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14 May 2015

Is it just me, or did you receive loads more online dating attention on post-election Sunday?

Disasters are a well-known aphrodisiac.

By Eleanor Margolis

There’s something I call the Sunday Evening Sadness Rush. Not particularly catchy, I’ll admit. In fact, feel free to help me think of another name for that influx of messages, on online dating sites, as soon as the Sunday sun sets. It’s not freakish, exactly. Sunday nights are depressing.

A lot of us realise we’ve been another week without a date, or sex, or a surreptitious grope in a Pret toilet cubicle and feel a greater need than usual to “reach out” to people on the internet who may also be lacking in dates, shags and gropes. It’s one of the most human things that happen online. A gentle reminder that we’re a bunch of horny simians who want to be prodded in the genitals to distract us, momentarily, from the great yawning void of our existence. Basic, basic, basic.

But last Sunday was freakish. The most intense Sunday Evening Sadness Rush since online dating began. To what did I owe this unprecedented number of messages, including the particularly deranged, “HELLO”? And was it just me who was, seemingly out of the blue, getting inboxed from every angle? Apparently not. I asked a few friends with Tinder and OkCupid profiles if they’d noticed anything… unusual. They had.

“Now that you mention it,” said one friend, “I did get a fair few more messages than usual. Did someone forget to tell us that the world is ending? Check Twitter, maybe? Is #EndOfDays happening?”

In a sense, it was. You may remember something from last week. Something civic. Something democratic. Something involving a healthy 51 per cent majority. Trigger warning: Tories. Last week we were sentenced to five years of uninterrupted Conservative government and, I put it to you, it made us super-super-horny.

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Disasters are a well-known aphrodisiac. In times of despair (and what could be more grief-inducing than having to wait until 2020 to set our glistening ham balloon of a Prime Minister adrift?) we crave closeness to others. It makes perfect sense. Like I said, we’re sad monkeys. Plus, on some level, we on the left must be feeling a biological imperative to breed more lefties. Sure, conceiving, rearing and moulding an entire electorate of socialists would take time and, I imagine, some effort. But it’s either that or let the Tories outbreed us, thereby dooming future generations to the same programme of austerity and privatisation to which we’ve fallen victim. At least that’s what my ovaries are telling me. Is anyone else feeling broody for a mini Tony Benn?

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But everyone loves a misery fuck. So maybe it’s just that we’re after. Or a George Galloway finally having a complete meltdown celebratory fuck. Or a Farage resigning, then promptly un-resigning fuck (confused, fumbling and in total darkness).

Or maybe the utterly terrifying new cabinet (behold! The homophobic equalities minister and the homeopathy-endorsing health minister) is enough to send you fishing for sad, dead-eyed sex.

Whatever your kink, the election and its dismal fallout has something in store for you. Especially if you’re gay. We now have a culture secretary and an equalities minister who voted against same-sex marriage. So, perhaps, some extra-loud, extra-sad and extra-gay sex is a sensible idea right now. Anything to take our minds off the next five years, right? So, if you’ve been meaning to ask out That Girl, and you need a confidence boost, just think of the Tories.