There used to be a notion that women are generally passive about initiating sexual relationships, and that they view them mainly as avenues toward long-lasting romance. But one woman refused to believe it. Instead, Michelle Crash went with her instincts. She rolled up her sleeves and created a evolutionary new dating site, Swurve.com, tailored for the woman who wants casual sex and wants it now.
“A big part of Swurve isn’t just that we’re putting product out there to meet the needs of women, because we’re also trying to make it more socially acceptable. If you look at the media, I think you’ll see that trends are starting to go that way in films like ‘No Strings Attached.’ I think that it’s realistic. It’s plausible that women want a ‘No Strings Attached’ relationship just as much as men do. We’re trying to break down the wall of women who are open about that.”
We’ve also tried to make the site more sexually empowering for women and less sexually exploitive.
And so Michelle created Swurve last spring with a game plan that would appeal to women while being marketable in both the mainstream and the adult arenas.
‘It’s a little bit softer than most of the adult dating sites that are out there,” she reveals. “The goal was to create a dating site that would be as friendly to women as it is to men. We feel that the more active the female community is, the more men are going to come to the site.
“The interface isn’t too drastically different from what’s currently out there in the dating community. What we do differently is tailor it more to the female sensibility. We don’t allow any full nude shots. We also have an introduction system called ‘Flirts,’ where guys can send an opening email that pulls some information they have in their profile. Instead of getting the usual response, they get an informative welcome email that eases them into the relationship where they can start talking about sexual themes.”
Michelle has designed her site to market itself specifically to women. Many of the banners and part of the affiliate program on the Swurve dating site are targeted to sites that would refer female traffic. Swurve even offers a payout, similar to a bonus or a bounty, to any webmasters who send that valuable female traffic her way.
“We’ve also tried to make the site more sexually empowering for women and less sexually exploitive,” Michelle says. “We have all the tools allowing women to meet and connect with men, which can be used at their discretion.
“The site includes a lot of sexpositive articles for example, featuring women who have taken on sexually empowered roles in society, such as filmmaker Anna Biller [who won a Rotterdam Film Festival award for her feature, “Viva”]. Her film was a good example of sex-positive feminism in action.”
Clearly Michelle was on to something when she began to see the early results of her site’s launch less than a year ago.
“We’re converting a lot better out of the box than I ever imagined,” she says. “It’s definitely a different product than any that I’ve worked with in the past, and taking the softer edge has proven to be successful. The site is converting just as strong, if not stronger, than some of the more adult harder edged products that I’ve worked with in the past.”
So impressive has been the Swurve affiliate program debut that it received an XBIZ Awards nomination as Dating Program of the Year. Michelle believes part of the reason for the site’s early success involves its free membership offer, allowing curious customers to view the profiles of other users at no charge. Included in this is free viewing of non-nude photos of site members and the ability to send introductory messages, or “Flirts,” to members.
“That is probably part of what’s helped us convert so well,” Michelle says. “Our members are more invested in their free accounts. They’re actually sending Flirts, which is not only an expression of interest, but also contains information from their profile. It’s an expression of themselves, and when they get positive feedback from other members of the community they’re much more likely to upgrade and become a paid member.”
Swurve offers Silver, Gold and Platinum membership levels that are bracketed according to the amount of activity a user wants per day. A Silver member gets 25 emails per day, Gold receives 50 and Platinum has 150 emails per day. Also, the higher level memberships feature the user’s profile more prominently, offer priority email deliverability and highlighted profile listings. But these features aren’t the main reason why Swurve stands apart from the competition.
“Because we have such an active female community,” says Michelle, “we’re able to add features like live member-to-member instant messaging and live user-to-user video chat. This creates a sense of intimacy that other sites don’t have. We also feature video chat messenger which affiliates can add to their website.
“Additionally, these things give us a lot of authenticity and credibility. Members know that they’re talking to the user in the profile pics when they connect via cam. There’s always speculation about these sites: are the women real? Our site allows them to answer that question right away.
“It’s as close as you can get to instant gratification in adult dating.”