Slice right: student uses Tinder, lies about identity for free pizza

Slice right: student uses Tinder, lies about identity for free pizza
DePaul sophomore Ian Gaetz holds his pizza boxes as a badge of honor. Gaetz created a fake profile on Tinder as a woman, seducing men to order him free pizza. (Photo by Mariah Woelfel | The DePaulia)
DePaul sophomore Ian Geatz holds his pizza boxes as a badge of honor. Geatz created a fake profile on Tinder as a woman, seducing men to order him free pizza. (Photo by Mariah Woelfel | The DePaulia)

Ian Geatz doesn’t get toppings on his pizzas. Toppings complicate things.

“You’ve got to make it easy for them. Get them in and out. Cheese pizza, gluten free crust, that’s it,” he said.

“Them” isn’t the delivery drivers, the pizza makers or the employees taking orders at the pizza place. They are the guys on Tinder who Geatz has convinced on seven different occasions to buy him dinner.

But it isn’t his shaggy brown hair, thick framed glasses or boyish figure that has guys calling in a deep dish Lou or $19 large cheese from Homeslice. It’s the long brown hair, borderline flirtatious words and promise of naked pictures from Laura Lovelace, a woman who doesn’t exist.

“I made her a fake Facebook page and had her join a class of DePaul group, and then added a bunch of DePaul students to make her look reputable,” Geatz said of the fake profile he created on Facebook and then on Tinder, using the real photos of a friend to depict a “Pizza lover” psychology major with “Daddy issues.”

Geatz is among many participating in what is trending as “The Tinder Games,” where the odds are never in the single man’s favor. Recent “players” include a Chicago woman who scored pizza for a group of friends and reporters for Vice News, one of whom was a male who scored free food from multiple women.

tinderThe rules are as follows: Geatz commits to being as straightforward as possible about what he wants (“I’m here to get pizza in exchange for nudes,” he’s written on multiple occasions); he never gives out his address, but instead requests the pizza for pick-up; and he never sends the naked pictures before he goes to get it.

Geatz swipes right (or accepts) as many guys as he judges will be willing to barter. He then bargains with them — leveraging the size of the pizza with the quality and type of pictures. Once the deal is established, he places his order (gluten free, cheese), waits for confirmation, picks up the pizza, sends “his” pictures, and enjoys the prize.

By “prize”: a large pizza and its accompanying box to hang on his wall.

“I go on Tumblr and search ‘naked phone pictures.’  Then I find some that could pass for the girl and send those. A lot of them are ones where the camera is right in front of her face,” Geatz said.

In the beginning, he sent pictures over an anonymous photo sharing app called Kik.

When a user insisted that he send pictures over Snapchat, a picture sharing app that only allows users to send pictures taken in real time, Geatz strategized. He downloaded an app called “Upload’n’Roll,” which allows users to upload pictures to Snapchat, rather than taking them on the spot, giving the impression that the photo was taken in the same moment it was sent.

Like many Tinder users, he comes to the app with a goal in mind.

“So I am prepared to offer you the opportunity to see my body naked in exchange you buy me a pizza for pick up,” a direct message to Tinder user Saif read.

But free pizza is hardly the best part of the deal for Geatz, a digital cinema and philosophy major, whose original intent was to experience what it’s like to be a woman on Tinder. Now, he calls it a social experiment in a playground, one that has helped him to learn more about the human psyche.

“It’s like a sandbox — if you think outside the box you can have a lot of fun. People are like ‘oh he’s just an internet troll,’ but it’s a passion, and also it’s kind of a study, it’s so fascinating to me.”

“$20 for nudes,” was the message that started it off. “Send me a pizza instead,” Geatz responded.

Another read: “If I have to call in the pizza then I should get butt and boobs,” and so it continued.

screenshots2Geatz would on many occasions feel objectified, at times before talk of pizza or naked pictures even started. He embodied Lovelace in a way that allowed him to take on the emotions she herself might have felt had she been real.

This isn’t new territory for Geatz. Escapism lent itself well to a teenager who in addition to growing up on the internet, grew up in a town of 9,000 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

“I would often make characters on Facebook, like I would make twin brothers,” Geatz said. “I always get a little bit too much into character with these things.”

Fast forward to 2016, and Geatz’ view of the internet as an imaginary space where the lines of ethics and morals are blurred is, according to DePaul media communications professor Paul Booth, outdated.

“To think that the online world and the offline world are these two separate entities – that something is more real if it happens offline as opposed to online, seems to be outdated to me,” Booth said. “I think that most people use their social media and use their internet in a way that combines with how they’re using their offline communication as well.”

The disdain for online communication and specifically dating is part of Geatz’ rationalization. Though he’s not ignorant to the fact that this experiment is mired in moral dilemmas.

“I mean I don’t think what I’m doing is good, I don’t want anyone to think that,” he said. “It’s a game of shallow morals. You’re in a little kiddie pool of morals — it’s not like murder, it’s not the deep end, but you’re still splashing someone. What he’s doing isn’t right but people on the outside are obviously laughing at the kid getting splashed.”

As for what’s next for Geatz and his adventures as Laura Lovelace — Pizza Hut is next on the list.

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  • S

    smdhFeb 23, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    It would be admirable if it was a woman doing this…as it is right now– it’s kinda just messed up and weird. Women should 100% receive “compensation” when they are harassed. Women should 100% be demanding money AND pizza. It’s the least that can be done when some asshole is making us feel unsafe and bothering us and coming into our online (and real life) spaces demanding our time and energy.

    But this dude is totally taking away that leverage as some weird social experiment…like why did he have to do it? If he asked for his friends pictures, why couldn’t he have let his friend profit off of scumbags? He wanted to see what it would be like to “take on the identity” of a woman, but it’s like that can never happen because he isn’t one. It’s also totally erasing the experiences of trans women who get accused of being men doing this.

    And then to top it all off, it’s like “cute” and “hilarious” and “entertaining” that a man is doing this. But a woman demanding compensation and totally in her right to do so would be attacked.

    Mariah– as a suggestion: your story next week should be a follow up and expose on why this is gross and also perhaps your personal processing of how to not write a news story that permits this behavior. This story could have centered how WOMEN feel about this not about some dude and his creepy bored self. smdh

    • K

      Katrice JolieFeb 25, 2016 at 4:52 am

      I completely agree. I was so upset reading this. Like this is completely illegal to use someone else photo and pose as them. That’s disgusting.