"To the right, to the right": Peter Thiel invested $1.5m in right-wing dating app "The Right Stuff"

"The Right Stuff" was developed by Ryann McEnany, sister of former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published October 5, 2022 8:09PM (EDT)

Peter Thiel (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Peter Thiel (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

In 2022 it's as easy to use an app for dating as it is to order up a cheeseburger; and just as specifications such as "extra ketchup" can be made for the latter, "extra conservative" can now be requested for the former.

The rise of apps catered towards lonely-hearts with specific tastes in bedfellows has brought about Raya — a private, membership-based network for celebrities and non-famous rich people, Christian Mingle — for those who'd prefer to pray and play, and now The Right Stuff — a dating app for right-wingers who would hear Beyoncé's call to swipe "to the left, to the left" and shudder.

Developed by Ryann McEnany, the sister of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, The Right Stuff is backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who invested $1.5m into the project, according to The Guardian. Although Thiel himself identifies as a gay man, The Right Stuff is marketed towards ultra-conservative heterosexuals only.

"I've gotta tell you about something I'm so excited to announce," McEnany says in a promo video for The Right Stuff. "A dating app for all of us conservatives . . . What I love most about it is that it's invite only, so not just anyone can join. First of all, it's free to use, and for my ladies, you'll never have to pay . . . Gentlemen, if you want access to premium, that's on you. And by the way, those are the only two options: ladies and gentlemen."

Shortly after launching on September 30, The Right Stuff was pummeled with bad reviews. According to Gizmodo, users complained "that the app is short on women, that the invite-only system makes it impossible to actually join, and that answering a profile prompt about January 6 led to contact from law enforcement."

"I can't f**king believe this. I looked at the reviews for "The Right Stuff" dating app and it asks you during registration if you attended jan 6th," comments a person on Twitter. "If you say yes, the feds try to pin domestic terrorism charges on you. Outstanding." 

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Leading up to the launch of The Right Stuff, co-founder Daniel Huff spoke to Glenn Beck to discuss the selling points of the app.

"For too long, conservatives have been playing catch-up with liberal tech" Huff said. "They have YouTube and we have Rumble. They have Twitter and we have Truth Social. What we need to do is to actually just get ahead. We wanna not just catch up, we wanna create a superior product, and we're able to do that by actually adding features that no one else has."

One of the features Huff mentions is called "post-date," which allows people to go on and post that they have tickets to a ballgame, as an example, and ask if anyone would like to join them. Assuming that people express interest, the original poster in the "post-date" function can then choose who they'd like to bring.

"The failing MAGA dating app The Right Stuff is reportedly having trouble getting women to sign up. That's no surprise after you watch one of their promos aimed at women," Tweets Young Turks writer Matthew Sheffield.

"The Right Stuff is a great new dating app for conservatives hoping to match with that special...FBI agent monitoring the site," joked Trevor Noah, former host of The Daily Show.

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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