Sex Love and Uber

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It’s a Sunday morning at 8 am (one of my “regular” times to drive for UberX) when I get a ping to pick up a rider named Michael at an apartment building adjacent to the university campus.

I pull up in front of the building.  The street is quiet – its too early for most to be awake.  Everyone on campus was out late the night before celebrating the football team’s win over a highly ranked opponent.  I text my rider to let him know I’ve arrived and settle in to wait for him to come down.

Out of the corner of my eye, I catch sight of the girl.  She’s sitting on the side of the building steps.  Her legs are pulled up under the mini-dress she probably wore out last night.  Her heels are next to her.  Her face is obscured by her long tangled hair.

I’m still waiting on my rider to show up a few minutes later when she looks up and catches my eye.  She gets up, walks over with heels in hand, and knocks on my window.

“Are you Jennifer?” she asks, as I roll down the passenger side window.

I nod and unlock the doors.  She climbs in my front seat.

“Can you get me to…” she mumbles, spitting out the name of a dormitory where many of the freshmen live.  I nod.

“I’m sorry, I was looking for a guy named Michael” I spit out as an apology.

“Yeah, he went back to sleep.  He just told me some Uber named Jennifer would be coming.”

We ride on in silence.

“I just want to be back in my room” she mumbles.  She looks tired, maybe a bit defeated.

I pull onto the street where her building is.

“Can you pull onto that side over?” she asks, motioning to a couple of trees away from the main entrance to the building.

I slow down and stop where she indicates.  She takes a quick look in both directions, mouths a quick “thank you”,  and then opens the door and takes off running to a side entrance.

I slide the button on my Uber app to end the ride.  A few blocks away Michael is getting an email from Uber letting him know that his previous night’s guest has gotten home safely.

Just another morning ride. 

I like to drive in the mornings because the riders are quieter, the temperatures are cooler, and its almost relaxing to settle in for the ride.

But there is also an unspoken change in the air.  Uber is a new part of the morning after culture and a large bulk of my rides at that time of day involve some variation on this same story as sex love and Uber intersect.  Occasionally the boy or girl in question will call their own ride.  Sometimes the other party is outside with them waiting.  A couple of times I’ve driven both parties back to recover their separate cars from the parking lot near where they met and first hooked up the night before.

I can park near the campus on a Saturday or Sunday morning and in a couple of hours make a healthy amount of pocket money while I read or blog in between rides, watching the other black cars slide up and down the same streets, picking up riders at one side door and dropping them at another.

It’s clear to me that what we dubbed the “walk of shame” when I was in college has been replaced by “the morning after Uber”.

As with any cultural shift, especially one that pairs dating with new technology, the etiquette rules are evolving too.  It’s clear to me that what we dubbed the “walk of shame” when I was in college has been replaced by “the morning after Uber”.  I’m left pondering the question of who should order/pay for the morning after Uber?  Share your thoughts….

Who pays for the "morning after Uber"?

  • The "host" should pay for their overnight guest to get home. (50%, 79 Votes)
  • Traditional gender roles should dictate who pays for the ride. (28%, 44 Votes)
  • The "guest" should pay for their own ride home. (17%, 27 Votes)
  • Both parties should split the cost. (6%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 159

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About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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  1. As a gay man who frequently takes morning after Ubers (though I’ve been using Lyft a lot lately!) I have never, not once had someone offer to pay for a cab/uber. I have had many people offer to drive when I signaled my intention to take a car however. I think traditional gender rolls play a huge role in answering your question. Personally I am fine being responsible for my own transportation – I live in the city for a reason – but women are treated (due to some legitimate and sexist concerns) as if they need help getting home safely. The notion that men should be obligated to pay all costs associated with a date is quite frankly transactional and disgusting, but paying for a car is usually interpreted as a sweet gesture as long as it isn’t to kick a partner out of the house.

    • Interesting thoughts and I appreciate the same-sex perspective. I don’t doubt I have done a couple of those morning after rides too but they likely aren’t as evident to me from the request or name vs. rider. The “who pays” issue is always an interesting one in lots of travel-related realms and one I’ll probably explore a bit more in future posts. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love this behind the scenes Uber commentary. It would be interesting if the morning after Uber rider prefers the long way home to get back at their place to rack up the charges for the person paying for Uber. #Uberevenge

    • Side note: publish a book or ebook titled Secret Diaries of an Uber Driver. Then hire me as your PR manager and let’s tour the country 🙂

  3. I am 49 y.o. Straight. I have dated women who are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. To the gay commenter above: it is ALWAYS expected that I will pay. Occasionally, a first date will be dutch until we decide we want to date further, but SHE must offer and then insist upon splitting the bill or there will be no second date (“He is cheap and not worth a second date.”) It may seem transactional to you, but as a well known cultural anthropologist observed: men always pay for sex in some combination of time and money, in all cultures and throughout history. Or as Chris Rock observed: “Pussy costs money. Dick is free.”

    • Completely depends on your market. Where I am in DFW, it’s $0 base fare plus $0.19 per minute plus $1.48 per mile. They also add a $1 Safe Rides Fee (which covers commercial per-ride insurance for UberX drivers) so the estimated cost would be $18-$19.

      That same ride in NYC would be $29-$31.

      Lots of market variability!

      • Thanks. Is there a way for me to find out the UberX fare for that 16-minute, 9.6-mile ride in Orlando, FL?

      • Here is my estimate based on the published rates for Orlando – $2 base fee plus $1 safe rides fee plus 16 minutes @ $0.15 per minute plus 9.6 miles @ $1.50 per mile would be right at $20 unless surge pricing was in effect, in which case the per minute and per mile would both be subject to the surge fee.

        I’m presently working on a tool to estimate Uber fares so check back soon. 🙂

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