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.)
“The women we talked to said they’re not going on Tinder to hook up, they’re doing it for different reasons,” he says. “They said if they wanted to use an app to hook up, they wanted to have a different app with a clear message: ‘I’m on here for that reason.’”
Part of the frustration people had with Tinder, Manes says, stemmed from its lack of stringent privacy controls; the other half, from the ambiguity of whether Tinder was a hookup or dating app, a gripe that both male and female users shared
Currently, there are a handful of adult-oriented dating websites on the market: Adult FriendFinder, which filed for bankruptcy last year, is one of the biggest, claiming to have more than 40 million members. But Manes says Adult FriendFinder’s mobile experience is clunky and filled with spam, and he wanted to create a “simpler, cleaner, more streamlined” experience for mobile that also integrated Tinder’s location-based matching feature.
Manes also wanted to attract more women to Mixxxer-a feat for most dating apps and websites, but especially for one with an XXX-rated premise. Contrary to the widespread assumption that women simply aren’t interested in meeting people to have sex with online, he says ladies are interested in hooking up: “It’s just a matter of finding them, and bringing them [to Mixxxer].” Currently, he says, the site’s ratio is about 65 percent men, 35 percent “women and couples”-a ratio that, while more skewed toward men, is fairly consistent with that of most SFW dating apps. (For the sake of comparison, as of 2013 Tinder was estimated to have 45 percent female users and 55 percent male users.)
Another area where Mixxxer is lacking in diversity is the intention of its users. While on Tinder and OkCupid, people specify whether they’re looking for friendship, a casual fling, or a longer-term relationship, everyone on Mixxxer is ostensibly is looking for the same thing: A one-way ticket to the bone zone. That’s made all the more obvious by the fact that nudity and explicit sexual content are allowed on the app, which is not permitted on Tinder or other mainstream dating apps.
Although people are allowed to post pornographic selfies on Mixxxer, Manes is careful to note that he does not consider his app pornographic: “We’re trying not to be labeled as a porn app,” he says. While they’d like to offer their users the opportunity to express themselves in a way they wouldn’t be able to on a platform like Tinder, “we want to straddle the line between mainstream and adult.”
He noticed that everyone at the table was using Tinder and Grindr, and “a lot of people voiced bbwdesire their frustrations” about the lack of mobile dating apps for hookups only
But Google and Apple, which both have notoriously stringent restrictions on adult-themed mobile content, don’t quite see Mixxxer the same way. They both banned Mixxxer from their app stores, which is why Mixxxer is a mobile Web app and not downloadable.
Manes says he sees Mixxxer’s exclusion from the app stores as a positive, rather than a negative: “It gives us and our members more freedom,” he says. “We can operate on our own set of rules.” But Mixxxer is far from the first adult-oriented social network or app to encounter such resistance in the mainstream tech world: The adult hookup app Down, previously known as Bang With Friends, was also banned from the App Store.