What is your background?
I originally started with St. John’s University where I studied psychology. My main focus was on human dating preferences, specifically drawing parallels from Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory research and Kinsey’s research on sexuality, then applying those to the LGBT community.
From there I continued on to get my Master’s in Human Sexuality Studies and started focusing again on the gay male population, doing counseling and working with individuals. Following my Master’s I continued on to get my PHD in Psychology.
myPartnerPerfect.com just launched. Why did you start myPartnerPerfect?
It was when I was doing my counseling for gay men that I uncovered that a lot of gay men, like myself, have issues based either around the lack of relationship or in the current relationships that they’re in. Once I started doing research as to how I could better serve these individuals through the counseling process, I uncovered that there really aren’t that many tools for gay men to develop healthy and happy relationships.
The online dating world was pretty void of any site that would help facilitate those relationships. That’s why I started the private matchmaking service to work with clients one-on-one to help them identify their needs and wants. We’re specifically going to work for them to develop that happy and healthy relationship that they’re seeking. That’s what brought us to today.
How does heterosexual compatibility testing differ from homosexual compatibility testing?
They’re very similar when you look at relationship styling, personality profiling and elements of relationship compatibility. The difference with gay men and with gay relationships is that there are a multitude of different cultural factors that go into how they seek and pursue a relationship.
I think one of the biggest differences we need to look at is that from the get go there aren’t too many relationships for gay people to identify with as they’re growing up, identifying and uncovering their sexuality. There’s a major gap in representation. Just that alone affects the way that gay men are able to identify the appropriate relationship styling for them.
Who would you say are your competitors for myPartnerPerfect?
I think the direct competition for services like ours are going to be the comprehensive relationship based sites. Sites that offer profiling systems, compatibility systems that are, of course, focusing on the gay men market. I think Chemistry.com does a great job of presenting a relationship focus for the gay community unlike any other site. eHarmony obviously doesn’t provide these services for the gay community, which is what opened the door for myPartnerPerfect.
Are there any particular sites that have inspired you as you were working on myPartnerPerfect?
Definitely, eHarmony. I think eHarmony does a great job of presenting the message of commitment and there’s a large segment of the gay community that is looking for a long-term life partnership. The methodology that eHarmony uses, even though it is applied to heterosexual couples, is very similar to the methodology that myPartnerPerfect.com uses in the sense that we’re looking for compatibility based on a series of different dimensions. They were a good model for us.
In closing, what are your goals for 2007 through 2008?
Our goal is really to be able to position myPartnerPerfect as a sophisticated and classy website that caters to the gay population and not only is provides a lot of successful matches for that user base but also just presents a representation that’s different from the current online environment. We will let people know that gay individuals do, in fact, want to have committed relationships and that it does take work to make those relationships happen.