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UK bdsm / fetish dating sites?
October 2, 2012 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Are there any genuine fetish / bdsm dating sites in the UK, or are they all weird fronts for dating farms?

I've been trying to find a dating site in the UK for a while now, but with the exception of OKCupid and Match (both of which seem pretty vanilla-centric, for obvious reasons I guess) they all seem to feel very scammy.

For example, most of them seem to either be part of a 'group' (where dozens of sites point to the same handful of bored users) or they advertise 'real' users who are clearly stock photos and profiles made of Markov text. If I search for snippets of profile text, the same profile turns up in a myriad of locations with different photos and details.

There must be a genuine site out there. Where is it...?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
When I lived in London, I did some dating and went to some munches off Bondage.com and met some nifty people. MeFi is fond of FetLife, but I've no idea what the UK coverage is like.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2012


The only UK-centric Kink sites I can recall off the top of my head are InformedConsent and LondonFetishScene. I don't recall if either of those have personals sections, and I'm afraid I can't really check for you right now seeing as I'm at work! I moved to the USA a few years ago, and it's been a long time since I checked them out.

Either way, though, you may be much better off on a site like Fetlife, which though global and not strictly speaking a dating site does have a truly enormous userbase and many, many groups and subforums for singles, posting personals and sharing information about events and niche interests.

CollarMe is a true personals site. It's also global, but has many British users. It's kinda shoddy and web 1.0 looking, there's a lot of hilariously fake profiles and regurgitation of tired kinky tropes, BUT - it's run by kinksters, for kinksters, they aren't after your money (just your clicks). And to be quite honest it has got me laid more often than I may care to admit.

Hope that helps! Feel free to look up MisterTorn on either of the last 2 sites if your buddy list is looking too empty and you feel that may be hampering your swag. ;-)
posted by TheTorns at 5:35 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bondage.com is still around but after a change in ownership and subsequent drastic redefinition of policies the userbase has dwindled. There's a few people still there, so I gather, but not very many that are actively seeking a partner and it doesn't take very long for people to realize the party is elsewhere and follow it.
posted by TheTorns at 5:40 PM on October 2, 2012


I'm in the UK (London) on OKCupid and don't find it vanilla-centric at all. You have to sign up and answer lots of the questions for it to whittle down all the members to those who match what you want. Focus on the sex questions first if that is your main concern. Over the past year I have made some good friends who are part of the London 'scene' in some way or other and as far as I know, pretty much all the available people they know are using OKC.

As DarlingBri and TheTorns mentioned, Fetlife is another great place to check out. It's not strictly a dating site, but you can join groups on there to find out about munches/parties across the UK and actually going along to these events is definitely a great way of finding like-minded kinky folk. I've heard particularly good things about the Kinky Salon London parties, although I couldn't possibly comment myself...

Hope that helps. Good luck!
posted by amerrydance at 5:45 PM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Protip: Scammers are on every dating site, and it's not the sites themselves that post those things. It's just part of the digital flotsam and jetsam, so to speak. Also, online dating fraud is currently rampant in the UK. Always google profile text/upload photos to Tineye if your spidey-sense is tingling, and that's even on the most well-curated dating/social media sites.

Also came here to recommend OKCupid and tell you to avoid Badoo/Zoosk, since they tend to harvest user information for nefarious purposes.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:17 PM on October 2, 2012


Not 100% sure if this is still the case, but for as long as I could remember, the aforementioned InformedConsent was the only game in town, to the point where "So... what's your IC handle?" was a common pickup line at fet events.

And yes, it's a personals site. Predominantly so. If you don't/didn't know this, you've missed out on a major chunk of the London fetish scene.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 9:18 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd try OK Cupid, making sure you answer the questions in such a way that you sound super kinky and soon you'll have all the BDSMers asking to be your friend (happens to me!) and the vast majority are lovely, lovely people.

I'd definitely go on Fetlife and find out about crunches and munches in the area and pop along to those for more advice.

I'd second Kinky Salon London (and After Pandora) as really great events to attend, but as another poster said, I have no idea how I know that! :)
posted by ozgirlabroad at 11:49 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't dismiss okc too quickly; if it's anything like the US the non-vanilla people will come out of the woodwork with only a bit of patience. (There's tons--tons!--in nyc, for instance.)
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 12:10 AM on October 3, 2012


OKCupid, InformedConsent.co.uk and Fetlife seem to be the places where the kinksters hang out. As previous posters have said, the key on OKC is to answer 100+ questions and concentrate on those relationship and sexuality issues that will mark you out to their robots as kinky.

I would like to add a third note of recommendation for Kinky Salon London. It's not a "hookup" place at all, it's definitely a mix of Burning Man-esque creativity with cabaret and dressup, but there is some play in the style of Shortbus and they have a really broad mix of kinky people from every walk of life.

The nice thing about KSL is that they do a lot of community-building activities so both at the events and outside them there are opportunities to meet and talk with other like-minded folk. They have their own private social networking site but you'll find them on Fetlife and Facebook like other events.
posted by skylar at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2012


informedconsent.co.uk is, sadly, going out of business in February.
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:44 AM on November 27, 2012


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