"I can't get over how reflexively men flirt in New York." Forget flirting; it sometimes seems as if guys don't see gals, period. It's easy to blame smartphones for replacing the normalcy of spontaneous face-to-face interaction.
"I can't sit at a bar in Chicago or New York without a guy striking up a conversation with me, whereas in San Francisco, guys don't even look up from their laptops when I walk into a cafe," says Beth Cook, 34, a local business and life coach. "A lot of people are quick to blame tech, but that's oversimplification," counters Mc Gowan.
It didn't help my ego that in January, Marie Claire pinpointed our fair city as one of the top five "great places for single girls." After attempting almost comical displays of "approachability" that have to be seen to be believed (trust me), I acknowledged the sobering truth: The courtship culture in San Francisco is not normal.
Despite loads of single men, getting a date is a no-man's land. "I'd forgotten what it was like to be flirted with," says Kink and Code blogger Emma Mc Gowan, 27, who noticed it during a recent visit to New York.
After all, he is a two-time NBA champion who calls Steph Curry his “Brother” and is a generally fun-loving guy.
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"I feel invisible in San Francisco and attractive whenever I leave." No surprise, then, that in that same Facebook study, San Francisco also ranked dead last in the likelihood of relationship formation, based on the number of Facebook users who changed their status from "single" to "in a relationship" during the period studied last fall. Is it possible that single, straight guys in San Francisco are just not interested in meeting women? We've all heard about Silicon Valley's epic "Peter Pan syndrome," in which thousands of young workers from around the world prolong their independence while carving out careers, heading west to strike (tech) gold.
"The courtship culture is just much less aggressive here," acknowledges Colin Hodge, 28, CEO of Down, an app that lets users connect to date or "get down." He says that many men might find women in the Bay Area harder to approach, partly because there aren't as many of us to go around.Countless lesbian dating and hook-up apps have tried.Once hailed as revolutionary, they now live on only in the Internet Archive: Brenda, Girl Dar, Our Chart (yes, like the one from “The L Word”), Qrushr, Wing Ma’am. Dattch, a mix of the words “date catch,” was founded by Robyn Exton in 2012 after a cursory look at what dating apps were available for lesbian, bisexual and bi-curious women.Some have said Tinder is the closest thing to a Grindr for straight people.But there has never been a successful equivalent for lesbians.Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at UC San Diego, blames the Bay Area's progressive gender norms, with men less likely to believe they need to make the first move.