I am a childless 31-year-old divorcée who sleeps in a closet. I do not date. I’d rather swipe right on both of my wrists than join Tinder. And I refuse to apologize.

I am, suspend your disbelief, remarkably fuckable (feel free to debate my fuckability in the comments below, which I will not read). Sexually attractive, once again a size zero (alert the trades!), and more than competent at the act of handjobbery [sic], I am the recipient of many a thirsty, middle-of-the-night, grammar-deficient text message inquiring as to the status of my “up”-ness. I ignore such texts because I have self-respect. My pelvic muscles are atrophying as I type. I, in spite of it all, remain unconcerned by this development.

I no longer value romance in the same way I did when I was a pie-eyed, life experience-deficient youth. The pageantry of young love, the delight of a new conquest, the desire to shout another’s name from the rooftops is something I covet no more. The greatest joy I have experienced of late entailed mutually complaining whilst avoiding eye contact with a non-sexualized male friend. Commiseration has become my new and only crank-turner.

Connecting with another human being, I’ve discovered, is far greater than any orgasm one could fathom. Knowing that someone truly gets you, and truly getting another person, is more life affirming than the brief thrill of the “likes” you get when you change your relationship status on Facebook and more permanent than a “Winona Forever” tattoo. Nowadays, all I desire out of my existence on this mortal coil is to be understood. A “nice” partner isn’t enough to sustain my interest. If I allowed myself to instantly, desperately, become coupled with a “good person” after my last breakup, I’d be dating an insufferably boring accountant.

I’ve taken to only sexualizing people that I know, were I to court them, wouldn’t vacantly be gazing at their phones every thirty seconds. I abhor millennials and the swipe-based culture they have embraced in masse. I swipe too, of course, but solely in my mind, which is a minefield of judgment.

That is the reason why I am bisexual—because I take what I can get when and where I can get it. It is so unspeakably hard — for me, anyhow — to connect with another living thing that I do not care what form it takes when said connection presents itself. I’ve opened myself up to any and every possibility, because I will implicitly respect anything that can fit my accursed standards.

This is not to say I’ve completely abandoned the idea, or the possibility, of love. But I’ve taken to only sexualizing people that I know, were I to court them, wouldn’t vacantly be gazing at their phones every thirty seconds. I abhor millennials and the swipe-based culture they have embraced in masse. I swipe too, of course, but solely in my mind, which is a minefield of judgment.

The other day I watched one of my best friends use Tinder for an hour. She treats the app as a game, swiping right on every lucky suitor in the interest of garnering inane messages to post on her Instagram profile. I asked her to let me swipe for a bit, in order to feel a semblance of power over a collection of other living things. In doing so, I understood the app’s appeal. By “playing” Tinder, you get to play God, if only for an afternoon (or, for a collection of unfortunate souls, a lifetime). The power I held, knowing I could disregard another human being based on the mediocrity of his profile photo, was intoxicating. Yet not intoxicating enough to create my own account.

By “playing” Tinder, you get to play God, if only for an afternoon (or, for a collection of unfortunate souls, a lifetime). The power I held, knowing I could disregard another human being based on the mediocrity of his profile photo, was intoxicating. Yet not intoxicating enough to create my own account.

When not using the app as a source of pathos, she uses it in earnest — a manner in which to find love in a hopeless place, as it were. This fact I find harrowing. Virtually everyone I know uses Tinder; they all ruefully lament this fact. But no one’s putting a gun to their head and forcing them to do so. Grow up and die alone, I say. At least you’ll do so with dignity.

The opening lines I watched her receive were unspeakably inane: “Hi, how’s your weekend?” “Hey…having a good weekend?” Many opened with hackneyed jokes, much along the lines of, “What do you call a [insert animal here] in a [insert location here]?”As I watched her scroll through them, interchangeable in their idiocy, I thought, “Is this all there is?” I praised my vibrator for its existence.

I will not join Tinder. I will not join OKCupid. I will not exchange stilted pleasantries with a stranger who appears to be little more than a collection of red flags, which hang under his neck below a well-manicured mustache he will regret having in ten years but thinks, in this present moment, is a good idea. I’m not a fan of opening up to strangers, anyhow. It’s hard enough opening up to people I actually know.

One of the fun (and by “fun,” I mean, “abysmal”) perks about being a female public figure in the modern age is the accessibility men feel they have to you. They do not bat an eyelash at anonymously asking me out for a drink, solely because they went to the effort of finding my email address or Facebook profile. The unmitigated hubris they exert in their unsolicited missives, which I unilaterally ignore, is almost enviable. I wish I had such unwarranted self-confidence. But I don’t, which is why I sleep alone in a closet. The last time I (in an uncharacteristic act of vulnerability) asked someone out, the subject of my query told me she’d “think about it.” What the hell does she have to think about? I wondered. Further ways in which to make me foolish for asking her out in the first place?

Reading this, you probably think I’m uptight. That by isolating myself, I’m ruining future opportunities for happiness. That I’m too young, dumb and full of cum to throw in the towel on the whole affair. You have every right to think this, in much the same way I have every right to wholly disagree with your assessment. You can have your apps, and your stilted first date conversations about your college experience, and your mutual enjoyment of the “Humans of New York” Facebook page. I’ll be here in my bed closet, secure in the knowledge that, were you to find “the one,” it’ll only last three months. My vibrator’s lasted three years and counting. Beat that, kiddos.

Photo by Frankieleon/Flickr