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The problem, of course, is that whenever something is defined as being elite or exclusive, it tends to attract status-conscious douchebags.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.
In fact, Lee hopes that everything good about the app stems from her artistic training and sensibility.
(When the app started, the questions were penned by Seattle artists.) Artists often deal with visibility and lack thereof, and one of Siren’s main selling points is that it aims to discourage the creepy, harassing guys who plague other dating sites and apps by allowing women to remain invisible until they decide they like a guy. It allows you to indicate whether you are male or female or if you don’t classify yourself in that binary way.
It also lets you indicate whether you’re open to dating transgender people.
There’s even a Grindr-esque app that pairs performance artists with audiences.
Before getting an MFA from the University of Washington, Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale and a master’s in science education from Columbia.
Another fun feature is that it allows women to sign up invisibly so that they can check out men’s profiles and point them out to their friends—a function called “wing woman.” And, back to those mythical women, the “siren call” feature lets women send out a signal to people nearby that they’re ready to meet up right away, be it for coffee or something racier.