by fwire Feb 2, 2013 00:00 IST
Washington, Feb 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A controversial new sex app called "Bang With Friends" claims to facilitate sexual encounters with users and their Facebook friends without the embarrassment of rejection.
"Anonymously find friends who are down for the night," the company website said.
"Your friends will never know you're interested unless they are too!"
The Bang With Friends app, aimed at 20-somethings, was created by three "college-aged" men from California, who are withholding their identities, according to US media reports.
The app only alerts users of a potential hookup if both parties express interest by selecting what is called the "Down to Bang" button.
The creators of the app said it has already gained more than 30,000 users, registering five new users every minute according to a report on the online tech site Mashable.
Critics of "Bang With Friends" told RIA Novosti, putting the physical first is the reason for the demise of the majority of marriages and relationships in the US.
"Back in the days people would court, they would go out with different people without exploring the sexual relationship because it allowed you to get to know what you may or may not have in common," said Kristen Crockett, a Washington-based relationship coach.
And while some who use the app may be more interested in sex than building a relationship, Crockett cautions users with the potential drawbacks of getting physical with a Facebook friend.
"Once you start sleeping with someone, your red flags, your fears, all of those things get pushed into the back of your mind," she said.
She added that often people ignore signals and signs because of how the person makes them feel physically.
One of the app's creators told The Daily Beast that the group came up with the idea as a way to improve traditional online dating sites like Match.com.
"It would be great, as guys, if you could find out which girls are actually into you and not dance around anything," he said.
Skip the dating and jump straight to the sex, one of the creators said.
Crockett, who has authored several book on creating lasting relationships, met her current boyfriend of three years on eHarmony.com.
She said the couple spent several weeks emailing and talking on the phone before they met in person.
Crockett said she is a firm believer in using technology to cultivate a relationship, but this app goes about it the wrong way.
"I think the app contributes to people going into a relationship and actually dating backwards," Crocket said.
"It's the exception more than the rule that a relationship will last if it has begun with a physical encounter rather than emotional spark," she added.
Currently the app only matches users of the opposite sex.
"Support for same-sex selections is already under development," the app's creators told Mashable.
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