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Men Still Paying for Dates, Study Says

Men Still Paying for Dates, Study Says

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A new survey finds that this one dating ritual has stuck around


A survey finds that men still pay for dates.

It's safe to say that dating rules have definitely changed since, oh, the 1950s. Men are no longer required to pick a woman up and be introduced to the 'rents, meeting people comes about in many ways (hello OkCupid), and it's totally fine to get barbecue sauce all over your face on the first date (or is that just us?).

But one thing has stuck around: who pays for dates.

A new survey to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association has found that despire the breakdown of conventional gender roles, men still pay for dates (after nearly 50 years of feminism, the survey notes).

Out of 17,000 participants interviewed, 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women reported that men pay for most of the dating expenses. Of course, 57 percent of women say they offer to help pay, although 39 percent said they hoped men would reject their offers to pay.

Of the women, 44 percent said they were bothered when men expected women to pay, although 64 percent of men said that women should contribute to date night expenses. In fact, it might be a deal-breaker; 44 percent of men said they would stop dating a woman who never pays (76 percent said they would feel guilty about taking a woman's money, however).

Still, this particular courtship ritual might change in the future; the survey found that younger men and women in their 20s were more likely to fight for more egalitarian practices, where men and women split the charges evenly. "The data suggest that the deep-rooted courtship ritual around who pays is also changing along with the transformation of the relative material and social power of women and men," the survey says. No word on how non-heterosexual relationships work this one out.

Why Don't Women Ask Men Out on First Dates?

There are two ways to attempt to initiate a romantic relationship: either by making a direct verbal proposal (e.g., "Would you like to go out on a date with me Saturday night?"), or, to display primarily non-verbal signals that indicate interest and receptivity and wait for the other person to do the asking. The first method has been termed a "risky initiative" (Farrell, 1986), while the latter nonverbal flirting behaviors are often called "proceptive behaviors" (Moore, 1985 2002).

First Time Risky Relationship Initiatives

First time risky initiatives are direct and unambiguous requests that have not been made previously, and that will either be clearly accepted or rejected. Because risky initiatives are unambiguous, they cannot be misinterpreted.

In the film When Harry Met Sally , Harry makes a risky initiative that Sally finds offensive, so he says "I take it back." Sally replies: "You can't take it back, it is already out there." First time risky initiatives are especially salient because the initiator has no previous history of acceptance by the target person. Because the response to the initiation is uncertain, Farrell (1986, p 126) noted: "The 'first time' is the most important time, when the risk of rejection is by far the greatest."

Nonverbal Proceptive Signaling

In contrast, proceptive relationship initiation signals are typically open to various interpretations. In the film The Graduate , Mrs. Robinson gives proceptive nonverbal signals to her daughter's friend Ben, who says: "You are trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson. Aren't you? " (italics added)

The potential ambiguity of proceptive signals leaves the signaler less open to direct personal rejection since such initiations can be seen as either an initiation, or as just very friendly behavior.

Monica Moore (1985 2002) has catalogued a variety of nonverbal proceptive behaviors, including smiling, brief glances, raising of the eye brows, hair flips, drawing attention to attractive parts of the body, etc. Clark (2008) found that the use of nonverbal "proceptive behaviors" generally makes someone of the opposite sex more attractive. However, these behaviors were rated to be most effective when they are performed by women, rather than by men.

The Traditional Courtship Script: Females Give Proceptive Signals / Males Make Risky First Time Relationship Initiatives

While women sometimes do make risky first time relationship initiatives, men have traditionally been expected to make the great majority of them. Men generally have done the asking for a first date, while women have generally given proceptive signals of interest or receptivity to such a request. If a woman accepts a first date, men have been expected to make additional first time risky relationship and sexual initiatives as their relationship develops (Farrell, 1986).

For example, if a newly dating, heretofore platonic heterosexual couple, go out for the first time on a movie date together, the woman might signal her willingness to hold hands proceptively &mdash perhaps by placing her hand on the chair arm rest next to him. If he actually reaches out to hold her hand, that would be considered a risky first time initiative. His intent cannot be misinterpreted, nor could her acceptance or rejection.

Here are a few brief video clips from television shows of males making risky initiatives, females engaging in nonverbal proceptive signaling, and a brief clip from an interview with social psychologist Monica Moore describing proceptive signaling. (Heads up: audio is a bit out of sync.)

Today, Are Women Asking Men Out on First Dates? No.

One might think that after decades of increasing equality between the sexes, women might be doing more of the asking. To see if this is the case, I recently conducted a study, along with two of my students, Agata Janiszewska and Leslie Zabala, to check on the frequency that each sex wanted to either be asked out, or wanted to do the asking, and the actual number of times each sex had done so in the last year.

We administered an online survey to 87 heterosexuals (31 males, 55 females), most of whom were undergraduate college students (Mills, Janiszewska & Zabala, 2011). Most of the survey participants had been single in the past year, or, if they were in a relationship, they were asked to think back to the last year that they were single.

The first question we asked was whether they preferred to ask someone out, or would rather be asked out on a date.

Percentage of males and females who would prefer to be asked out, or ask someone out.

As noted in the histogram, a great majority of the women, 93 percent, preferred to be asked out &mdash only 6 percent preferred to do the asking. The majority of men preferred to do the asking, 83 percent, while 16 percent preferred to be asked out on a date.

It is interesting that more men preferred to be asked out (16 percent) than there were women who preferred to do the asking (6 percent). That difference suggests that 10 percent of men may be waiting quite a while for a woman to ask them out on a first date.

Preferences are one thing, but what about actual behavior? We asked the survey participants how many times they had asked someone out on a first date in the past year.

Number of times subjected asked someone out on a date in the last year

As can be seen in the histogram, males reported significantly more instances of asking someone out in the past year. On average, males asked four women out on a first date in the past year. In contrast, most females did not ask anyone out on a first date in the past year.

We also asked how many times the survey participants had been asked out on a first date in the past year. On average, males reported that they had been asked out about once. Females reported that, on average, they had been asked out about 5 times.

Number of times subjected has been asked out on a date in the last year

Men of my generation, who went to college in the 70s and 80s, mostly embraced the goals of the feminist movement. Greater equality, or at least equity, between the sexes seemed fair. And, from a male perspective, there might be some benefits for us as well &mdash including less inhibited female sexuality and the anticipation that women would begin asking us out on first dates. So we waited. And waited. and. we are still waiting!

So, after decades of increasing sexual equality, why are women not assuming equal "risky initiatives" responsibilities? Even if doing so can be at times anxiety provoking and sometimes result in painful rejections that are difficult not to take personally, wasn't one of the goals of women's movement " equal rights, equal responsibilities ?"

Over this time period, many other aspects of gender-role behaviors have indeed changed &mdash for example, more women than men attend college today. However, this part of the courtship script &mdash female indirect nonverbal proceptive signaling and male direct verbal initiation &mdash apparently has not much changed.

This suggests that something deeper than arbitrary social gender role assignments may be involved in the development and persistence of this robust sex difference. The reasons for the persistence of this sex difference may be largely beyond our awareness because they involve evolved psychological adaptations that operate below consciousness. We may be able to articulate what we desire and what we find aversive, but we don't know why we have these feelings.

One explanation for this sex difference may be what I call "female reputational defense theory." From an evolutionary perspective, males and females have faced different reproductive opportunities and constraints due to fundamental biological sex differences in reproductive rate ( M > F) and in confidence of genetic parentage ( F > M) (see Mealey, 2000). These differences have led to the evolution of sexual dimorphic psychological adaptations related to a variety of behaviors, including courtship (Symons, 1979).

Humans as a species have very high levels of obligate parental investment. Further, ancestral men could invest in their offspring by providing meat (a dense source of protein and calories). They could also offer protection and socialization of their children.

Human male parental investment is thus generally highly prized by women, and it is a reproductive resource over which females, particularly in monogamous societies, will vigorously compete. To attract a high value reproductive partner, females demonstrate the qualities that males desire in a long-term mate, in particular: fertility, health, and sexual fidelity (Buss, 2011).

It is the latter quality, sexual fidelity, that is of relevance here. Because males suffer from genetic paternity insecurity (they are uncertain of which children are genetically their own), males should pay particular attention to cues that may forecast the future sexual fidelity of a potential long term mate. Ancestral males that were unconcerned about monitoring cues that may have forecast future female infidelity were presumably more likely to misallocate time and resources investing in children to whom they were genetically unrelated.

Females can increase their mate value by giving cues that generally forecast future sexual fidelity to a long-term mate. For example, adolescent females avoid friendships with females who have been identified by others as promiscuous (Lees, 1993), because, by association, such friendships may have a negative effect on their own sexual reputation. Physical assaults between women are often motivated by accusations of promiscuity (Campbell, 1986).

Dosmukhambetova and Manstead (2011) found that, in the context of impressing potential long-term mating partners, women were likely to try to distance themselves from promiscuous females, and they also expressed more negative emotional reactions (compared to men) toward a female who showed a tendency to be unfaithful. These studies lend support to "female reputational defense theory" &mdash females actively attempt to impress potential long-term mating partners by offering evidence that they would be a sexually faithful partner.

The results of our study may also be interpreted as an effort by women to protect their sexual reputation. By refraining from making first time relationship initiatives, women may be providing evidence to potential long term mates that they would not make the first move with another man in the future, given their history of not doing so in the past.

So, if women have a natural tendency to avoid making direct, verbal first time relationship initiatives, should they be relieved of "equal responsibilities" in this area? That is an intriguing question. We certainly don't let men use the "but it is only natural" excuse to justify some of their more antisocial behaviors. Should we give women "a sexual inequality pass" because it is just one part of a natural courtship script? Or, should we encourage women to make more risky initiatives? Should men go on a "risky initatives" strike? Should we ask women to "woman up" &mdash put their fragile egos on the line, get some ovaries, get out there and start asking out men on first dates?

Obinna, 29, tech entrepreneur: ‘They will do what I will call the fake reach …’

Illustration: Vin Ganapathy

For Obinna Emenike, a 29-year-old New York tech entrepreneur and CEO of coffee app Roast, paying while dating is a no-brainer. It even occupies part of his monthly budget: between 10% and 20% of his non-rent spending, he estimates.

“When I am going on a date, I just assume I am going to pay. As a rule of thumb I offer, well, I insist on paying the bill. I just feel like men pay the bill on the first date. Well, on most dates. I do think that is the norm.”

He feels it is only right, because mostly, as the man, he is the one who does the asking. “If I ask a woman out on a date, well, she could have stayed at home and made her own meal and do whatever she does normally. If I ask her out, then I should also offer to pay.”

Still, his eagerness to fulfill social expectations does not mean he does not pay attention to the way women react when the bill comes at the end of the date. This pivotal moment, Emenike says, divides women up into four separate categories.

The first, and largest, group is made up of “women that will not give any indication whatsoever that they want to or are willing to split the bill”. Around 40% of women, he estimates, will have this kind reaction.

The second category, Emenike’s favorite, were the “the fake reachers”. “They will do what I will call the fake reach towards their purse. I actually really appreciate the fake reach. Even if it’s not to be serious, it makes me feel better.”

Emenike has witnessed this kind of reaction so often (in around 25% of cases), he is able to effortlessly imitate the kind of interaction that will then ensue.

“They will indicate that they are reaching for their purse and I will say something like ‘oh no, I got it’ or ‘I’ll pay, don’t worry about it’,” Emenike says waving his hand down masterfully, warmly, indulgently even – with just the hint of a mocking smile.

In this scenario, this is all it will take for women to graciously oblige. If they don’t and actually voice a willingness to split the bill out loud, then they are part of the third category – women who actually express a willingness to participate financially in the cost of the outing. Emenike puts the genuine reach, his third category, at 30%. Still then, he will insist on paying.

The last category, where women will be insistent on splitting it, even after the man counter-offers, he says happens around 5% of the time.

Emenike says this can be worrying though, as it may be an indication that the date has not gone well. “I am worried. If I think the date is going well, and you over-insist on splitting it then it will make me question myself. I might come to the conclusion that she doesn’t want to feel like she owes me anything.”

When pushed, Emenike acknowledged this was by default referring to sex, even if he was paying attention to the “owing” aspect only in terms of what it meant he might not get, versus whether it means he might be entitled to something.

Eventually though, he loved the idea of women covering occasional outings – if not every other time, then at least once in a while.

“I do appreciate it when women pay for me, especially if we have been dating for a while. It’s this situation where suddenly it’s not that ‘I am dating you’, it’s that ‘we are dating each other’.”

Dating Rule to Break: Never Being the First to Initiate Contact

While drunk texting and spamming are anything but sexy, most men appreciate a random text now and then. In fact, when done right, it can make them more interested in you. "Always waiting for the guy to initiate contact is annoying to most men," says Harold, 35. "At some point you need to let him know you're interested by reaching out. Don't be aggressive, but playful texts and e-mails are as nice on our end as they are on yours."

Google Finds It’s Underpaying Many Men as It Addresses Wage Equity

SAN FRANCISCO — When Google conducted a study recently to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups, it found, to the surprise of just about everyone, that men were paid less money than women for doing similar work.

The study, which disproportionately led to pay raises for thousands of men, is done every year, but the latest findings arrived as Google and other companies in Silicon Valley face increasing pressure to deal with gender issues in the workplace, from sexual harassment to wage discrimination.

Gender inequality is a radioactive topic at Google. The Labor Department is investigating whether the company systematically underpays women. It has been sued by former employees who claim they were paid less than men with the same qualifications. And last fall, thousands of Google employees protested the way the company handles sexual harassment claims against top executives.

Critics said the results of the pay study could give a false impression. Company officials acknowledged that it did not address whether women were hired at a lower pay grade than men with similar qualifications.

Google seems to be advancing a “flawed and incomplete sense of equality” by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work, said Joelle Emerson, chief executive of Paradigm, a consulting company that advises companies on strategies for increasing diversity. That is not the same as addressing “equity,” she said, which would involve examining the structural hurdles that women face as engineers.

Google has denied paying women less, and the company agreed that compensation among similar job titles was not by itself a complete measure of equity. A more difficult issue to solve — one that critics say Google often mismanages for women — is a human resources concept called leveling. Are employees assigned to the appropriate pay grade for their qualifications?

The company said it was now trying to address the issue.

“Because leveling, performance ratings and promotion impact pay, this year we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees,” Lauren Barbato, Google’s lead analyst for pay equity, people analytics, wrote in a blog post made public on Monday.

To set an employee’s salary, Google starts with an algorithm using factors like performance, location and job. Next, managers can consider subjective factors: Do they believe the employee has a strong future with the company? Is he or she being paid on a par with peers who make similar contributions? Managers must provide a rationale for the decision.

While the pay bump is helpful, Google’s critics say it doesn’t come close to matching what a woman would make if she had been assigned to the appropriate pay grade in the first place.

Kelly Ellis, a former Google engineer and one of the plaintiffs in the gender-pay suit against the company, said in a legal filing that Google had hired her in 2010 as a Level 3 employee — the category for new software engineers who are recent college graduates — despite her four years of experience. Within a few weeks, a male engineer who had also graduated from college four years earlier was hired for Ms. Ellis’s team — as a Level 4 employee. That meant he received a higher salary and had more opportunities for bonuses, raises and stock compensation, according to the suit. Other men on the team whose qualifications were equal to or less than hers were also brought in at Level 4, the suit says.


The pay study covered 91 percent of Google’s employees and compared their compensation — salaries, bonuses and company stock — within specific job types, job levels, performance and location.

It was not possible to compare how racial minorities fared in terms of wage adjustments, Google said, because the United States is the only place where the global company tracks workers’ racial backgrounds.

In response to the study, Google gave $9.7 million in additional compensation to 10,677 employees for this year. Men account for about 69 percent of the company’s work force, but they received a higher percentage of the money. The exact number of men who got raises is unclear.

The company has done the study every year since 2012. At the end of 2017, it adjusted 228 employees’ salaries by a combined total of about $270,000. This year, new hires were included in the analysis for the first time, which Google said probably explained the big change in numbers.

Google’s work force, especially in leadership and high-paying technical roles, is overwhelmingly male and mostly white and Asian. Its efforts to increase diversity have touched off an internal culture war. In 2017, James Damore, a software engineer, wrote a widely circulated memo criticizing the company’s diversity programs. He argued that biological differences and not a lack of opportunity explained the shortage of women in upper-tier positions.

When Google fired Mr. Damore, conservatives argued that the company was dominated by people with liberal political and social views. Mr. Damore sued Google, claiming it is biased against white men with conservative views. The matter has been moved to private arbitration. Its status is unclear.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said it had 98,771 employees at the end of 2018. The company declined to provide the number of Google employees, but Google is by far the largest part of the company.

Google informed employees about the findings of its latest pay study in January at a meeting called to discuss a memo about cost-cutting proposals that had been leaked publicly. The proposals, reported earlier by Bloomberg, caused an uproar because they included ideas like slowing the pace at which Google promotes workers and eliminating some of its famous perks.

At the meeting, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, played down the proposals as the product of brainstorming by members of the human resources staff and not things that senior managers were seriously considering, according to a video viewed by The New York Times.

But in an effort to demonstrate that Google was not skimping on wages, executives said at the meeting that the company had adjusted the pay of more employees than ever before. Ms. Barbato, who presented the findings, said that more men were underpaid was a “surprising trend that we didn’t expect.”

To Split or Not to Split: Who Should Pay for Dinner on a Date?

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Photographed by Mario Testino, Vogue, May 2014

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

As if the whole concept of dating weren’t awkward enough, it always gets weirder during that dreaded moment when a waiter drops off the check on a table. In the past, the standard was the man always took care of the bill, but in 2014, when gender roles have radically changed, do the same old rules still apply?

According to the eighteenth edition of Emily Post’sEtiquette, the rule is “for a first date at least, the person who asks should pay unless both parties agree in advance to share expenses.” But in the age of Tinder, who can be considered the initiator? Whoever swiped right first? Whoever initiated the chat first? You can see how things these days have gotten a little confusing.

Looking for some clarification, I posed the question to the staff over coffee, hoping my fellow editors could share their own thoughts on paying for dinner on a date. Due to the candidness of their answers, their names have been kept confidential for fear of freaking out future first dates.

The “reach”
More than half of the staff agreed, you should always reach inside your bag once the check arrives—even if you don’t intend to pay. “You do the fiddling, the shuffling, and give them enough time to reach for their own wallets to take care of the bill,” says one editor, “or else what’s the option? Just sitting there and staring at them, waiting? No, that’s too awkward.” But a few others believe that during a first date, the reach—even a fake one—is out of the question. “I never even pretend to reach if it’s a first date. That’s just standard,” says another editor, “unless, it’s a confusing situation where I don’t know if we’re on a date or we’re just friends. Then, I’ll do the pretend reach.”

Splitting the bill
Yet there are instances where it’s preferred to split the bill. One fashion editor said she goes dutch when she’s sure she never wants to see that person again. “That way, we both put in exactly the same into the date, and I don’t feel like I owe him something because he invited me to dinner. There are no misunderstandings.”

The definitive don’ts
There are two dinner date faux pas we all agreed on. One, never go to the bathroom after the meal is done and the plates have been cleared. This gives the impression that you’re automatically sticking your date with the bill in a not-so-subtle way. And two, if you offered to split the check and your date assured you he’ll take care of it, don’t continue on insisting. This makes the situation even more awkward and one should always be gracious for the offer.

What about same-sex couples?
Things can get tricky if you’re on a date with someone of the same sex. Who’s supposed to step up and pay the bill? “I think the rule is, if you’re the older one, you pay for dinner—which is always the case for me,” shares one writer. But this can backfire at times, since age can be touchy for some and indecipherable for others. In this situation, a good bet is to split the tab unless your date offers to treat you to dinner.

Income imbalance
If you know the person you’re going on a date with might make less money than you, do you split the check or even pay for everything? “It’s more about the thought that someone puts into a date than the money,” explains another editor. “If they know they can’t afford a dinner, they should figure something else out that’s romantic and fun and inexpensive.” Also, if someone is asking you out, they should handle the arrangements for the evening. It should not be left to the person who was asked to go on a date to choose the restaurant.

Small details go a long way
Even if you don’t pay for dinner on the first date, there are always ways to bring something to the table. “If we have to wait a little bit to be seated, I’ll treat the guy to a drink at the bar,” says one of our market editors. Another staffer suggests inviting your date to an ice cream or some sort of dessert after leaving the restaurant as a nice gesture. The point is, just because you’re not paying for dinner, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay for anything.

The ideal scenario
The Vogue office unanimously agreed that stealthily handling the bill removes the awkwardness of the whole check situation—and is also an incredibly smooth move. “When you’re done with dinner and you’re waiting for the check and your date says it’s all taken care of—that’s so chic,” remembers one editor. As for another writer’s dream scenario? “When your date actually looks like their Tinder photo!”

The chances of a second date
If you split the bill, does that mean a second outing is out of the question? “I have no problem paying for my part of the bill on a first date if it’s implied, but I will say it’s a big turnoff,” shares one editor. “A lot goes into getting ready for a date, so the least they could do is pay for dinner,” added another. In the end, when you add up the blowout, the manicure, the wax, the new dress, and the lipstick, you might as well have paid for a five-course meal.

How to Tell if Someone Is Lying to You

These guys weren’t lovesick they were shell-shocked.

I talked to countless people (of various genders and sexual orientations) about what I was observing. They all said the same thing: Dudes just don’t bounce back after they get their heart broken the way women do. Recently I asked my fiancé (miraculously, I landed a guy who pines after me!) and he agrees with this sentiment, adding that were it not for therapy, he probably wouldn’t have met me because he probably wouldn’t have gone on to OkCupid (it works!) because he probably wouldn’t have felt ready to date again.

42% of people using dating app Tinder already have a partner, claims report

Tinder users aren’t all single, according to a report by GlobalWebIndex.

Tinder users aren’t all single, according to a report by GlobalWebIndex.

Last modified on Tue 21 Feb 2017 18.03 GMT

Tinder shot to fame as a dating app for tech-savvy single people. Except, as it turns out, a big chunk of its users may not be single after all.

That’s according to research firm GlobalWebIndex (GWI), which released some figures on Tinder from its latest survey of more than 47,000 internet users around the world that suggest the app has a wider demographic.

In fact, the research claims that 30% of Tinder users surveyed are married, while another 12% are in a relationship. 54% classed themselves as single, while 3% were divorced or widowed.

Tinder may also be a digital stomping ground for married men, judging by GWI’s claim that 62% of its users are male and 38% female.

The research also shows, unsurprisingly, that Tinder’s users are a relatively young crowd, with 38% aged between 16 and 24, and 45% between 25 and 34.

13% are aged 35-44, 3% are 45-54 and 1% are 55-64 – although if reports in late 2014 that Tinder had 50 million active users were true, that would still indicate half a million people in that oldest age category surveyed.

Tinder recently launched a premium Tinder Plus option, enabling people to subscribe for extra features for £3.99 a month if they were younger than 28, and £14.99 a month if they were older.

GWI’s data suggests that Tinder Plus could become a good money-spinner for the company, which is owned by online dating giant Match. Its survey found that 24% of Tinder users had paid for an online dating service in the last month, compared to 14% of dating site users surveyed.

The company also asked Tinder users for their views on a range of issues, in order to judge their attractiveness to advertisers as well as potential dates.

85% agreed with the statement “I look after my appearance/image”, unsurprisingly, while 82% “always like to try new products”. 63% like to keep up with the latest fashions, while 58% consider themselves to “be much more affluent than the average”.

Sadly, GWI neglected to include “I send unsolicited penis snaps to single women when my wife isn’t looking” as one of its survey’s statements. Maybe next time.

What about all those married and in-a-relationship users of Tinder, though? It would be rash to label them as “cheaters”.

Some may have open relationships, others may be just browsing, and some in the second category may have only recently started their relationship – perhaps even with someone they met on Tinder – and haven’t uninstalled the app.

Tinder might prefer another explanation: that people are using its app to meet new people for platonic friendship rather than just romance. It’s a use case that the company has regularly suggested in media interviews.

“We never intended it to be a dating platform. It’s a social discovery platform, facilitating an introduction between two people,” Tinder’s then-chief marketing officer Justin Mateen told the Guardian in February 2014.

“As the product evolves, we’re moving into different uses for it, doing little things that will allow people to interact socially in ways other than dating.”

Tinder has contacted the Guardian to disagree with GWI’s figures – or at least, the stats focused on their ages.

“Those statistics are completely inaccurate. I’m not sure how they sampled that specific group of people, but it does not represent Tinder’s userbase,” said a spokesperson. “More than 50% of Tinder’s userbase is age 18-24. And altogether, 85% of our users are age 18-34.”

GWI’s claim that 83% of Tinder users are aged 18-34 nearly matches the latter stat, but its finding that only 38% are aged 18-24 is more puzzling – although it is possible that part of the difference is explained by users taking a few years off their age when registering.

Tinder’s statement did not address the marital status of its users, although it is difficult to see how it would have accurate figures even if it asked them when signing up.

The company did stress that it has “hundreds of success stories emailed to us every week about a new engagement or marriage”, and reiterated its status as more than a dating network.

“Tinder is a social network and these are many use cases for it - not just dating. People are using it to make new friends, to network, and they use it when they travel to meet new people in the area,” said the spokesperson.

“With tens of millions of users in all 196 countries, Tinder has quickly become the most prominent way people connect with others. Tinder has already made more than six billion matches globally.”

Add Inches!! (No, Really, Men Can Make It Longer)

D on’t worry, you didn’t just accidentally click on spam e-mail. Though most advertised penis-enlargement methods are bogus, a new review of 10 existing studies suggests that some nonsurgical techniques really can increase the length of a man’s organ.

Two urological researchers, Marco Ordera and Paolo Gontero of the University of Turin in Italy, examined outcomes from both surgical and nonsurgical procedures for “male enhancement” in previous studies. Half of the studies involved surgical procedures performed on 121 men the other half involved nonsurgical enhancement techniques used by 109 men.

The surgical treatments, the researchers found, were dangerous and had “unacceptably high rate of complications.” But among the nonsurgical methods, at least one appeared to help grow a man’s member: the “traction method,” in which a penile extender stretched the phallus daily, resulted in average growth of 0.7 in., or 1.8 cm, of the flaccid penis in one study. In another study of the same method, men reported an average increase of 0.9 in. (2.3 cm) in length while flaccid and 0.67 in. (1.7 cm) while erect.

These gains were hard-earned: in the first study, participants had to be in traction for four to six hours each day for a total of four months, and in the second study, the daily treatment lasted for six months.

In another study of two erectile-dysfunction patients, researchers found that the use of penoscrotal rings, which fit around the scrotum and base of the penis, helped beef up size and maintain erection. But given the tiny sample size of the study, the results were inconclusive.

Reviewed data also suggested that a six-month regimen of daily penis pumping &mdash using a pump to create a vacuum inside a cylinder to stretch the penis (think Austin Powers) &mdash while painful, was not effective.

No matter the procedure, penis girth remained unchanged.

So it’s worth asking, guys, do you really need a bigger penis? Most men who seek treatment for the condition called “short penis” actually fall within normal penis size, the researchers found their sense of what’s normal is simply warped. To qualify for the clinical definition of short-penis syndrome, a man must be smaller than 1.6 in. (4 cm) when limp and under 3 in. (7.6 cm) when erect. In a 2005 study of 92 men who sought treatment for short penis, researchers found that none qualified for the syndrome.

Ironically, the problem may be associated with the same source of so many women’s feelings of inadequacy: porn. And, in the end, men seem to care about it a lot more than women do. According to sex counselor Ian Kerner, who posts on CNN’s The Chart blog:

If penis size really is an issue, it seems to matter more to men than to women. According to the British Journal of Urology, when researchers looked at more than 50 studies spanning the course of 60 years, they found that 85% of women were satisfied with their partner&rsquos penis size &mdash yet only 55% of men felt good about their penises!

That’s a big difference in perception, and in my personal opinion, this sense of male insecurity is only likely to increase in the wake of Internet porn. That’s because research shows that more than a third of men who incorrectly believe their penises are too small say their insecurity began by viewing erotic images during their teen years.

That’s not to say that size doesn’t matter at all. Kerner reports that “when pressed, the majority of women [according to a 2001 survey in BMC Women’s Health] say that penis circumference is more important for pleasure than penis length.” Unfortunately, there’s no pump or extender that can help you in that department.

Like they say, it’s the size of your skills not your sex organ that matters. The current study was published in the journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons.

A White Woman Explains Why She Prefers Black Men

Black skin is thick and lush, sensuous to the touch, like satin and velvet made flesh. There's only one patch of skin on a white man's body that remotely compares to nearly every inch of a black man's skin. The first time I caressed black skin, it felt like a luxury I shouldn't be able to afford. I craved it more strongly than Carrie Bradshaw craved Manolo Blahnik shoes. That phrase, "Once you go black, you never go back" is all about the feeling of the skin. And I had the socially acceptable explanation for my craving. I used that paucity-of-available-white-partners rationale to explain my relationships with black men for several years. A white woman past forty is often passed over by her white-male contemporaries. She goes younger or ethnic or foreign-born or down the socioeconomic scale or darker or she spends lonely nights at home with her cats. Black men are happy to get the babe they couldn't have when she was twentysomething and fertile. The laws of the marketplace do prevail. It's not me, it's them being the white guys who weren't after me anymore, or so I claimed. That's a lie. The truth is, I attract about the same percentage of available white men my age (and far younger!) now as I did when I was thirty and that's not including the unavailable white men who want to play around anyway. Enough white men want me that I was hardly facing enforced celibacy, but I don't want them. I want black men. They want me. We look at one another and exchange a visible frisson of sexual energy in the lingering glances. And our attraction is based first on race. We are not those couples who "happen to fall in love" with someone of a different race or more purposefully come together but out of some greater sense of interracial understanding and respect. Not as politically-correct men and women do we seek one another out. The Internet has made it a lot easier for us to find each other now. Men advertise: ebony seeks ivory. Women write: seeking tall, dark, and handsome. Very dark. We are not the same people who say: Race is not important. It is important to us. We have race-specific desires.

Even in a time when nearly 40 percent of single Americans have dated outside their race, that deliberate seeking of the specific other makes some people, especially black women, damned mad. We are what they denigrate and castigate: white women and black men who choose one another because of our racial differences. They resent our taking their men. Black men are two and a half times more likely to marry a white woman than a black woman is to marry a white man. Black women can point to that statistic in justifying their wrath. But in truth, black sisters, we're after the sex, not the ringand these guys aren't the marrying kind anyway. Yes, the sex! The woman who goes after black men is a variant of sex journalist Susie Bright's "white bitch in heat," a woman who puts sex first even though women aren't supposed to do that. According to one school of thought, white women turn to black men when their sex drives kick into higher gear and their social inhibitions recede into the rearview mirror. It's a "yes, baby, now I'm ready for you" reaction. When we get to the "yes, baby" place, they know it, and they are ready and waiting for us. Black men have more energy, style and edge than white men. They know how to flirt, a nearly lost art among the rest of us. A black man is so damned sexy because he knows how to make a woman feel sexy. Black men have something white guys don't have anymore: confidence in their masculinity, their sexuality. They clearly know they're men. White men appear to be waiting for the latest sociological research study to let them know if they are men or not. Yet black men are gentlemen, something else white men no longer are. They make me feel like a woman, both respected and desired. I can let go of my inhibitions, my need to control, when I am with them. How many white men can treat a woman like a lady and ravish her too? I often felt in my White Period that only during heated sex does that little layer of air bubbles between me and the world pop and disappear, leaving me open to intimate connection. It takes a lot of friction for two white people to get that close. These black men, so alive with erotic electricity, cut through the bubbles with a touch, a caress, a kiss and the freedom means I can truly touch them. I am like a pampered passenger in a Porsche with an expert driver at the wheel. I know I could suggest a route change, but I never really want to do that. On the other hand, the last time I had sex with a white man, we slogged along a bumpy road in a really old VW, the driver like the typical bumbling tv husband who would neither ask for nor accept the directions he badly needed. My current lover, a handsome businessman, seduced me via eye contact at a neighborhood bar while I was eating burgers with a friend. Without saying a word, he paid the compliments, asked the questions with his expressive eyes. He didn't move over to sit beside me and ask if he could buy me a drink until he knew the time was right. Both soft-spoken and assertive, he has impeccable manners and charm. I was kissing him in a cab 30 minutes after that drink. On another night in that same bar, a different black man, an artist, knelt and kissed my knees. I am sure there must be some black men who aren't good in bed. Personally, I have not experienced one who isn't. (True, I am not dating down the socioeconomic ladder, but I didn't do that when I dated white either, so the racial comparisons seem valid and fair.) They look better than white men, they touch and kiss and make love better than white men. Statistically, their penises are only a fraction of an inch bigger on average, but they seem bigger and harder. White men over 40 have lost their waistlines and their zest for life if they ever had it. They carry resentments, grudges and extra pounds in their basketball bellies. Perhaps a good part of that bloat is unhappiness. Even the thin ones look flabby somehow and deeply aggrieved. They nurse the smallest perceived slight longer than their double shots of Scotch. Surely our culture as much as biology turns them into softer, spongier, less-interesting versions of their youthful selves just at the point where women and black men and other minorities are emerging strong. Society overvalues the white man, leaving him angry and bitter when he realizes, around age 40, that he's not all that. With the exception of some Italians, white men don't turn me on anymore. That admission puts me in the same category as the older man only interested primarily or exclusively in young women. While women my age scowl and frown at these aging, Upper West Side Boomers pushing strollers as the hand of the thin, blonde wife 20 years their junior rests lightly on their arm, I feel a kinship with the old goats. We are the same, me and that bald white guy, drawn to the exotic other, not caring that the object of our desire has no childhood memory of a Kennedy assassination or a typical WASP Sunday dinner of over-roasted beef, lumpy mashed potatoes and soggy vegetables. Analyze the roots of attractions all you want like scientists have done and you won't come up with a perfect explanation for why we crave what we do. Desire rises from our depths and is gloriously oblivious to the good opinion of others. Yet until recently, I pretended that my lust was an equal-opportunity craving, because that seemed like the right thing to do. Halfway through the first glass of wine in my last date with a white man, I realized that little clouds of sadness and self-pity were regularly fluffing off his psyche like the dust clouds kicked up by that dirt-smudged "Peanuts" character as he walks through Charlie Brown's life. This guy was at least mildly depressed, and I wanted to tell him to exercise, lose weight, trim the combover and get interested in something outside yourself. I would have walked out on him immediately, but he seemed to expect that. I couldn't deliver the blow to his ego proffered like the naked neck of a martyr to the ax. My Southern cousins would describe his general demeanor as a "hangdog air." Into the second glass of wine and glancing longingly at the exit, I wanted to hang that dog myself when he mentioned that his face was flushed, I hadn't noticed, because he'd taken a Viagra "just in case." What did he think would entice me more: That he assumed sex was probable because I'm a sex journalist or that he would need chemical help if sex did occur? I cannot even imagine a black man bungling an attempted seduction in such a sad way. That was my last token white guy. I recently came out of my racial-preference closet and told my friends, "I love black men. I'm not attracted to white men over 40, and I'm not dating them anymore. Really, it's not them, it's me. Nobody was surprised.