We work online, we order food online at Seamless, we tell people when we’re sleeping online in Skype mood messages, we get jobs online on Linkedin, we invite friends to parties online on Facebook and we meet interesting people who can turn into friends online on Twitter.
Perhaps more than any other activity, online dating is one of those mysterious realms where our real life interactions have been hugely augmented by sites like Match, eHarmony, JDate, Plenty of Fish and OKCupid. As the Web expands, we’ve seen several genius spins on online dating like Clique, which matches you with your friends of friends on Facebook, Cheek’d, which meshes physical business cards into the online dating world, MeetMoi, a fun, location based dating app and my personal favorite- HowAboutWe.
“On the one hand, you would think that the ultimate dating site on the planet would have all the singles on the planet on it. That would make the most sense from a selection stand point, you would think. Singles could search and select for people who match their infinite preferences from a vast pool of singles. The reality, however, is that people usually have a particular thing that is really important to them. It could be that they really want to meet someone who is Christian, or someone who is into tattoos, or who loves dogs, or horses, or golf, etc. So niche dating sites have sprung up to serve these interests and commonalities. People bond best when they share something in common. So this acts as a means of conversation and connection,” says Mark Brooks, an Analyst and Consultant in the online dating world.
Here be gadgets
Not here exactly, but on our new hardware site Plugged.
On that note, I’ve rounded up a list of some extremely niche, and even seriously strange, online dating sites. I’m not suggesting you use any of them, but wanted you to be aware they exist for your daily consumption and browsing pleasure…
Love Horse is a dating site for horse lovers. My first reaction is, what is it about women and horses? In old folk lore, women were always portrayed in near religious ecstasy when paired with a muscular stallion. Women seemed to be completely enraptured by horses.
Whether you are looking for romance, flirtation, penpals, or just some new friends who share your passion for equestrian and country pursuits you’ll find exactly who you are looking for here locally or around the world.
Log in via Facebook and browse horse-loving singles from the world over, whether for love or friendship purposes. The site functions less as the result of erotic literature and is actually an online community for those who live, work or play in the countryside including equestrian singles, horse and country sports lovers, farmers, farriers, vets and all rural romantics. Love Horse lets you see how many miles away you live from each member, but not how much farm land they have, which would be a nice additional feature.
Yes! Mrs. Robinson
On the online dating site Yes! Mrs. Robinson, love gets younger every day. The site is dedicated to pairing cougars with their prey– in other words older women who enjoy the company of younger men, as was famously portrayed in the 1967 film The Graduate, when recent university grad Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft, only to fall in love with her daughter Elaine, played Katharine Ross.
Enjoy modern relationships where no-one is off limits. Age, status and background are no longer obstacles to love – today’s young man loves the confident, experienced woman who knows exactly what she wants….
The site’s blog is amazing, including plenty of advice for cougar women and their toy boys such as, how to introduce your cougar to mum? Be afraid; be very afraid – and be brave. It’s got to be done if you two are getting serious.
For another cougar toy boy website, check out Toy Boy.
Tired of shallow conversation? Want to have dinner with someone who’s comfortable discussing time travel and multiple dimensions? Check out Brainiac Dating. On the site, members earn badges for solving puzzles and playing games. Lawrence Chernin, the CEO and founder of Brainiac Dating, who runs the site on his own, says he started the site to be a community of people who valued intelligence, but not necessarily via book learning or college degrees.
“I was thinking of the case of many super-successful college dropouts – especially those in the tech world like the Facebook guy,” Chernin says. “There are no check boxes for this kind of thing on Match.com. There are also many different kinds of intelligence, so it’s not just about IQ, and anyone can join.”
For another geeky dating site, check out Seek a Geek.
Cuddly Lover (UK only) is for all the chubby chasers out there. The Big Momma lovers. The BBW, BBWW, SSBBW and BBT admirers. The FFAs. The encouragers.
Spending the whole day in bed with someone is no fun if they’re following the size zero craze. What you want is a woman who knows what it means to have curves and is as soft and squishy as a pillow when it comes to cuddling her up close. Sound appealing? Then why not find a cuddly lover of your very own today by signing up for free with Cuddly Lovers Dating. Male or female, if you prefer a partner with a bit of meat on their bones, then you’re sure to find them online with Cuddly Lovers today!
I promise I didn’t know all of this terminology from experience. There’s actually an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to “Fat Fetishism,” which sounds a bit harsh.
If you do most of your shopping at Hot Topic, then Savage Hearts may be the dating site of your dreams. For all the Gwen Stefani wannabes with Hello Kitty tattoos, it’s the No.1 online alternative dating site in the UK.
Savage Hearts is…a fiend finder service, for those proud to be a little different! Pin-up pretties, tattooed temptresses, gorgeous geeks or fruity fetishists… all warps of life are warmly welcomed at Savage Hearts! Now you can search through tons of new profiles and find likeminded alternative gals and guys who share your tastes, whether you’re after an epic romance, a no-strings fling or new pals.
Do you think edible underwear is delicious? Do tongue piercings turn you on? S&M anyone? And no, I don’t mean sales and marketing…
If you dig the Hello Vader tattoo pictured above, you should know there’s a huge crop of online dating websites dedicated to pairing up lovers with tattoos. One is Tattooed Singles, “where body and art connect” which helps singles with tattoo designs and body art to meet and enjoy each other.
Love tattoos and piercings? You’re not alone! Share your passion for body art with other women and men. From flowers to dragon art, even washable tattoos, our free dating service helps you find like-minded people… Tattooed Singles provides a comfortable and intimate environment to safely and conveniently find your perfect soul mate. Tattooed Singles has a secure, easy to use database of women and men who are looking for dating, friendship, romance and intimacy. Is your ideal companion among them?
In various times and cultures, red hair has been coveted, feared, and ridiculed. Red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, a werewolf or a vampire during the Middle Ages. But in many cultures, gingers have been found to bring good luck into homes and a surprisingly large number of big lottery winners have been found to have recently “rubbed a ginger” in the belief that some of that ginger luck would rub off. If rubbing a ginger is your thing, check out DateGinger, which is “the ginger and redhead dating specialist, purely for gingers, redheads and their many fans.” The site operates in both the UK and the US.
If you have the good taste to know that red is best, if you want to linger with a ginger, if you like pale and interesting, fiery personalities and partners that look fabulous in green…
So, what is it about niche dating sites that attract users’ attention?
“When someone hits a dating site home page and sees people just like them, they feel like they are home. They feel warm and fuzzy, and are more likely to convert as paying members, so niche dating makes good business sense,” says Mark Brooks, an Analyst and Consultant in the online dating world.