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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bang With Friends Has a New Name, and It's Still Ridiculous

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 7:00 AM


The "Bang With Friends" Facebook app -- which supposedly facilitates casual sex among the morons who use it -- has cleaned up its act and changed its name. Oh, it's still a skeevy app that was created and is used by skeevy people, but now it's called "The Next Bang."


The name change comes as a result of a legal settlement between the app's makers and Zynga, the company that owns the Scrabble-like game Words With Friends, which had filed a trademark claim. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, but clearly the bangers decided it wasn't in their best interest to continue fighting. After all, they have important work to do, fooling gullible men (yeah, pretty much all men) into believing that they can get some action from their Facebook friends.

The Next Bang (I must say, I feel like a bit of an idiot just typing out the name of this thing) allows Facebook friends to anonymously signal to each other that they would like to have sexual relations. When both parties have indicated their desires, they are uncloaked and can then hook up. It's hard to know how often this actually works, but we must presume it's exceedingly rare. The company claims hundreds of thousands of couplings, but I don't believe it. Just for starters, how many women or well-adjusted men do you know who ever say that want to "bang?" And of them, how many could you imagine ever signing up for this app?

The Next Bang, then, is aimed at two constituencies: men (yeah, pretty much all men) who can't bring themselves to actually talk to the people they're interested in having sex with unless they first know for sure that the feeling is mutual (in other words, social maladapts) and men (yeah, pretty much all men) who need to be "discreet" (in other words, stalkers who want to cheat on their current sexual partners). There is zero qualitative difference between this app and those slimy ads you see on low-rent websites promising that there are women "in your area" who want to have sex with you tonight, and you need only to "click here."

By the way, in case you're not convinced that the users are nearly all men, take a look at this Facebook search of people who have "liked" the app. My favorites: the shirtless selfies and the guys who are posing with their wives or girlfriends in their profile pictures. It's also striking how many of these sad cases are middle-aged and above.

One of the people responsible for this thing, and the most public-facing one, is Colin Hodge. By all appearances and not at all surprisingly, he seems to be an insufferable dudebro of the most brohammish variety. In this interview, he basically apes his company's boilerplate, saying the app is "the most honest way to create or strengthen relationships." He apparently actually means this. Furthermore, he says, the app is "a more honest, simple, and safe way to meet other people with mutual interest." Because what's more honest than cowering behind a cloak of anonymity until you're sure the person you want to fuck also wants to fuck you? And, he adds, sex "shouldn't be so taboo," and this app helps break that taboo.

It's hard to believe he really believes that last one, given that he's presumably able to tie his own shoes and operate eating utensils. Of course, the app does nothing but strengthen that taboo: the aforementioned cowering and stalking is evidence enough of that. And anyway, sex isn't taboo, except among the Catholic ministry and certain members of the Republican Party, though bad sexual behavior is, as it should be. And this app is meant to facilitate some of the worst -- or at least most emotionally stunted -- kinds of sexual behavior.

Hodge seems to believe that the objections to this app come from uptight moralists. But that's not it at all. There's nothing wrong with fucking. Fuck away. Fuck everyone you want to fuck and who wants to fuck you. Enjoy the fuck out of it. Just maybe try to go about it like an adult, and treat the people you want to fuck like fellow adults.

The fact that the "company" (I guess it's technically a company, since it has a revenue model and even C-suite titles, even though one of those is -- really -- "Chief Banging Officer") thought it could get away with its blatant trademark infringement against Zynga isn't any more surprising than the fact that anybody can, depending on privacy settings see which of their friends, or any number of others are using this supposedly anonymous app through a simple Facebook Graph search.

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Dan Mitchell


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