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There’s something deeply icky about pushing women to feel indebted to men they’ve never met, the virtual equivalent of feeling pressure to converse with a stranger because he decided to buy you a drink.(The site also has the annoying habit of pricing its plans for female members in the equivalent of cocktails: Women can join for six months at twenty-five dollars per month—a mere one and two-thirds cocktails!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.That system, however, has created a certain entitlement among male users—as though you owe them a reply, since they spent to send you a message. When a man sends you a message, Sparkology will email you the following: “Remember, he used one of his limited and pricey Sparks to send this special message specifically to you.We are sure he was nervous to hit the send button—so please be kind and check him out!Premium membership includes unlimited site communication, and allows the viewing of all profile photos on people’s profiles.
All of this brings up a question I come back to somewhat often: What does it take to create a dating site that women enjoy using?
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.
It allows you to take the personality test and view your profile, view partner suggestions, and have limited communication with other members.
Our Premium memberships provide fuller site access.