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Nothing Personal

My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno

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A raw and funny memoir about sex, dating, and relationships in the digital age, intertwined with a brilliant investigation into the challenges to love and intimacy wrought by dating apps, by firebrand New York Times–bestselling author Nancy Jo Sales

At forty-nine, famed Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales was nursing a broken heart and wondering, “How did I wind up alone?” On the advice of a young friend, she downloaded Tinder, then a brand-new dating app. What followed was a raucous ride through the world of online dating. Sales, an award-winning journalist and single mom, became a leading critic of the online dating industry, reporting and writing articles and making her directorial debut with the HBO documentary Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age. Meanwhile, she was dating a series of younger men, eventually falling in love with a man less than half her age.
Nothing Personal is Sales’s memoir of coming-of-middle-age in the midst of a new dating revolution. She is unsparingly honest about her own experience of addiction to dating apps and hilarious in her musings about dick pics, sexting, dating FOMO, and more. Does Big Dating really want us to find love, she asks, or just keep on using its apps? 

​Fiercely feminist, Nothing Personal investigates how Big Dating has overwhelmed the landscape of dating, cynically profiting off its users’ deepest needs and desires. Looking back through the history of modern courtship and her own relationships, Sales examines how sexism has always been a factor for women in dating, and asks what the future of courtship will bring, if left to the designs of Silicon Valley’s tech giants—especially in a time of social distancing and a global pandemic, when the rules of romance are once again changing.

What's Inside

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“In Nothing Personal, Nancy Jo Sales holds nothing back! This book isn't just about dating in the digital age, it's about learning to love yourself for who you are, no matter what age or size.”

Tyra Banks
“In this warm, witty, and rigorously honest memoir, a "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater–type exposé on dating apps… Against all odds, this unsparing, must-read portrait of modern dating and sex is also a love story.” Kirkus
“Sales’s funny, fresh approach will resonate with many single readers, as well as anyone concerned about the ways technology enables capitalism to invade personal life.”—Publishers Weekly

“Nancy Jo Sales puts everything on the table as she investigates the dizzying impact of dating apps in both our culture and her own life. This is a hot and heavy book—hot as in sexy, as in timely, as in fully, unapologetically alive; heavy as in deeply researched, as in saturated with heartache, as in worth its weight in gold.”

Gayle Brandeis, author of, The Book of Dead Birds

“With her trademark combination of wry wit and razor-sharp observation, Nancy Jo Sales dissects the systemic misogyny woven into the fabric of the capitalist online dating machine. A devastating portrait of how sexual violence and gender inequality are intertwined in many girls’ earliest formative experiences and how their impact echoes down generations."

Laura Bates, author of, Men Who Hate Women

“A refreshingly honest look into the world of online dating, revealing the myriad ways tech companies are encouraging the same old misogyny, but masquerading it as empowerment.”

Anita Sarkeesian, Executive Director of Feminist Frequency

Nancy Jo Sales writes about the ever-changing tides of modern romance with humility and humor that reminds us how human we all are. She explores how this growing surplus of available romantic options commodifies sex and hook ups, turning courtship into utility.”

Ryan Eggold

“Nancy Jo Sales has been a leading chronicler of our digital culture, its joys and pathologies. Sales is a gift—her journey is powerful and raw, and her humor amidst it all made it difficult to put the book down. Brava, this is a masterpiece.”

Danielle Citron, author of, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace

“For those of us questioning what courtship even means in the age of dating apps, Nancy Jo Sales is a guide and a much-needed voice of reason who has swiped, sexted, and survived. Nothing Personal will be remembered for translating the world of 21st century sex and romance.”

Marisa Meltzer, author of, This is Big

“Groundbreaking… I love Nancy Jo's honesty and her connection with her own brain, heart and soul. It’s so unbelievably refreshing to read the words of a woman that are so based in truth, her truth. I love this book so much. I didn’t want to put it down.” 

Peri Gilpin

“Nancy Jo Sales has written an unflinching confession and thoroughly researched expose of how big tech has affected the way we relate now. Amid so much hot sex, I found myself chilled to the bone.” 

Iris Smyles, author of, Dating Tips for the Unemployed

“An adrenaline-fueled romp through the world of online dating.  At once hilarious and disturbing, Sales recounts not only how this technology shapes our experiences of love and dating, but also how it transformed her.”

Breanne Fahs, author of, Burn It Down

Through a personal narration that opens your mind to the world of relationships biased by a culture manipulated by technology, Nothing Personal explores an unimagined reality for some and the lived dating experience for many. Throughout the narrative, this book will keep you going down the rabbit hole.”

Dr. Ayanna Howard, dean of Ohio State University’s College of Engineering

“Nancy Jo Sales is officially the world expert of dating apps. For years, she’s been a rare voice exposing the underbelly of hookup tech. The retaliation by Tinder to her earlier work didn’t stop her from penetrating the industry harder.  Now, she’s reincarnated as a user taking us on the harrowing journey of her own hookups while telling us the ugly truth about the misogyny these companies perpetuate.”

Carrie Goldberg, author of, Nobody’s Victim

“A wonderful, wonderful book. Nancy Jo Sales has always been a brilliant chronicler of the sexual mores of our time. But Nothing Personal manages the enjoyable feat of reading like a touching memoir, a well-researched and balanced feminist treatise, and a frequently funny journey through funny/sad love stories like Sex in the City for the smartphone era. Like most smartphone excesses, dating app romances can be awful, but Sales is a great literary Virgil.”

Dimitry Elias Leger, author of, God Loves Haiti
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