Move over Y-Combinator, here comes an XX-XY Combinator. A startup app called the Dating Ring wants to correct a major disturbance in the Force: the burgeoning gender imbalance between the East and West Coasts. Simply put, San Francisco just doesn’t have enough single ladies and New York has a surplus of them, so the Dating Ring is planning to fly women in from New York to restore harmony to this gender disequilibrium in a way eHarmony can’t.
The Census does bear out the anecdotal belief that New York is full of single women, although its stats are only broken down by metro area. Nationwide, there are more adult women than men, but San Francisco proper is only 49.1 percent female, and therefore relatively full of dudebros: the Bay Area has 93 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women, NYC only 79. Factor out the prevalence of widows over widowers because of women’s longer life expectancy and the picture is even starker.
However, neither this voluntary human trafficking nor the Dating Ring itself are open to just anyone. You have to sign up and pay $25 to enter the Dating Ring’s “beta pool” – which is presumably weeding out at least some people who then fall ever further behind in the quest to find a mate. The slightest whiff of un-date-ability and you might be banished to romantic limbo. For instance, in San Francisco, women over 35 and men over 40 need not apply.
The accompanying Crowdtilt campaign, aiming to raise $50,000, enlists women who claim they’d fly across the country for love because “all men in New York are gay or awful.” (Here I must interject that picking San Francisco as the solution to the first part of that problem might not be a form of, how do you engineers say, optimization?) Each $20 a woman contributes earns her a chance at being chosen, and $500 outright guarantees you a seat on the plane; the top level of $1,250 gets you housing accommodations (but hopefully not here), a couple parties over Memorial Day weekend, date-coaching sessions over Skype, and three Dating Ring dates.
Gimmicky, yes, but hardly a ripoff, and arguably necessary because the Dating Ring’s underlying premise is accurate. Even if this feels like an elaborate monetization of loneliness, it’s still a mathematical impossibility for all of San Francisco’s heterosexual males to find someone to grow old together with. (The stakes are even higher in countries like India and China, where sex-selective abortions have created societies with way more men than women).
Still, a plane full of single women flying in to party and score does sound like a ton of fun. If the Crowdtilt succeeds, maybe someone will make a documentary out of the endeavor. And it’s always possible that two people who might never have met otherwise will fall madly in love. Even if the chances are a lot smaller than the odds of a lot of shit-talking on Lulu.
Image by DrPAS via Thinkstock