Starting this week, Boston commuters will have a new excuse for snapping a surreptitious smartphone photo of the stunner sitting across from them on the train, and a place to share those images.
In a phone interview on Monday, co-founder Stephen Motion stressed that the site’s goal is to be flattering to those featured there.
“The nature of our site is to celebrate people that are attracted to other people and maybe are too shy to say anything,” Motion said. “All the photos are complimentary; all the comments are moderated, so there’s no opportunity for someone to say anything libelous … against anyone.
“It’s all about celebration of someone being good-looking rather than pointing fun at them for [sitting] there on the T with a fly open or something. It’s nothing like that.”
Like the company’s other sites, BostonTCrush will start out with only photos of men, but Motion said that in the spring they will begin allowing photos of women on one of their sites and expand to others if that effort is successful.
There’s been no firm decision yet on which site will feature women first, but it’s likely the London-based company will go with that city’s site, its first, which launched in February 2011. The New York City site launched last May, and there are more to come in other countries, with Spain a likely contender for the company’s next launch.
Anyone who wants his picture removed from the site need only ask, and Motion said there would be extra precautions to try to ensure that incorporating women’s photos won’t lead to cases of harassment. Motion said there is a roughly 50/50 split of men and women visiting the existing sites and the ultimate goal is to help connect people with their crushes.
“We’re very aware of websites like ihollaback.org and situations where people have felt that they are harassed in the street and in a public place,” Motion said. “What BostonTCrush.com, SubwayCrush.net, and TubeCrush.net don’t want to do is encourage any behavior that would threaten or make anyone feel uncomfortable in any circumstance.”
The first site grew out of a Saturday night when Motion and a group of friends were watching a British TV show where women rate men based on their looks. One of the women present pulled out a smartphone with a photo of a handsome man she’d seen on the London subway, and TubeCrush was born.
Motion said the existing sites had become popular enough that he’s seen men posting messages on social media about their hopes of being included.
“The general feedback on the street is something along the lines of, ‘I’m going to be riding the Red Line tomorrow at 9:45. I hope I get BostonTCrushed.’ That’s what we see people in the other markets saying,” Motion said.