July 24, 2012

My WhatsYourPrice adventure (Part 1)

You may recall my analysis of WhatsYourPrice, the online dating site where men agree to pay for a date with a woman. Sounds a lot like prostitution, doesn’t it? Well, we’re about to find out.

Based on the amount of money I’d spent in recent months on dates with women I’d met online who turned out to be duds, I came to the conclusion that paying for quality might not be that bad an idea... as long as it increased the probability that I'd get laid. So I set out on a mission to find out what this site is all about. Here’s what happened:

The Ground Rules

The WhatsYourPrice profiles are pretty basic. Up to eight pictures Рwhich most women choose to make fairly risqu̩ Рand three text boxes to fill out: a short tagline, a self-description, and a description of an ideal date.

Then you choose the “types of dating” you’re interested in:
  • Short Term Relationship / Dating
  • Friendship / Activity Partner
  • Long Term Relationship / Marriage Minded
  • Mutually Beneficial Arrangements (Sugar Daddy / Sugar Baby)
  • Married Dating / Discreet Affair
  • Adult Dating - Casual / Intimate Encounter

The standard operating procedure is this: A man sends a woman a “wink,” which is essentially asking her to name her price. She then replies with an “offer,” which is the amount she wants to be paid just to show up. He can accept, reject, or counter. This goes on until someone accepts and offer. Then, and only then, the two lovebirds can message each other.

Sounds great, but here’s the catch: once an offer has been agreed upon, the man has to pay WhatsYourPrice to “unlock” messaging and be able to send messages or see messages from the women (in keeping with the theme of the site, women don't pay for anything).

It’s all done with “credits” to make you forget about the fact that you’re spending real money, but basically, the minimum cost to buy credits is $50. Then, for each woman you want to message, you have to pay 10% of the accepted offer price, with a minimum of $10. Learning this, I normally would have said, “no thank you,” and moved on, but since I wanted to give my loyal readers some entertainment, I sucked it up and bought $50 of credits. You’re welcome.

The Women

Most of these women are living in fantasy land. A large number of the profiles listed only Sugar Daddy as their type of dating, and most of those women would be lucky just to find a date, period. Let’s just say that some of these women have absolutely no business asking men to pay for a date with them. They’d be lucky to find a man willing to date them for free.

Let me side track for a minute. Why would anyone want to be a sugar daddy? Why not just get a steady string of hookers… much more interesting and much less expensive. But I digress.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of attractive women here, but most have something in their ideal date description that gives them away. They are either golddiggers...
Dinner, Dessert, and Shopping!
...clearly more trouble than they’re worth...
An ideal first meeting takes place in LA at a beautiful restaurant/lounge that serves signature cocktails at around 7:00pm on Sunday-Thursday. You gotta work your way up to monopolize my weekends.
...or fairly honest about wanting to be paid for sex, but probably too rich for my blood:
I'd like to meet someone looking for a mutually beneficial relationship/arrangement, a gentleman who will appreciate my discretion and take care of me with an allowance.

Then there were the women who clearly had not even taken the time to figure out how the site actually works. Some of them wrote things in their profile like, “don’t wink at me, I won't respond, send me a message,” obviously clueless to the fact that there has to be an accepted offer prior to any messaging.

So there were a lot of useless profiles I had to weed through, but that said, the skirting of the line between dating and prostitution was definitely alive and well. One woman said she was a stripper who earned $300 an hour and about half that stripping... so decide whether you want the type of date you'd have with a model or the type you'd have with a stripper.

My Strategy

Basically, the name of the game was this: see if this site is more effective at getting me laid than other online dating sites. I'm not paying for sex, but I am paying for a date, and sex is the ultimate goal of dating. But no, no, it's not paying for sex. My head is going to explode.

Anyway, for my profile, I selected Adult Dating... only -- none of the other options -- and made the rest of my profile sufficiently suggestive to indicate what I was interested in.

In an attempt to get around the ridiculous per-person communication charge, I decided to try to put my cell phone number in my profile (before you freak out, keep in mind that my privacy settings were such that only women I chose got to see my profile). Most sites have strict rules against this sort of thing and are pretty good at preventing it. But I gave it a try anyway, and to my surprise, it worked! Somehow the "review" process did not catch the obvious, prominent listing of a phone number, and my profile was approved. Unfortunately, as expected, most of the women on the site were too dumb to catch the hint.

So I was back to paying the normal price: minimum $10 per person, with $50 in my account. That gave me at most 5 chances. Maybe 4 if I wanted to go after someone for more than $100, but it turned out there were plenty of women who were willing to accept a $100 offer (or less). So I figured I’d try to limit myself to those ones at the beginning.

Since I only had a few chances to communicate, I had to be careful. There were 3 criteria a profile needed to meet for me to consider shooting one of my 5 bullets:
  1. Sexy pictures
  2. Listing adult dating
  3. A suggestive first date description, ideally something like this (an actual profile):
    My ideal first date is always an introduction over enjoying dinner or a glass of fine wine and intimate conversation. I have a bit of a wild side so dessert is hopefully on the menu...
    I read you loud and clear honey...

I decided that I would be more aggressive towards the beginning, being very explicit about my intentions/desires, and see if I could catch lighting in a bag. I had nothing to lose, and hey, you never know. I once had a woman show up at my place for sex (for free) after a few texts and IMs. But I definitely wanted to go on at least one date, so I would ease up if and when I started running out of opportunities.

That brings me to my first connection, a woman who looked like the type I’d hoped to find on this site: Pictures of herself in her underwear? Check. Suggestive profile text? Check. Interested in Adult Dating? Check. All signs pointed to go... so I did. I went for it. And I’ll tell you what happened in Part 2...

Here's a preview. Rather than using What's Your Price, you'd be better off using the strategy in my book!