For Love or Money

212Access August 2, 2015 2

By Logan Davis

Guys are selfish, it’s no secret, but so are beautiful women. They’re just more discreet about what they admit. But if you listen closely to what NYC women say they want in a guy, there are a few consistent traits they will all confide they want: a man with money.

Some women might couch it by saying they want a man who is “successful” or “established,” or “proven” but when you push semantics aside, the descriptions mean the same thing. Women don’t want to end up with a guy who is too poor to pay for dinner.

24-year-old Ana Marijian could pass for a Victoria’s Secret model if you took a minute to examine her fine features up closely. She’s confident in her body and beauty. She’s also honest.

“I’m very good looking,” Ana says freely.

When men pass Ana on the streets of Manhattan, they look twice, and Ana loves it. She knows she has the assets every man craves, and that’s why she won’t settle for just any man. Like most other women, Ana wants a man who is successful.

“I want a man who can provide me with the comfort I’m used to,” Ana said. “A successful man has nothing to prove to the world, so he’s comfortable in his own skin. They’re protective and caring, and that’s appealing to me as a woman.”

Ana says she doesn’t have any difficulty meeting men, especially in Manhattan where statistics show 75 percent of the people living on the island are single.

“In Manhattan, you can truly find what you’re looking for because the pool of eligible bachelors and single, pretty women is endless, more than anywhere else in the world,” Ana said. “The problem is the fast paced life in the city. It takes time to meet a quality man in the city. It is so time consuming to meet good men, and I don’t really have the time.”

So Ana signed up for a dating service, but it wasn’t just any ordinary matchmaker. Ana signed up with an elite matchmaking service, called Pocketchange. The dating service focuses on helping rich men find beautiful women. It also helps gorgeous women like Ana find a man who can provide them the comfort they feel they deserve.

Average-looking women or guys with ordinary income need not apply here. Pocketchange has strict requirements for entry. Men who are 25 years and under must make at least $200,000 a year, while men between the ages of 26 and 30 must bring in $300,000 a year. And for men who are past their prime years of 30, they must make more than $500,000 a year. And unlike the real world where you can always fudge about your income or age, with Pocketchange, nothing is ever believed until proven. The dating service requires proof of income before it will ever introduce you to these beautiful women. Men must present copies of their federal income tax statements, and an asset management letter that details their financial portfolio.

And don’t worry, there is no sexism with Pocketchange. This dating service is an equal-opportunity discriminator. Women are scrutinized just like men before they are accepted, but instead of assets getting examined, a woman’s face and body are assessed. There is no science to this format. Instead, a couple of people look over the woman’s picture and decide if she is worthy of meeting a rich man.

Jeremy Abelson started Pocketchange less than a year ago, with a simple vision and $10 thousand dollars in seed money. He says he quickly turned the elite dating service into an international curiosity among the media.

“We’ve become one of the hottest stories in the country,” he said. “We’re not really reinventing the wheel. We try to tap into the most highly desired dating population. We’re just focusing on the elitists.”

Abelson is bypassing the games men and women play. Men want a beautiful woman, women want a rich man, and he’s helping facilitate their introductions.

“What’s one of the first things a woman asks about a guy? What does he do for a living? And what’s one of the first questions a guy will ask his friend after a date? Is she hot or did you get laid? Men are physical and visible,” Abelson says. “We’re not telling people things they don’t know. For us, this is a way that we can give back to our wealthy and successful subscribers. We simplified dating, and this is our gift. I don’t think we’re filling a void, because this happens all the time.”

But Abelson admits, his dating idea has taken some blunt criticism from both women and men. Feminists say his service exploits young, pretty women, while attractive women say his service gives pretty women a bad wrap. They whine it gives the impression that all beautiful women are only after a man’s wallet. But Abelson has a different take. He believes his dating service is an experiment in sociology.

“This also taps into our primary insecurities in the modern day,” he said. “Walk into any social scenario, and you’ll see every woman will size herself up based on looks. Are my thighs that big? Am I that skinny? And it’s the same for guys. When they walk into a room, he thinks, what does he do? How much money does he make? This is really the primary source of people’s insecurities.”

Pocketchange held its first elite-dating introduction in February, and Abelson says it was a smash success. Abelson says more than 1400 women applied for a chance to meet prescreened, wealthy men, while roughly 600 men applied for a chance to meet a beautiful woman. When it was all over, Pocketchange accepted just 40 women and 40 men. Pocketchange got so much attention that Abelson says he is already working on his next matchmaking opportunity, which will be held in May.

Ana Marijian was one of the few women accepted.

“I don’t get to meet a lot of successful men under one roof, and that was appealing,” Ana said. “You know the people at this event are single, and they have achieved a certain level of success in their life. It’s easy to meet men at bars, but at the end of the day, they could have zero dollars. Here, in one night, you are exposed to more men of quality, and it’s time saving because you know they meet the criteria and you obviously meet theirs.”

Ana says she doesn’t mind that some men might view her solely as a sex object. She says she understands that men are driven by physical beauty, while women love with their ears.

“Men are visual. We love to be told we are beautiful,” Ana says. “I think a man’s status and a man’s wealth is judged by the woman who is by his side, not only by her looks, but also by her behavior. It’s important for a man who has achieved a certain level of success to surround himself by beautiful things: nice clothes, an expensive car. He wants beautiful things, and a woman is no different. He wants a beautiful woman by his side.”

But what about men? Does they feel like they are being used strictly for their wealth?

Shawn Vardi is one of the pre-screened rich men who was invited to attend the exclusive matchmaking event last February.

“I was kind of hesitant. I thought it was a little—maybe you’re shallow,” he said. “But, you know, and then I started thinking about it and I was like you, you know, it would be probably a great way to meet, a really good-looking girl.”

Ana says she met several potential mates through Pocketchange, and she is still talking to several of them. She believes the exclusive matchmaking service provides a safe opportunity for women to expand their social networks, and to take advantage of one of the natural gifts they’ve been born with: beauty. She says it’s also a great service for people who are new to a city.

The service expanded her social net in only one night.

“I’m a lawyer by training, so I meet people on the street everywhere. This is just another avenue of meeting quality people,” she said. “I have a fabulous life in Manhattan, but I wanted to go one step further. I am looking for a perfect relationship just like everyone else in the city. But it’s hard working full-time with your career, and finding the perfect partner is almost a full-time job.”

Abelson is now working on his next social dating experiment. Will young, attractive men consciously compromise beauty for money? Abelson is calling this next evolution of matchmaking, “Sugar Mama Speed Dating.” For this service, he is planning on introducing women over the age of 45, with $5 million dollars in proven assets, to good-looking men.

“This takes the money element to the next level,” Abelson said. “You see men dating hot, younger women. We’ve proven men want attractive women, but will they sacrifice that for money? It’s known through time, women degenerate in terms of attractiveness. Women lose their attractiveness over time. Any woman will tell you she looked better when she was younger.”

But will a man accept that average, or possibly, below-average aging woman in exchange for a chance to marry money? It remains to be seen.

Abelson begins his social experiment in May, and he says television networks are already offering to document his experiment for a potential reality show. Abelson believes when this opportunity is presented to men, they will respond no differently than women. He thinks they will pursue money over beauty, and if initial interest is any indication, men will be have no differently than the opposite sex.

So far, Abelson says subscribers to his dating newsletter are up 85 percent, and when it comes down to it, all of these people are looking for the same primal urge: Finding Love.

Time might prove the two sexes view physical attractiveness differently, but when the lights are turned off at night, don’t we all look the same? If it’s true, you might as well be sleeping on a King Sized bed with goose down-filled pillows and satin sheets.