5 Extremely Weird Tinder Dates I've Been On

The combination of an open mind and an eagerness to sow wild oats can be both a blessing and a curse: I know this to be true. Thanks to the rise of dating apps like Tinder, when I've found myself bored, lonely, and itching to experience something, I'm able to do so quickly — to mixed results.
My early- and mid-20s were filled with both ill-advised romantic decisions and strange yet gratifying sexual encounters that I'll be deeply thankful for when I'm in my 80s. Especially in my younger years, I was someone who said "yes" a lot — and that included going on dates with even questionable Tinder matches. As a result, I've been on some very weird dates, ones that have stayed with me to this day: After all, sometimes an odd date leaves you with a best friend six months later, and other times it leaves you with a lifelong aversion to pierced British men.
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Of course, I'm not the only one with a portfolio of Tinder dating horror stories. If you recently went out with someone who turned out to secretly have another serious partner or expressed some truly terrifying political views, rest assured you're not alone. Seek comfort and humor in the five weirdest Tinder dates I've been on.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of those discussed.
1 of 5

THE HOMOPHOBE

On his Tinder profile, Alex presented himself as a progressive tech bro. We met in Washington Square Park, and he suggested we head to a nearby bar before grabbing some vegan food. I'm not a vegan, and while I totally respect those who choose that path, if a potential partner reveals themselves as a vegan, it sets off a red flag. Specifically, it makes me worry that their passionate consideration for animals will mean that my devotion to cheese breaks their heart — certainly not that they're so inconsiderate they're against gay marriage. And yet…

"So, you mentioned in your profile that you're bi?" Alex asked as he sipped his vodka gimlet.

"Yes, that's correct," I replied, fearing a first-date threesome invitation (a common experience for bisexual women).

"Huh," he said as he let the vodka work its magic. "To be honest, I don't believe in gay marriage. I'm not homophobic — it's just if two men can get married, what's to stop me from marrying my brother? I'd love the tax benefits."

I walked out and left him with his gimlet.
2 of 5

THE VAMPIRE

The first place Victor took me to was a cemetery. I was very depressed at the time and fell immediately under his spell. He gifted me with dead flowers he found at the graveyard, turned on my inner goth, and gave me someone to talk to about all my sad thoughts. We had hot BDSM sex. We dated for several months on and off. Tall, blonde, and handsome, Victor's charm was powerful.

The secrets that charm was hiding was eventually revealed: He was involved with someone else when we met. He technically didn't even live in New York. I ran past red flags like I was running a relay race at a school spirit day. They say you attract the energy you emanate, and at the time I stunk of despair. I finally released myself after being called some very nasty and misogynistic names and realized his cruelty was only fun when it was done consensually as part of S&M sex.

The lesson: You can't fall for someone in a graveyard and then act shocked when things get weird.
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3 of 5

THE BEST FRIEND

Luckily, when it comes to Tinder — and so many other things in life — weird doesn't always mean bad. Believe it or not, I met my best friend, Riley, on Tinder. From the moment I swiped right on her to the alert that we matched, I was elated. I thought she was a catfish because she was so pretty.

We had a lovely first date at an Italian restaurant near my apartment. Our romantic relationship was short-lived and fierce. Both Scorpios, both sex writers, I think we were too similar and too equally intense to survive long term as lovers. Friends, though? We were made for that shit.

After our sexual relationship had ended, we didn't speak for several months. Eventually, we reconnected to collaborate on an article. The chemistry was still there. Now, two and a half years after our initial date, we're best friends (and both live with male partners!). My first date with Riley — and the ultimate outcome — was a lesson in life giving what you need, rather than what you want. What I wanted at the time was hot sex. What I needed, and what I got, was an indispensable friend.
4 of 5

THE BALLERINA

I wanted to have a threesome, and after discussing with my partner if we were ready, we made a couples' account on Tinder and started looking for perspective partners. We found several, but the one we ultimately went on a date with was a beautiful ballerina; I'll call her Margot. She met us at a Brooklyn bar with outdoor seating.

The three-way date was not nearly as awkward as we feared. Rather, the three of us all got along wonderfully and enjoyed great conversation. While my partner was totally onboard with the idea of going on a date and potentially having sex with professional dancer, it was I who was pushing the threesome idea. What was weird for me about the date — and taught me an important lesson about how complicated threesomes can be — was that my partner and Margot had far more chemistry than she and I did. While it was cool, since I agreed to (more like begged for) the date, I felt a little bit like I was the third wheel on a date with my own boyfriend.

We said goodnight to Margot, and she went on her way. While we didn't end up sleeping with her, it was an informative experience. Not only did we take a baby step into the world of opening up our relationship to group sex, but we learned that when you bring others into your relationship, you can't expect it to meet the fairy tale sex fantasy you've scripted in your head where there is perfect symmetry and sexual chemistry among all parties involved.
5 of 5

THE PIERCED ARCHITECT

I didn't expect the architect, William, to have so many piercings. British and rather buttoned up, when he took me home and took off his shirt, I was surprised at the nipple rings, belly button ring, and genital piercings adorning his body. You can't judge an architect by his cover.

Despite being in his mid-30s and rather affluent, William's Manhattan apartment resembled that of a 19-year-old college freshman. The floor was littered with empty chip bags, Chinese takeout containers, and old beer bottles. The mess crept along the floor and grew up the corners of the apartment in little clusters. His bed was a mattress slung sideways, sans bed frame or sheets — with just a tattered comforter. We made out that night. And yes, don't make me say it, I saw him again.

After a few more dates it was his turn to see my place. This night, when sex was on the table, he revealed that he only really got off on anal sex, which I wasn't ready for with him. We agreed to stick with oral, and I went down on him.

"This isn't going to work. We just don't have sexual chemistry, and I think we should stop seeing each other," William said, as his penis was in my mouth.

I sat up, grabbed my phone, and ordered him an Uber.

"You have eight minutes until your car arrives. Please get up, grab your things, and do not contact me again," I said.

You know what's really not cool? Ending things with someone while your genitals are in their mouth.
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