Getting exactly what you want as quickly as possible is the general goal of countless other startups.But because the "what" in this situation isn’t cars or bánh mì but human companions, Ohlala, and other apps that facilitate paid dating, are most easily understood in terms of sex work.The presence of escorts at the evening events have long been a wink-wink assumption.By symbolically associating themselves with these women, Ohlala’s party crashers made the company a scapegoat for these rumors. Poppenreiter had already released a statement earlier in the day in response to the outcry, apologizing for letting things "get out of hand." But part of me can’t help but wonder if this was exactly what she had planned.This isn’t a huge roadblock in Germany, where the app first launched, and where sex work is legal.But in February of this year, Ohlala crossed the Atlantic and launched in New York City, where not only are the laws different, but social interface is as well.
While the request is up, women can decide whether or not they’d like that person to be able to contact them.
According to Poppenreiter, Ohlala seeks to improve upon two perceived flaws that Tinder and other dating apps often fall into.
First, the in-app chats that go nowhere — or worse, promising matches who ghost on you.
Pia Poppenreiter, the company’s CEO, stands and greets me with a rushed hug.
"You picked a great day to visit," she says, in a voice that suggests more cigarettes than hours of sleep.
Crucially, women are not visible to men before they initiate conversation — it’s the inverse of the backpage listings to which it’s often compared. From there, the couple can chat and discuss the whens and wheres of their impending dates, as well as a payment method and their boundaries, if they so please.