Luxy Dating App Claims To Be "Tinder Without The Poor People" And I Tried It Out
You may have heard about Luxy — it’s an elite dating app for pretty people with pretty pennies, marketed as “exclusively for the top one percent." It’s also an indubitable source of controversy. Male members must have a minimum income of $200k annually, verified via tax records or they are immediately removed, and women must be considered attractive (judged by existing members) to be accepted into this bourgeois club.
The app, which is available for iOS and Android, works just like Tinder, says Luxy's CEO. “With one big exception: Our app allows users to weed out the poor and unattractive.”
With the recent release of its feature, Vouch, members now have the option to better their user experience by “voting out” applicants who they deem unfit. Hopeful applicants first create profiles boasting their salaries, favorite luxury brands, and identifying characteristics such as “billionaire,” “handsome,” “busty,” “sexy” and “model,” and existing members can vote them in or out for 24 hours.
Skeptical and curious about the Luxy process, I decided to try it out myself. But much like a high school locker room before walk-on try-outs, the voting period was unsympathetic.
I made a profile with one professional and two travel photos, added tags that I felt actually describe me (writing, photography, editor, travel, entrepreneur, volunteering, dancing, and wine), listed brands that I can actually afford (Victoria's Secret, POLO and Tiffany & Co.), wrote a short description, marked my body type as "about average" (whatever that means), and left my income undisclosed. I intended to emphasize professionalism and character, and describe the type of person for whom I'm looking—someone who will travel with me and laugh at my poorly executed jokes.
I was given a bar chart set at 50 percent — neither quite in nor out — as are all applicants, and as members voted on my profile, I wavered from a low of 40.76 out (about 60 percent of people at that time were voting “no”) to a high of 79.74 in. When my approval dropped to the 40s, however, I realized I’d need to change tactics to be accepted into Luxy. I opted for a different image that was perhaps better-suited for the superficial nature of the site.
I uploaded a selfie, a spring break bikini picture, and of me before a night out. I added fitness, dancing, busty, sexy, hot, wine, and beauty tags, and listed brands that I wish I could afford including Mercedes, Prada, and Versace. I left my income empty and listed my body type as “slender.” This profile lacked substance — with nothing about my professional or personal interests or what I want in a partner — but unsurprisingly, my approval rating steadily increased to 90 percent. Because I had a majority vote at the end of my 24 hours, I was accepted. I was in with the in-crowd, and I immediately changed my profile back to the original one.
Once you're in, Luxy functions much like Tinder, allowing users to alter their viewing preferences so they can chose to anonymously swipe left or right for men, women, or both. If there’s a match, Luxy will open a chat. Every day members get three rounds of 10 swipes. I made 19 matches with men who weren't quite as douchey as I would have expected from the site. In their profiles, my matches chose pictures of them in tuxedos at galas, or on the golf course with glasses of champagne. The majority of them didn’t chose egocentric tags, but rather selected “cooking,” or “concerts,” and “cycling,” as hobbies, and a large number of them left their salaries undisclosed.
Instead of offering creepy introductions like, “Ur a dirty, sweet, dangerous girl,” as some did on OkCupid, they actually greeted me with proper good mornings. Most gave me a simple, “Hey, how’s it going?” or “Hello there, how are you today?” while others asked me about my interests in travel or mentioned specific articles on my blog. Perhaps I over-generalized by thinking every man using Luxy is nothing more than a narcissistic sugar daddy looking for a trophy — perhaps I was judging what I think is the most judgmental dating app to exist yet…and I suppose that’s a bit hypocritical.
So now I get it. I get that some people who justify using this app aren’t all that bad. There is evidently a sizable market for Luxy, which has about 10k downloads, according to GeekSnack, and targets the one percent who, as Oxfam research shows, will soon control half of the world's wealth. In other words, we’re not going to get rid of it.
But what surprised me more than the people I matched is that, if this is really going to be a thing, then Luxy’s new Vouch feature needs to be considerably reexamined. Despite my selected preference for men, I, as a heterosexual woman, had the option to vote out other heterosexual women on the proclaimed basis of compatibility. The app writes, “To become a member, you are required to be voted IN by existing members of the opposite sex for the next 24 hours.”—So, is it a glitch?
Regardless, I see a lot wrong with this: I essentially had the authority to filter out my female competition, swiping left for beautiful women who otherwise would have been voted in. If this isn’t a loophole mechanism for facilitating cattiness among women, I’m not sure what is. And, moreover, if this is simply a glitch, why is it that members would only have the option to vote on the opposite sex? If I identified as bisexual or homosexual, I should have the option to vote on those who align with my sexuality. And, even-moreover, if this is simply a glitch and members do have that option, then Luxy should reconsider its poor choice in wording. It’s 2015 and about time we stop making the incredibly close-minded assumption that only opposites attract.
There are nonetheless ways that Luxy could improve while still adhering to its promise of exclusivity. Baby steps…