When a friend recently introduced me to the new smartphone “app for girls,” Lulu, it was probably the exact kind of setting its founder, Alexandra Chong, had imagined: a group of y-chromosomed 20-somethings, some cheap wine and no men around to hear us laughing.
“Have you heard of Lulu?” my roommate asked. We hadn’t. The app, which a fellow lady friend had showed her, lets women rate and review their male Facebook friends anonymously—without the men signing up for the public scrutiny.
We quickly downloaded the shiny pink app and in one click were scrolling through photos of men we knew—friends, old crushes, people we’d dated—with scores attached to their names. One friend’s score was 8.8 (with hashtag #SmellsAmazeballs), another rated 7.5 (#NerdyButILikeIt).
Chong says on her website that she “created Lulu because my girlfriends and I needed it.” The website also calls the app a “dating compass” that “points girls in the right direction,” omitting the part about how it encourages you to be a terrible person by hashtagging your ex with pre-programmed phrases like #DeathBreath, #ManChild and #OneTrackMind—or that it might fuel creepy-not-cute stalker tendencies. But, as offensive or stupid as Lulu seems to those who don’t eeny-meeny-miny-moe their way into relationships, it does have at least one redeeming feature: “Dear Dude,” a solid advice column where women can ask sex-related questions anonymously. The answers are surprisingly smart, funny and sex-positive—like DD’s response to a girl who asked if it was “okay” to masturbate even though she had a boyfriend. “What is this, the Nazi Germany of masturbation? Of course it’s okay,” DD replied.
And if you’re a guy and you don’t want exes harshing your vibe, you can always remove your profile from Lulu’s website. Just remember, if you do, no one will ever know that you #InventedSex.