Up to Date

By The Editors
May 15, 2014 9:00 am

Because every man needs gear, and no man likes comparison shopping, we present That’ll Hunt: a series that reveals the best tools, gadgets or sundries for the job.

Let us be the last people to give you dating advice.

Talk about her. Pay for dinner. Wear pants. Etc. You know this.

Today, dating is more about the journey. As in, the one from your hand to your smartphone. The app you pull up to decide: who’s next/the one?

There’s Tinder, of course. And Grindr. And the guys with TV money (eHarmony, OKCupid). There are hook-up channels for travelers. Farmers. The gluten-free.

Maybe all three, if you’re using 3nder, your friendly neighborhood threesome specialist.

It’s a bit overwhelming. So, to navigate these new tech dating waters, we enlisted six single InsideHook scribes in three different cities (and many years of age apart) to offer their experiences.

In other words: we’ve got your hook-up.

FOR (PG-13) GROUP FUN: Grouper
More of a social propagator than dating app, Grouper connects groups of three together at an assigned bar and offers you socially lubricating “dares” (e.g. “Stage a fake a breakup”) and some free drinks. Given the crowd element, it can be difficult to move the sticks. As one editor put it: “It made opening easy, but closing much harder.”

Not for the casual dater. One of the first matchmaking services online (circa 1995), Match offers date hook-ups that actually … work. “Through Match, I’ve dated a sexy art restorer, one catfish and one sexy lawyer,” says one of our NY writers, who claims his response rate has been about “1 in 5.”  He adds: “These are girls looking for a serious relationship.” 

FOR THE ODDS: Plenty of Fish
POF suggests a careful, scientific method for finding your perfect mate (the five-part “Relationship Chemistry Predictor”). What it is really: a free dating site with 70 million users, far more than any other site. One editor was impressed with the vast numbers, less so the clientele. “It got me zero dates with respectable women.”

FOR BUSINESS: Carrot Dating
Bribe your way to a date. Literally. Use meals, flowers, gifts and activities to land a first date on this mobile-only app. “I think that this sets an unhealthy precedent for how things are going to go down,” says one IH writer. “That said, there are some HOT women on this app.”

Here, potential suitors propose date ideas — often quirky and a bit contrived (“How about we … see an off-Broadway play?”; “How about we … go treasure hunting at a flea market?”). “Guys propose ideas they think women will like, as opposed to what (either party) actually wants to do,” said one editor. “It’s just Match for hipsters.”

Your casual hookup go-to, this app reduces online dating to proximity, looks and (if she swipes right) quick text-chats. It aims young, but all of our editors experienced some level of success. Even in the IMs. “I’ve had totally bizarre conversations on there,” said one. “One involved sock fetishes. Lars Von Trier should cast that girl if he’s looking for some horrifying s**t.”

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