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When I tell people that I work as an online-dating assistant, their initial reaction is of morbid curiosity. But the intake interviewer seemed just as interested in my ethical flexibility as he was in the journalistic details of my résumé. ” Would I be comfortable ranking clients’ photographs? I learned that there are two main types of writers at the company: “Profile Writers,” who create seductive and click-worthy profiles based on facts our clients have supplied about themselves, and “Closers,” who log in to clients’ dating accounts at least twice a day to respond to messages from matches.
Despite hiring writers to do this work, virtually none of what the company does requires creativity of any kind.
The matches I speak to on behalf of the Texan man and other clients have no idea they’re chatting with a professional.
But where does the digital social assistant end and the con artist begin? In November 2017, I ran across an ad seeking “people with good Tinder skills” for a job as a “Virtual Dating Assistant.” At first I thought it was a joke, but I completed their online form out of pure fascination. Apparently, professional writers make for good online-dating assistants; knowing how to seduce strangers with the written word is the company’s mandate, after all.
Before Tinder normalized “DTF” (“Down To Fuck”) as an opening salute, Valdez would send copy-and-pasted pick-up lines to dozens of women a day and track their effectiveness on spreadsheets.
“Online dating is a numbers game,” he would write in the Vi DA training manual years later.
”If there’s a message that the client doesn’t like, we take it out of rotation.” After the Matchmakers have made contact, the Closers then step in to keep up the flirty banter and, hopefully, get their client a date.
Clients are sent weekly emails to alert them of numbers we’ve scored or, for Platinum clients, when and where to go for a date we’ve arranged.