Ethics? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Ethics!

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After some very intense and lengthy discussions on this blog about overweight women, the definition of patriarchy, and the value of hooking up, I wanted to take things down a notch.

Witness this site, which is a sign that the apocalypse is upon us. I kid, but not really.

Essentially, the folks at Virtual Dating Assistants profess to do everything that I do as a dating coach – except instead of teaching you how to do it yourself – as I do, they do it for you!

Yes, for only $480.00 a month, you can have an unskilled laborer put in 40 hours a month (at $12/hr with no overhead, apparently) into your online dating love life. For this, you are guaranteed at least two dates per month, and years and years of bad karma. I only have two words for you: Awe. Some.

Finally, the rich and busy lazy can just sit back and just marvel as their calendars magically fill up. All your Virtual Dating Assistant has to do is talk to you for a half-hour on the phone, and he will then know enough about you to write your profile, your headline, a few “initial contact templates”, and all of the future emails that you’ll want to send to attract your future life partner.

Says the website, “Once an interesting candidate is qualified, your 007 Dating Assistant works to stimulate interest, build comfort, and flip her attraction switches.” These guys must really know what they’re doing! I dated for 15 years and I have NO IDEA where these switches are located.

And lest you think you have to DO anything except give your credit card, your VDA will actually set up the date for you. No joke. The email correspondence, the dinner reservations, everything.

You just read your “pre-date executive brief”, charm her pants off, and rest easy, knowing that you may be going to hell, but at least you’ve saved time by subcontracting the most personal of interactions.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Steve

    @starthrower68 post #17

    I think it is really “soylent green”. In the book that the movie was based on the food was a mix of soy beans and lentils — hence “soylent”.

    Kind of redundant from a nutritional standpoint, but most sci-fi authors lack rudimentary knowledge of nutrition.

  2. 22
    Ruby

    From the FAQ section of the site:

    What if I am not satisfied with your services? Do you have any guarantees?

    “”For users of our Online Dating Management service, we guarantee that we will arrange a minimum of 2 dates per month that meet your criteria (or we will refund all $480). If a date cancels at the last minute or does not show up it will not be counted towards this minimum. However, dissatisfactions with a date that were not caused by a controllable mistake on our part (i.e. she chews with her mouth full), will still count towards the fulfillment of our minimum performance guarantee.””

    The typo is as written on the site.

    And “chews with her mouth full”. Don’t we all do that? Or did he mean TALK with her mouth full? I think this dude need a VA to copy-edit and proofread for him, stat!

    I won’t even go into the page about the company owner. Suffice to say, it contains even more poorly-written crap.

    EMK, your job is safe!

  3. 23
    Marc

    Gotta love the irony. A poorly written site offering to dazzle members of the opposite sex by writing to them for you. Although, given that most profiles I’ve read seem to be written by illiterate 3rd graders, maybe a poorly written email WILL get their attention.

    Marc´s last blog post…Polish Girls Really Do Love Sausage

  4. 24
    Ruby

    Here’s the owner describing how he told his wife about how his emails to her were generated:

    “”Although my lovely wife Tricia opted out of helping build this business in order to focus all of her time on our children and home, I will never forget what she said when I told her on the third date that my all pre-first date email correspondences were sent by my favorite virtual assistant in India “If that wasn’t the most outrageous way a guy has ever gotten me on a date, I think I might be right now!”

    Did ya get that? Me neither! But I understand why they married!

  5. 25
    Steve

    I can easily imagine a super busy professional taking advantage of this program.

    If s/he is too busy to write emails for online dating where is s/he going to get time to date and build a relationship?

  6. 26
    Ann

    I have never seen so much agreement on this board!

  7. 27
    Joe

    What happens when your VA in India arranges a date with someone, assuming it’s a real person, but in actual fact is another VA in India? 😀

  8. 28
    Jonsi

    Yes, Tim Ferris did do this successfully. Of course, he was already used to using virtual assistants so he knew what to demand from them, and it doesn’t hurt to have cash flow.

    I am not opposed to this idea AT ALL. Assuming I had the time and money to go on that many dates, and I wanted to find a girlfriend, it would be a far better use of time to have a VA examine initial profiles and generate initial interest. All the time you spend looking through profiles and then struggling to come up with emails when the woman doesn’t say enough to stimulate conversation makes me want to shut off my computer, not write replies to those who I did hook.

    The biggest turn off is the cost, but again, that depends on your time and cash flow. If you add up the time spent browsing profiles and writing emails and securing dates, it might be 10-20 hours a month. Sure, some of that time is spent watching TV and browsing other websites, etc — so it’s more like 5 hours month — but you are not paying $240/date. You are paying for what you would rather be doing with the time it takes to acquire those dates. If what you would otherwise do with your time has a $12/hr value, then it is worth it.

  9. 29
    Steve

    @Joe, post #27

    I think you the germ of a great Bollywood romantic comedy

    1. Boy VA meets Girl VA

    2. The VAs fall for each other writing

    3. Worthless, soulless American virtual daters do/do not hook up as well

    4. Everybody dances at the end of the film

  10. 30
    Donna

    I think it’s unethical to trash another website. To talk about the existence of another site in generalities is one thing, but to actually talk about a specific site and take the reader to that website is something else altogether. I thought you had higher standards than that.

  11. 31
    Rodrigo

    People this is clearly a play on the fact that online dating is just a means to meet people and that is what Virtual Assistants is doing. I read complaints about people not being like they advertised online before. This won’t make it worst it will just make people actually get up and meet more people. If your going to draw your own conclusion when you meet them in person anyways. Regardless of what might have been said online, then what is everyone complaining about? OMG people lie… what a revelation… at least they are getting of their ass and meeting more and more people. It comes down to a numbers game. The more people you actually meet in person, the more probable it is that you are going to meet someone that really moves you. Now if you are picky online and never actually give the real person a chance the only thing you are doing is judging without really knowing. So if they get people to meet it is a great things under my standards. I can see why dating coaches would be threatened by this type of service.. because it eats into their profits… thats the bottom line here. But some competition will make them re think their strategy and pricing. The company virtualdatingassitents combined coaching with profile creation. They do both and if coaches find themselves without a job they can always ask them for one. With a VA excuses are out… its dating time and socialization is the name of the game. For some people online is just not the way they do things.. not only that but they just don’t get it. So are they supposed to not get dates just cause they don’t know how to use technology? hmmm
    I find it pitiful that coaches have to come down to slander tactics to try to keep their clients and make them feel bad of what they are doing?? that is crap.. who do you think you are? the church? Get real people… this is exactly what was said about online dating 5 years ago.. Oh no its going to crumble society as we know it..Come ON… ” Maybe going to hell??” I haven’t laughed so hard in a while. half a brain will tell you that its a service and like any other service it is based on a necessity. So people should not blame the service but human beings if it comes to that.

    1. 31.1
      starthrower68

      Rodrigo,

      Not that Evan needs me to stick up for him, but I will anyway.

      Here’s where VA can’t touch what Evan does: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach him HOW to fish, he eats for a lifetime. You are merely handing him a fish; Evan teaches him how to fish.

      And why not just hire a bunch of women and men for VA clientele to date? Or is that already going on?

      1. 31.1.1
        Joe

        I’m sure the business model of the Virtual Dating Assistant is counting on the fact that they are not teaching the client to fish on his or her own…

  12. 32
    Steve

    Donna Jun 10th 2009 at 11:21 am 29
    I think it’s unethical to trash another website.

    Why?

    Professors criticize other professor’s professional writing. Journalists criticize other journalists opinions. People talk about books, etc…

  13. 33
    Steve

    @Rodrigo post #31

    Hey Rodrigo, are you affiliated with the site in question or a similar site?

    FWIW, Evan’s is only one opinion in this thread. The people commenting on his post don’t seem to think much of the VA system and they aren’t dating coaches whose jobs are threatened either, they are just regular people.

  14. 34
    Curly Girl

    Do you get the feeling that people from the VA site are posting on here?

  15. 35
    Jennifer

    I always like to speak on the phone with someone *at least* once before going on a date with them- I wonder how the VA gets around that?

  16. 36
    Evan Marc Katz

    3 Things:

    1) I highly encourage anyone who thinks that it’s a good idea to have a man from India do your online dating for you to sign up for this service. Seriously. Enjoy.

    2) My clientele and readers are unique in their intelligence and integrity. You won’t find many takers here, Rodrigo.

    3) Logically, if I felt like my job was threatened, do you think I would actually link to the site?

    Ciao for now.

  17. 37
    Rodrigo

    Ok first of all what now everyone that express a different opinion works for VA?? second of all Steve one thing is criticism another is slander… when you put ethics and karma and all that crap in a buisiness review.. that goes more into the slander column.
    Three that company has nothing to do with India… they are outsourcing nowhere near there, so I don’t know where you are drawing your conclusions from.

  18. 38
    Zann

    Hey, I don’t want to sound like Evan’s personal cheerleading squad, but this Virtual Dating service sounds very different from one that provides date coaching. With coaching, you may learn dating skills, improved communication, but you also learn about yourself and what barriers are keeping you from finding successful intimate relationships. But Virtual Dating almost sounds like the opposite. It says: Don’t change a thing, Pal. You can keep all those annoying, obnoxious, lazy and offensive habits you have, and we’ll STILL find some poor sucker to go out with you. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll find you another, and another! As long as you keep those checks rolling in.

    This service is offering simple time & task management. But if I don’t have enough time or smarts to do my own looking, choosing, and setting up my own dates, then I have no business dating. I mean, what’s next? Sending in a sub to handle the foreplay? I’m not convinced this is so much an “ethics” issue as it is a testament to just how busy and important some people think they have to be. If I want to date badly enough and am intrigued enough, I will make the time to meet a guy, and I don’t want to meet someone who considers himself too busy to spend the time to get me to that point. And if he’s too awkward or indifferent to do the necessary background work, the pursuing, the intriguing, how is that going to work once we meet? Someone is trying to make a buck by providing a service that they believe has a market. Nothing wrong with that — it’s the American way. We’re a capitalist society. If this provider turns out to be shabby, unprofessional, or a rip off, they won’t last.

  19. 39
    Evan Marc Katz

    From their website: “Although my lovely wife Tricia opted out of helping build this business in order to focus all of her time on our children and home, I will never forget what she said when I told her on the third date that my all pre-first date email correspondences were sent by my favorite virtual assistant in India “If that wasn’t the most outrageous way a guy has ever gotten me on a date, I think I might be right now!”

  20. 40
    Jennifer

    @Rodrigo #37- It’s actually not slander. Evan isn’t knowingly making any false statements about the site/company. The fact that he actually links to it and invites his readers to have a look and draw theri own conclusions is another point for him in the non-slander column.

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