Harder to get into than Berghain on your first trip to Berlin—wait, you didn't get the all-black memo?—or find a spot poolside at Soho House during a heatwave, let's discuss the uber-exclusive dating app Raya—and more importantly, how to get on Raya for a peek behind the curtain.
The dating app has been shrouded in mystery over the last few years, and has, up until recently, been solely for those in the know. But with new stories about several celebrities taking to the platform doing the rounds, it seems everyone is now talking about Raya.
So how exactly does the app work, and which celebrities are on Raya? We'll fill you in on everything you need to know about the exclusive app, as well as clue you in on how to get on Raya.
What is Raya?
Not to be confused with the cartoon film about a dragon, Raya, is one of the best dating apps (and most popular) for famous folks.
Having first launched in 2015, Raya (opens in new tab) started out as an exclusive online dating app, working on a membership basis for people in the entertainment industry.
As it has evolved, it has branched out to offer other networking opportunities as well. The app is known mostly for its extensive celebrity users, including (as far as we know), Ben Affleck, Channing Tatum and Cara Delevingne, among others. Rebel Wilson also joked recently that she was using the app to "play the field".
Let's delve into the dating app and how to get on Raya yourself.
How do you get on Raya?
Wondering 'how to get on Raya?' Sadly, it's not as simple as it sounds to meet the famous beau of your dreams.
The only hope for becoming a member of Raya is to have someone on the app recommend you. To keep the community private, users must be referred by an existing member, and their application is then placed in a queue and reviewed by a membership committee upon submission.
Only about eight percent of applications are accepted, meaning Raya has a higher rejection rate than the illustrious Harvard Business School, reports The New York Times (opens in new tab).
How much does Raya cost?
If one's application is accepted, new members can purchase a one-, six- or twelve-month membership that renews automatically. Pricing is thought to be around $9.99 per month, or £5.99 in the UK.
Compared to other popular dating apps Raya is pretty pricey—in that you need to pay to have any access to it at all. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge are mostly free, though you can be for more premium membership options, such as Tinder Plus, which gives you extra features such as the ability to undo a swipe and experience the app without ads.
- Online dating tips: we asked experts for their best advice
- Celebs on OnlyFans: which celebs are raking in the cash?
- Best dating apps reviewed: 4 to try in 2021
- Dating by star sign: what does your star sign say about your dating style?
The Ben Affleck Raya video drama
If you're wondering where you've heard of Raya before, perhaps its most famous mention in the media is when Ben Affleck found himself unlucky in love back in 2021.
Though the actor is now happily settled with Jennifer Lopez, he had previously been using Raya to find love. Instead, one of the apps users, Nivine Jay, exposed him assuming it wasn't really him. She assumed she was being catfished and unmatched him—so he sent her a (rather funny) video asking why he was unmatched. Cue, the moment of surprise at the realization she was in actual fact talking to THE Ben Affleck. It was pretty LOLs, but don't just take our word for it. Jay took to TikTok to publicly post Affleck's "Why did you unmatch me?" video. See the proof below...
@nivinejay (opens in new tab)
Sorry Ben 🥺🥱 #raya #benaffleck #dating #fyp♬ original sound - Amir Yass (opens in new tab)
Nivine Jay was quoted in E! News (opens in new tab) saying that she didn't intend to insult Affleck, rather she found it funny that she thought she was being catfished when in fact Affleck was truly pursuing her.
Former Friends star Matthew Perry also made news with a recent Raya match. TikTok user Kate Haralson posted a now-deleted video of a FaceTime call between she and Perry, who she had matched with on the exclusive dating app. The video showed the then 50-year-old actor and 19-year-old TikToker playing a game of 20 questions, in which Haralson claims Perry asked her: "Am I as old as your dad?" Odd!
While the "celebrity dating app" might not be in the cards for us mere mortals, we've got the lowdown on dating apps for the rest of us—like Hinge vs Bumble, for example. Once you find someone you fancy, why not bear in mind these first-date tips that'll make the meetup a success.
No matter where you're swiping, best of luck!
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
'I Just Killed My Dad,' Netflix’s new true crime doc, is a harrowing watch
'I Just Killed My Dad,' Netflix’s new docu-series comes from the director of the popular July release, 'Girl in the Picture'
By Danielle Valente • Published
5 of the most common sexual fantasies—and how to make those frisky dreams come true
Everybody's got sexual fantasies—here's what they mean and how to make them happen IRL
By Ness Cooper • Published