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(Or, for example, a more contemporary queen in a position of power.) They pose the way they see themselves, as calm amid chaos — as the victor, the beast tamer, the benevolent conqueror.
It’s laying a dross of moral rectitude over a vanity statement. They say, “I’m adventurous and daring,” but in rather conventional ways.It was a month ago when I first noticed the tigers. There’s the man — his grin expansive, his arm extended — and there’s the indulgent tiger — delighting or at least tolerant of the attention, seated or more often lying down, but always in some sly angle of repose. The most active they ever get is lying backside on the earth, their paws outstretched, inviting a little tummy scratch.Grindr was leaving me feeling ground down, and Ok Cupid had been just, well, OK. The trend wasn’t recent, and I wasn’t the only one to notice.So I thought about plumbing the untapped well of dating potential and signed up for Tinder to see what all those straight friends of mine were finding so scandalous. Nor was it restricted to Tinder — that’s just where I picked up on it. Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t on Tinder to court exotic animals, but I found them a hell of a lot more interesting than the men they were with. A friend had picked up on it, too, and we talked about it over coffee.The guys were nice, and I liked that the conversations tended to run deeper than “Looking? There are world leaders in similar photos — though presumably for more strategic ends than some weekend nookie — and Tumblr accounts dedicated solely to tiger and exotic-animal selfies. Lions, elephants and wolves as well, but tigers were by far the most abundant and more memorable than any of the men. In her reasoned and polyamorous opinion, the tiger was a visual communiqué.“It means they’re into kink,” she said. Sure, the best dating-profile pics convey some subtlety and mystery, and presumably a tiger selfie does say something more than “I like tigers.”But I thought about how one of the perks of online dating is not having to be coy. A marine iguana means you’re into vegan seafood.”) This isn’t Renaissance portraiture, in which everything means something.