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While browsing through a few dating apps this morning, I noticed a few occasional bluster repeated bio after bio. Height mattered – remarkable how many guys in Williamsburg are six feet five inches tall – as did the awesome, vague job titles. (Does anyone know what a BlackRock analyst actually does?) But among all these tall, indeterminate men, I noticed a third point of bragging: “I have antibodies.
Cut fashion writer Emilia Petrarca first noticed this trend earlier this week, as she was browsing Tinder and Hinge and came across a young man who described himself as an “Antibody boy”:
Another wrote: “I have antibodies for COVID-19 but still scared of catching feelings. “
In my brief read of Hinge, it only took me a moment to meet my own Antibody Boy, who identified his antibodies as his greatest strength:
The phrase is a very 2020 addition to the dating profiles lexicon. On the surface, that means you’ve caught and recovered from COVID-19, and now you’ve tested positive for antibodies that should protect you from catching and / or spreading the virus. It’s reassuring, of course, but the thing is that the antibodies does not necessarily confer immunity, and their absence also doesn’t mean you’ve never had COVID-19.
Nevertheless, “I have antibodies” seems to have become, to some, a kind of playful way of saying, “I’m looking for sex, and I probably don’t want anything serious.” As author Nichole Perkins Noted on Twitter: “So many guys on dating apps have it in their bio” got it, got it, got the antibodies so I’m fine now. Let’s have fun ! Or, as Petrarca put it in Slack, “Antibody Boys… The new fuckboys.” And like fuckboys, the phenomenon appears to be largely asexual; Jessica ciencin henriquez wrote, perhaps jokingly, that her own dating profile now reads: “I’m just a girl, standing 6 feet in front of a boy, asking if he’s positive for antibodies.”
Of course, not everyone invokes antibodies in this way – there seems to be a share of people on apps referring to their antibody test just out of consideration for public health, or as a signal that they are careful. Regardless of your intention to broadcast your antibody status, however, if you come across someone you want to approach within six feet, your best and safest bet is to take a COVID test first.