Sex and relationships
“Do you have a strong sexual desire?”
This is the type of unwanted sex chat that young women are forced to navigate on dating apps, and it’s not unusual.
An anonymous woman in an Australian women’s Facebook group shared a screenshot of the first message she received from a man on the dating app Hinge.
He ditched the niceties and instead went straight into pointless conversation and offered to “slap” her.
Hinge encourages users to create message prompts to start conversations, and she shared that she’s one of those people who “forgets” to reply to people’s texts.
A man she had never spoken to came across her profile and responded to the innocent prompt by leaving a sexual message.
“For every text you forgot to reply to. That’s a kick in the ass. I wonder how red that ass of yours is going to be?” he wrote.
The young woman then took to Facebook to share her experience and asked if she was “overreacting” because she felt “unsettled” by the stranger’s unsolicited sexual message.
Many women jumped on the post to condemn this behavior and called it “rude”, assuring the woman that she has every right to feel upset. One woman encouraged her to see “the other side” and defended the message.
“He could be Dom or someone who likes that kind of game. Just say thanks but no thanks and move,” she suggested.
The screenshot the woman shared speaks to a larger issue affecting women.
Women online often share the unwanted sexual messages they receive on dating apps and create content around them.
One TikTok creator shared a message exchange she had on a dating app where a man immediately asked about her sexual appetite.
“Do you have a strong sex drive?” he asked.
“Why do you ask that before you know anything about me?” she replied.
The problem is so widespread that TikTok went viral for two men who shared the worst dating app messages they could find.
This included everything from a man starting a conversation by asking a woman if she wanted to see his “cock” to a man complimenting a woman’s tattoos and breasts as a direct introduction.
Another creator shared the type of messages he receives on dating apps and explained that they are getting “progressively” worse.
She shared a bunch of screenshots of chats she had on apps, and while most of the messages quickly turned sexual, one man messaged her on a dating app and before he could even say “hi” or ask if she was into sex chat, he sent a vulgar message.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’d rip it back,” he wrote.
Why do some men do this on dating apps?
Psychologist Carly Dober said there are many “factors” behind why men send such messages.
“First, a lot of men may come to the apps with a really transactional mindset, where that’s what they want to get out of the interaction, and they’re very open about that,” she explained.
Dr. Dober also said the problem is that some men don’t understand the impact these messages have on the recipient and mistakenly think it’s OK.
According to Dr. Dober, behavior can also be influenced by broader “social norms” and the type of friends and other men they know.
Dr Dober said these sexual messages should not happen without “consent” and men should not send them.
“It’s a matter of consent when very strong sexualised images, photos or content are pushed to someone who hasn’t said they want to receive it,” she said.
Dr Dober said this behavior made women feel “pressured” or “uncomfortable” and someone should always check with the man before sending him sex.
“It’s always a good practice to talk to someone about sexual content and desires before going into it.”