First Date Economics: What’s Your Price?

September 21, 2011  |  
A new dating site allows men to bid on first dates with attractive women, taking the concept of ‘time equals money’ to new heights (or perhaps new lows). Where is Stevie Wonder?  Because love is truly in need of love today.
Salon sat down with Brandon Wade, the creator of (also behind, the ‘sugar daddy’ website) to discuss his reasons for taking the romance/finance connection and running with it. Wade claims that gorgeous women are “in demand” and, thus, should be able to charge for the privilege of their time. On his new site, interested men bid on dates and women are able to accept or reject accordingly. Wade says that both our obsession with shows like “Real Housewives” (on which the women are “all showing off their bling-bling”) along with the current financial climate have inspired  “more pragmatic dating” and his sites are designed to capitalize off of that.
Taking that pragmatism a step further, revealed the results of a six-month study into their site’s usage and revealed what they believe to be what an older man needs to spend in order to “close the age gap” with a PYT. According to the site: “men who want to date women over 10 years younger than themselves have to pay approximately 13% more than the average to close every year of age gap.” Ain’t nothing going on but the rent (and perhaps a pair of shoes) if a 50-year-old wants to get it poppin’ with a 25-year-old, apparently.
I’m on the fence about the entire thing. While the concept is, at the surface, gross, dehumanizing and just a bit scary, I also see where it can be a time-saver for men who are totally fine with the idea of paying for a woman’s affection and women who want to be tricked on. I may not be a fan of the ‘pay to play’ approach to dating, but if consenting adults are content with using one another, who am I to ask them to stop? As long as they know what they’re getting into. And perhaps it would be better for these two parties to take their gold digging and gold giving tactics to their own corner of the universe, away from ‘traditional’ daters who would prefer not to be taken by women who are in search of a sponsor and men who are looking to buy a little loving. is a sad commentary on the state of how we view relationships, especially if there proves to be a solid market for this service. I wish more people looked to love for, well, love. True partnership, intimacy, spiritual connectivity and shared values. However, if that isn’t for you (or, if you can’t find that without a price tag attached), then best of luck with your money dates.

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