Pragati Singh Is Trying To Revolutionize Asexual Dating By Creating An Exclusive Platform
- IWB Post
- July 10, 2018
When Dr. Pragati Singhdecided to create a match-making tool for asexuals, she did not envision the overwhelming response that she received.
“For the longest time, people wrote to me saying that they don’t know where to look for a partner who is also not into sex,” said Pragati in a recent conversation with Vice, sharing how it all started.
Explaining the need for a matrimonial site for asexuals, she said, “A majority of asexual people want a partner who is also asexual just to reduce the burden of expectations that comes with a sexual life.”
Pragati would get messages like “can you help me find a partner?”, “My parents are forcing me to get married” or “My last relationship was with a regular heterosexual and it was miserable for me.”
This is why she started Platonicity, a matchmaking tool. She explained, “It was a Google form where you put in your details. I planned to match people manually, or with an excel sheet. And I had a template of how I would find a match.”
She posted Platonicity’s matchmaking form on the Facebook page Indian Aces, India’s first and only Asexual collective, also founded by her. She also posted it on a couple of International asexuality groups.
Sharing what was the form like, she said, “It was very elaborate. Because I understand the nuances in asexuality are quite unique. And people are very specific about what they want. It had details ranging from political belief to their levels of sex positivity. It even asked people to put down the extent of physical intimacy they wanted— “Do you want all the way or do you want only till first, second base.” Also specially, what genders [they were] looking for. For example, there were people who said ‘I’ll accept anybody except cis-men.”
The reception, however, left Pragati absolutely overwhelmed, so much so that she had to take it down. She shared, “I was in Shimla and I thought I’d look at it once I came back from the vacation. I was expecting at least 20 responses. It crossed 200. They were from all over. They were from all over, from Egypt, Spain, Canada, etc. I don’t know how to handle so much data.”
“Initially, I decided to first switch off the form. But the number of applications had crossed 350 and I was like I need to just pull it down from everywhere. So now its been shut for a while,” Pragati added.
Currently, Pragati is managing the Facebook page of Indian Aces and also organizes offline meetings for asexuals. She is a one-man army right now and is not getting any material benefits out of the endeavor.
Sharing what drives her to do all of this despite no material gains, Pragati says, “That’s what I keep asking myself, “Why am I doing all this?” Sometimes I am confused when people ask me this and I am like, hmmm am I being stupid in life? But honestly the kind of responses that I get from people, it really is motivating. It really drives me.”
She has lately started thinking of crowdfunding though. She explains, “I have been thinking of crowdfunding. I want to hire somebody to make an algorithm–I want people to be matched on this, this and this basis but I don’t know how to automate it. But its just so much work for one person. Like I have a job. I have my personal life. As much as I love to do this, it drains me.”
When asked if she also plans on monetising the project, Pragati says, “I don’t know how to do that. I would be happy to get money for it. Because then it won’t feel like as much a burden. But at the same time that’s really not my primary motivation. So its not like if I don’t get money I won’t do it. There is definitely scope of improving people’s lives and that kind of really motivates me.”