Around the same time, VHS and Betamax tapes became widely available, enabling people to record and watch themselves without needing to invest in prohibitively expensive equipment.After spending a dinner party listening to his cousin lament how difficult it was to meet people, a young videographer named Jeffrey Ullman put two and two together.
But Weigel thinks there may be room for it in the future—if not for a Vine-Tinder hybrid, then something that looks a bit more like Great Expectations.
“We’ve seen, in the past few years, this return to matchmaking—growing numbers of people who want humans to matchmake them, because they’re sort of fatigued with apps,” says Weigel.
“Single people” are a tricky demographic to pinpoint, so Ullman took a scattershot advertising approach, taking out radio ads, bombarding local reporters with press releases, and—most effectively—sending out pounds upon pounds of well-targeted junk mail.
Once seduced, prospective clients would head to the Great Expectations offices, where—after they paid one-year membership dues of about 0—the real magic began.
But for decades, if you wanted to gaze upon a plethora of eligible singles, you had to go to a repurposed office building during open hours and watch them flicker by onscreen, spooled through Sony Betamax SLO-320s. The 1970s was not only a time of sexual freedom, but also relationship tumult.
Thanks to new laws and evolving sexual mores, divorce rates were climbing.
He borrowed seed money from his parents, did a bunch of research into the psychology of attraction, and created the first video dating company, which he christened Great Expectations.
According to company lore, they launched on Valentine’s Day, 1976.
Ullman spent a lot of time reassuring reporters that it was both safe and morally sound—after all, he argued, what ne’er-do-well or wannabe adulterer would willingly “put his face on a video tape for the police to see? “It was really stigmatized at first,” says Moira Weigel, author of .
“A lot of articles in the late ’80s and early ’90s would say ‘It’s not just for losers anymore!
Ahead, we've rounded up 50 of the hottest, heaviest songs — and as it turns out, some are a lot dirtier than we remembered.