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New dating website could land you in jail

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New dating website could land you in jail

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED May 20, 2013

Reporter: Liz Kotalik

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Online dating: it's a great way to meet someone special, and it's very popular here in Tucson.

But one website especially caught our eye.

It's almost like a game show.

Trying to land a date with your dream girl or dream guy in a very unique new way.

"If a guy likes me, all he has to do is make me an offer to go on a date," says a cartoon commercial promoting the website.

But, at whatsyourprice.com, it's not just an offer for a date.

It's an offer to pay him or her to go on a date with you.

The owner of the website, Brandon Wade, explains:

"You can offer her 80 dollars, she could come back and say, 'That's not enough. I would need $100.' You could then counter that with 'how about 90?'"

That's right.

This website is all about bidding for dates.

The idea is partly to buy yourself a chance to make a good first impression.

"[Girls] would never give me a chance of day otherwise," said one website user.

You can sign up as either a "generous member" or an "attractive member". 

The "generous members" look through "attractive" profiles, and when they find someone they like, the bidding war starts.

"It just saves time because I'm sorry. If you're going to pay somebody 100 dollars to go on a date, they're going to be a lot more serious than they would if they paid a 30 dollar membership to date, you know," says another website member.

But of course, there's a catch.

In some places, this might actually be illegal. 

"People are generally free to sell their time," said criminal defense attorney Mike Piccarreta. "What you're not free to do is sell sex."

So, if you want to get frisky on that first date that you just got paid to go on, legally, that's called prostitution.

"Somewhere, there's law enforcement monitoring it, and my guess posting as either the generous benefactor or the attractive person," Piccarreta said.

And even though the site is only a year old, lots of people are bidding for dates here.

There are 21,000 members so far in Arizona, 5,000 members right here in Tucson.

In some states like Wisconsin, it's not even about how frisky you get.

They say even bidding is illegal. 

In Oak Creek, you need an escort license for that.

"If you are paid for your time, you need a license in the City of Oak Creek for that, and we will arrest you if you don't," said Chief John Edwards with the Oak Creek Police Department.

So far, we can't find any Arizona towns ready to arrest you for just going on the date, but cross the line, and you better watch out.

"We make that very clear that you're not allowed to have sex on the first date and you're not even supposed to expect that," Wade said.

Nine On Your Side spoke to one Tucson woman who did not want to go on camera, but she told us when she accepted a man's bid, she said he made it very clear he only expected sex.

"It becomes illegal when there is an offer, or an offer and acceptance, of sexual contact in exchange for money or anything of value," Piccarreta said.

Other members like the site, and they said you just have to be careful.

"With the exchange of money, that's where the line is real blurry, but I make sure there is a clear concise line," said one member.

Nine On Your Side asked Piccarreta if he would recommend the site to his daughter, and he said no way; it's too risky.


Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.