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posted by martyb on Sunday October 05 2014, @02:15PM   Printer-friendly
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.”

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  • (Score: 3) by naubol on Sunday October 05 2014, @02:37PM

    by naubol (1918) on Sunday October 05 2014, @02:37PM (#102042)

    The "gender divide" hits both genders hard. I suspect that a side effect is that men tend to come off more creepy. They're castigated for showing emotions and then further castigated when they objectify women as a result. So easy to become needy, and then creepy, when repressing yourself in order to fit in with expectations of the "civilized male".

    It is the responsibility of both genders to give each other the opportunity to be human beings.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by quixote on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:39PM

    by quixote (4355) on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:39PM (#102054)

    Agree that the gender divide is the problem. Without that, we'd be treating each other like human beings and there'd be way less of a problem.

    I'd argue, though, about the app makers' instructions to be "charming." I'm like everyone else: I want someone who cares about me. Even if it's a one night stand, I want them to care enough so that it's going to be fun. The kind of charming that comes from being a person who cares about others is fine. The kind that's there to manipulate them into "pants off" is just gross.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Sunday October 05 2014, @04:57PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Sunday October 05 2014, @04:57PM (#102078)

    They're castigated for showing emotions

    In this case, the issue is that on most online dating websites, there are hundreds guys in every metropolitan area who send a picture of their dick to approximately every woman with a profile in a certain age (and sometimes weight) range hoping one of them will agree to have sex. This is bad for women who are looking for more than a hookup, because their inboxes are inundated with these guys, and a lot of them end up responding by taking their profiles down and mass-deleting the messages. This is also bad for vast majority of men, who are looking for more than a hookup, because whatever they send to these women will get lost in the noise.

    The only emotion these guys are expressing is horniness. It's not even lust, because these guys are extremely indiscriminate about who they try and contact. It's not sincere interest, because they rarely make any sort of comment about anything about her that she put on her profile. And it's certainly not love, either: These fellows are not penning romantic sonnets for the women they're sending messages to.

    One way I can think of solving the problem technologically: When rejecting a message, the recipient has the option of "Creepy!" or "Not Interested". "Not Interested" says the sender isn't really what the recipient is after, but seems decent enough and approached respectfully. "Creepy!" is more that the sender sent something offensive, way out of line, etc. All recipients would then get a filter that automatically silently drops messages from people with very high percentage of "Creepy!" responses.

    Basically, the problem is the same as spammers, but instead of trying to get people with money to part with it, it's trying to get people with female-type body parts to let a fairly despicable guy into her life. Sure, 99.999% of recipients will ignore or hate the message, but these guys are looking for that 0.001%

    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Grishnakh on Sunday October 05 2014, @05:12PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday October 05 2014, @05:12PM (#102084)

      What site is this that allows men to send dick pictures to women?

      OKCupid doesn't allow this; you can only send text messages to other users.

      Tinder doesn't allow this; you can only send a text message, and even then only if they've right-swiped you first. In fact, I've never understood why so many women on there have some kind of comment along the lines of "message me if..."; no one can message her unless she's specifically right-swiped them first. You cannot get an unsolicited message on Tinder. In fact, if you're getting creepy messages from men on Tinder, it's partly your own fault, and you should re-examine what kind of men you're right-swiping. I imagine women who get a lot of creepy messages on Tinder are very indiscriminate about who they right-swipe, instead of taking the time to look at each profile (you need to tap the "i" button to read their profile and see the rest of their photos before making a yes/no choice). I have no sympathy. OKC is different because anyone can message anyone, unless they've been specifically blocked, or you've put in a filter (such as to prevent people >50 miles away from messaging you).

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by VLM on Sunday October 05 2014, @05:17PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 05 2014, @05:17PM (#102087)

        ASCII art is making a comeback?

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @06:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @06:49PM (#102129)

        Don't let a focus on a minor exaggeration lead you to miss the fundamental point of thexalon's message.

        So the women aren't getting dick pics on the first pass. But any woman of even average looks gets an asston of 99 slaps-style contacts. [] And if they respond because they don't recognize the message for what it really is, then they do have a high chance of getting a dick-pic in a follow-up. The volume drowns out legitimate contacts and makes women mistrust all contacts after her first dick pic. That's how misogyny makes life suck for regular guys.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday October 11 2014, @02:56AM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday October 11 2014, @02:56AM (#104671)

          I still don't understand how they're getting a dick pic. I've never seen any facility on Tinder or OKC that allows users to send pictures to each other. This isn't a "minor exaggeration", this is like complaining about how people fly their cars badly, when *cars don't fly*.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @07:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @07:21PM (#102137)

    >It is the responsibility of both genders to give each other the opportunity to be human beings.

    But money and the 'act of sex' get in the way of things and causes all sorts of problems that have plagued mankind since time immemorial....

  • (Score: 2) by Geezer on Monday October 06 2014, @10:18AM

    by Geezer (511) on Monday October 06 2014, @10:18AM (#102355)

    I honestly don't think that just showing emotions is what pegs a woman's creepometer at all. Hell, most women like an emotionally healthy man. Perhaps the inappropriate display of uncontrolled emotions would sound the alarm, but that's usually symptomatic of chronic social awkwardness or even worse.

    According to my wife, besides the certifiable psychopaths, failed male daters tend to fall into one of two categories: the macho buffoon and the sad puppy. Fortunately for them, the sad puppies have a better chance at eventually meeting someone and forming a relationship. Better husband material and all that.

    The macho clowns eventually either grow up or die single after years of failed attempts at relationships. The downtown bars are full of lonely old tough guys spending their Social Security on hookers.

    Women like emotions. They just don't like jerks.

    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Tuesday October 07 2014, @12:40AM

      by naubol (1918) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @12:40AM (#102818)

      Hi, I didn't mean that showing emotions is creepy. I meant that repressing emotions often leads to behavior that is considered creepy.