Rhonda Perky goes under the covers to locate an instant lover
Pine no longer for tawdry men’s room hookups! TheXChange is an application for your iPhone or iPod Touch that will allow you contact people in your area (and outside of it) to have sex
—John Brownlee on Geek.com
Can it be true? Can I really find myself an instant lover with something as simple as an iPhone App? For those of you who read my post about Red Hot Pie a few months back, you’ll recall my frustration trying to find a lover online. In the end I gave up wading through the onslaught of minimum-effort responses to my ad. It seems having standards is hard work!
So when a friend mentioned theXChange, an adults-only ‘social networking app’ similar to GRINDR (the hook-up app for gay and bi-curious men) only for straight people, I decided to check it out.
Like GRINR, theXChange uses the GPS-like capability of your iPhone to share your location with prospective suitors. The official tagline is ‘an online nightclub on your iPhone or iPod Touch.’ No more sitting at home wading through messages – I can be putting out my cat-call to see which non-neutered Toms are in the area instantly.
As with RHP and other dating sites, users need to set up a profile. This gives you and your prospective suitor a chance to do some quality-checking before you agree to hook-up. But like all online matchmaking, user profiles are fraught. No one EVER looks like their pics in real life, and who’s going to declare up front that they’re ugly, have gonorrhea, suffer some kind of personality disorder, and are desperate for your babies? For this sort of encounter all you really want to know is how fat/ugly the potential suitor is on a scale of repulsive to brown-baggable (there’s a difference between a ‘lights-off’ and someone you wouldn’t touch with anybody’s dick/pussy).
Once the basics are out of the way, you can agree to meet. If RHP is anything to go by, I’m expecting a lot more guys and couples registered than single girls, so I shouldn’t have any trouble drumming up business.
But now that it’s about to happen, I’m a tad apprehensive. Do I really want complete strangers knowing my location? What if they’re serial-killers or turn into stalkers?* It’s not like a date where you can have an emergency phone call lined up. Even on RHP you get a bit of online interaction space before agreeing to meet. On theXChange, if your suitor turns out to have a mouth full of metal, acne and a blistering case of herpes, you’re kind of stuck. It’s like a pre-contract that you’ll hook up, no matter what. I need some kind of assurance that other users have safely met someone (or someones) worth shagging, maybe even more than once.
I hit Google only to hit my first alarm bells: where are the user reviews? Either no one is using theXChange, or no-one is owning up to it. It seems this ‘virtual nightclub’ also has virtual reviews.
Finally I do find some feedback – from a non-user! Valkilmerisawful (Gizmodo) writes:
I wouldn’t even use this. I don’t see one single Asian. I just see a few busted chicks, a dude, and a dude dressed up as a busted chick.
And John Brownlee on Geek.com, concluded that:
Anyone you actually do hook up with for anonymous, indiscriminate sex, much like the women you see advertising on Craigslist, are likely to be perfect storms of venereal disease. But if you want to slurp down naked pictures of random, psychologically troubled young women (or the closeted middle aged men who play them on your iPhone), theXchange is available now.
Not quite the feedback I was hoping for.
I quickly check out Craigslist** to see what John Brownlee is talking about. In the personals section I find search categories for ‘strictly platonic’, women/men seeking, ‘misc romance’,*** ‘casual encounters’, ‘missed connections’, and ‘rants and raves’. I head to ‘casual encounters’. The ads are mostly one-liners that say nothing more than that the user is ‘looking for a blow-n-go’, ‘at yours or in public – sorry, can’t host’, i.e. married men looking for sideline encounters with other men, and occasionally women: a short-hand version of RHP. There are also many repeaters**** and a whole bunch of close-up photos of cocks (am I playing chatroulette here???)
This isn’t getting me any closer to finding a quality shag. The only hope I can cling to is that theXChange publishes some ‘house rules’:
- Do not post any nude or offensive photos.
- Harassing, threatening, or hateful language will absolutely not be tolerated.
- Club management reserves the right to permanently ban users who violate these rules or present a nuisance to others.
So do I risk it? If I want a shag – and now – and I’m not too fussy (after all, I’m not looking to start a relationship, or even see these people again), do I give it a go? All I’ve got to lose is $9.99… and possibly my dignity.
*There have been reports of GRINDR users being assaulted
**an un-moderated classifieds site. According to Wise Geek, ‘craigslist is perhaps the ultimate site for classified listings.’ Wise Geek also warns that those who use the list ‘have learned to be cautious about advertisements posted there.’ Craigslist is unmoderated, relying largely on user forums to alert other users to dodgy deals.
***checkout ‘misc romance’ for some miscellaneous ad categorisation. I found ads for a ‘massage – firm hands’, a ‘trainee sub female required’ and ‘ongoing spanking’.
****I’ve still never worked out if this is because the ad is working for them, or because it’s not.