On the contrary, that's the primary use of the tags for me. I find most stories by selecting tags in the Category Search.
My point wasn't that tags aren't useful, but that they're primarily used during search operations, while on ASSTR, the tags--invented by the authors--are primarily used to identify the story contents. Unless you're searching on SOL, you're more likely to use the story description (on either the "New" or "Updated" stories list.
Now when I'm looking at the new or updated stories list, I'm looking at codes first, both for reasons to read, as well as avoid. Then I'll look at the description. The story codes are generally more informative on many matters.
Again, you're using the tags as 'squick' protection, filtering stories before you encounter them, rather than evaluating each story. That's a fine strategy, but it's not the same as how the tags are used on ASSTR. But in the end, readers aren't likely to select a story on the tags alone. Instead, they'll use the tags to filter their squick stories, and then read the descriptions.