Ever since there was an internet, there was a dark web that indulged secret fantasies and obsessions. And when the age of dating sites and apps become less taboo and more mainstream, suddenly the world — or rather, the world wide web — was an open playing ground of anonymity. Or in other words: you can send a suggestive picture of yourself, without repercussion. The only drawback, of course, is that not all people want to receive an unsolicited ‘dick pick’. Or shot of your boobs. Or whatever body part you’re showing off, sans-clothing.
Now — you guessed it — there’s an app trying to make this inappropriate gesture appropriate. Introduce BARE Dating, an app that’s said to be the ‘answer’ to the problem of unsolicited nude photos. When you send an image of yourself, you choose how much you want to show off — your stomach, your knees, etc. you can also choose how much you want to see when another person sends you a photo, too.
Created by a former journalist, Alex Sergent and two other business folks, Gillian Myhill and Phil Beesley, the hope of BARE is to create a secure and press-free place to flirt. The key isn’t to stop the exchange of nudes but to ensure consent is part of the equation.
Perhaps Beesley said it best in an interview with Forbes: “The issue of unsolicited [penis] pics is that they are ‘unsolicited.’ There are many who would like to receive these if they are given a choice. To be in a flirtatious conversation with someone — and slowly revealing yourself to that person little by little is a very sexy thing.”
To ensure BARE is a protected part of the digital age, the founders have instituted a no-games authentication process. To become part of the community, you must upload a government ID, and if you break any of their rules of engagement, you’ll be investigated and if needed, removed from the platform.
In theory, the ability to quite literally reveal little pieces of yourself — figuratively and physically — is nice, the proof will be in attracting users to the concept. After all, so many singles report feeling burnout from the plethora of options — hello, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, Bumble, Match… — so a dating site dedicated to nude photos may be too tall of an order.
Even though the only have 250 users and 1,000 more who have expressed interest via email sign up, Beesley is optimistic: “The endless swiping culture is not only tedious but also extremely superficial, especially if you have a certain set of needs when dating. People want options… We want BARE to become a place for people to be comfortable with talking about and showing off their body under their terms.”
And apparently, other people agree with him. So far, they’ve managed to wrangle an investment in the six-figure range from an angel investor. Their hope is to expands to every city in the United Kingdom, and be global by the end of 2020.
What do you think? Do you need a dating app for your nudes?