The other day, I was sitting with some colleagues in the sociology department. I heard them discussing online dating and the various websites etc. that exist. They were also talking of trends and how online dating was slowly and gradually picking up.

At some point however, the discussion started heating up when someone brought up the subject of an adult dating site and how they deteriorate the society. They discussed how each of these so-called free dating sites claimed to be the best dating site, while all they do is encourage ‘immoral’ behavior.

Now that was boo’ed obviously! However, opinion of a conservative colleague or two aside, the discussion did get me thinking. You know how we academics are, always boring, focused on data and research rather than people. Unless you’re talking of the psychologists, I guess. However, do adult dating sites actually add any value to the society at all? Let’s examine.

First things first whether they are free dating sites or paid, all adult dating sites, acknowledge a basic, primal human need. Now if you ask me, I see that as an attempt to reduce the hypocrisy. I’m sure all of you who’ve tried online dating have come across people who have ulterior motives. More often than not, the two major ulterior motives are either money or sex.

Now if we leave money out classifying it as a scam, sex still remains a major motive. If people are going to look for sex but claim otherwise, al that will happen in the process is hypocrisy and hurt. In that sense even the best dating site in the world would not be able to create much meaning for the adult dating community. In that sense these websites encourage honesty and candour.

On another level, all adult dating sites could also be claimed to encourage immoral behavior. However, is there really anything such as ‘immoral’ behavior? I mean give ‘em a break. All they are doing is looking for adult fun. I’m sure you do not expect them to pop corn, watch Netflix and have a can of coke on their dates? I think these websites help people explore more than superficial texting / sexting or pretentions and that in itself is great value.

More important than not, it’s the reality that these websites bring out in terms of the social hypocrisy and façade, that’s admirable. Not saying they aim at it, most likely they do not. Nonetheless, the fact is they do bring out the shallowness and double standards of who we are offline and who we are online. The difference between who we are and who we want to be has never before been reconciled so effortlessly. In that sense adult dating sites make for a good socio-psychological study as well as an experience to gain in life.