Singles Ask

The Rise Of The Hookup App

I, for one, look forward to the day when technology allows us to skip over the humiliating courting and coitus process, and we can 3-D print a baby without having to mash together our revolting genitals.

Thankfully, a handful of hornballs are industriously working away at achieving at least the first part of this dream: making the process of getting laid easier. A slew of new apps launched by young men and women focus on hookup culture rather than traditional dating. These brave young entrepreneurs are pivoting the kegger into a digital space and disrupting roofies.

Let your phone become your frat paddle, and let’s explore how to score with those hot Delta Phis!

1. Pikinis

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What it is: The premise of Pikinis is as simple as it is skeevy: It searches your Facebook network for photos of girls in bathing suits and serves them up to you for your hog cranking pleasure. The app, which lauches in June, mirrors Facebook privacy settings, so if you post a bathing suit pic for your friends-only to see, Pikini won’t show that to strangers. Unfortunately, Facebook has yet to create a privacy level setting for friends-but-not-ones-who-want-to-masturbate-to-my-photos.

While their promotional video suggests that this is used for sexual titilation, Pikinis founder Ted Kramer said this isn’t necessarily the case: “Most of the interest we’ve seen to date is around using Pikinis as a place to make the most of the summer and share the summer experience. Surely for many users there is a titillating aspect, we don’t want to presume the intentions of our users.”

Though the app requires users to be 17 or older, it does not screen out bathing suit photos that an adult might have posted of themselves as a kid, or with a underage person included in the image.

Fratitude: 2 out of 5 togas. While the app recalls Reddit’s infamous /r/creepshots in terms of ethics, it seems likely that the app is just a publicity stunt to attract attention to Three4six’s (the company that makes Pikini) core business, which is their proprietary visual recognition software.

2. Bang with Friends

What it is: The ultimate frat hookup app. Developed by two guys in their twenties to facilitate hookups using a double-blind system: You choose who among your Facebook friends you’d be “down to bang,” and it only alerts you if they also chose you and the feeling is mutual. The iPhone app version also allows you to select “down to hang” if you’re not quite ready to bang yet. I believe that is what used to be called “dating” in medieval times.

Fratitude: 4 out of 5 keg stands. It’s a great idea for accomplishing one thing: sussing out which of your friends are secretly into you. In order to test the app to its logical extreme, I bit the bullet and selected every last one of my Facebook friends. My female relatives, professional acquaintances — no one was exempt. There were moments where it felt so uncomfortable, I had to let my eyes blur over as I wildly clicked “Down To Bang” on each profile pic. This is the only way to figure out if anyone at all had selected me back. I can say with certainty that no one (with the exception of tech writers testing the app) wishes to bang me. For this reason, I am pissed off and deducting one kegstand from the overall score.

3. Lulu

What it is: A girls-only app where you rate your guy friends to warn their potential dates if they’re a nice guy or a scoundrel.

Sororitude: 3 out of 5 matching hair scrunchies. A good idea, but it takes foreeeeever to fill out the detailed information on each guy, and with such a small sample size, the chances you’re going to actually find the dirt on the particular guy you want is small. Lulu signs you up for its weekly dating-advice newsletter, which hints that the app is part of a larger plan for a female-oriented, young-people sex and dating advice empire.

4. Sendasock

What it is: An app version of the classic sock on the doorknob to warn your roommate you’re makin’ whoopee. You add your roommates to your notification list, and when the moment arises, you select a time a time between one minute (ouch) to one and a half hours (yeah, right) for how long their sexile needs to last.

Fratitude: 5 out of 5 togas. This is pretty much only useful if you’re in college and share a room with someone.

You might wonder why the app is needed, rather than the traditional sock or necktie around the knob or just texting your friends. The two creators, who are currently in college, explained that the app shaves precious seconds of your wait to go to poundtown: “A typical method would be to take the time to (with an iPhone) open messages, make a new message, go through all your contacts and add each roommate, then come up with a message and press send, all the while, the clock ticking as things are ready to carry on.”

5. On the Rebound

What it is: On the Rebound is an app that tells you which of your Facebook friends are recently no longer in a relationship and therefore open to a rebound fling. It uses its own special brew of data analysis to tell not just if someone has recently changed their status from “in a relationship” to “single,” but also if they’ve been single for long, how long that previous one lasted, if they’re still in love with their ex, etc. FWD’s Katie Heaney tested it out and found it didn’t quite accurately read people’s relationship situations.

Fratitude: 1 out of 5 Natty Lites. Poor scores mainly because it doesn’t really work very well. Additional bad marks because the idea of swooping in on rebounders is more the province of the scheming pick-up artist, not the young collegiate who is just too lazy to properly go on a date or ask someone out.

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