Jesse Draper, host of The Valley Girl Show.
A few months ago, three entrepreneurs were hanging out and lamenting the inadequate sexiness of online dating and came up with a wild (okay, ridiculous) idea. Why not make finding partners for sex less shrouded in ambiguity? And why not call this service Bang With Friends? The name seemed only logical for an app that allows you to use your Facebook friend list to anonymously indicate whom you are interested in “banging.” If your Facebook friend also chooses you, you both receive a message alerting you of the match.
Not surprisingly, the app captured a lot of attention, and within the first four days of going live, the site reported 20,000 users. (It’s now up to 850,000 according to the founders.) Recently, Jesse Draper of The Valley Girl Show traded emails with the company’s still-anonymous CEO. We asked him to disclose his identity but, he, along with the other founders, still remain cloaked in mystery. He would only divulge that they came out of a new incubator located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Can you recount a successful Bang with Friends user experience?
We first knew Bang With Friends really worked when one of our friends walked in on the second day with the biggest smile on his face and high-fiving everyone. He thought he was friend-zoned by a girl he met a month before, but it turns out they were both just holding back. BWF let them break the ice and they met up for a rendezvous that weekend!
We know guys use your site, but how do women feel about it?
We have lots of women using BWF as well. Women are interested in friends-with-benefits and think sex is crucial to relationships, too! Some of our favorite feedback has been from women who see it as a way to finally find out if their cute friend also has a crush on them without damaging the friendship. Women tell us it takes the pain out of making the first move since it's a secret until both people click each other.
Do you use the site yourself? Have you been banging?
What about the older generations? Are they banging too?
Definitely, but we are focused the most on Generation Y (basically 18-35 year olds, who make up over 75% of our users).
Would you marry someone you'd met on Bang with Friends? Have there been any proposals related to Bang with Friends yet?
We haven't heard of any yet, but it could happen! BWF is a reflection of our culture for the younger generation and recognizes the importance of sex. So yes, I would consider marrying someone I connected with on BWF.
How is a user's "bangability" score calculated?
It's meant to be a fun score based on how many people view you, click "Down to Bang" on you, and analyzing your friend network.
What would you say is the success rate of the average 20-something male on the site?
In just over two months since we launched, around 40% of our users have already found a successful match. On average, users click on 17 friends.
Has the service been used in a way that you hadn't initially imagined? How?
One of the unexpected stories was similar to the one in Jimmy Buffett's "Pina Coladas" song...these two people in a relationship were curious, but ended up clicking each other and re-sparking the sexy side of their relationship.
Last question: Why are the Bang With Friends founders so insistent on staying anonymous? What are you trying to hide?
We started anonymously since this was a fun side project and we didn't want to compromise our other startups. Also, once we saw the huge response, we wanted to make sure we were prepared for everything that comes with going public. We're not trying to hide anything: we’re very proud of Bang With Friends!