Do you consider yourself attractive? Attractive enough that people would be ready to pay you to be able to go on a date with you? Would you like such an arrangement?
Most people tend to react with a mixture of bewilderment and mild disgust when first told of such a proposition. How crass! But after a moment of consideration, some start to see merit in the arrangement. A kind soul figured out that there was a viable business catering to such people and started www.whatsyourprice.com
The slightly demeaning name and the possibility of being equated to an escort service aside, the website works like an ebay of dating. You first decide what role you want to play – a ‘generous” member or an ‘attractive’ member (this alone might be a worthy exercise in self-examination but more often than not, a generous member is a male). The generous member bids to go on a date with an attractive member who then decides if the price is right and accepts the offer. Both parties go on a first date where cash is exchanged but there is no obligation to go on a second date.
The strictly transactional nature of the date requires that there be remedies for fraud. The website advises that the attractive member demands half of the price agreed at the beginning of the date and the other half at the end of the date. And what if the generous member simply refuses to pay ? You can file a complaint in the Small Claims Court!
From a purely utilitarian perspective Whatsyourprice seems to solve a real problem. If you are an attractive woman on a dating site, you are likely to be inundated with messages from scores of males, many of whom would be termed ‘losers’ (in American parlance). It is a plausible bet that by keeping your price sufficiently high, you can weed out such losers and increase your chances of meeting the right one. Even if your date turns out to be a dud, you would at least be compensated for your time.
For the generous member the situation is not as favorable as he risks losing both time and money if his date turns out to be that delightful species – the beauty without brains. Nevertheless he gets an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by bidding high and ensuring that he gets a look-in by the prettiest girls.
But the money aspect does complicate things. It is unlikely that your cash-induced first date will ever blossom into a long-term relationship. It will forever remain a commercial transaction – the generous member is trying to buy love whereas the attractive member is concerned with getting sufficiently remunerated for her time.
And even though there are geriatric billionaires with wives as young as their granddaughters, we all know what these wives are after.