It appears that sex is on the minds of both fans and athletes alike at the FIFA World Cup. The dating application Tinder has seen a 50 percent increase in downloads since the tournament started in Brazil. The app is available in Portuguese, and even before the World Cup began, Brazil was the third largest market for the app behind the United Kingdom in second and the United States in first.
Tinder is an online app that users can download to their mobile devices to find a potential date in a geographic area close to them. The width and breath of the search can be changed to make distances closer or farther. Users swipe through a number of potential matches that come up on screen as a picture. Swiping to the right means that users are interested in the person, while swiping to the left means that they are not. It is a simple concept and a fun way to meet people of similar interests, especially in a country the user is not familiar with like when visiting for the FIFA World Cup. The app is estimated to have over 10 million matches everyday and over 750 million swipes across the globe. Tinder won TechCrunch’s Crunchie Award for the Best New Startup last year.
Another app that uses similar geographic distance to find potential dates and has seen an increase in use is Grindr. The app is made specifically for gay and bisexual men and has seen the number of times the app has been opened up since June increase by 31 percent in Brazil. The time spent on the app has also increased by 26 percent. Brazil is Grindr’s sixth largest market.
The sheer number of tourists that are visiting the country for the FIFA World Cup is outstanding, with an estimated 600,000 fans coming to the country. Alcohol has been mentioned as a contributing factor for the increase in use of the social dating apps Grindr and Tinder, with an estimated increase in beer sales to rise 37 percent for the year in Brazil. Durex, the contraceptive company, has provided some interesting statistics recently as well. 40 percent of men have said they would turn down sex in order to watch soccer, but of that 40 percent, 37 percent said they would reconsider if the television could be left on to peek at the game while in the act. 42 percent of the 2,000 men surveyed also said they wanted to get sex over quickly so they could get back to watching the tournament.
Fans of the beautiful game are not the only ones to have sex on their minds at the FIFA World Cup, as coaches have given the athletes rules on sexual behavior. There are 32 teams in the tournament, with five of them, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Chile and Bosnia and Herzegovina, explicitly prohibiting their players from engaging in sexual behavior. Three other teams, Costa Rica, France and the hosts Brazil, have place restrictions on the act.
France has allowed players to have sex during the day, but not at night, to make sure players get a good night’s rest. Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari has said his players may have “normal” sex, but must avoid “acrobatics” in the bedroom, and the Costa Rican coach has promised that his players can have sex once they are out of the out the group stages, something they achieved this week for the first time in the history of their FIFA World Cup experience, so they will surely be celebrating. The other 24 teams at the tournament have placed no restrictions on sexual engagements. Though the Nigerian Football Association did say players should only being have sex with their wives, something that is hopefully happening anyway.
Athletes are often the center of discussion involving sex at major tournaments. In the Olympics, many made a big deal of Tinder this year with Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Anderson saying, “Tinder in the Olympic Village is next level.” When hundreds of physically fit athletes from all over the world converge into one small area, there is no surprise that hormones are flaring and casual sex becomes an easy opportunity, especially with applications like Tinder making it even easier to find mutually beneficial matches. At the FIFA World Cup, both fans and athletes alike are making use of the new technological apps, as sex is on the mind.
By B. Taylor Rash