When people criticize Tinder, their criticism is usually twofold: First, they complain it’s too shallow, and second, that it works only if you’re using it to find one-night stands rather than long-term romantic partners
“It’s very difficult to break into the mainstream market if you’re an adult-oriented app. It comes down to conforming with the big guys: Google’s one of the biggest,” he says, citing Google’s recent change in their AdWords policy as evidence of their aversion to adult content. “But for us, I think the timing is right because of the popularity of Tinder and the amount of complaints we hear about all these dating apps [like Tinder]. We feel people are looking for something different.”
Perhaps not. But Manes hopes that as social mores and tolerance of sexual behavior evolve and change, dating site users’ behavior-if not Google and Apple’s prudishness- will change along with them.
Google and Apple are unlikely to feature apps like Mixxxer alongside Tinder and other dating and hookup apps-at least “not in the foreseeable future,” Manes says. “If anything, they’re actually getting more strict and really coming down on adult websites.” But the users themselves? “They’re more willing to share now,” he says. “They’re heading in that direction [toward sharing more adult content]. We feel that a change is coming.”
But Web developer Michael Manes doesn’t consider Tinder too shallow or too casual. In fact, he doesn’t even consider it a hookup app at all. The problem with Tinder, he says, is that its function is “very ambiguous.”
“People don’t know when they’re using Tinder if you’re using it to hook up or if you’re using it to find a date,” he tells me. “Our idea was to create something with a much clearer purpose, where you’re looking for one thing and one thing only.”
For those who find Tinder too tame or too “ambiguous,” and are looking for one thing and one thing only, Manes made an app for you: the adult-oriented hookup app Mixxxer. Officially launched last week, Mixxxer is being touted as the X-rated version of Tinder, or more formally, “the world’s first adults-only GPS based locator.”
Will the people looking for “something different” than Tinder necessarily gravitate to the adult market to find it?
Although like Tinder, Mixxxer provides matches based on your location, it differs from Tinder in two chief regards: 1) It doesn’t connect through Facebook, allowing you to post a new profile out of scratch, and 2) It doesn’t impose any limitations on the content you can put on your profile, so you can post as many X-rated selfies as your heart desires. If you’re a natural exhibitionist but are thinking about someday pursuing a career in public office, you also have the option of hiding your face and body with the “shower door” feature, an overlay that provides a (slightly, sorta-kinda) blurred view of your naughty bits.
Arguable ineffectiveness of the “shower door” feature aside, the goal, says Manes, is to combined the gamification aspects and clear, streamlined interface of a mobile app like Tinder with the seamy, backpage-ad nature of an XXX dating website like Adult FriendFinder (more info here), with extra user privacy and discretion thrown in for good measure. (For instance, unlike Tinder, Mixxxer limits your location-based matches to within a mile.)
Manes formulated the idea for Mixxxer last year, at a bachelor party in Scottsdale, Arizona. He noticed that everyone at the table was using Tinder and Grindr, and “a lot of people voiced their frustrations” about the lack of mobile dating apps for hookups only.