What Nicki Minaj and Tinder Taught Me About Sex and Love

By Kathryn L. Herron

I’ve never met Nicki Minaj, but I trust her. Following the release of her latest album, The Pinkprint, Onika Tanya Maraj has been dubbed “the best rapper alive” by Complex.com. She broke the Billboard Record for the amount of No. 1 singles released by a female rapper—more than any other female artist has accomplished in the 56 years the chart has been around.

Her songs “Super Bass” and “Anaconda” taught me what to look for in a man—a well dressed, successful, charming guy who doesn’t adhere to cultural beauty standards. The type of man who could love my curves, treat me good, and make my heart race. Minaj collaborated with Beyoncé for the “***Flawless Remix” and her new song “Feelin’ Myself.” The two of them taught me that I’m a strong, attractive, independent woman that should be proud of her accomplishments and unwilling to settle for any man who would find me intimidating. And that’s to say nothing of the infinite wisdom that can be found in “Beez in the Trap.”

So when I found myself single for the first time in five years, I thought to myself, “What would Nicki do?” I wasn’t sure, so I decided to make a Tinder account that I could use to channel Minaj’s strength and wisdom. I didn’t know anything about the app, except that it was basically just a game of “hot or not” that had the potential of leading to sex. A friend described it as a dating app that serves as a more relationship-centered version of Grindr, which made it sound somewhat classy.

My bio was a simple line from “Superbass”: “Somebody please tell ‘em who the eff I is.” I chose a few flattering pictures of myself and then began using the app to make matches. For those who have never used Tinder, it’s pretty straightforward. Users upload up to six photographs, write a short bio, and then judge others based on their pictures and bios. If you’re a fan, swipe to the right. If you’re not, swipe to the left. If you both swipe to the right, you’ll be matched and able to communicate.

Minaj encourages sexual freedom and expression and she always “wants some more.” So, when I first started using the app, I made sure to always swipe to the right. I thought that at the most I’d get a match or two after a few days. In the first 3 minutes alone, I had over 35 matches. My self-esteem successfully boosted, I decided to start using the app as it was intended to be used, with one exception—I only responded to matches with Nicki Minaj lyrics.

It was a fun social experiment that highlighted how thick people who use apps like Tinder can be. I tried to keep my responses short and sweet. I didn’t want it to be too obvious that I was speaking in song lyrics. If a conversation lasted longer than 30 minutes, I moved on to chorus lines from some of Minaj’s more popular songs. If the conversation lasted over an hour, I came clean and confessed to what I was doing. Of the 35 men I was speaking to, only two realized what I was doing. They replied with Minaj lyrics of their own and I promptly stopped talking to them.

There was something immensely satisfying about being pursued by a man even after telling him that I was “shitting on his whole life” and that “I’ll be be back at 11, you just act like a peasant.” After all this, I learned an important lesson: college age men are horny and they will continue to ask you out for drinks even if you only talk nonsense. Or maybe the sex appeal, raw emotion, and sincerity found in Minaj’s songs is just impossible to ignore. Starting conversations with the line, “let me sit on your face” resulted in a hilarious mix of both confusion and overeagerness.

I got so caught up in responding to matches that I wasn’t able to keep up with them all. I opened a message from a potential match with a bit of dismay—he had reached out first and instead of saying something vague, he mentioned the fact that we both worked for Evergreen in some capacity and we had a few mutual friends. I couldn’t respond to him with Minaj lyrics because I couldn’t think of a single line that could work with something so specific and chances were he’d know I was messing with him. The point was to Minaj strangers, not people I may actually speak to or run into someday.

So instead of responding to him with song lyrics, I had a real conversation with him. I only put my phone down when I had to. Otherwise, I was talking to him. I became more interested in what he was saying than in anything else. We started talking about the “Anaconda” video and our mutual distaste for Drake. Wouldn’t it have been so much better if he had been playing the role of Jimmy from Degrassi? Why hasn’t anyone made that parody yet? Should we recreate it and put it online? That’s all it took.

If you’re looking for someone special in your life—whether you only want to spend a night with them or the rest of your life—I encourage you to ask yourself, “What would Nicki Minaj do?” If you’re not sure, then just let her poetry transform your life.