Dating apps were invented so people could idly pass time scrolling through the faces of strangers they might want to have sex with. But there are plenty of other uses for these apps that aren’t being exploited. For example, making someone believe you actually like them, getting them to buy you stuff, then disappearing forever.
We thought we’d trial that potential usage by asking three writers-a straight girl on Luxy, a gay guy on Grindr, and a straight guy on Tinder-to use their respective app to blag as much free stuff as they could, armed only with a 3G phone and a concerning lack of guilt.
Billed as a kind of “Tinder minus the poor people,” it offers to “income verify” its members to ensure that only the highest caliber young ballers British society has to offer are able to bang each other
I like champagne, expensive cheese, and silk sheets. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong career path. I mostly subsist on frozen pizzas and can’t afford so much as an overnight in a Southampton Travelodge.
So thank fuck for Luxy. According college chat rooms to the app, its “successful and attractive” members include CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, and celebrities.
The initial signs were promising. In the space of a couple of days and a few flirty messages, I had been promised flights across the world, opera tickets, and stays in swanky hotels.
But I wanted to see how much I could score in the space of one evening-in exchange for nothing more than my own dazzling conversation. I used Friday night and the following morning to set up dates for Saturday night. I told all three Luxy guys to meet me in Sloane Square, Chelsea, to maximize the monetary value of my potential score, and arrived dressed in my most demure jewelry and an ugly pair of kitten heels.
My first date was with a guy we’ll call Piers.* We had arranged to meet at the Botanist, a swanky cocktail bar in the corner of the square, at 5 PM. Piers was 20 minutes late, but I lacked the gall to be too outraged, considering I was about to catfish him.
Piers didn’t apologize for his tardiness. I grabbed a menu, eager to get some free booze. But he closed it for me with a smile that seemed to say, “Darling, there’s no need for that tonight. Piersy will look after you.”
He went off and brought back something called a Lavender Bloom-his “usual,” and the most expensive. It tasted like mothballs and potpourri. No matter, I thought. I had got my first drink and things were well on the way. All I had to do was talk to him. He did something in corporate law, which sounded very boring. All that listening paid off, though, because he offered to take me to Paris the following weekend.
To break into this exclusive dating pool, I just had to sign up and convince my dates that I was one of them
I kept my story as close to my own as possible, to avoid slipping up over lies. I was Hannah Ramazanov, half German, half Russian, but brought up in London. Born in Battersea, I’d inherited a media company and spent my days swanning around Harrods and investing in property. OK, so maybe it wasn’t that close to home. I guess I got carried away at some point.
“You look really familiar,” he said. I didn’t know him from anywhere. I don’t move in circles where men expose their chest rugs and have names like Piers, so I hoped that he was just mistaking me for another bleached-blond Chelsea girl. “Let me think about it while I get us another drink,” he said.