Here is what you should know before you swipe right on Athena Scalzi: she’s a creative writing major, a Capricorn, left-handed, thicker “than a bowl of oatmeal” and a “bit of a nihilist,” according to her Tinder profile.
She might add you to her network if you’re cute and you’ve recently tested negative for STDs, but she’s busy this Thursday. Athena is a single sophomore, but she has three friends-with-benefits to choose from.
All three “spicy boys” allegedly are out of her league.
“I’m a four at most,” Athena said. “Or a 4.5. I’ll be nice to myself.”
One mile away is a first-year she won’t name. All she will admit and all we need to know is that he is tall, dark, handsome and private about his sex life, and Athena won’t abuse his trust.
After a few months of small talk, Athena was bored and sent him the classic Snapchat message, “hey, DTF?” and a mutual agreement was born. The only condition: no strings attached. They haven’t had sex in a while, but they still make small talk sometimes.
Over 58 miles away is Zach, a 33-year-old who flips houses in her hometown. In terms of sexual range, ability or whatever you want to call it, Zach is her favorite. He is the only person Athena has been with who has facial hair — dark, thick and clipped close to the face.
They matched on Tinder last Christmas, two days after their shared birthday on December 23, when Athena turned 20 and Zach turned 33. After two days of direct-messaging (Athena messaged first) and two extended phone conversations, they finally met in person.
After meeting face-to-face, Athena spent 3-4 nights per week at Zach’s during the month of January.
Besides the obvious, Athena and Zach also went sledding one time.
She’s met his friends and he’s met hers. A few of her friends asked Zach if he was a junior or senior. Zach was pleased. Some of Athena’s friends were shocked, but if they had read a recent study that shows women peak, or get the most matches and messages, at 18-years-old while men peak at 50-years-old on dating apps, they might not have been.
Again, Athena and Zach aren’t dating. Athena is not interested in a serious relationship right now. But when she had dinner with his parents, Athena still wanted to impress them.
Athena’s third friend-with-benefits, Jack, is 255 miles away at Kent State University. They met while playing Dungeons and Dragons in high school and remained friends in college, though they only recently added the “with-benefits” over winter break. Out of the three, Jack knows her best.
Jack was a swimmer in high school, which explains why Athena describes his body as “lithe,” “smooth” and “not a lot of hair” with “a twink look to him.” In his selfies, he mimics “the smolder,” a look made popular by the character Flynn Rider in Disney’s “Tangled.”
She’s got options. Yet over a week before Valentine’s Day, she hadn’t made any plans. She just knew she didn’t want to be alone.
“I feel like anyone who gets their heart broken and spends Valentine’s Day alone kind of resents happy couples,” Athena said. “Any time they see a happy couple on Valentine’s Day, they’re just like, ‘ugh, like, gross,’ and bitter and upset about it. That’s not who I want to be.”
By Wednesday, Feb. 6, Athena made plans to drive to her hometown to spend the night with Zach this Thursday.
They have no plans to go out that night and it’s not projected to snow Thursday, so we know they’re not sledding.