Notably, HiDine does market itself as being gay friendly. You can choose whether you would prefer to take someone out or be taken out when you sign up, McGinnis said. The site charges $5 per date, with a limit imposed of one date per day. Deposits toward the restaurant dinner are separate and based on its star rating.
Women can offer bribes on the Carrot Dating app too. According to Wade, of the 60,000 downloads since launch, 25% of the offers have been initiated by women. But one thing they may not implicitly offer for money is sex.
"On any dating website people are aspiring for intimacy at some point. But in the language and the messaging on the website there is no suggestion that you are paying for sex," he said, adding that escorts posing as dates will be exposed and stopped.
But even if men are content to play into stereotypical gender roles, paying for dinner via these sites, they may still be left with a sour aftertaste. What if the woman on the other side of the table, like Toronto blogger Erin Wotherspoon, is only in it for the free bread basket?
"This girl is looking for love in her lobster roll, not your academic achievements," wrote Wotherspoon. "Men of Toronto be warned, there is a menace on the loose."