My Very First Tinder Date… In a Third World Country

Tinder photo

As you know, I recently traveled to Vietnam – and failed miserably at scoring myself some dong. My gay bf, on the other hand, was a master at it.

Thanks to the magic of gay hookup apps like Grindr and PlanetRomeo, gay bf pretty much had dong at his doorstep at any hour. Sometimes he had two dates in one day: Dong #1 for lunch & a handy; Dong #2 for dinner & a rim job. Or whatever they do.

And as much as I love him, gay bf is no Jon Hamm. His hair is thinning and his belly proudly parades his love of doughnuts, but believe you me, he had zero problems meeting hot men. In fact, if you’re a guy who is constantly complaining about how he can’t get laid, just go gay for a while and you’ll literally have ass for days.

BUT, gay bf is extremely classy so it was rarely just a wham-bam-thank-you-man rendezvous. These guys would typically assume the role of boyfriend for the day (sometimes longer) and we’d have our own personal tour guide of the city.

What’s more, all of gay bf’s paramours were crazy cute and super sweet! One of them bought me a beautiful fan because I was sweating like a pig while cruising around Chinatown. Another, who was a chef, made a special vegetarian meal for me and brought it to our hotel while on a break from work. And they didn’t even want sex in exchange! Vietnam is a mystical land, indeed.

They were all most convivial toward me, but still, I felt like a third wheel. And I started to become jealous of all the attention (and action) gay bf was getting.

If only there was a similar app for straight people, I thought. Wait a minute — there is!

Tinder logo

(If you don’t know what Tinder is, hello Granddad. To get you up to speed, Single Steve wrote a good synopsis of Tinder here. Scroll down to “What is Tinder!?”)

It was nine in the morning and we were leaving Saigon that afternoon, but I opened the app and started swiping anyway. I didn’t really expect to find anyone but figured it couldn’t hurt to see what was out there. To my surprise, I matched up with an alarmingly cute Vietnamese boy named Chien and he messaged me right away.

Well, shit. Isn’t this just my luck? I get my first freaking message on Tinder and I’m leaving the city that day. I whined about my woes to my gay bf and he suggested I invite Chien to lunch.

“But what’s the point?” I asked. “I’ll meet him for lunch and then what? We’re supposed to go to the War Remnants Museum. I can’t just pork this guy and then go look at bomb shrapnel.”

“Just meet him,” gay bf said. “Because you never know.”

“You never know” is my gay bf’s favorite saying. Just sign up for Tinder because you never know. Go out with anyone who asks you because you never know. Flash your boob to the cab driver because you never know.

One thing I do know: if I listened to gay bf every time, a SWAT team would one day discover my severed head on ice in some nut’s basement bathtub.

American Psycho

But this time, I took a chance. Chien was working but said he could take a couple hours to meet me for lunch. He suggested a nearby sushi restaurant and I dragged gay bf and his dong-of-the-day along for support.

The three of us were already seated when Chien walked in, and he was freaking adorable. His eyes twinkled and his smile sparkled more than Jennifer Love Hewitt’s vajazzled pubis.

But he was more of a teddy-bear-puppy adorable, not a fuck-lunch-let’s-go-to-my-room-now adorable. At 25, Chien was two years older than Boy Toy, but this kid looked so young that when he first approached I mistook him for a giant sperm.

I was nervous and felt more awkward than Kim Kardashian at a Mensa convention. However, after a few minutes, my breathing slowed and we engaged in a most pleasant conversation. I learned that he hopes to travel to the US for graduate school, is an amateur photographer and enjoys death metal. I couldn’t envision this little teddy bear puppy in the midst of a mosh pit at a headbanger’s ball.

teddy bear puppy

But I knew this was one Vietnamese dong that would never see my coin purse. I’d be far too afraid that Dateline would show up and I’d be standing there in my thong squealing, “He said he was 25!”

Not to mention, I wouldn’t want to look down between my legs and wonder, “Am I being pleasured or did I just give birth?”

Although this Tinder match produced no romantic flame, I’m still glad I participated in this little experiment. I gained a friend in Saigon and on Facebook, and possibly a tour guide when I return. He continued to text me for several weeks afterwards until it sort of naturally tapered off.

I hadn’t heard from him for a few weeks until one day when a notification popped up in my Facebook feed. Chien had changed his profile photo to one of his sweet face next to that of a very cute young girl.

She had braces.


Have you used Tinder? How has your experience been? Ever hook up in a foreign country?

19 replies

      • Ive made a promise Naomi NOT to date anyone younger than my son !!!! so no one born in the 90’s – mind you it seems i have tired of ‘quick-recovery’ in place of decent conversation !!! I was lucky enough to meet someone on Tinder who is managing to hold my interest, months after we first met, he ticks all 5 of the top boxes, he is 35 and from San Fransisco !!!!

  1. I loved your blog, Naomi. I have never used Tinder, or been in a foreign country…well, to speak of anyway. I realized I have been way too serious with my responses, and I apologize for that. You are very funny, very talented as a writer. I would be well advised to listen laugh, and contribute in a context consistent with the subject. My compliments, not that that makes you feel any better; ))

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