no effort into their profile. Probably a shell profile, used only for people watching; they’re not looking for anything. If for some reason you do swipe right on one of these, and they message you, just realize that it’s probably not a great sign that they don’t want you to know what they look like. Possibly a serial killer.

2. Is every picture on this profile a selfie? They have no friends. They want to tell you all of their problems and will introduce you to their mom on the first date. Pass.

3. On the other hand, is every picture a group shot? Can you even tell which one is Ryan, 27? If they’re all hotties, swipe right. #goldmine

If some are weird-looking, Ryan, 27, is the weird-looking one, and his hot friends are all happily married.

4. In a six-picture profile, did they choose to include the one from 2007 where they’re posed with a mustache drawn on their finger? Do most of their pictures appear to be from ’07? Pass. They’re fat now, or at least swollen with reminisces of a simpler time because they’re living in the past.

5. Is the P.T. holding an electrically-colored drink and leaping in multiple pictures? If so, ask yourself if this is the kind of person who you want to associate with in public, or if they’re going to give you a wedgie at the bar to show how “uninhibited” they are.

How to make your profile dope

This part is easy:

1. Choose a variety of pictures where you are NOT holding your little cousin.** Yes, you have family members. Yes, children are cute. Yes, most people want to to have a kid or killer robot or whatever eventually, but it still looks like that’s your kid, and I’m not even going to read your profile.

2. An attractive profile usually includes a variety of images, including ones that show your face, ones that show your (fully clothed) body, snapshots of you doing things alone or with friends, and maybe a selfie if you have a strong eyebrow game. Stay away from childhood photos. There’s time to break those out on the 45th date if things get that far.

3. The focus of the first picture should be you. It can be your face, or a picture of you doing something/being somewhere nice looking, but don’t choose one where the camera was so far away that you’re just a speck or generic person shape. Don’t use a selfie for your first picture if you can help it. These just never look as good as pictures taken by other people.

4. The second picture can include other people, hopefully people who you look happy to be around. A group shot is also a convenient way to include a full body image.

5. The first and second images are the most important ones. Just don’t get too creep-status with these, and you’re good. Vary the previously-mentioned types of pictures for the next four images.

Basically, if you choose a few pictures that show you in a flattering light with people you like, wearing outfits you like, being places you like, your P.T. is going to end up inferring a lot about who you actually are and how you interact with those around you. The thing that makes Tinder so great is the brevity of the profiles. Realistically, there is no one magic formula to finding a relationship that works, but finding someone on Tinder is a lot more like finding someone irl, compared to other dating sites that rely on hundreds of irrelevant questions. Sure, you might find someone who likes the same obscure ’90s sci-fi tv shows as you, but that’s not nearly as good as finding someone who will take care of you when you’re sick or who has an arsenal of corny jokes at the ready to make your mom laugh when they meet her. I—skeptic that I am—think someone’s behavior is the most important factor in finding an enduring relationship, not their responses to a questionnaire.

What to say in your profile’s 500-word block text might happen in a later post.

*Assuming that you set the app to show you people within 3 miles of you who are 25-33.

**Also, dudes, stop setting your first photo to one of you holding a puppy or kitten. Everyone likes puppies and kittens. It doesn’t make you look sensitive; it makes you look uncreative.

Flawless Technique.

In my defense, he asked me to.

Remember that one time? @llibert39

A post shared by Chelsea Brown (@downtownchelseabrown) on

So, a couple years ago I went through a phase… a punching phase. As you may suspect no, it was not cute. I have since retired my fists of justice; however, occasionally the opportunity presents itself. When it does I generally take it, because that sensation is intensely gratifying. Here’s a couple of tips the next time a drunk guy asks you to slap the shit out of him:

1. Form: stand with feet hip distance apart. A swing with this much enthusiasm requires balance. If you’re wearing long sleeves, gloves, etc, remove all possible hand-to-face obstructions. Whichever hand you choose to go sailing through the air, make sure your palm is open with fingers slightly bent, much like you would before a high-five… to the face.

2. Aim: ideally for the fat part of the cheek. That’s the sweet spot, and the spot that makes that satisfying *POP* when it gloriously hits home.

3. If you opt for a countdown, never make it to the count of 3. You want to surprise them.

4. Immediately step back afterwards and be prepared for post-slap retribution. Often, what we think is a good idea, in the aftermath, is not. Never forget what the five fingers said to the face. If you do, that may mean you’re next.

5. If and when the fear of restitution has been eclipsed, go in for the hug, because what a great sport!

Current Jam: “The Burn” The Ones to Blame

Quirk #10, General Update

Remember that game Rock Band?

So, I can’t sing. At all. The noises that come out of my unabashed mouth when I’m alone in the car faintly resemble caterwauling. However, anytime I played Rock Band with my friends, I always sang (Because, incidentally, I’m also terrible at basically every video game ever, except Tetris). Despite my horrendous voice, I kick the shit out of “Dead or Alive,” by Bon Jovi. I’m talkin’ 98% on expert, on the reg. The best part is I totally sell it too. I purposefully over-dramatize the entire performance, and still manage to hit (almost; 98%, after all) every flippin’ note.

In other news, I’ve been having a lot of doubt regarding my writing. Now, my academic writing is gangster as per uzsh, but my down-to-earth personal prose has felt stilted, repetitive, and at times slightly sophomoric. I keep starting posts and not finishing them, convinced I sound like a scratched, mixed CD stuck on skip. I’ve been scribbling away in my omnipresent idea notebook, but for naught. It’s annoying, because I merely have a few short weeks before I have to hop back on that grad school mechanical bull.

Annoying, but not overly concerning. Once you devote a long enough stretch to the hobby of writing, the occasional block doesn’t jar you as much as it used to. I find that one of the things that helps me the most is putting down the metaphorical or literal pen, and go read. Read whatever or whoever you want to emulate.

My go-tos? Kurt Vonnegut, Paulo Coelho, Caitlin Moran, and I consciously hunt for online articles which effectively harness the voice or the cadence that I’m looking for. Actually, I found a great one the other day, courtesy of my weekly email compilations from Refinery 29:

8 Things Only Your Cool Aunt Will Tell You

Not only is the advice indeed sage, but I love how I can picture this cool aunt, be-pearled with a cocktail in hand, legs effortlessly crossed as she doles out precious tidbits and you share things with her that you would never, ever tell your mom. Plus, it felt especially relevant as soon my stock will rise to beloved aunt. My sister is just shy of 17 weeks in, and is becoming adorably rotund (read her story here). I can’t wait to to spoil and corrupt the shit out of that kid, in all the best ways and some of the bad, of course. ❤

I also find it helpful to hash out with other like-minded writers, namely my poofls E and HZ, and V. They never disappoint. This time around (because let’s be honest, I constantly waiver over the validity and the value of my writing), V hit home: “Remember that semester thing we just wrapped up? Where we did allll that research and then, when we were done with that research, we wrote a paper about it? Like, 3 times? This is no different. You’ve done the research, you’re just not sure how to start the paper yet. Research = your life experiences, Research notes = your blog. The Paper is your book. Go start it.”

I got some new bling over the weekend whilest visitng E and HZ:


I was inexplicably drawn to it, until I recalled V’s words of wisdom (she would make a kick-ass ‘Cool Aunt’, as well). I’ve been singularly minded for a good portion of 2014, trying to figure out my broken heart, to clumsily suture it back together. Finally, as this hellish year comes to a close, I’m starting to come back to myself. I remember how many layers I have, how many passions ignite fires in my belly. Here’s to 2015, and devoting my energies to more potentially fruitful pursuits.

Current Quote: “A life without a cause is a life without effect.” -Paulo Coelho, Aleph


ONE DOWN. BOOM. I have officially turned in the first final paper of this semester, and before I commence Paper Party 2: Electric Boogaloo, I wanted to take minute. Just a freakin’ MINUTE, ya know? Anyways, a short n sweet little throwback for you guys:

I came home from school one day all pout-y (big surprise there). My dad asked me what was wrong; I mumbled that some girl told me I walked like a dude. It was clear that I was pretty butthurt about it. He looked me in the eye and said, “It doesn’t matter if you walk like a girl or a boy. The key is, always walk like you got someplace to be.”

I’m pretty short (5′ 3”), but I walk faster than most people inches taller than me. ‘Cause I got places to BE, y’all….

Speaking of that…. ugh time for Paper Party 2. :/ Can’t wait ’til this trilogy is over.

Also, my anthem to get me through to December 12, D-Day (DONE DAY):



Current Quote: “C’MON YOLANDA WHAT’S FONZI LIKE??!” (I watched Pulp Fiction the other night, and as per usual I have been waking up recalling the most random lines of dialogue, like I do)