Online dating

New dating site treats members like prostitutes

April 7, 2011 at 11:20 AM ET

WhatsYourPrice /
The WhatsYourPrice.com homepage explains to prospective members that "everyone has a price."

Signing up for an online dating site and finding yourself facing constant rejection is a frustrating experience. It's even worse if you're certain that all those cyber-strangers would see what a catch you are if they would just give you a chance to impress. A new dating site offers a solution to this problem — by treating its members like prostitutes and clients.

The site is called WhatsYourPrice.com and it divides its members into two categories: "generous" and "attractive."

The reason these categories exist? Because "generous" members are supposed to make offers to the "attractive" members in order to negotiate the terms of a first date. Yes, you read that right. According to this site, it should be perfectly commonplace for someone to pay a man or woman just to go on a date with him or her.

The way the transactions work is simple. A "generous" member finds an "attractive" member he or she is interested in and makes an offer. The attractive member then has a chance to accept, reject, or counter the offer with a new price. (Mind you, it's also possible for "attractive" members to approach "generous" members and suggest how much they should offer.)

Once everyone agrees on the cost, the date is set and WhatsYourPrice.com's part in the transaction is done — but not before it provides a few warnings to daters:

  • NEVER send money to anyone you have not met in person, no matter how believable their story may be.
  • When paying for a first date, we suggest paying 50% at the start and 50% at the end of the date.
  • Any transactions involving Western Union (other than paying us) is 99.9% Fraud.
  • Protect your privacy. Do not pay for a first date with a personal check.

WhatsYourPrice.com is free to join, but there are plenty of expenses associated with using it beyond the costs of dates themselves. Members are expected to purchase credits just to unlock the ability to communicate with their prospective paramours and there are also options for premium memberships which offer additional account features.

Brandon Wade, the founder and CEO of WhatsYourPrice.com and several other websites such as SeekingArrangement.com and SeekingMillionaire.com, explains that this is all worth it though — and possibly even better than throwing money into traditional dating communities:

Yes, this sort of approach to dating seems sleazy to most of us and yes, it feels like WhatsYourPrice.com treats its members like prostitutes and clients — but as Gawker's Adrian Chen explains, the site isn't really suggesting entirely genuinely new: 

Sugar daddies and their babies have been around since the dawn of commerce. But Whatsyourprice.com offers a slightly different form for those too busy for traditional romantico-financial relationships: The casual "mutually beneficial arrangement."

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.

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