from the Be-Charming. Like-a-Prince. From-Venus. dept.
Tricia Romano reports at the Seattle Times that Susie Lee and Katrina Hess have developed Siren, a new online dating app designed to protect against men who inundate women with messages that are by turns gross, hilarious, objectifying and just plain sad. As online dating options have grown, Lee noticed that her friends' frustration did, too: With every good introduction often came a slew of lewd ones. "I just started looking (at online dating options) and very quickly realized how many things are out there and how immediately my 'creepy meter' went up," Lee says. Lee hopes to change the nature of the messages and put women in the driver’s seat.
The free iPhone app, currently launched to a select market in Seattle in August, allows women to peruse men’s pictures and their answers to the “Question of the Day” (“You found a magic lamp and get three wishes. What are they?”) and view their Video Challenges (“Show us a hidden gem in Seattle”). If a woman is suitably impressed by a man’s answers, she can make herself visible to him. Only then can he see what she looks like. "It’s a far more thoughtful — and cautious — approach than the one taken by the dating app of the moment, Tinder, which is effectively a “hot or not” game, with little information beyond a few photos, age and volunteered biographical tidbits," writes Romano. "And the implicit notion that it’s a “hookup” app can be uncomfortable for some women." Lee and Hess are betting that men are less shallow and want more repartee. And they know that women want a little more flirtation than crude references. After all, Siren’s motto is “Charm Someone’s Pants Off.” “Before the ‘pants off,’ it’s more about charming someone,” says Hess. “Be charming.”