The concept behind the new dating app Heavenly Sinful makes a lot of sense. You swipe from guy to guy, à la Tinder, but there's far less ambiguity: swipe up if you’re interested in something heavenly (i.e. a meaningful relationship), swipe down if you’re interested in something sinful (i.e. a “fun, open-ended” relationship), and to the left, to the left if you have no interest at all.
I’d dabbled in Ok Cupid, Tinder, and Hinge, but always came across the same problem: ambiguity. Even with an app like Tinder, which is notorious for facilitating casual hook-ups, people have wildly different motivations: to find a date, long-term hook-up, one night stand, or, for nerds like myself, a language-practicing partner. Many people aren't even looking to find anyone, using the app to boost self-esteem or pass the time. While OK Cupid let’s you specify what you're looking for, it lacks the swiping ease of Tinder, which is far less of an emotional investment and, honestly, much more fun.
Heavenly Sinful is very new, so it hasn’t yet attracted a critical mass of users — this means that if you’re on the app for fifteen minutes, you’re likely to repeatedly run into the same cast of characters, most of whom list absurd ages (88 years old) with absurd pictures (like Gene from Bob’s Burgers, or a pixelated Don Draper.)
(You'll also find tons of guys who don't know how to upload photos.)
The pickings are slim. Not only that, it's incredibly difficult to get a sense, even superficially, of the person you're looking at. The only information available on each profile is age and a picture, which apparently is enough to decide whether you want to seriously date or merely hook up with someone. (You can write a short profile, but no one I saw had one).
This forced me to devise arbitrary criteria for whether someone inspired heavenly or sinful feelings in me. John is hiking in his picture? Boyfriend material. Jack has no picture but is 25, and I’m bored? Fun hook-up. I handed my phone to my friend and let her play for awhile. She swiped down for most of the fellows, allowing me to accumulate a few matches. None of the guys I swiped “heavenly” on wanted to be “heavenly” with me; seemingly, most users — male, at least — are not looking for love...or, there's just something about my face that conveys DTF.
Now that I’d acquired some matches — all of them sinful — I went to my messages. I realized that I was vaguely attracted to only one match (my friend had been swiping indiscriminately, playing God with my life), so I responded to his "heyyy" message.
Turns out, Mike was from the UK (all the points). He was on Heavenly Sinful because "it cut out all of the bull," which I respected: I'm all for clear, unambiguous intent. We had been chatting for a few minutes when I noticed that, through the app's messaging system, you can send pictures, video, and audio. I considered sending audio of me singing, "tonight is the night / when two become one," but decided against it. First, of course, I took a few joke selfies from unflattering angles, all of which I deleted. Then I took a picture of the delicious beer I was drinking and pressed "send." THE APP, HOWEVER, DECIDED TO SEND OVER VIDEO OF ME TAKING MULTIPLE MULTIPLE-CHIN SELFIES. What??? I didn't even know I was taking video! SABOTAGE!
Mike stopped talking to me, and I don't blame him.
Needless to say, the app is incredibly glitchy. For one, I shouldn't have kept seeing guys I'd already rejected with a swipe to the left. Also, the app will routinely freeze for a second, or will take a while to show you a new profile after a swipe (I can only imagine that this will get worse when/if more than 25 people decide to use the app.) To me, the whole point of this sort of thing is that it's mindless and fun and easy-to-use. After the app maniacally sent over video it had secretly taken of me, I decided that Heavenly Sinful was the worst.
I deleted the app.
Images: Heavenly Sinful