While technology in many ways holds the promise of leveling the sexual market playground, it seems that there is one fundamental economic law that is still holding true, at least on Tinder. And that is that older men have to pay more for sex. An investigation by an Australian consumer rights group has discovered that older men are being charged more to use Tinder’s premium service – Tinder Plus. After analyzing the pricing model of Tinder Plus, it was found that straight men over fifty paid on average $34 a month, while ‘queer’ young females under 30 paid less than $7 a month.
Dating apps like Tinder are the sex equivalent of Uber, cutting out the middle-man and widening the supply to feed demand at a cheaper price. But it looks like there is still a massive disparity between that price for young women at the top of the sexual market, and older men at the bottom.
Some dating sites are explicit about the fact that men have to pay to get sex, and the more they pay, the better the sexual rewards will be. Sites such as ‘What’s Your Price‘, for example. But nowhere on Tinder’s terms and conditions does it specify that men will have to pay more, and in fact, it markets itself as a bonafide dating site, rather than a hook-up-site for men. However, by charging older men more to go premium, it seems that at the very least, older men are subsidizing the premium membership of younger women on the site.
The consumer group – called ‘Choice’ – claims that Tinder may be falling foul of Australia’s consumer protection laws by not being transparent about the fact that certain groups (namely straight older men) are charged more than others.
In fact only last year, Tinder settled a $23 million class action lawsuit in California, brought for age discrimination after it was found that members over 30 had to pay on average twice as much as those under 30.
The road to a truly sexual abundance economy will be difficult, but perhaps these kind of investigations and legal challenges to Tinder, and hopefully consequent changes to the site and its pricing model, are a small step in the right direction.