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There’s always something better.” “If you had a reservation somewhere and then a table at Per Se opened up, you’d want to go there,” Alex offers.“Guys view everything as a competition,” he elaborates with his deep, reassuring voice. ” With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling.You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance …“They’ll tell you, ‘Come over and sit on my face,’ ” says her friend, Ashley, 19.Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating.“I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”And is this “good for women”?Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women.They are Dan, Alex, and Marty, budding investment bankers at the same financial firm, which recruited Alex and Marty straight from an Ivy League campus.When asked if they’ve been arranging dates on the apps they’ve been swiping at, all say not one date, but two or three: “You can’t be stuck in one lane …

and I just don’t.”“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way.

“The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,” leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract.

“And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.”People used to meet their partners through proximity, through family and friends, but now Internet meeting is surpassing every other form.

Some, like writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is …

bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued.

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