Whenever a girlfriend of mine tells me she's thinking of joining Tinder, I always tell her to be careful. Also, I mean the word "girlfriend" as in a girl who is a friend -- I'm not playing a dozen different girls.
Some might think that's strange advice given my role as a Tinder advocate. However, I tell them that because, as a man in my position, I know how men think better than anyone.
I've had girls tell me they know what's going through my head. Trust me, ladies, if you knew what was going through my head while we were out on a date, you'd pepper spray me on the spot and make a run for the exit. And in the grand scheme of men, I'm a saint.
Men are much more perverted than women. So if the ratio of crazy women to perverted men on Tinder is equal, that puts a lot of sickos in the same field as my girlfriends -- yes, that also means there are a lot of crazy girls on Tinder. Trust me, there are.
And don't even try and argue that women are just as perverted as men. I can't go 48 hours without seeing some sort of porn-based medium and, again, I'm a saint.
But I know that there are a lot of crude guys on Tinder because I've heard stories from the girls I've gone out with. Some of you guys are making me look like a knight in shining armor by the time these girls get to me, so I guess a modicum of gratitude is owed.
I'm probably hurting myself by admitting this, but guys, by and large, are dogs. I might be a bit of a "player" -- I really hate that expression -- but I'm always respectful of the girls I go out with. And, again, I treat every date like I could be meeting the future Mrs. Hogan.
However, not all guys share my level of respect. Most male etiquette goes out the window on Tinder.
For example, using the following pickup line probably isn't going to work: "Do you need a stud in your life? Because I have an STD but all I need is you."
Another very ambitious pickup line: "You planning on losing weight and toning up? Cause we'll chat!"
Those are both real opening lines. I've seen much, much worse than that, but I have to keep this PG-13.
"Pickup lines" like those two gems are one thing, but creepiness doesn't have many boundaries on Tinder.
There's a certain habit that guys have of sending inappropriate photos to girls in online dating. I can't use the exact term in this medium, but it's a rhyming phrase that references a certain part of the male anatomy and ends with "pics."
I think all but one girl that I've been out with said that they have received at least one of these "pics" via Tinder.
If you're still confused about the type of "pic" I'm referencing, then look up former New York congressman Anthony Weiner on Google; that should help.
Even when asked, and I have been asked before, I've never sent one of these "pics," because I have a career that I don't want to ruin. The last thing I need to see is "Tinder Columnist Arrested for Perverted Pics" on the front page of amNewYork. Goodbye, journalism career.
Closing argument: Ladies, go on Tinder. Don't shy away from online dating because there are one or two (million) bad apples. There are good guys out there -- a lot of them. Be patient and you'll find Prince Charming.
The advice I'm giving my girlfriends is advice I've preached before: Use your judgment.
Should your judgment fail you and you end up being a victim of one of these creeps, it's OK. That's why I'm here. Let's grab drinks. Don't you want to have a shot at being Mrs. Hogan?
Head to amNY.com every Friday for Matthew's latest column. To inquire about NYC dating advice, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question may appear in a future column, but no names will be used.