Why Women Should Get Excited for This New Dating App

A new dating app puts women in the driver’s seat
Brangien Davis  |   May 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
siren app new dating app in seattle magazine
Susie Lee (left), CEO and founder of Siren with design director Katrina Hess

Women who’ve tried online dating know the drill: spend hours crafting a profile that precisely reflects the individual you are (and the individual you’d like to meet), set it live and get instantly bombarded with requests from men using a scattershot approach (send enough emails and something’s bound to hit!), men who clearly haven’t read your profile at all. It can be a bit demoralizing. That’s why Seattle digital artist Susie Lee enlisted graphic designer Katrina Hess to help her develop SIREN (siren.mobi; due to launch mid-May), a mobile-only dating app that puts women in control of the interaction. “For women, a common experience is one of harassment, reduction to sexual objects and lack of control,” Lee says of existing dating sites. “For decent men, trolling is just as uncomfortable and disheartening.” Consequently, Siren is a platform in which women manage their visibility—a man can’t even see a woman’s profile unless she makes it visible to him. In addition, Lee says, Siren “gives people the chance to discover the individual beyond the profile,” by way of open-ended daily questions and phone-video challenges (such as, find something chartreuse and tell us about it)—the quick, genuine responses to which create a real-time portrait, rather than a static archive of traits. Socially oriented, the app also welcomes “matchmakers,” who can recommend good men to women and give advice to men. Though Siren is a game-changer in the online dating world, some tactics remain tried and true. As Lee says, “We encourage charming the pants off someone.” (Photo: Siren prototypes in progress)