Girls subscription dating sites
Take, for example, Sparkology’s subscription system. Women pay a monthly fee, whereas men pay each time they message a woman and can only send a certain number of messages per month.
This led to the site’s requirement that all members be college-educated young professionals, and for men to have received their degrees from a list of select schools.
Some have called Sparkology elitist, but its exclusivity is dubious: It currently allows alumni of 1,558 colleges to join. The website’s faddish celebration of social science disguises a service characterized by outdated attitudes regarding dating and gender norms.
For a site that claims to “adamantly support the modern lady and gentleman” with its innovative structure, it’s the most retrograde form of online dating I’ve seen.
The problems with dating apps, particularly for straight women, are well-documented.
The most obvious example is Ok Cupid, where anyone using the site can write to any other member (unlike others, such as Tinder and Hinge, where users must “match” before sending each other messages).
My inbox on Ok Cupid currently contains a message that reads like an attempt to hire an escort (“I’m not looking to jump right into a serious relationship, but I have a good chunk of change in my bank account if you wanted some adventures in the city or are up for a trip to Europe on my tab”), another from a 61-year-old man in Mexico City congratulating me because I am “a really fun and fantastic girl” (I’m 23 and live in New York), and an abundance of pick-up lines ranging from cheesy to grossly offensive.
Ok Cupid’s homepage includes an endorsement that it is the Google of online dating, but in actuality it is not the Google of online dating.
It is the Bing: There are seemingly limitless results, but rarely are they what you’re looking for.
Frustrations like these are what led me to Sparkology after Googling “best online dating sites” one night following a particularly bad date.
Sparkology is a dating site that purports to use social science to provide a “curated dating experience for young professionals.” Before its launch, the company held focus groups to find out what said young professionals thought dating apps and sites were lacking, and what they would like to see instead.
Sparkology also said its team worked with professors at “major universities” to develop a behavioral algorithm that helps users find their match based on their actions.