My Executive


    Nov 22, 2013

    What's your guy really like? Ask Lulu


    NOT long ago, after Ms Alexandra Amin, an assistant at Warner Bros, broke up with an agent she had been dating for a year, her friend told her about a new, free, female-friendly social-networking app that lets women anonymously review men who are their Facebook friends.

    "She was, like: 'He's so crazy, you should rate him on Lulu'," said Ms Amin, 29, who lives in Los Angeles.

    She gave the ex hashtags like #NeverSleepsOver and #FriendZone. He scored a 6.9 out of 10, which, she admitted, was "lower than he actually deserves".

    On Lulu, women can rate men in categories - ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative - with a multiple-choice quiz.

    Women, their gender verified by their Facebook logins, add pink hashtags to a man's profile, ranging from the good (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to the ugly (#PornEducated).

    The hashtags are used to calculate a score generated by Lulu, ranging from one to 10, that appears under the man's profile picture.

    Men can add hashtags, which appear in blue, but these are not factored into their overall score.

    Since it was started last year by Ms Alexandra Chong, who has a law degree from the London School of Economics, the service has provided a sort of "Take Back the Internet" moment for young women.

    Ms Erin Foster, 31, an actress and writer, said: "The thing that drew me to Lulu was that dating without a reference is the scariest thing you can do."

    Ms Chong, 32,got the idea for Lulu during a boozy brunch with female friends the day after an awkward Valentine's Day set-up.

    "We were all sharing stories about guys, relationships and sex," she said. "There were tears and laughter."

    She concluded that women needed a focused search engine for dating - a "Guygle".

    "When you Google a guy, you don't want to know if he voted Republican or what he wrote a paper about in college," said Ms Chong.

    "You want to know if mothers like him. Does he have good manners? Is he sweet?"

    Ms Chong no longer has need to be an active Lulu user; she is shopping for apartments downtown with her boyfriend, Mr Jack Brockway, 33, a photographer who is the nephew of Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, and the brother of Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet's new husband.

    They met last spring in Maui at a kite-surfing and networking event, where she was giving a lecture and he was shooting a promotional video. They had a brief make-out session and went their separate ways.

    A week later, they met again, this time at Branson's Necker Island in the Caribbean, and had another night of passion.

    The next day, Mr Brockway sat in on another of Ms Chong's Lulu lectures, unaware of her plan to demonstrate her app by reviewing him in front of his friends and family members.

    "People thought she was teasing," said Mr Brockway, flashing his #EpicSmile and rubbing his #ThreeDayStubble during a recent dinner party.

    The beau has since got several more reviews (#DudeCanCook), none quite as glowing as the one written by his girlfriend. But he has an exceptionally high 9.8 ranking.

    "There's nothing I can do about it except be the best person I can be," he said.

    "It inspires guys to be good and treat girls the way they should be treated. Like angels."