Feeld Is The Dating App For The Open-Minded

If you've yet to venture into the exciting world of dating apps, you should know that there's something for everyone. Apps for farmers and sea captains only? You better believe it. An app for hot sauce connoisseurs? That exists, too. As do apps for clowns, tall people, mustache-lovers, and gluten-free folks. So, naturally there would be a dating app for the kinky people out there. It's called Feeld.

"Feeld is a platform for alternative dating, for people who are beyond labels," Feeld developer Ana Kirova tells The New York Times. "They can meet each other without the necessity of coming from a very defined place with a very defined requirement." While dating apps like OKCupid and Bumble have added other genders and sexual identities to choose from in users' profiles, it's still not all-inclusive. Feeld picks up where other dating apps leave off and goes even further, giving people space to include their kinks and fetishes in their profile, too.

But you don't have to know exactly what your kinky side is to give Feeld a try. Because it is a safe space to share and explore, you can create an account just to see what's out there, without having to fully commit (until you're ready). You might be surprised by what you discover about yourself.

Why Feeld is an important dating app option

Although when we hear the words "dating app," our mind tends to think of only a handful of apps, human sexuality isn't just a handful of things. It's so expansive that, according to 2018 study by Eden Fantasys, 40% of U.S. adults consider themselves kinky and 36% have a specific kink or fetish — and that's just one study. Having Feeld as an option for singles, or people in open or polyamorous relationships looking to add a third or more, is acknowledging there's no one way to love or experience sexual intimacy. Its shame-free platform makes people of all flavors of the sexual rainbow feel comfortable about what gets them off, from the very vanilla to the kinkiest of the kinkiest.

"Everyone has a kink profile, and although a lot of people reject that fact, it's human nature. It's embedded in our human psyche," Principal (Madam) of The School of Somatic Kink Renee Mayne tells Vice. "By identifying the kinks inside the body we are able to unlock information blocks. We can identify suppressed desires and help them evolve. Exploring kinks can help people meet themselves, get emotional relief and empowerment, and feel like they're taking control back into their lives."

When we feel empowered, we're more likely to speak openly about the things that once shamed us, thereby reducing any surrounding stigma. Feeld creates a safe space to have these conversations that allow discovery and dilutes some of the loneliness that may come with certain fetishes.

How to know if Feeld is for you

Not everyone becomes fully bloomed or secure in their sexuality at the same time. For some people, they don't realize they're kinky or have a fetish until they're in their 40s or 50s, while others figure out in their 20s that their sexual interests aren't exactly mainstream. But if the need for more is there, it's just a matter of opening your mind and tapping into it. If your curiosity is piqued at the idea of exploring other ways to enjoy human company than what you've always known, Feeld is right for you. If you're not curious now, you may become intrigued someday or maybe never at all. There's no shame in either scenario.

"With people who are high sensation seekers, in some of the research that's been connected, we see that their dopamine receptors aren't quite as sensitive as other people," research fellow at the Kinsey Institute Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. tells Glamour. "So they just sort of require this higher level or higher threshold of excitement to get the same sexual thrills that other people do."

If you're thinking Feeld might be something that's up your alley, you might as well give it a try. It's not strictly for people who want to indulge in things that would raise an eyebrow, but rather a place where they can feel safe being their kinky, authentic selves. We need more safe spaces like Feeld so people don't have to pretend to be something they're not.