MIT Alum’s ‘Carrot Dating’ App Lets Users Bribe Their Way to a First Date
The mobile dating platform urges people to offer tanks of gas or plastic surgery in exchange for some one-on-one time.
An MIT alumnus known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to online dating is taking flak for his latest venture—a mobile app that encourages “bribing” men and women into going out, and compares the process to giving a dog a treat.
Called “Carrot Dating,” users entice potential partners into meeting up by offering them gifts or activities like dining experiences. The mobile app’s creators claim the “unique approach teaches singles to always bring something to the table,” giving people the power to prove what they are worth.
The brains behind the dating platform, Brandon Wade, explains that it works because “women love presents like dogs love treats.”
“Any beautiful girl can be convinced to give you a chance, all she needs is a little incentive,” according to Wade, who is wearing an MIT T-shirt, and dangling carrots on a stick in front of three women in an advertisement used to get people to try the Carrot Dating program. “Giving is the greatest ‘icebreaker,’ and anyone can date the man or woman of their dreams by simply dangling the right ‘carrot.’”
In a phone interview, Wade said he has been called “misogynist,” and accused of promoting a form of prostitution, two claims he said are untrue. “This is far from prostitution. If [two people] ultimately decide there is chemistry between them, then that’s between them,” he said. “It’s all about breaking the ice and having some fun. I really believe dating is superficial anyways. If you don’t get your foot in the door, you won’t even have a shot. This helps people get their foot in the door.”
Wade said he has “suffered from extreme shyness and loneliness growing up,” and apps like Carrot Dating are a solution to those sorts of problems for people like himself, although, he admits he is happily married. “It was a problem I struggled with for a long time, and I have dedicated my life to finding a solution to the problem. I was always the guy standing in the corner with my beer and wishing I was more bold.”
His newest dating site claims it caters to both men and women, and focuses on tips for daters to use in order to score a date—and possibly more. The app already has 30,000 users signed up in just over a month since it launched. Wade said it took a year to develop the concept, and he spent “a lot of time” putting thought and research into it. In the end, the result was using bribery to get what people want.
“There’s only one method of manipulation that has stood the test of time: bribery. It is the best way to motivate animals to do exactly what you want. Now, with the help of a new mobile application, singles can motivate men and women to go on dates,” according to a press release from the company.
The app claims people can “motivate” each other to go out for the first-time by offering “free meals and drinks,” a tank of gas, or even plastic surgery payments. Bribes are sorted into five categories: “Dining,” “Entertainment,” “Gifts,” “Activities,” and “Popular.”
In order for users to connect and chat with each other, they first have to choose a bribe. Once the bribe has been accepted, both users can schedule their bribery exchange and the first date, according to the creators.
While Carrot Dating claims it is for both men and women to use, in a release, the pitch focuses mainly on giving men an upper hand in a time when women seemingly “have all the power in the online dating world.”
“[Women] receive countless messages from suitors, while men struggle for even a single reply,” according to Wade. “Carrot Dating … is now helping men get noticed by letting them bribe their way to a first date.”