"BDSM Tinder" Could Make Your Kinkiest Dreams Come True

When referring to the "BDSM community," many people are all too likely to focus on BDSM's erotic practices and forget the "community." Fantasizing about BDSM can be sexy, but to bring many fantasies to life, you need a consenting partner — and beyond that, it's best to have a supportive, educational group of like-minded people. A new app called Whiplr, released today, wants to help you with that. As "the only location-based messenger that helps you find potential play partners, online or in person," Whiplr suggests clear comparisons with Tinder, but it's explicitly for the kinky — offering you free video chats, calls, and real-time messaging with other individuals who also adore neoprene cuffs, or the smell of leather, or whatever it is you're into.

It's a promising idea — if people sign up. The user interface is relatively straightforward: First, upload a (safe-for-work) photo and complete a brief profile that includes location, gender, "kink category," and experience level. Then, filter other members using the same characteristics, strike up conversations, and send "Sparks," animations that represent different sexual interests. (Those with no BDSM experience, or who characterize themselves as merely "curious," are welcome on Whiplr, too.) 

Whiplr has "kink categories" — "fashion," "objects," "behavior," "materials," "accessories," and "sounds" — but declines to define them, which is confusing (if you like to use floggers with a partner, where exactly does that fall, for example?). Daniel Sevitt, Whiplr's chief communications officer, tells us that the categories were left intentionally vague: "We believe that kink takes many forms, and we wanted to keep these categories as broad as possible. That way, our users can self-define any way they choose and can align themselves with other fetish lovers across a wide range." True — asking KnottyBabe69 exactly what she means when she says she's into "fashion" is one way to start a conversation.

This may be reminding you of FetLife, Internet home to 3,650,170 kinksters and counting. Whiplr has no connection with FetLife, which does make it seem like the social-network equivalent of reinventing the wheel — although there's no reason FetLife users couldn't use both platforms. Think of FetLife as the OkCupid of the kink world, and Whiplr as its would-be Tinder. Plus, entering the BDSM community by way of a streamlined, beginner-friendly app may appeal to novices who are intimidated by deciphering FetLife's etiquette and codes of conduct. If Whiplr gathers momentum, it could be a powerful tool for both experts and the uninitiated to share their passions (and passion).

More from Sex & Relationships

Historically, women in West Africa have not had a voice. Men decide if their wife or wives can use birth control or have access to money; fathers decide if...
Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual ...
Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
Amber Rose doesn't do "off days." "I always feel confident," she tells us. "I never allow myself to not feel confident. I wake up and say, I’m going out ...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
This article was originally published on December 18, 2015. According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the ...
We're great fans of accessorizing in the bedroom. Au naturel stimulation is wonderful, but sex toys can do things that people just can't. The sex toy ...
(Paid Content) You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, ...
Even as the sex toy market continues to expand, there remain a few vital "firsts" for the industry to tackle. This week, with the arrival of the Buck-Off...
The Halloween-costume-planning frenzy is officially in full swing, and we still have so many questions. Is our costume idea clever without being obscure? ...
This article was originally published on April 2, 2015 and has been updated throughout. Lube is a little like masturbation. It's a big part of most people...
It would be an understatement to say that a lot of us love superhero blockbusters. Luckily, there's really no shortage of them, but should you ever need ...
The following is an excerpt from Asa Akira's recently released memoir Dirty Thirty. Another year of wasted eggs because I chose to whore instead. “Do ...
In the best-case scenario, you go on a first date with someone, and you hit it off. The chemistry is off the charts, and you're never at a loss for what to...