For those of you that are not in the know, or male, Lulu is a website that leverages Facebook to verify that its users are female, then allows those users to rate and append hashtags to dudes whose profiles they also pull from Facebook. Women are invited to peruse a guy before going out on a date, or update the site when they interact with a dude, positively or negatively. It’s essentially Yelp, but the restaurants are dudes.
I find this horrifying. All the same, reputation is irrefutably part of dating, and this is just the expanded version of the information machine that’s always whirring in the background. I got some willing female friends to screencap some of the girls-only clubhouse so I could check it out (thank you, double agents). My source material here is about a dozen profiles of dudes that I know, dudes that I kinda know, and, um, myself.
A guy’s Lulu has his Facebook profile picture and some hashtags indicating things that are good and bad about him. There’s an opportunity for the dude in question log in and contribute their own, but they’re color coded and sectioned off. I didn’t see anything by way of classic real-text reviews, but I know they can exist.
Ladies choose from the predetermined list of hashtags or you can make your own, and they fall into either the “best things” or “worst things” column. Most of these hashtags make immediate sense to me: #SweetToMom, #NoStyle, #SleepsInTheWetSpot. Some hashtags, though, have me scratching my head. What’s so bad about #NothingBadAboutHim? Am I reading too much into #PleaseF**kMeILoveYou? What does the ellipsis at the end of #Adventurous… mean? Embarrassingly, I stare at the #Big.Feet. for a few beats before I get it. The idiom-centric construction of this website has me convinced that it’s specifically designed to confuse me, but, as I will soon learn, I am #SelfAbsorbed.
My immediate social groups are huge users of the app, but there is a ton of variance in the activity of certain profiles. Some profiles have just a couple hashtags in each section. I imagine that it’s a heavy user of the site telling the sad story of a mediocre online date (“He brought #FlowersJustBecause but ultimately he was #Boring and plus he #ForgotHisWallet…”). Some profiles are heavily weighted to one side, which to me implies an ex (#JekyllAndHyde) or a good friend (#OneOfTheGoodOnes). And then there are the super-active profiles, with many tags on both sides. One guy has pretty much only sexual tags on his profile, another profile seems to have been entirely filled out by the guy himself.
Mercifully, the ratings are generally high: I don’t see anything less than a 7.1 out of 10. I guess the biggest insult you will get on Lulu is if people aren’t talking about you at all.
Of course, I have to take a look at my own profile. My current profile picture is me as a second grader, which is jarring juxtaposed with the #SexMoves hashtag. I’m rated at an 8.6–not bad, not great. I anticipate righteous anger at seeing unfair tags, imagine disputing a poorly-placed #Can’tTakeAHint (I take great hints!), but, honestly? I can’t really argue with anything that’s there. Yes, I am a #VideoGamer, and the #BurnsCornflakes tag makes more sense when I realize that it means I can’t cook. I have more good tags than bad (apparently I “#SmellAmazeballs”) and I can’t really be dissatisfied. Except… #SelfAbsorbed? Really? I wrack my brain for who could have possibly put this on my page, realize it could have been any of a large number of people, then consider that it might just be true.
I back away from Lulu feeling better than I did before looking at it, and shuddering at the thought of what a gender-reversed version would look like. Thank god ladies got here first.
Aaron and Josh are two guy friends who have a podcast in which they try to answer questions about dating, romance, relationships, sex, and the vagueries of human interaction. (“If you’re not a straight cismale, then we (may) have the answers you’re searching for.”) They’ll be writing a weekly post on The Date Report expanding on some of the topics covered in their weekly podcast.