Although BDSM is becoming more and more acceptable in the mainstream, one of the top complaints from my slaves, and even many of my friends, is that they have a difficult time finding legitimate dating prospects who are compatible with their kinky interests. This grievance seems to be universal in the scene: I hear it from men, women, the transgendered, Dom/mes, subs, switches, the young, the old, the ugly, and the gorgeous. Case in point, I myself have been more or less single for most of my adult life–shocking, I know! There goes my reputation! I have a hard enough time finding people I even want to have a drink with, much less have sex with. Compound the basic frustrations and frivolities of normal dating with the extremely specific sexual triggers of BDSM, and your typical “dry spell” can easily stretch from months into years, with each passing day bringing less and less hope of meeting an acceptable partner.
Fortunately there are a whole crop of kinky dating sites popping up to help you explore your options in the scene. No matter what your kink is, there is now a place to meet likeminded individuals in a geographic location near you (especially Antarctica…there’s TONS of perverts there)! Thanks to the internet, there is no reason you can’t be out there meeting your fellow freaks every night of the week.
My go-to for many years was, of course, Fetlife. Although it has recently become somewhat watered down by horny vanillas and hedonists, it is still a great place to look for events and network with friends and acquaintances on the scene. I have met several great dates off of Fetlife, a few not so great ones, and many new friends who have in turn introduced me to their hot friends and colleagues. The best use of the site for me has been to help formalize the relationships I have started in real life–an asset which should not be underestimated. One of the biggest problems with being single is the impatience it breeds. If you can forget for a moment how desperate and lonely you are, you might find an event on fetlife that actually lets you have a little fun and (brace yourself) potentially meet a dating prospect in a traditional, “real time” setting. Loneliness reads online as easily as it reads in real life, so my suggestion is to not use Fetlife as an excuse to moan, but to take advantage of the networking tools it has and expand your social circle. And mine the event RSVP lists for fresh meat when you’re done.
Coming up fast on the tails of Fetlife is a site called iFet. It seems to answer a lot of the qualms that people have with Fetlife, and has an infrastructure that will support longterm growth and a very large user base. Although they haven’t launched their dating component yet, keep your eye on this site as a major resource down the line. Their events page, for instance, is a great place to find out about the important fetish events near you, not just lame backyard BBQs or “tickle a sadist” type holidays that have taken over the Fetlife events section. iFet has also started a ProDomme directory for anyone wanting to scratch the itch with a professional.
I recently found this Mistress and Dominatrix Dating site while randomly browsing online. It is part of a larger site called xxxsexguides.com which covers a lot of ground in the sex and kink world, from escorts to dating to transexuals. The format of their dating portion seems easy to use and pretty comprehensive, though I’m not sure how they are qualifying “Dominatrix”; it seems they may be thinking of any dominant woman or Mistress as a Dominatrix, which is not correct (Dominatrices are specifically professional dominants). Still though, they list some other microsites which seem like they have great potential: Mistress Contacts, Subs And Masters, Submissive Planet and Meet BDSM are all fabulous ideas for niche dating sites. Some of the women’s profiles look pretty enticing, and it seems like a good meeting ground for lifestyle D/s practitioners who are seeking a relationship.
For those of you looking to take a gamble on the slot machine of compatibility, OkCupid has been around for ages. My understanding is the site’s dating pool is a lot better in England than the US, or at least the people I know in the scene in England who use OkCupid have a seemingly endless supply of sexy Ok-candidates. I know a few people in the states who have done well off of it, but there are a few things intrinsically wrong with the US setup. The pool in New York is so large, for instance, that it literally feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack (a cheesy, smarmy haystack from Long Island or New Jersey). You also have to do a fair amount of sifting as well, trying your best to read between the lines to find the kinksters hiding in plain sight. I personally love the challenge of “converting” vanillas, but the sheer volume of horny creeps and selfish egomaniacs online in NYC eventually turned me off of OkCupid forever. And then there’s the terribly awkward moment when you see someone you know from real life; because almost everyone has an OkCupid profile these days, it’s inevitable you will recognize someone–chances are it’s someone you would rather not see you. If you have a bit more patience, or live outside of NYC, or don’t mind the privacy breach, it may be worth the affordable monthly membership.
There are about a million other options out there, and it can be overwhelming thinking about all the different forums in which to meet people. I’ll give you a breakdown of the most popular ones and whether or not I think it’s worth your time. At one point I had a profile on CollarMe (which is being revamped and relaunched as KinkUnity), but I was so inundated with timewasters and groveling slaves that I shut my profile down; hopefully KinkUnity is a better site when it goes live. I was on Alt for about 24 hours before they kicked me off for being a ProDomme (I wasn’t advertising, but apparently they hate Pros!); I have heard good things about Alt, but mostly from swingers and middle-aged kinksters. I have heard success stories about Adult Friend Finder, though I have no experience with it personally. You can also try any of the other traditional, vanilla dating sites out there if you’re up for a round of “spot the kinkster” and don’t mind a ton of boring losers emailing you. I have managed to find a handful of hot open-minded men on Tinder and Sparkology, though I ultimately signed off for most of the same reasons that OkCupid bothered me. As for eHarmony and Match, I know a few couples who initially met off of those sites, but if you are in the NYC area I order you to not even bother with either. Finally, I need to give a quick shout-out to the ABDL’s here with a site called Diapermates; though I have never had a membership the premise is pretty self-explanatory!
It was mostly curiosity that inspired me to sample all of these dating sites for a few weeks at a time. However, with one or two exceptions, if they are pushing you to buy a membership I would say your money is better spent going to bars and parties with friends and networking the old fashioned way. I’ll be writing more soon about what it takes to get into a good headspace to meet your ideal kinky partner in real life, but if you are not quite ready to give up on online dating I wish you all happy hunting! Drop me an email if any of this helped you to meet someone special, or at least gave you the inspiration to stop compulsively masturbating and go outside for a few hours.
NB: I am not in a relationship at present, nor am I seeking one. After many years dallying about online, I am happy to say that all of my experiences now come from “real life.” Though my adventures in online dating definitely helped me figure out what I’m looking for, they helped me to also find value in NOT looking. I respect my time and energy a lot more now, and I am becoming increasingly discerning about who I see in my private life. In summary: kinky online dating HAS helped me. It helped me raise my standards! I have given up on the fantasy of meeting that “perfect match” online and now can focus my attention on creating real time connections and experiences which are, for me, far more satisfying.