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I Was Kicked Off Bumble

Apparently prostitutes don’t like you wasting their time.

By Greyson FergusonPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
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I Was Kicked Off Bumble
Photo by Lexie Barnhorn on Unsplash

I’m on the road a lot.

Technically, I’m always on the road.

Since moving out of the United States three years ago, I’ve predominately lived in Peru and Argentina, although I’ve done what I can to hop around the continent and try to take in what there is to see.

While traveling, I’ve always been a proponent of using dating applications like Tinder and Bumble. Not specifically to find someone to “date” (or to one-night stand), but instead to connect with locals, make friends, and through them, discover places not listed in travel books and nomad websites.

The best spots are never, ever, the tourist traps. Those are overpriced and usually subpar. With the flashy colors and dazzling menu, they are the McDonald’s of the travel world.

I’ve never once had a problem using such applications. Now, I haven’t always connected with people. Sometimes I’m not in town long enough to match, drum up a conversation, and set tentative plans around their schedule.

However, it wasn’t until I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia to be exact, that I ran into real problems.

The dating apps weren’t full of people looking for a friend or a date. They were instead infested with prostitutes offering “mutual benefits.” In other words, cash for sex.

I had no interest in that. And apparently, they had no interest in what I had to say in return.

****

After the fourth or fifth time it happened, I realized Cartagena would not be the place I’d connect with a local.

I’d match with someone. We’d exchange some pleasantries. I’d tell her my Spanish wasn’t great but I was practicing (you’d think someone who lived in South America would have better Spanish…but I can’t get a grasp of Argentina Español for the life of me. Like practicing U.S. English as a second language and being dropped off in Scotland. Good luck).

Eventually, they’d send me a WhatsApp request. Out of the blue. Not prompted.

In the U.S. this is an instant red flag. WhatsApp? What? But in every other country around the globe, it’s not all that unusual. The world runs on the app.

But I always need to cross-reference anyone I’m considering going on a date with when in a foreign country. I need to make sure they are, you know, real. Someone with an extensive social footprint is less likely to mug you, date rape you, murder you. As someone who has been roofied before (thank you very much, Chicago), it’s not something I really wanted to do again.

And with the U.S. State Department’s recent Colombia travel warning specifically for dating apps, I wanted to be extra cautious.

So I’d ask to connect on Instagram first.

Some said they didn’t have the app. You know, feed you the old, “I want to live in the moment, not on my phone” line (because that’s why they’re on a dating app…). Others stopped replying instantly. A few sent me to their Instagram profile, where they had 4,200 friends and three photos.

Suspicious.

Those who continued to chat said they were looking for “mutual benefits.” Deep down, isn’t that what every date is? We each want to have a good time. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Of course, that’s not what they meant, and I knew it. Okay, sure, a mutual one-night stand. Fine. If we both connect, it’s a possibility. Still, plenty of time to bail if the date goes sideways or if she has the personality of a cold empanada.

But no, they wanted money. 400,000 Colombian pesos. I was surprised by how forthright many of them were when I told them I didn’t have WhatsApp (I do, but when it became obvious they were a prostitute I had no interest in giving my number). The financials are roughly $120 USD. Unless there was something lost in the translation of decibels and commas. But everyone that blindly threw numbers at me said the same thing.

Must be the union rate.

I’d pass, I’d stop responding. I’d move on. Not interested. Maybe it sounds terrible, but my biggest concern was disease more than being seen as a creep or being forever marked as someone who paid for sex. Hell, I’d probably be writing a story about it instead of this one if I did.

Disease-free is the way to be, and it is much more precious to me than being known as a John. What happens in Colombia stays in Colombia. Except for syphilis. That goes back with you.

Eventually, though, the messages began to irk me. Because it was very literally every, single, person. I just wanted to meet someone I could grab dinner with or who would tell me the best seafood shack on the water. But I couldn’t.

“Mutal benefits.”

“Mutal benefits.”

“Mutal benefits.”

Eventually, I had enough. Sure, a sensible person would just turn off the app and go about their day. I, on the other hand, am not always sensible. If people are going to waste my time, well, I might just go about and waste theirs as well. You know. Really petty like.

So when I was asked for mutual benefits again, I asked if they offered an end-of-the-month discount. Did they have a quota to meet? Did they have a February Sales Event or an Octoberpalooza where everything had to go!? Really leaned into the used car salesman mentality. Heck, recent oil change and lube quips weren’t even broached (I’m just thinking of them now).

One girl who did have an Instagram (and who I was, for a while, believing was an actual girl open for an actual date). She asked if I liked what I saw. I said sure. She messaged me, “$$$$.”

I told her I was going to need proof she didn’t have a dick. Because I wasn’t paying for add-ons.

Apparently, that’s the line that did it.

I received a nice white and yellow message from Bumble as the account went blank, and a giant “-” filled the screen.

I had been blocked. Banned. Indefinitely. For inappropriate comments. And after looking it up, I won’t be able to start a new account. At least not until I have a new phone with a different IP address and not use my Facebook to open it up.

That’s what I get.

So just remember, the next time you’re talking to a prostitute, they really don’t like it when you waste their time asking dumb questions.

Like if they have a dick.

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About the Creator

Greyson Ferguson

I write about relationships, life, and the things that happen in between.

For the latest and greatest check out my free Substack:

https://greysonferguson.substack.com/subscribe

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