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Fine Tune Your Kinks: Whiplr Is the New Seamless for Kinkster Sex

Whiplr is the latest dating app promising instant sex. This time, with finely-tuned sexualities and kinks.

by Sophie Saint Thomas
Mar 15 2015, 5:36am

Tinder is our generation's Tetris. It's a game: halfheartedly swiping on a device while Portlandia reruns play on your computer screen and your cat judges you on a Friday night. But if you just want to get laid, it's an unabashedly direct way to get some. And now, with Whiplr, a "messenger with kinks," you can get even more to the point.

"The idea came from within the kink community. There simply wasn't a mobile app for people to find and connect with other people into fetish and kink," said Whiplr's Chief Communications Officer, Daniel Sevitt. "We decided to come up with something that served the people who needed it, but could also be distributed through the two big mobile app gatekeepers, Apple and Google." Along with messaging, you can communicate via voice and video calls.

After rounds of coding in 2014, Whiplr was released this year in time for Valentine's Day. It's new, so it has a fairly low number of users. Like Grindr, it's location based, and you don't need a Facebook account to use it. "It's a great way to find new friends and potential play partners either close to you or further afield," says Sevitt. "It was important to us that you don't need a social login to start using Whiplr, so you are free to self-define any way you like."

In terms of sexual orientation, the app is delightfully loosey-goosey. The label of "bisexual" (so weird Christian Mingle won't let me select that option!) can be a confusing term, because while you may be attracted to both genders, for many it's not a binary split. We all know those girls who claim to be bi, but the closest they've gotten to eating pussy is a drunk high school make out. I don't see those girls as attention-seekers; instead, I see them as just 90% into men and 10% into women, rather than a 50/50 split. Whiplr lets you define your bisexuality with precision. "We understand that both gender identity and gender preference are gloriously complex and fluid concepts," says Sevitt. "We wanted to find a way to express that, and we are still wrestling with it even after we've launched as people come to us to requests for more nuance and additional dimensions."

Along with specific gender preferences, Whiplr separates itself by allowing you to announce your kinks via category (objects, shopping, odors) and filter potential partners by body type and whether they have a partner, sort of like filtering which Italian restaurants serve Caesar salads on Seamless. I want a real Caesar, none of this kale bullshit. It's like FetLife, Ashley Madison, and Tinder all rolled into one.

Such attention to detail is likely what's limiting Whiplr. Other than those times I have a food craving so specific I worry I'm pregnant, I don't know what the fuck I want to eat. Most kinks are discovered through dating and meeting new people. Although newbies may not be aware of which objects turn them on, the app is aware of the evolution of desire. "At least in your public profile, the kink categories are deliberately broad. This is partly in response to the content rules of those mobile gatekeepers, and partly to allow every member to self-define any way they like," says Sevitt. "Once you make contact with someone, you are free to discuss any aspect of your passions and fetishes in private. Kink is a journey and everyone should be free to be who they want to be and like what they want without someone else defining it for them."

Although I specified my gender preference to fifty percent women and fifty percent men (basically, I want to eat both tacos and sausage for lunch, so I go with the chorizo taco), my screen looked like a beehive of sexually frustrated males who, oddly enough, used most of their messaging efforts to ask if I had had any luck getting laid through the app, rather than make any actual seduction efforts. It was like a seedy basement bar of dudes sipping cheap Scotch with one woman sitting in the corner. Vicious cycle, boys.

There were two hot chicks. One girl I recognized because she had already rejected me on Tinder. The second was, despite my location in Greenpoint, located in a small Pennsylvania town, into assault play, and knew my boyfriend from high school. If these were the only options that showed up for me as a New York City resident, what do kinky kids in the suburbs do?

"I hope that Whiplr serves the need it was created for. Until now, there has been no way for you to carry your fetishes around in your pocket," says Sevitt. So sign up pervs! Once one jumps off the cliff, the rest will follow. I tried to set up some dates but nothing clicked. The men were too scary and the tiny smattering of women just didn't seem to be feeling me. So, hey: if any ladies want to skip the bar scene to get herbal with me in bed, or any dudes want to fulfill their shopping fetish without any sexual expectations, message me.

Follow Sophie St. Thomas on Twitter.