Carrot Dating app accused of sexism

App allows men to buy women gifts such as plastic surgery in exchange for dates

Nick Renaud-Komiya
Monday 21 October 2013 15:42
Carrot Dating, which allows men to buy women gifts in exchange for dates, is the creation of MIT graduate Brandon Wade, whose other dating sites have also been controversial
Carrot Dating, which allows men to buy women gifts in exchange for dates, is the creation of MIT graduate Brandon Wade, whose other dating sites have also been controversial

An online dating app has been attacked as sexist and even accused of encouraging prostitution.

Carrot Dating, developed by an MIT graduate, allows men to 'bribe' women into offering them dates with everything from jewelry to a tank full of petrol. Users wanting to get the romance going can even offer prospective suitors plastic surgery.

The idea behind the app is that users 'dangle a carrot' in exchange for getting women to go out with them, according to its creator Brandon Wade.

The app, with its unashamed promotion of bribery, has been likened by the US news website Business Insider to exchanging money for sex.

Business Insider's Christina Sterbenz wrote, “through Carrot Dating, users (but really men)... can buy credits to send ”gifts“ to other users ... so they'll agree to a first date. That sounds quite like an activity illegal in most of the continental US — prostitution.”

“Aside from being blatantly sexist, Wade's app clearly won't build the chemistry needed to fall in love.

“In fact, this problematic app is teaching men that women are greedy idiots who can't see through blatant and pathetic misogyny.

“For the record, if you offer a woman a present in exchange for a first date, then you're implying she can be bought, much like a hooker.'

This perception is certainly not helped by the fact that Wade sent out a promotional email which contained the phrase, “Give a dog a bone, and it will obey. Give a woman a present and she'll...(sic)”

The Carrot Dating statement continues, “Women have all the power in the online dating world: they receive countless messages from suitors, while men struggle for even a single reply.

“But by ‘dangling’ the right ‘carrot’ in front of beautiful girls, suitors can convince anyone to say 'yes' to a first date.”

Professor Edward Deci, a leading researcher in the study of human motivation, told the New York Times that trying to form a relationship based on bribery is bound to end in failure.

“It is easy to get people to do things by paying them if you've got enough money and they've got the necessary skills...But they will keep doing it only as long as you keep paying them,” he said.

“And even if they were doing it before, when you stop paying them the behavior drops to a lower level than when you started paying them. We’ve done thousands of experiments on this over 40 years and the data is incredibly robust,” he added.

Wade's previous creations have also been met with controversy. He is behind the dating auction site, where users are invited to “bid on first dates with beautiful women” and the popular 'Sugar Daddy' dating site Seeking Arrangement.

The site matches men ('sugar daddies') with younger women who they can shower with gifts in order for them to form 'mutually beneficial relationships'.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in