It all started as a bit of a joke but the success of UK website Toyboywarehouse.com is no laughing matter as it prepares to go international. London artist and entrepreneur Julia Macmillan was getting bored with online dating so she set out to create a website that allowed her and thousands of other women to find, flirt and possibly create a future with younger men. The website, challenging the belief that the man should be older than the woman in a relationship hit the ground running with more than 700 people waiting to sign up as the site went live. Four years and 28,000 members later the website is being revamped for its international launch.
In the beginning
Julia couldn’t find a dating website she liked. She felt that the process of completing a personal profile was more like filling in a job application rather than searching for a significant other. She was unhappy with the results she was getting from the websites. She had fallen in to the habit of dating younger men but couldn’t seem to find them online.
Middle aged women complained to her that they too weren’t interested in the attention they received from men in their late fifties who enjoyed playing golf on other dating sites.
Julia spotted a gap, followed her instincts and set about creating a dating website for younger men and older women. Men are limited to searching women at least one year older and women to men at least a year younger on Toyboywarehouse.com.
Julia used the extra income earned from selling her artwork to fund the website. She established it on a shoestring budget, finding free software and hiring a freelance programmer to customize it.
Her lucky break came when a piece was published in the Saturday Telegraph about the developing website and the social trend of women dating younger men. By the time the site went live more than 700 people had signed up.
The website was free to users as it gathered momentum during its first year. It’s still free for users to sign up and search the database but people have to pay a weekly or monthly fee to contact other users. Julia’s goal is to launch Toyboywarehouse.com in Dublin and New York by the end of the year. It’s a big task but one she feels ready to take.
Why is it so popular?
Julia believes there is a social shift towards women wanting to date younger men. Today’s women are more dynamic, financially independent and are not looking for someone to provide for them. So women are making different choices. She says her website attracts feisty independent women, not women looking for a meal ticket.
Dating younger men has become more mainstream with a number celebrity women choosing younger partners. And there is no shortage of men wanting to date older woman with the site attracting more men than women.
Julia will be writing regular articles for FabafterFifty about dating (not just toyboys!) and will answer questions you have on your dating dilemmas!