A willingness to pay for a date is behind new website

Once upon a time people would meet one another at a social gathering or out in public and form a connection, romantic or otherwise.

Along came a thing called the Internet and that all changed.

Instead of meeting face-to-face and finding possible romantic partners in that way, websites dedicated to dating and finding a match grew and continue to expand. It seems as though the concept of dating may have changed once again.

What’s Your Price is from the creator of the sugar daddy finding website SeekingArrangements.com, that allows users to find a date based on that date’s willingness to pay for or be paid for a night out.

According to the website, “WhatsYourPrice.com provides the platform for generous members to bid on a first date with attractive members. By offering a little incentive, attractive members are more inclined to take a risk on someone who isn’t their usual type, and if the date goes sour, at least they won’t be going home empty handed.”

The site description goes further in comparing the finding of a date through monetary means to when firefighters or celebrities have dating auctions for charity, except that instead of the money going to charity it goes into the pocket of the paid-for date.

“There’s figuratively whoring yourself out and there is literally whoring yourself out for money,” said 21-year-old art major Kyle Fitzgerald. “Both aren’t right and it’s disrespecting your body.”

While there might be debate over the idea of literal or figurative “whoring” of oneself, the motive for the site use was clear to Fitzgerald.

“Money, greed, no common sense, no morals, etc, etc, etc,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald was not the only one to find issue with such a site, but 23-year-old vet tech Heather Purvis wasn’t as concerned about the morality of the site.

“Well if it wasn’t moral or ethical to them, they would not sign up for it,” Purvis said.

Ethics and morals were also not a concern for 19-year-old nursing student Rose Koloamatangi as she advised against using a site like WhatsYourPrice.com.

“I wouldn’t do online dating,” Koloamatangi said. “Honestly I would not recommend anyone do that. Paying for someone to go out with or to date.”

Koloamatangi may not be alone in her thoughts on online dating, but the numbers on the other side are steadily growing. A study published in 2012 from the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest found that at the time around 25 million people used online dating in one month alone.

Those numbers might not seem like a lot, but the study also detailed how by 2005 it was estimated that over 37 percent of single American Internet users had used online dating sites according to the Pew Research Center.

The study also mentioned that between 2007 and 2009, 22 percent of US couples met online, coming in second behind meeting through friends as a way to find a partner.

Online dating is only growing and as it grows the types of sites that emerge will grow as well. Despite the popularity, some students still don’t see it as a valid means of starting a relationship.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” Koloamatangi said. “If you like someone you shouldn’t have to pay for the time.”