Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid have redefined modern dating culture. But not everyone is looking for love on dating apps, and Nora is certainly not one of them. In fact, she doesn’t really know what she wants, but she’s about to figure it out.
Nora—the story’s protagonist that’s supposedly a reflection of the author herself—is enjoying all the easily accessible casual sex she can find through dating apps. As Nora explores the hell that is modern dating, she finds the sex to be liberating. Because sex doesn’t have to be tied up with commitment, it can just be fun! As the author captures the story of each of the guys that she’s had a sexy time with, the readers get to enjoy Nora living her Sex and the City fantasy.
Each story doesn’t always start with sexual chemistry. Like the “American Guy” that Nora hooks up with—the epitome of a fuckboy who doesn’t match with her views at all—is wildly passionate in bed. What makes Nora Swipes Right different from the average smut comic isn’t the sex itself, but the genuine kinship that she establishes with all the people that she meets.
The best parts of the story are when her hookups have genuine moments of vulnerability. Genuinely heartfelt moments told with snark and wit, akin to sleepover stories with your close friends. But the painful yet honest truth shines through: we’re all just people hungry for some sort of genuine connection, desperate for some sense of validation, and afraid of the commitment it would entail.
Nora isn’t using these dating apps just for the sake of casual sex; it’s an opportunity to connect with different people that she otherwise would never get a chance to meet. The author’s skills in listening shine through her depictions of her characters. How else can she bring life to these characters, where they come from, what they do and the core of who they are? By humanizing her hookups, connections are made with strangers all around the world, and sometimes new friendships form.
However, the harsh reality of modern dating acts as the bedrock to these stories. Despite all the meaningful conversations and seemingly good times, most of Nora’s relationships rarely go beyond the casual flings. Once the rush of meeting someone new, lying down in a new bed, mixing bodies, and the endorphins that flood through your brain end, relationships can just end anticlimactically. What seems like a genuine connection is actually just easily disposable, and the next thing we know, Nora is swiping again. So onto the next one!
Though the expectations towards single women in Korean society have shifted dramatically in the past decade, meeting people through dating apps still remains a taboo in Korean culture. Not only is the author exploring this contemporary hook-up culture, but she’s also navigating through the modern dating world while going against the cultural norms of Korean society. The way the author captures modern dating is so witty and brilliant, but it also feels so human that you can’t help but love her. It’s refreshing to read stories that offer a different perspective— especially when the author isn’t afraid to poke fun at themselves. Hopefully everyone who gets to read this comic appreciates Nora’s humor, honesty, and especially her vulnerability.
Read more of Nora Swipes Right (Warning: NSFW) on Lezhin Comics.