This Girl Is Taking Down Hipster Tinder One Profile At A Time

Behold the wonder of Tinder in Brooklyn.

1. Tinder can be a garbage wasteland to wade through. And nobody knows that better than Lindsay, the creator of the blog Tinder in Brooklyn.

 

Yes, that man is wearing nothing but pizza.

2. Lindsay, a law student, started the blog after noticing some truly troubling/mystifying Tinder profile pictures.

 

For instance, guys making rape jokes, or lighting pineapples on fire in non-fire-retardant clothing.

3. She went on Tinder to earnestly meet someone, but found “it’s kind of impossible to Tinder date in Brooklyn because this is what you get,” she told BuzzFeed Life.

 

Yes, I’d love to meet a guy who’s pointing a gun at me.

4. Lindsay also noticed a proliferation of guys using photos of themselves posing with African natives.

 

“Don’t use poverty tourism pics in your Tinder profile,” Lindsay told BuzzFeed Life. “Using kids to get a blow job? Are you fucking kidding me?”

5. But there were other consistent tropes, too. Like guys cuddling with cute animals.

 

And making pussy jokes about it.

8. And being just too creepy for words.

 

9. Lindsay says that though her blog focuses on the hipster guys of Brooklyn, she’s gotten emails from people around the world who’ve met similar folks in their Tinder searches.

 

“There’s hipster enclaves everywhere,” said Lindsay. “And that is kind of interesting. You’re not alone. It’s a struggle out there.”

BTW, Andrew’s shirt says “My life, my bike, my dick, my death,” which, YES.

10. But please, guys, whatever you do, don’t wear a mask in your Tinder photo. Especially not this one.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliegerstein/this-girl-is-taking-down-hipster-guys-on-tinder-one-profile

25 Facts About BDSM That You Won’t Learn In “Fifty Shades Of Grey”

Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s your real primer on all things kink.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. First things first: Here’s what BDSM actually stands for:

BDSM includes bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism & masochism (S&M). The terms are lumped together that way because BDSM can be a lot of different things to different people with different preferences, BDSM writer and educator Clarisse Thorn, author of The S&M Feminist, tells BuzzFeed Life. Most of the time, a person’s interests fall into one or two of those categories, rather than all of them.

2. It doesn’t always involve sex, but it can.

Most people think BDSM is always tied to sex, and while it can be for some people, others draw a hard line between the two. “Both are bodily experiences that are very intense and sensual and cause a lot of very strong feelings in people who practice them, but they’re not the same thing,” says Thorn. The metaphor she uses for it: a massage. Sometimes a massage, however sensual it feels, is just a massage. For others, a rubdown pretty much always leads to sex. It’s kind of similar with BDSM; it’s a matter of personal and sexual preference.

3. There is nothing inherently wrong or damaged with people if they’re into it.

This is one of the most common and frustrating misconceptions about BDSM, says Thorn. BDSM isn’t something that emerges from abuse or domestic violence, and engaging in it does not mean that you enjoy abuse or abusing.

Instead, enjoying BDSM is just one facet of someone’s sexuality and lifestyle. “It’s just regular people who happen to get off that way,” sex expert Gloria Brame, Ph.D., author of Different Loving, tells BuzzFeed Life. “It’s your neighbors and your teachers and the people bagging your groceries. The biggest myth is that you need this special set of circumstances. It’s regular people who have a need for that to be their intimate dynamic.”

4. Know that you can always say no.

“A lot of people starting out think it’s ‘all or nothing,’ especially if you’ve only been with one partner,” says Thorn. For instance, you might think that because you enjoyed being submissive under certain circumstances, that means you must agree to a whole host of submissive or masochistic behaviors that you’re not necessarily into.

But that’s absolutely wrong. You can — and should — pick and choose which BDSM activities you are and are not interested in, says Thorn. And that can vary depending on the situation, the partner, or even the day. Just remember that consent is a requirement in BDSM, and it’s possible to consent to one thing while still objecting to another.

5. BDSMers are just as stable as people who prefer vanilla sex.

“In my experience, it’s easier for people to get into BDSM if they don’t have a history of abuse, people who are in a more stable place in their lives,” says Thorn. A 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people who had engaged in BDSM in the past year were no more likely to have been coerced into sexual activity and were no more likely to be unhappy or anxious than those who didn’t do BDSM. And actually, men who engaged in BDSM had lower scores of psychological distress than other men.

That said, BDSMers do not judge people who aren’t into it, explains Thorn. The term “vanilla” isn’t meant to be derogatory, just to refer to non-BDSM sexual acts or people who aren’t interested in kink.

6. Fifty Shades of Grey is considered very cringeworthy in the BDSM community.

If you ever find yourself at a BDSM meet-up or dungeon, don’t mention any shade of grey. While some people appreciate that the books spurred more interest in kink and may have made it less stigmatized, others take issue with the abusive, unhealthy relationship it portrays and the seriously unrealistic scenes. All in all, it is not an accurate representation of the BDSM community.

7. It’s not all whips and chains all the time — or ever, if that’s not your thing.

Sure, some S&M enthusiasts might have these in their arsenal, but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of kink. “Some people go for what’s called ‘sensual dominance,’ which is where there might be some toys or play but no pain involved at all,” says Brame. “It’s more like one partner agrees to do everything the other person asks. BDSM doesn’t have to follow any pattern, and there is no one model for what a BDSM relationship can be.”

Getty Images / iStockphoto Filip Obr / Via thinkstockphotos.com

8. BDSM encounters are called “scenes.”

Again, since it isn’t always about intercourse, you wouldn’t necessarily say that you “had sex” or “hooked up” with someone after a BDSM experience. Instead, these are called scenes (like, you scened with someone or you had a scene).

“It’s an evolution from a time where, if you did S&M, you might only do it with a professional for an hour, or you might just see it performed at a BDSM club,” says Brame. “Now people have much more organic relationships, but they still call it a scene — the time when we bring out the toys or get into that headspace.”

9. There are dominants, submissives, tops, and bottoms.

So you’ve probably heard about dominants and submissives (if not, the dominant enjoys being in charge, while the submissive enjoys receiving orders). But BDSMers may also use the terms “tops” and “bottoms” to describe themselves. A top could refer to a dominant or a sadist (someone who enjoys inflicting pain), while a bottom could refer to a submissive or a masochist (someone who enjoys receiving pain). This allows you to have a blanket term for those who generally like being on either the giving or receiving end in a BDSM encounter. And there’s no rule that says you can’t be both dominant and submissive in different circumstances or with different partners.

10. It can be as simple or as technical as you want.

Maybe the thought of being tied up excites you, or you enjoy spanking or being spanked. Or maybe you’re more interested in leather masks and nipple clamps and hot wax. All of that (and obviously a lot more) is within the realm of BDSM. Basically, you can still be into kink without actually ever going to a dungeon.

11. Before you go past the VERY basics, do your research.

Using a blindfold or an ice cube or fuzzy handcuffs you got at a bachelorette party are all relatively harmless beginner behaviors if you’re into them. But before you play around with some of the trickier tools, you need to learn how to do so safely. Even a rope or a whip can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Hell, you can even mess up with your own hands (think: fisting): “[Some people] think they can clench a fist and stick it inside somebody,” says Brame. “That’s a good way to really injure someone and send them to the hospital.” (Instead, she suggests an “enormous amount of lubricant” and starting with two or three fingers, then slowly and carefully building up to the whole hand.)

Getty Images / iStockphoto Xebeche / Via thinkstockphotos.com

12. Seriously, BDSM involves A LOT of reading and learning.

If you’re one of those people who throws away the directions and tries to build the bookshelf on intuition alone, BDSM is probably not for you. “I would say the vast majority of what we call BDSM education is how to maximize ecstasy and minimize risk,” says Brame. “How to do all the things you fantasized about doing and to do them safely.”

While there’s no one required reading list, there seem to be a few favorites that are often recommended to beginners, like SM 101 by Jay Wiseman, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns, by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon, and The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton. [Editor’s note: Have others you’d suggest? Please add them in the comments!]

Classes, conferences, and meet-ups are also helpful for learning specific techniques, says Thorn. Another popular resource is FetLife.com, a Facebook-like network for the kink community, which can connect you with message boards, groups, and classes in your area.

13. It’s important to get your information from a variety of sources.

One mistake many people make when first experimenting with BDSM is relying on one person to show them the way. Even if they do have your best interest at heart (and they might not), it can be limiting to only have one perspective on something that is so multidimensional, says Thorn. Instead, seek out books, workshops, meet-ups, mentors, friends, message boards, and more to find a safe place to explore your interests.

“When you can’t talk about what’s happening and you can’t make sense of your experience with like-minded people, that’s way more dangerous than the variety of activities you might fantasize about,” says Thorn.

14. Safe words are definitely a thing.

It might sound cheesy, but it’s a well-established norm in BDSM. (And hey, your safe word could actually be “cheesy” if you want. You do you.) “Safe words are probably one of the most important norms that have spread across the community, even if people use them in different ways,” says Thorn. For instance, not everyone uses safe words all the time after a while, but it’s important to start out with them. They can essentially be anything you want, as long as it’s something that you wouldn’t normally say during sex. You can find more info about safe words here.

15. And at some public events, there are even safety monitors on duty.

“Dungeon monitors will kick out people who don’t look like they’re playing safely,” says Brame. This can be anything from ignoring safe words to using a whip incorrectly. Seriously, did we mention that safety is paramount here? In fact, the acronym SSC (safe, sane, consensual) is one of the most common pillars of the practice.

Buy this leather harness on Etsy for $98.

16. It’s not as spontaneous as Hollywood movies or porn make it out to be.

Getting swept up in the moment and accidentally stumbling into a millionaire’s red room (where you’ll have multiple orgasms) is probably not going to happen to you ever. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “The sexual fantasy makes everything look so easy,” says Brame. “People who actually do this stuff are very cautious about it. It has to be the right place and right time and right equipment. And you have to know you can get the person out [of whatever bondage] if there’s an emergency. You have to feel you can trust the person.” So there’s a lot that goes into one scene, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less satisfying for those who enjoy it.

17. There’s also probably way more talking involved than there is with (most) vanilla sex.

Whenever people question the role of consent in BDSM, they should consider the enormous amount of communication that occurs before, during, and after the scenes. “We talk about it hugely before we ever do it,” says Brame. “We talk about what we want to do, what we’re going to do, what our fantasies are… that’s part of negotiating a good relationship as a BDSMer.”

Courtesy of Gloria Brame / Via gloriabrame.com

18. There’s actually a pre-negotiation period, where the partners discuss what they like, what they don’t like, and what they absolutely will not tolerate.

Think of this as the primer before the scene. “It’s a way of discussing the experience ahead of time that can increase emotional security,” says Thorn. This can involve anything from scripts and checklists to a more informal discussion of what each person’s expectations are for the scene, what they want and don’t want, and any words or actions that are completely off-limits.

19. And then comes aftercare, the debriefing period that happens once the scene ends.

Since BDSM can be an incredibly intense and emotional experience for some, most experts strongly suggest this wrap-up step, where the partners can discuss the scene and any reactions they had to it. “People are extremely vulnerable during aftercare,” says Thorn. “It can be really weird to have a scene without it.” This can also be a strong bonding experience between the partners.

Courtesy of Hans van der Kamp / Via hansvanderkamp.com

20. BDSMers can be monogamous, polyamorous, or whatever the hell they want.

Not everyone who’s interested in BDSM has multiple sexual or relationship partners. “It used to be a popular perception that we don’t form long-term relationships,” says Brame. “A lot of BDSMers are just monogamous people. A lot of people just want to do it with their partner or play with the big toys at clubs.”

21. There are so many different types of whips.

This is not a one-size-fits-all kink. There are light floggers, leather whips, whips with single tails, whips with multiple tails that are flat and wide, the list goes on, says Thorn. But because certain types can be harsher than others, you really need to learn how to use them properly (again, workshops are crucial). “People practicing with a single-tail whip will often start with a pillow or some distant small object, like a light switch,” she says.

22. And there are some places that you definitely don’t want to whip.

Like, um, the eyes, obviously. Or the kidney area. “The skin is thin there and you have vital organs under there. You can bruise your kidneys,” explains Brame.

23. If you want to bring it up in your current relationship, absolutely do it.

“There are plenty of stories out there of people who were too nervous to bring it up and then found out that their partner had the same fantasy,” says Thorn. If you’re nervous about it, ask if they’d be interested in checking out a particular book or workshop you heard about. Or just talk about it in the context of sexual fantasies by asking your partner if they’ve ever tried anything like BDSM or if they’ve ever wanted to. If you think about it, you’re only risking one awkward conversation, and the payoff can be huge if this is something you want in your life.

Buy this latex catsuit on Etsy for $266.20.

24. There is an immensely helpful list of kink-aware professionals so you can find a doctor or therapist who uniquely understands your lifestyle.

Maybe you’re worried that your gynecologist or your lawyer won’t be sensitive to your lifestyle or doesn’t allow you to feel comfortable talking about it. Check out the Kink Aware Professionals Directory from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom to find someone who will be more accepting.

25. Basically, it’s way different than most people expect.

Between stereotypes, porn, and Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s a lot of misconceptions about BDSM. Short of attending a workshop or visiting a dominatrix, the best way to learn more about it is to do some research. “Just like with regular sex, if you want to be good at it, you really have to learn about what’s going on when this stuff is happening,” says Brame.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren/ultimate-guide-to-bdsm

Why I Ended A Perfectly Fine Relationship

My boyfriend and I were going nowhere, so I did what any self-proclaimed gay academic would do: I re-read Roland Barthes.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I was introduced to Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse by a good friend I was sleeping with. We’d just had brunch and sex when he told me, “Read it.” I found his edition of the book on his bedside table. The yellowing pages were soft against my fingers as his own traced figures on my skin. “It’s right up your alley.”

“Why’s that?” I said.

“You’re like the book.” He planted kisses down my spine with each word. “Intelligent. Gorgeous. Romantic…”

After another orgasm, I got a copy that very afternoon.

We weren’t, nor would we ever be, “boyfriends.” He was in a long-term open relationship (now marriage) and I was living in New York for just a few months. So I didn’t expect much. But his warm brown eyes were engaging. We’d walk around Manhattan and talk about books. We’d go out to dinner and talk about writing. And we’d kiss and turn snowfall into rain.

We weren’t sure what to call ourselves. He was older and established — my mentor, in a sense. So we played with the term “lover.” How French, I thought. I could do French. But for Barthes, an actual gay Frenchman, being a lover was a different ordeal.

Barthes wrote A Lover’s Discourse in 1977 as a collection of notes on amorous language. “Figures,” he calls them, gestures of the lover at work. He says his goal is to present scenes of language wherein the lover might recognize himself. The whole thing reads like a dictionary of a lover’s desire, an exercise in defining every move made, thought shared, word said. Or unsaid.

“Waiting,” for example, Barthes describes as “the tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting for the loved being, subject to trivial delays (rendezvous, letters, telephone calls, returns).” He talks about waiting by the phone for his loved one to call. He dare not attempt to find him or call him lest he miss him. Barthes reports how his feelings ricochet between dread and anger and sadness, all while seated by the telephone. (Imagine if he had iMessage.)

“Am I in love?” he writes. “Yes, since I am waiting. The other never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game: whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely: I am the one who waits.”

Barthes uses words to make a lucid mirror out of Discourse. But it was only two years later, when I looked into it again, that I recognized myself. This happened, predictably, when I found myself a “boyfriend.”

We began using the word when we were having real estate problems in New York. I needed to move out of an apartment I couldn’t afford and his landlord refused to renew his lease. After he texted me with this news, I called him.

“I think we can do it,” he said. I could hear his crooked smile through the phone.

Between breathy laughs, I said, “I know we’ve only just met.”

We’d already gone on four dates within nine days, so the intimate act of telephoning was permissible, among other suggestions. “We could live together.”

The fact I could sit in silence with him, gaze into his steely blue eyes for hours, I willingly mistook for comfort. We’d walk around Brooklyn and stare at the pavement. We’d go out to dinner and chew on our food. But we’d kiss and turn the rain into steam.

He was beautiful and said the same of me. He’d text me good night and good morning. He was my age and single. These things, I decided, were good enough. And thus, I became the lover at work.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Adorable

adorable / adorable
Not managing to name the specialty of his desire for the loved being, the amorous subject falls back on this rather stupid word: adorable!

Via Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

During the Gay Pride parade in New York, I got belligerently drunk. He had to take me home to his place in Williamsburg when it was still light out. I accidentally left my bag at a bar in the West Village. In the bag were a flask once filled with vodka and the Ray-Bans he lent me. I wore them at the parade, but they weren’t in my bag when I woke up in his bedroom that evening, close to midnight. I didn’t mention this loss to him when I found him sleeping on the couch in the living room.

“What’re you doing out here?” My tongue was still catching up to my thoughts.

“You’re still drunk.” He smiled. “I need to give you some space.”

In the amber glow of the streetlights outside, his handsomeness was made princely. I said, “You went back to the bar for my bag?”

“Of course.” He turned away from me on the couch, tightening his hold on a pillow.

But I pulled him into his twin bed and wrapped my sunburnt arms around him. I thought about how lucky I was, to be here with him, in this home leased for only a little while longer, but with him nonetheless. I kissed the nape of his neck and said, “Thank you.”

Whenever anyone asked what made me want to be in a relationship with him, I’d often cite this story. Selfless, I called him. We didn’t talk about much else other than work and the weather, but he was sweet, kind, adorable — capable of loving and being loved. The nights after dinner on his couch watching Netflix with my head on his shoulder outweighed everything else. This was the honeymoon period I’d heard about.

But, of course, as all moons do, it waned.

“Special Days”

fête / festivity
The amorous subject experiences every meeting with the loved being as a festival.

Via Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

We would see each other almost every day, at first. We had drinks two days after our first date. He spent the night at my place three days after that. He’d meet me at the park for lunch and soon invited me to meet his friends. I’ve always had the habit of marking down these special days in my calendar. In the beginning, these days were wonderfully cramped into short weeks, but it wasn’t long until I began to measure my life in the days I didn’t see him.

He grew distant, for whatever reason. We saw each other less. His texts became less frequent, less sprinkled with emojis — which everyone knows is an infallible barometer of intimacy. And we used to call each other on video just to watch movies together. I’d point my phone at Clueless on the television and hear how he’d memorized the lines.

Then it became different. Then came weeks of radio silence. I could only count on seeing him on our monthly dates on the 15th, our month-aversary. But even then I’d have to wait for him, for his texts to tell me when and where to be. And whenever I did see him, the festivity I felt was more of a gratitude than sheer joy. Thank you, I wanted to tell him, thank you for picking me tonight. But after the dinner, after the gazing, after the toe-curling under the sheets, I was made to wait again — the subject subjected.

I decided to re-read A Lover’s Discourse. My copy’s pages were beginning to soften and yellow. In it, I found my notes naive, if not foolish; wide-eyed, if not provincial. And if Barthes’ work was once incandescent, now it was searing. His words were once warnings, cautionary tales to be heeded. But now the book, for better or worse, was our shared diary.

Still, I lied to myself. I gave my boyfriend excuses in the weeks between, blaming his own rendezvous and returns. And he was adorable; no one else could promise such pleasure. These were just growing pains, I reasoned. Our relationship was going through puberty, and every time we met, my voice would crack.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I Love You

je-t’-aime / I-love-you
The figure refers not to the declaration of love, to the avowal, but to the repeated utterance of the love cry.

Via Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

On our first date, he took me to the carousel at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. He paid for our two tickets and tossed me the penny he got back. I tried to catch the change, but failed. It spun in circles on the cement, then rolled toward his foot. He stepped on it and picked it up. I told him he should have checked first, to see if it was lucky or not.

He put the change in my shirt pocket and pressed a hand to my chest. “Make your own luck.”

Then the lease ran out. I landed an apartment with friends in Harlem and he was moving to Crown Heights. We were on his Williamsburg rooftop for the last time when I thought I felt the breeze pick up. I held his face in my hands and ran a thumb across his manicured stubble. His hands were on my waist and I inflated my chest against his.

“I love you.” I felt him tense. I added the next line I’d practiced: “You don’t have to say it back. I just wanted you to know.”

“I’m not a good boyfriend,” he said. “Just wait. Let me catch up.” This was one of his many promises.

Time and again, he’d promised to communicate more openly, to be more forthright with his emotions, to just treat me like his friend. But I never once felt him work on these vows. I felt us going in circles where nothing was wrong and nothing was right.

In cabs, in bed, outside parties, it was the same conversation: how I felt like an accessory of convenience in his life, to be used only when he needed help moving furniture or having an orgasm. We weren’t us anymore, as much of an us as we ever were. He’d left the job of making our own luck to me. He was not the lover at work.

At last, after months of waiting, he explained that whenever he’s in a relationship, he wants to be single again. And when he’s single, he wants to be in a relationship. I congratulated him on this novel feeling.

“Are you dating someone else?” I said. He paused, tightened my duvet around himself. “You’re not lying to me in my bed.”

“I’m not dating anyone,” he said. The next morning, we woke up with our backs turned to each other.

On the 15th of some month, we broke up at the waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park, near the carousel and the horse he rode in on. Some paces away, a couple taking their wedding photos was standing in the water, the Manhattan skyline as their backdrop. I silently wished them luck; I’d just found out fidelity is too much to ask for nowadays.

“I love you,” I said, “but I can’t keep waiting for you.”

From Waiting

A mandarin fell in love with a courtesan. “I shall be yours,” she told him, “when you have spent a hundred nights waiting for me, sitting on a stool, in my garden, beneath my window.” But on the ninety-ninth night, the mandarin stood up, put his stool under his arm, and went away.

Via Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

When I began to feel my relationship crumble, I picked up my copy of A Lover’s Discourse, fiercely notated, aggressively dog-eared, and loved. In both, I saw the lover at work. But it’s the “lover” — singular, alone — at work by himself. The loved one, the other, is oblivious to this. He is passive while the lover becomes active in his waiting. He begins to feel himself waiting. Calling it hoping, calling it pretending.

The title of the book can be misleading. Barthes was not writing about love, at least not in its healthiest sense, but about desire. It’s a romantic work, sure, wildly emotional and recklessly hopeful — very much up my alley. But it makes no pretenses about deconstructing an unrequited ideal. As Barthes discloses on the very first page of the book, to see oneself in these scenes of language is to be reminded of the lover’s extreme state of solitude.

Today, Barthes’ figures now come with sharp pangs of recognition. It’s a comfort in disguise. Barthes, eager and tormented next to his telephone, seems to say, “You are not alone in your aloneness.” It’s as singular and unique a work as it is unrequited and one-sided; that is to say, devastatingly so.

As I flip through the beautiful, bleeding pages now, I’m made to conclude that, by Barthes’ standards, I can’t do French. I don’t want a lover, for the time being at least. I just want a good friend I’m sleeping with.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattortile/the-one-who-waits

This Is What It’s Like To Date In Seven Different Countries

Eight women, from seven different countries, talk about love and relationships.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Gather a group of young and single foreigners who recently moved to New York City and at one moment or another, you’ll hear them talk about how weird the dating scene in the city is. Moving to a new place, anywhere in the world, means adjusting to new dating rules and standards. Different countries approach love and relationships differently, which often makes for bizarre culture shock but also fascinating conversations.

So, we decided to gather eight women who work at BuzzFeed and who live in and come from different countries to discuss cultural differences when it comes to love and relationships. Here they are:

Marie Telling: I’m an associate editor for BuzzFeed France, based in New York. I’m French and I grew up in Bordeaux, in the southwest of the country. I lived in Paris, in Sweden, and in Washington state for a while. I’ve been living in New York City for two and a half years.

Julia Pugachevsky: I’m a staff writer, live in New York, first-generation American from a Ukrainian family (so I was raised with some conflicting ideas as far as dating traditions go). I am single and only slightly ready to mingle.

Rossalyn Warren: My name is Roz, I’m a news reporter at BuzzFeed UK, I live in London, and I’m from Hertfordshire.

Tasneem Nashrulla: I’m a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News. I’m from Mumbai, and I’ve been living in the U.S. for the past two and a half years.

Juliane Leopold: I’m the founding editor of BuzzFeed Germany. I live in Berlin.

Jenna Guillaume: I’m a senior editor for BuzzFeed in Australia. I’ve lived in Sydney with my partner for the past six years, but I grew up in a coastal town near Wollongong, about 90 minutes south of Sydney. I’ve never lived in another country — YET. My other great love is the internet, and I spend too much time obsessing over fictional characters and their relationships.

Conz Preti: I’m the editor for BuzzFeed Español and Brasil, born in Argentina but raised between Colombia and Brazil, moved to New York in my late twenties for grad school and stayed here ever since. I’ve been seeing someone for some months now.

Julie Gerstein: I am BuzzFeed’s style editor. I live in Brooklyn with my boyfriend of three years.

Marie: How do people date? Is it OK to date several people at once? Is there an “exclusivity talk”? I don’t know if it’s an American thing or if this is just specific to New York, but the dating scene here often feels like an actual market where people try goods (several at once) and decide which one is best fitted to their needs and expectations. Then, they have a very reasonable talk to establish that they’re both interested in the other the same way. It’s like relationship shopping. Very pragmatic, very American. It feels way more organic and spontaneous in France, but that could also just be an illusion. What do you guys think? Is it the same where you’re from?

Julia: I feel like, in NYC specifically, you ALWAYS have to have the talk. You can find, theoretically, someone and get in the groove of things and just start dating naturally, but the talk still always happens — nothing is ever assumed.

Juliane: In Germany, it’s similar to France and different from the U.S. You tend to date one person at a time. The talk is done nevertheless but just to know if you should move on or not. But it’s definitely not OK to shop around.

Rossalyn: In the U.K., I think that it’s fine to date several people at once, provided it’s still at the early stages and you’re not taking the piss. I think if you’re dating someone for more than a few weeks, then maybe some clearer “erm, hey, are we making this a thing?” kinda chat is needed. British people are too awkward to have an “exclusivity talk” — I almost never hear my friends say they’ve had to have that talk. Having said that, I think British people do eventually try and figure out whether it’s exclusive or not, they just don’t outright say, “Are we exclusive?” — they just skirt around the issue until enough hints are dropped to be like, “oh, we’re a thing.”

Conz: In Argentina it depends on how long you’ve been “going out.” If it’s been over two months, the assumption from both sides is that there is no one else around and there is no real need for “the talk.” In my experience the sort of “oh, we are a couple now” moment was when either introduced the other to people as my BF/GF. I’ve never had the “so are you seeing someone else, are we exclusive?” chat. Ever.

Julie: I definitely feel like it’s a market-style thing in the U.S.

Jenna: In Australia it definitely seems more organic. I feel like people probably go on dates with different people around the same time, but if they like a particular person they don’t date anyone else. And “the talk” isn’t really something that happens in general, I think it tends to be a mutually understood thing after a certain period of time. This is very generally speaking, of course — some people probably do have the “exclusivity talk.” But Australians on the whole aren’t that blunt about these sort of things.

Rossalyn: When I lived in Brooklyn, the dating did feel like a market, but in a different way to the U.K: It felt more cutthroat and like “nope, not feeling this, next!”

Julie: Especially when it comes to online dating, which has very much mirrored itself after a transactional arrangement. You’re “shopping” for people you find attractive, you go on dates to check out the goods, you date to see if you’d like to make a more permanent arrangement. In a city like NYC, especially, where the male-to-female ratio is so incredibly off, it seems especially like men are alllllways keeping their dating options open.

Marie: I don’t even feel like we “date” in France. We just sleep with someone casually or we’re with someone. If you’re sleeping with someone and you’re hanging out with them socially one-on-one, then you’re a thing.

Jenna: I think dating has become more of a thing in Australia thanks to online dating. Now people go on dates with people they’ve met online, whereas in the past it was more just someone you met in a bar or at work or whatever who you started hanging out with.

Marie: Yes, I think that may be true for France too, Jenna.

Julie: In NYC, you can’t presume that you’re a thing. You’re better off assuming that the person you’re doing that with is doing that with a few people, unless you’ve expressly made it clear you’re not. I think that’s why it’s a safer bet to always date a few people at a time in the early stages.

Jenna: That sounds exhausting.

Conz: Yes. I don’t get it and it feels almost insulting in a way. Like…why spend time and open up and all that if the other side is doing the same with several others.

Rossalyn: It’s such a hassle.

Julia: I feel like I barely have time for ONE guy, let alone a couple.

Julie: Not necessarily sleep with, but at least date. DIVERSIFY YOUR BONDS.

Jenna: But that makes it sound so…clinical.

Marie: It is VERY clinical.

Jenna: Clinical and cynical.

Julie: I think of it as emotional insurance.

Julia: It’s like none of us have time to get our hearts broken so we have backups, which makes me sad.

Rossalyn: I think that is the same in a lot of major cities actually: bigger cities, more people, more dating, more options. In the countryside/suburbs, people are less hassled by dating more than one person at a time.

Tasneem: I think the concept of dating, the way it’s defined in the U.S., has taken root in India only in the last couple of years (that I’ve been away for). I was shocked to hear that friends in Bombay actually use Tinder. I thought that was such an American thing. Earlier, there were two ways to go about it: Either you’re “messing around” with someone, as in having a casual fling where you’re not necessarily exclusive and both know this is a casual, fun thing. Or second, you’re in a relationship. Dating, as in sleeping or making out with different people, is a little alien to me, but apparently common in Bombay now. (I feel old.)

Marie: I was actually wondering about dating apps. How do people use them in your countries? And which ones do they use?

Rossalyn: Tinder. LOL.

Marie: I was actually very surprised to learn that people have started using Tinder in France, too. It felt so pragmatic and un-French to me that I never thought it would take off. Mind you, I don’t actually know anyone who is really using it.

Julie: Tinder and OkCupid here (in New York), as we all know. And Hinge is becoming popular too.

Jenna: Tinder for sure.

Conz: Tinder blew up in Argentina this year.

Juliane: Tinder is still quite new to Germans.

Conz: I feel that the gamification of it compared to other dating apps is what it made it a thing. You are not ~really~ on a dating app, you are swiping photos.

Marie: I wonder if Tinder is used for the same thing everywhere? Do people use it for fun, for dating, or just hooking up?

Rossalyn: It’s mostly used by your friends who are in relationships to swipe through for fun. But for those who use it properly, they do meet people and date. But there is also a laziness to it — who has time to message strangers witty replies all the time?

Tasneem: My friends are not only ON Tinder (like, for the fun of it), they’re actually meeting and hooking up with people through it. I mean it’s not THAT common, but if I personally know someone who’s done that, then I’m sure its getting popular. But I should also note that the friend I’m referring to hooked up with a non-Indian on Tinder.

Julia: In New York, I feel like people find S.O.s on it, but otherwise, it’s mainly hooking up.

Jenna: I know people who have had a lot of dud dates through Tinder, but no one who has actually found a relationship.

Marie: Are there any other popular dating sites/apps?

Jenna: Rsvp.com.au is a pretty popular dating site in Australia.

Rossalyn: OkCupid was kind of big. So was Plenty of Fish, which is the worst name ever for a dating app. Guardian Soul Mates is used by middle-class liberals here.

Marie: LOL.

Julia: Match.com is for people who are very serious because you have to pay for it.

Tasneem: Shaadi.com is for marriages only. And A LOT of Indians use that to find suitable marriage partners.

Rossalyn: If we’re being honest, Match.com says it’s a dating site, but it’s for people who are looking for serious relationships/marriage, they just don’t explicitly say it.

Tasneem: Some NGOs in India conduct mass weddings for niche groups like differently abled people. They don’t even meet their partners before that. They’re just all married in this massive mass wedding.

Marie: How do you flirt? Do women ever make the first step? How is it perceived if they do?

Jenna: It’s more common for guys to make the first move, and it’s quite rare for women to do so.

Julia: Yeah, guys are supposed to make the first move. But me, I like to pounce.

Conz: I’ve openly asked dudes out and they are fine with it… But at a bar, usually men swarm women. It’s OK if I walk up to a dude and start talking, but usually they’ll be straight up talking you up immediately.

Marie: Yeah, in France, men are more forward, although it’s not unusual for women to flirt. When I was living in Sweden, though, men were always expecting women to make the first step. It was very confusing coming from France.

Juliane: In Germany, women are not really expected to make the first move. It can be perceived as slutty. In my last two relationships I have always made the first move and that freaked the guys out.

Tasneem: I don’t think (and things might have changed) that random men flirt with random women at bars in India. You usually flirt within your social circle or when you’re introduced by someone you know.

Julie: I “had a line” when I was single.

Jenna: What was it?

Julie: “Oh, good, you haven’t left yet. I wanted to talk to you.” It always worked.

Marie: I think guys like it when women make the first move in France. They may judge them a bit, but they also appreciate the change.

Julie: Guys, they’re just like us. NERVOUS.

Marie: My friends who were living in Sweden LOVED how forward women were.

Julie: They like it because they are lazy and scared and weird, so it takes the pressure off. And if they are the kind of guy you want to date, they will appreciate a strong, confident woman.

Marie: About “dating” — what is a typical date? And who pays?

Julie: Well, if you live in Philly, where I’m from, a date is getting a drink with a dude and then paying for it, and then he basically moves into your house and you pay his rent. Because there are a lot of hot, beardy dudes with marginal jobs there.

Julia: Typical date in New York: casual drinks, guy pays.

Juliane: Typical date in Germany: dinner or movie, maybe both. Both split the check.

Jenna: The “who pays” thing is such a personal thing, I think. There’s not a set social norm.

Conz: Go to a bar to get a drink, dude pays. But also, I never went out on a date while I lived in Argentina because it was more organic — I met a friend of a friend at a party and then we would see each other again in a social gathering and then maybe go out.

Rossalyn: My friends and I here in the U.K. had a big chat about this the other day. Most of them think that both sides of the date should offer to pay on a first date, but that usually the guy should pay. But they also said it’s not a big thing if the woman pays; it’s just a preferred thing. Then, after the meal, if the guy pays, the woman buys the drinks at the bar.

Julie: In NYC, I’ve found that dudes are cool with paying for dates, or whomever asks. I now have a serious live-in boyfriend and whoever asks is the one who pays.

Tasneem: Dinner and drinks (guy usually pays or you “go Dutch”).

Jenna: Traditionally I guess the guy pays, but I think more and more women prefer to split? Or maybe that’s just me. I much prefer to split the bill.

Rossalyn: Personally, I usually split the bill.

Julia: Yeah, I always offer to pay out of politeness and then the guy usually is like, “NO, I’m paying,” and I meekly pull away my wallet.

Julie: I like doing the one pays for dinner, one pays for drinks thing.

Marie: I always offer to pay, but I like when guys insist on paying for the first date, otherwise I’m always afraid they’re cheap. After that, I’d rather split the check (unless he earns significantly more and suggested an expensive place).

Conz: After the first date and when you are together, it is usually half-and-half. When I lived with my ex, I would do the groceries and he would pay the electricity, or something like that.

Julia: If I’m seeing them past a few dates, I feel more comfortable splitting — actually get annoyed if they don’t let me.

Jenna: Yeah, if a guy, especially beyond the first date, is like, “No, I’M paying,” I’d kind of question their attitudes toward women. Benevolent sexism.

Marie: While we’re on the topic, what about chivalry? Is chivalry still a thing where you come from? How does it express itself?

Jenna: Australian guys are not chivalrous.

Marie: Haha! Really?

Jenna: Well. SOME are.

Rossalyn: Yeah, British guys are not either. It’s all a bit cringe.

Tasneem: Indian guys NEVER LEAVE DOORS OPEN. I think holding doors in India is not even a thing. Like, no one does it. It’s just not in our societal DNA. But I used to get annoyed when boys exited a restaurant first and literally slammed the door on my face. (Not deliberately, of course — they were lovely guys. But they don’t hold doors.) I think that speaks more about just general public etiquette. Americans are excessively polite when it comes to doors and elevators and the like.

Rossalyn: Dream guys are the ones who slam doors in your face.

Jenna: I mean, a lot of chivalry is politeness. Australians on the whole don’t rate politeness as a top attribute. Not that we’re necessarily rude (although, well, sometimes we are), but we just don’t go out of our way to be extra polite.

Julie: I think I’m way more chivalrous than most American dudes.

Julia: See, it’s complicated for me because some guys open doors and some don’t and I don’t think I would care either way, but my parents, who are Ukrainian, are horrified when guys don’t do this.

Juliane: Politeness seems to be rather underrated in Germany. Older dudes will hold the door and stuff. Younger guys won’t.

Jenna: I feel like Americans on the whole are super super polite.

Julie: No way.

Rossalyn: British men are mostly polite, which I suppose falls under this area. They are mostly a nice bunch on dates.

Marie: In France politeness is not our major forte as a society, but guys tend to be pretty old-school, courteous, and do little things like opening the door, insisting on paying for things.

Jenna: I think holding doors, etc., should go both ways.

Marie: Yeah, I agree. It’s more about politeness than chivalry.

Rossalyn: Yeah, agree. “Don’t be a rude dick” = chivalry in 2014.

Conz: Argentines are SUPER old-school. They will open doors, and wait for you to get off the elevator, even open the door of the car for you to get in, etc.

Jenna: I haaaaate the car door thing. When I was younger I tried to force my boyfriend to do it because I was young and dumb and had romantic ideals about chivalry, but now I’m like, actually that’s bullshit.

Marie: On to something different. What’s the general position of PDA? I never noticed how much French people were into PDA until I moved abroad. I also had a Canadian friend who moved to Paris and was SHOCKED by the amount of PDA she witnessed. She couldn’t believe people were making out in supermarkets and in the middle of the street. To be clear, we’re not all climbing each other in public, but we’re mostly cool with kissing in public.

Jenna: I hate PDA. I think that is typical of Australians. Holding hands, quick pecks, that’s it. Oh, and maybe hugs. But anything more than that, most people feel uncomfortable.

Conz: In Argentina, you kiss, you hold hands, you hug, you sit on their lap. Everything is OK.

Julie: I think PDA is generally for the young and for the very old.

Juliane: In Germany, holding hands and kissing is OK, but that’s basically it.

Rossalyn: People in the U.K. are pretty meh about PDA — they don’t tend to do it too much, but they’re not fussed. Don’t ram your tongue down their throat while shopping or something, though.

Julie: I once wrote an open letter on The Frisky to a couple who would PDA at 9 in the morning in the subway station EVERY MORNING. Because I hated them so much.

Conz: I’m that person who kisses in subways at 9 a.m. If I wanna kiss you I will kiss you. No, we are not gonna make out and slob all over our faces in front of people but like…show some love!

Rossalyn: Yes to kissing. No to dog slobbering.

Jenna: I will give a peck in public. But no more than three seconds, and even that is pushing it.

Julia: I think it’s a person-to-person thing. I personally only do it when drunk and I side-eye people who make out in the middle of the street SOBER in the middle of the day.

Jenna: Oh, drunk is another story.

Rossalyn: Yeah, when I’m drunk it is different.

Marie: If I’m drunk I’ll climb you in public. No boundaries.

Jenna: LOL. I think that’s most people.

Julia: I’ve climbed poor boys like trees.

Rossalyn: When you’re drunk it’s like, Now is a perfectly acceptable time to climb on top of you thanks bye.

Tasneem: Kissing in public is unlawful in many parts of India. There was recently a huge “kiss of protest” all over India to demand our rights to kiss in public. (Unlawful not in the legal sense, but we have a lot of moral policing.) But in clubs and in other safe spaces where like-minded people hang out, PDA is pretty common.

Rossalyn: That protest looked amazing.

Tasneem: Yeah, it was awesome.

Jenna: What about holding hands and stuff? My school had a hands-off policy to try to discourage the ~sexual urges~. You weren’t allowed to hold hands or anything.

Julia: We definitely didn’t have that rule.

Tasneem: Well, I was in a girls school, so holding hands was totally OK. We held hands a LOT. A LOT. A LAAAWWT.

Marie: My school had a “please don’t have sex in a bathroom” policy, but that was pretty much it.

Rossalyn: OMG you had to have a policy to not tell students to fuck in a bathroom?!?!

Marie: Hahaha, it was a tacit rule. I don’t remember any actual rules we had.

Jenna: Most Australian schools have the hands-off rule. Usually it’s hands off or the meter rule or the balloon rule, like you couldn’t get so close you’d pop a ballon in between you. I got on after-school detention for hugging my boyfriend. We had to write lines: “I will be mature and keep my hands to myself.” (I am now married to him, lol.)

Julie: We had enough teen pregnancy at my school that obviously there were no proper policies in place.

Julia: We didn’t have any of these, and people openly made out in hallways. Once, a girl in my high school got away with giving a guy a BJ under the stairwell. Like, people SAW THEM and they didn’t get into trouble.

Conz: I had a boyfriend in high school in Brazil and we both almost got suspended because we gave each other a peck in the hallway in the morning.

Marie: Is marriage important where you’re from? Can you live together without being married?

Jenna: People usually live together for years before getting married, if they get married at all. The majority do but, it’s also totally OK not to. I think it’s important for people as in it’s like the most romantic, big thing you can do in a relationship. But in terms of morals or whatever, no one cares.

Conz: In Argentina and Brazil, it depends on religion. I’ve had friends get married at 19 and I have friends that are 40, have three kids, and are not planning on marrying. More and more, it’s getting common to live together before marrying. But it was a huge shock for my parents when I did. Same with my male cousin — our family was super against him moving in with his then-girlfriend. There’s a feeling of “if you move in together you are making things easier for the man” in older generations.

Tasneem: Marriage is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (for parents), and moving in with your boyfriend is still very rare in India, though it’s getting common in certain niches. But I think neighbors would judge you if they knew you lived with your boyfriend.

Rossalyn: People can live together here without being married, definitely. Marriage is still something many women here would like, but it’s not crucial.

Julie: I think it’s still important here, though maybe becoming less so. People still put a lot of value on marriage, though people are ALSO getting married later and multiple times.

Rossalyn: Yeah, divorce is so commonplace here that it’s like, “Meh, who even wants to get married.”

Marie: I admit I wanted to talk about infidelity to debunk a very old cliché about the French: People think the French are totally cool with infidelity. That’s simply not true. Some couples may have tacit agreements, others may be in open relationships, but the vast majority of the people I know in France would not be OK with their partner cheating on them. I don’t think there is more infidelity in France than anywhere else. And I don’t think we’re more OK with it than other cultures. We’ve just made more movies about it, I guess.

Jenna: Cheating is the worst thing you can do for a lot of people. People do it, but it’s a deal breaker for most people: It’s unforgivable.

Juliane: Yes, cheating is absolutely off-limits in relationships.

Julia: I feel like I hear about cheating all the time and it’s a bad thing to do and people break up over it, but it still happens a lot.

Conz: Argentine men cheat. All. The. Time. Not all of them, but most of them. It’s like a fucking epidemic.

Marie: How do women react?

Conz: It depends — some don’t take it, but so many, because it happens over and over again, are like, What eyes can’t see won’t hurt my heart. Now, if the woman cheats, she is a slut.

Tasneem: I don’t think there are any particular cultural connotations when it comes to cheating. It’s universally frowned upon but many people do it.

Julia: Right, but I feel like there’s more shock/condemnation when it’s a woman.

Jenna: And the “other woman” gets vilified more than the man who did it.

Julia: Oh, absolutely.

Conz: There is so much of blaming the “other woman” and not the man. SO MUCH.

Tasneem: That’s true. I feel like men think they’re often justified but women aren’t.

Marie: OK, let’s talk about gross stuff to conclude. I have some foreign friends who are NOT OK with their partners farting in front of them. I’m totally cool with it, but I’m not sure I’m representative of French people on the topic.

Conz: I AM THAT FOREIGN FRIEND.

Marie: Yes, you are, Conz.

Conz: No farting. I brought up this with my Argentine friends on Sunday because I told them the dude I’m seeing told me to “pull his finger” and then proceeded to fart and they were all sooooo appalled they even questioned me on why I was still with him. Not kidding.

Jenna: OK, the “pull my finger” thing is gross. Otherwise, I think it’s FINE. And I think most people think it’s fine, but it is such an individual thing.

Juliane: Not OK with farting. But I guess it’s pretty personal.

Rossalyn: LOL, I kinda dont care? I think it’s a bit much at the start of a relationship, but who cares after.

Julia: I think it’s perceived as gross but also a weird form of intimacy. Cute intimacy.

Rosalyn: Yeah, in a weird way.

Tasneem: Farting is the gas that holds couples together, in my opinion.

Julia: It’s more romantic than the first kiss, IMHO.

Jenna: Yes. You can really kiss anyone. There are only a select few you can fart with. You only fart in front of people you care about. That’s love.

Marie: If you accept each other’s farts, that’s love.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/this-is-what-its-like-to-date-in-seven-different-countries