“I think it's good for surfer bros and models, but I don't think many people are actually dating or hooking up on Raya.
To me, it felt like more people were trying to connect professionally, but in a way that felt really gross and not transparent.
I shrugged and told The Artist that I just prefer Tinder—I’m a populist, not an elitist, ya know? (Hence why Raya is often called “Illuminati Tinder.”) The app has been growing in popularity, mostly due to press about its celebrity accounts—Joe Jonas, Kelly Osbourne, Skrillex, the hot one from But do we really believe that exclusivity makes something better?
“Raya’s not a dating app, it's a social-climbing app,” Alan told me.
So the other night I was at a party, talking to a friend of a friend—one of those special types of New York artists who never actually make any art. The consensus seems to be: Why go to a party that lets everyone in, when you could go to the party that accepts only a select few?
I started telling The Artist about this sweet ER doctor I’d met on Tinder, when he choked on his mojito. ” He was referring to the “elite” dating app that accepts only people in creative industries, unless you’re superhot, in which case: Who cares what you do? To gain access to Raya, which launched in March of 2015, you have to apply, and then an anonymous committee assesses your creative influence—aka your Instagram—and decides whether you’re cool enough to be in the club.
Multiple times, snooty friends of mine have turned up their noses at the mention of Tinder, assuming I would use a “normal” dating app only if I’d never heard of Raya, or if—shock, horror—I’d applied and been rejected.
The problem, of course, is that whenever something is defined as being elite or exclusive, it tends to attract status-conscious douchebags.