Tinder co-creator Sean Rad, interview fail

  • By Suzanne Roberts


The company behind Tinder is trying to distance itself from a co-creator of the dating app after a bad, poorly-timed interview

Internal backlash commenced after Sean Rad seemed to confuse two very different words relating to sex and relationships while talking to London’s Evening Standard.

He was trying to find the term which means being attracted to intelligent people.

But then he said: “What’s the word? I want to say ‘sodomy’?”

Sodomy is a word used to describe anal sex.

The word Rad was trying to say was sapiosexual, which describes someone who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.

His comments were published a day before Tinder’s parent company began publicly trading.

Why this mistake was so poorly timed

There was quite a lot of ridicule on social media the day before and on the first day of public trading itself. Public trust in a company that promotes itself as a modern day cupid, yet can’t differentiate between two such very different words dropped at an alarming rate, bad news for potential investors and traders.

Rad is Tinder’s co-founder and CEO, but the dating app is owned by IAC’s Match group, which also owns Match.com.

Match.com floated its shares soon after on the New York Stock in an initial public offering (IPO).

However in the run-up to an IPO there are strict rules about what public statements a company can make, this is where Rad comes back into play. He did not seem to be aware of that quiet period  or if he was he did not obey it.

He revealed he was “addicted” to Tinder and claimed a “really, really famous supermodel” had been “begging him for sex”, but that he turned her down.

He said: “She’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen but it doesn’t mean that I want to rip her clothes off and have sex with her. I don’t care if someone is a model. Really. It sounds clichéd and almost totally unbelievable for a guy to say this, but it’s true. I need an intellectual challenge.”

An intellectual challenge shouldn’t be difficult to find for Rad who seems to struggle with corporate protocol, public relations and simply speaking.

He went further and this is when the apparent word error occurred.

“Apparently there’s a term for someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff. You know, just talking. What’s the word? I want to say ‘sodomy’?”

When he was questioned about this, Rad looks up the definition of “sodomy” on his phone and pointed out that was not what he meant.

After this, Match Group, Inc. filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission writing off Rad’s interview.

It said the article had not been approved, condoned or reviewed and that Mr Rad was “not a director or executive officer of the company and was not authorised to make statements on behalf of the company”.

He said the idea of swiping for ‘matches’ came from the fact that “no matter who you are, you feel more comfortable approaching somebody if you know they want you to approach them.”

The app launched to the public in 2012.

The crude and obnoxious comments made about his personal use of the app and the alleged model coupled with his bumbling lack of a basic lexicon have seriously damaged the reputation of the app which struggles in many social circles to be taken seriously, often being accused of being a mere tool for infidelity and casual sexual encounters.

The group owners IAC’s Match group have tried to market their services as a means to meet you life long partner in a world where social down time is becoming a rarity.