The Second City, a Chicago based comedy troupe, recently posted a video where comediennes recite direct messages sent through dating and hookup apps Grindr, SCRUFF, and GROWLr. The performers deliver messages like “Can I come over and suck ur coxk and swallow ur cum” sardonically or, with playful enthusiasm that manipulates the intended meanings of the messages. Hailed as “sassy” and quirky, what the good people at The Second City are doing is more heinous and insidious than a dm riddled with typos, poor syntax and, raunchy sexual advances; The Second City are slut shaming.
True, it’s a bit jarring to get an honest sexual advance through a hookup app that reads: “let me cum in u butt,” but when you participate on a platform that is intended as an immediate solution to horniness + loneliness (um, there’s proximity mapping on apps like Grindr and Tindr) one might expect linguistic attempts at making the prescribed outcomes of the app a reality. The Second City and it’s battalion of viewers seem to not fucking get it. Dating and hookup apps, or really any internet community, develop vocabularies to enhance and enrich interactions. For hookup apps, nuanced vocabularies are used to increase success rates.
Using a hookup app is like gambling and counting cards, except with dick pics and emojis.
The hyper colloquial ramblings on hookup apps give users something people can’t get IRL - text based contracts with negotiations and agreed upon terms. If you don’t like what I’m texting, don’t fuck me. Simple.
The ladies at Second City have decided to present what they deem really fucked up sexual advances as fodder for ridicule and shame. Plot twist: these ladies identify themselves in the communities they are attacking. For a community that has fought to gain rights to sexual expression for so long, it’s pretty fucked up that they are ripping that liberation to shreds one YouTube view at a time. By ridiculing horny, sexually liberated or sexually curious people because of choice words these comediennes are essentially prompting a standard for sexual engagement through omission, humiliation and, othering. This may not seem problematic for some of you prudes, but trying to get laid can be difficult to navigate and having to re-negotiate and adhere to standards and limitations that could confuse both you and the target of your advances could lead to serious misunderstandings.
Seriously, if I just want someone to ram me from behind then come on my tits, I want to be able to coyly dm the cute guy cooking naked in his profiled pic: “u lyk me, cum o ma titties, u hung enuff?” without feeling like a slut, or like I should be writing a fucking Nora Roberts novel. All I really wanna do is get fucked.
Sure, the English language is beautiful and complex and full of great euphemisms and metaphors, but the invented languages that we develop through experimentation and refinement on the web allow us to distance ourselves from real space attempts. Come on, it’s a fuck-me app.
I get it. The ladies at Second City are comediennes and sex is funny, but when you decide to shame a whole social group based on their means to secure sex, I call bullshit.