Kinky Dating Shouldn’t Be This Hard

But the way you talk online doesn’t make it easy.

Celia Morris
Jun 23, 2019 · 4 min read

If you’re into BDSM, helpful dating apps and sites are thin on the ground. The best option is FetLife — the kink community’s version of Facebook — but it’s better for finding events than partners or dates. It’s also a bit daunting, especially for newbies to the ‘scene’.

When I was at uni, a bit horny and a bit curious, I began hunting down alternatives. After discarding anything that required a subscription, I wasn’t left with much.

Whiplr was my best bet.

A blend of Tinder and Grindr, Whiplr is an app that lets you create an account, upload public and private pics, list your kinks/fetishes…

And then message anyone you want.

Within a few hours of setting up a profile I had 40 messages. By the next morning I had close to 100. Most were from people over 500 kilometres away, asking for nudes and requesting to call me through the app. A few people asked how my day was going. Most, presumably because I labelled myself ‘submissive’ in my bio, spoke as if I had already agreed to have sex with them.

Men on Whiplr tell me that they get very few responses from the women they message. This isn’t surprising — and only partly because of the sheer number of messages women receive on the app.

I re-downloaded Whiplr recently. These are some of the things I am greeted with, verbatim:


You’d be forgiven for assuming that I know these people. That I have at least exchanged one or two niceties with them. But nope. These are their opening gambits.

To be clear: my profile specifies that I am not interested in ‘online play’ (essentially sexting and exchanging vids and pics). To be extra clear: I get asked to play online about five times a day.

This isn’t necessarily a condemnation of Whiplr itself. At least it’s trying to provide a platform for people who don’t want to date someone for three months, only to find that they aren’t into tying you up and slapping you round the face. (Although some features seriously need altering — like I said, you can message anyone you want.)

What I’m getting at is online kink culture in general. Whiplr is just one of the apps demonstrating that the combination of anonymity and sexual deviancy results in people overstepping even the clearest of boundaries.

Everyone on the app has varying degrees of interest in sex.

Not everyone wants to suck on your toes, worship your cock or (memorably) let you take them on naked walks through the field behind your house. Lots of people don’t even want to talk about these things, or entertain the idea of them. You’d know this if, before snapping pics of your dick, you asked them how they are. What interests them. Why they decided to download an app that takes them so far from ‘normal’ kinds of sex and relationships.

Because the fact is that kinky people don’t want to fuck you just because you’re kinky. And being kinky doesn’t excuse your invasiveness, harassment or your misogyny — even if you insist that you’re just being a dom/me. (Yeah — it’s not only the men who suck.)


When I first started using Whiplr, I had limited experience with kink. I knew I wanted certain things from sex — I didn’t know what to expect from the people who offered those things. That’s how I ended up talking to a lot ‘doms’ who I now wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot dildo.

The enforced learning curve when using these apps and sites is disquieting for several reasons. One is that you will probably have a bad experience — whether it’s receiving a photo you didn’t ask for, or meeting someone who isn’t who he said he was. Horrifying, right?

Another is that this behaviour shows the kink community to be exactly how the world at large wish to see it: unethical and dangerous. They’re not right — but mostly because this view ignores that anyone with a sex drive and a phone has the potential to be unethical and dangerous. They just don’t all have the outlet.

The answer isn’t only to put more safeguards in place when it comes to supposedly sex-positive online spaces. It’s also to not treat human beings as sex objects before they’ve said you can.

Which, you know, they might. But best not to hold your breath if you haven’t bothered saying ‘hello’.

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

Celia Morris

Written by

Londoner, BDSM-er, reader & TV fanatic. Writing about sex, relationships and whatever else takes my fancy.

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

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