CONFESSIONS OF A TINDER TOUR GUIDE
Some people swear by Tinder, some abhor it, but our friendly neighbourhood Tinder girl is on a mission to bring tourists around her favourite KL hotspots. Bonus: Witty banter and sexual chemistry
Our friendly neighbourhood Tinderella talks about her favourite KL hotspots and favourite men (ranked by country).
Tinder isn’t exactly a place where someone goes looking for a monogamous relationship. Pulling up the dating app, Pauline* shows me the number of matches she’s gotten over a year – one thousand matches and counting – it’s a wonder she can keep up with all of their names. “Oh I don’t go out with everyone,” she clarifies. “I have a way of keeping track of who’s who: the ones I’m attracted to, the ones I fall into bed with,” she says with a saucy twinkle. She nicknames the men she has slept with – with their country of origin and date number. For example, a Frenchman she brought out for lunch at Pantai Dalam’s infamous Kelantanese restaurant is called France 19. Germany 17 used to be a Hugo Boss model. Germany 15 is hot, but a bit on the psychotic, overly-obsessive side, she confesses with a shake of her head. Holland 16 is a Dutch pilot based in Abu Dhabi that she has an open relationship with – “He’s like an ex-boyfriend that I can sleep with, you know?” Sweden 18, a software engineer expat she fell in love with.
France 19, she admits, has been her best date so far. “The thing about him that I really like, when it comes to sex, is the fact that we really talked about it. He loves to connect. On our first date, we spent so much time talking and wandering around KL until it was 4am, I didn’t even know where the time went. There’s the
playfulness, there’s anticipation, and of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s beautiful and well-endowed. He would send me photos of his abs as well, and I would think to myself, ‘When was the last time I had abs that delicious?’” She laughs. “The most important thing for me in sex is the connection – fun sex involves seduction, flirtation, and the final act itself. Germany 15 would always try to finger me or make me squirt, but the thing about
trying to make a woman squirt is that it’s painful. I know my own body, and I don’t easily reach orgasm, but as long as my partner reaches orgasm, I’m happy.”
Being one with a flair for catchphrases herself, the term ‘Tinder Tourism’ was coined by Pauline. Having worked in the travel and tourism sector prior to her current job, she knows her way around town, and she knows most of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. “When I started bringing my foreign dates out, I told one of them about a hidden gem, a historical site in Penang,” Pauline says. “When you talk about tourism, everything can get a bit too mainstream. Sometimes you need a local insight, and that’s the part I play.” She asks her dates if they want to hang out where the locals do, and like any other curious traveller, the answer is almost always yes. “For convenience, I bring my dates out to my favourite places. I took one date to a satay place close to where I live. I brought another along to my favourite mani-pedi haircut place. Most of them live in the city center, so I bring them out for a late night supper,” Pauline says. The hotspots she frequents range from Tapak food truck park; a non-night market urban street food jaunt through KL’s Hampshire Park to RSMY Cheese Naan; famed and known as the best cheese naan joint in town.
“One of the reasons I love being on Tinder is because I don’t bump into people I know. Before this, I met most of my exes through work. My ex-boyfriends have probably all met each other, it just goes to show how small the social circle is,” Pauline laments. “It’s exhausting – when you’re dating someone from the same line of work, when something goes wrong and you break up, you know sooner or later you’ll bump into each other, and stories spread… you just want to get out from that circle.”
Is it a coincidence that none of the men she has mentioned are Malaysian? “I’ll tell you something about Tinder,” Pauline says to me in a lowered, conspiratorial tone. “Most [local] men on Tinder are sneaky.” On Tinder, her age preference is set from 30 onwards, so it goes without saying that most of them are already married or engaged. “One man I was talking to told me about how his fiancé left him – but when his Facebook popped up (he links Facebook with his phone number), his relationship status clearly stated ‘married’. In fact, I’ve came across three profiles of my friends on Tinder – friends who are happily married – and I know their wives!”
“I really like European guys and educated people who travel a lot,” Pauline says. “I speak a bit of German, so I like meeting German men. Australians and Kiwis are fine, but I don’t like the way they joke because they can be a little crude. I don’t like Korean or Japanese guys, because they seem to have a superiority complex. I like Scandinavians, because they have better cultural tolerance and have a more open mind. I also like Dutch guys because they are very tall. Russian men – depending on which part of Russia they come from, in this case Moscow – are trained from very young to cultivate an open mind. When I went out with a date from Moscow once, I loved the fact that he picked up a bit of our local language, he would tell me, ‘perempuan tidak perlu
bayar apa-apa!’ (women don’t need to pay!) I was so impressed because he really wanted to learn. There’s the attitude: whether you want to learn Malay or not, it’s the effort he made that counts.”
One exception to the excess of open-minded Scandinavians is a single Dutch father she had matched and met up with a couple of times. “Bluntly put: He’s a racist asshole. He posted a lot of racist anti-Muslim and anti-black propagandas on his separate Facebook account. When I called him out on it, he called me a whore, among other nasty names,” she waves the bad taste of the memory away. “I never replied to his messages or his pathetic attempts to backpedal for a meetup again.”
Although her friends love hearing about Pauline’s Tinderella stories, they are not too keen on experiencing it themselves. A large reason is because of our upbringing in Malaysia – particularly for women’s safety – we’re told not to meet up with strangers with romantic intentions, or at the very least, exercise extreme caution when approaching people from the internet. Pauline thinks safety is paramount, which is why she always meets up with her dates at public places: shopping malls, brightly lit places, and locations that she is familiar with. “You would think that KLCC Park is dangerous at night because it’s so dark, but there are actually a lot of security guards patrolling the area. I make sure I know all the quickest escape routes wherever I am,” she tells me. “I also make it a point to exchange business cards by the end of the night, at the very least. I Google them just to make sure there’s nothing suspicious, and that what they tell me actually checks out.”
On the off chance you decide to take up Tinder Tourism, remember, ladies: safety first, both in and out of the bedroom.
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those mentioned in this article.