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Posted by / 15-Nov-2017 18:34

I shrugged and told The Artist that I just prefer Tinder—I’m a populist, not an elitist, ya know? (Hence why Raya is often called “Illuminati Tinder.”) The app has been growing in popularity, mostly due to press about its celebrity accounts—Joe Jonas, Kelly Osbourne, Skrillex, the hot one from But do we really believe that exclusivity makes something better?

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries, that sort of thing. Sure, it’s sort of cool to swipe past lesser celebs while drunkenly prowling for sex on your phone, but you’re probably never going to sleep with those people. In reality, Raya is full of C-List models, social-media managers who for some reason have a ton of arty photos of themselves emerging from the ocean, people named Wolf, people whose bios say things like “racing driver living between Monaco and Tokyo,” and, like, a million dudes who claim to be successful fashion photographers, but in reality have less Instagram followers than some dogs I know.

Unfortunately, literally looks fuckable in a slideshow.

Especially when it’s a slideshow of like five shirtless pics (one with a BFA watermark on it) to the soundtrack of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” something I endured during the research process of this article.

“Tinder lets everyone in, so you have to swipe through an amazing amount of garbage to find someone in your bracket,” Alan said, applying sunscreen to his nose.

“It’s not that I'm anti-exclusivity or against narrowing things down, but Raya just seems to attract the wrong people.

Multiple times, snooty friends of mine have turned up their noses at the mention of Tinder, assuming I would use a “normal” dating app only if I’d never heard of Raya, or if—shock, horror—I’d applied and been rejected.

The problem, of course, is that whenever something is defined as being elite or exclusive, it tends to attract status-conscious douchebags.

I started telling The Artist about this sweet ER doctor I’d met on Tinder, when he choked on his mojito. ” He was referring to the “elite” dating app that accepts only people in creative industries, unless you’re superhot, in which case: Who cares what you do? To gain access to Raya, which launched in March of 2015, you have to apply, and then an anonymous committee assesses your creative influence—aka your Instagram—and decides whether you’re cool enough to be in the club.And while there’s a part of all of us that wants to be VIP or to get backstage or whatever, to participate in a system that prioritizes status in intimate interactions seems like a step too far.Essentially, Raya is the “you can’t sit with us” of dating apps.It’s the Soho House world of elitism: They want to draw young, cool artists, but they actually just attract rich people, and dudes in advertising who collect vintage cameras as decorations.” As for the girls on Raya? “It’s an endless stream of photos of girls doing splits on the beach, or a photo from the one time they modeled for, like, Rawanastan or something.”Alan’s main pet peeve about Raya is that, the few times he met girls through the app, what he’d thought was genuine flirtation turned out to be a networking ploy—they were just actresses who wanted work.“Raya’s not a dating app, it's a social-climbing app,” Alan told me.

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Rather than being restricted to dating within your neighborhood, like the commoners of Tinder, Raya’s users are global citizens—in a special bicoastal club.