Monday, 17 June 2013

Specialized Dating Sites


Specialized dating sites are becoming increasingly popular as some people become overwhelmed by the number of users on larger websites and opt to pursue quality over quantity.  It’s better to have 10,000 members who are looking for the same thing as you than 10 million who aren’t.  No matter what your interests are, there’s a website out there for you.  It would be impossible to discuss all the different types of niche dating sites out there, but here are a few.

Hook Ups

Some sites have hook-ups rather than dating or relationships as their primary focus.  This does everyone a favour as it reduces the number of incompatible people on websites intended for more serious dating.  Adult Friend Finder is one of the most popular.  It’s a pay site but many women receive membership for free if they meet certain demographic requirements.  There appear to be far more men than women on the site and female users tend to be bombarded with messages.  Inactive profiles, obvious fakes, and sex workers and adult performers abound.

Affairs

Ashley Madison is a website along similar lines to Adult Friend Finder, but it caters to individuals who are already married or in a committed relationship.  If you’re single, you can still use the site, but you’ll have a harder time meeting people as most of those on Ashley Madison are looking to have an affair with someone who has as much at stake as they do.  Its slogan is “Life is short.  Have an affair.”   There are many complaints from men that there are few active women on the site and that the relatively balanced gender ratio the site claims is closer to 10 men to every woman.  It claims to have 5.2 million users.  It’s a pay site that operates on a credit system, rather than monthly fees, but you can respond to messages you receive without payment.  For this reason, most women don’t choose to become paying members.  Scammers and adult industry pros tend to send “collect” messages that users have to pay to view.  Few members have photos as they want to maintain their privacy.  It’s also known that private investigators often check the site if someone suspects their spouse of having an affair.  The site does have an Affair Guarantee if you fulfill a list of requirements in your search.  It’s more expensive than other affair-oriented sites and women rarely respond since they receive so many messages.  It’s also been reported that they charge some members $19 to remove their profiles.

Religious


There are many websites dedicated to introducing people from a particular religious background, but JDate.com is one of the most popular.  It also has a reputation for amusing, sarcastic, self-deprecating profiles.  Some users complain that there are too many non-Jewish members.  Although more common on free sites, JDate.com has its share of abandoned profiles.  It has around 500,000 members, fairly evenly distributed between male and female, but most of these are concentrated in urban areas.  It provides a valuable service, however, as faith and tradition are important elements of compatibility.  Users fill out questions relevant to their faith, such as how often they attend temple and whether or not they keep kosher.  The service is open to gays and lesbians as well.
 
Pet Lovers

For some people a date not adoring their pet is a deal breaker.  This is where DateMyPet.com comes in.  It’s a pay site with over 10,000 members and based on their slogan of “Date me, date my pet.”  It’s not only for those looking to date.  People looking for friends and to set up play dates for their animals are welcome as well. 

Subcultures

If you belong to a particular subculture, don’t you want to date people who “get it?”  PunkMatch.com is a pay site purporting to have many attractive punk members, but, unsurprisingly, people have different ideas about what punk is and are often disappointed when other members don’t match their vision.  The majority of its users are in the United States.

Jailbirds

For reasons beyond most people’s comprehension some folks have always tried specifically to strike up relationships with incarcerated individuals.  Women Behind Bars caters to this desire.  Prisoners write to the site about themselves and include a photograph and their release date.  People can pay for their mailing address and get in touch.  Oddly, the profiles don’t include the crime for which the women are doing time, which seems dangerous.  The photos and information can’t be verified and many of the pictures appear to be outdated.

Drug Users

People who regularly indulge in drug use usually look for like-minded partners (or at least those who aren’t bothered by it).  420 Dating is a free site for pot smokers, which unfortunately makes it a haven for scammers.  There are far more men on the site than women.

Height-Specific

Little People Meet is one of only a few dating websites catering to little people and it’s the one with the most members.  It’s a pay site and there’s not much you can do without paying for full membership. There’s no customer service number available.  It’s difficult to find reviews written by users of the site.
Mental Illness

No Longer Lonely is a dating website exclusively for those living with one or more mental illnesses.  It’s free for the most part, though there are some paid options.  These don’t tend to interfere with general use of the site, though.  It makes it easy to avoid people who are unwilling or unable to date someone with a mental illness.  However, the site acknowledges that it’s had problems with people harassing members, criminals joining, and romance scammers looking to prey on the vulnerable.

Philosophy
The Atlasphere is an online community dedicated to fans of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead.  It has over 15,000 dating profiles.  Members can also contribute articles and essays.  Some obviously feel it’s worth the fees as it can be hard to meet people interested in Ayn Rand and objectivism (particularly if you’re under 30).
Sugar Daddies
There are a large number of websites trying to match sugar daddies and sugar babies in “mutually beneficial” arrangements.  SugarDaddie.com is one of these.  There is fee to initiate contact with another user, so most women don’t initiate.  It doesn’t verify users’ incomes.  Anyone can join if they are over the age of 21.  Many women’s reviews suggest that female users may come into contact with rude, entitled, and psychologically abusive men.  The focus of the male users seems to be on sex rather than on dating or on relationships.
Geeks
Geek 2 geek (gk2gk.com) is exactly what it sounds like: a dating website catering to nerdy people.  It claims to have over 200,000 members, but many of its profiles appear to be abandoned. Without paying for membership, all you can do is wink at other users, expressing your interest.  The site claims that this allows people to determine whether there’s any mutual interest before shelling out for the service.  The gender ration seems rather imbalanced.
Music
Tastebuds.fm is a unique dating site that uses radio website the last.fm to match users based on their musical preferences.  That’s right: no more having to beg your partner to wear earphones during Tom Jones marathons.  Each user must either have a last.fm profile or list their three favourite artists or bands.  Oh, and it’s free.
Ivy League
The Right Stuff Dating seeks to match people who have graduated from or who teach at elite American universities.  The website appears amateurish and there are several complaints about the customer service.  The pool is small and there is a fee whenever you want to get in contact with someone.  The quality of the profiles, however, appears to be higher than on other websites.
Accents
If you’re a lady who enjoys British accents, give Date British Guys a try.  Most of the gentlemen are located in the UK, but plenty are spaced out elsewhere as well.  The site verifies that the men have been born in the UK, are 21 or older, and are using their own photographs, so you can feel confident conversing with anyone with a verified profile.
 
STIs/STDs
Positive Singles is one of the best dating websites for people with STIs (formerly known as STDs).  It’s a pay site, but it’s free to respond to messages that you receive.  There are few scammy profiles because they are approved b a real, live person.  There are more than 100,000 members and active message boards concerning life with an STI.  The service is available for both gay and straight individuals.
Agriculture
If you live and work on a farm or on a ranch, you probably have a hard time meeting new people or trying to date people from the city.  Farmers Only is a pay website brings together people who understand the lifestyle that accompanies agricultural work.  It seems very successful, likely because of members’ willingness to relocate and shared values.
Fetishes
There are a variety of fetish dating sites out there; some are broader and some are more specific.  Diaper Mates provides free chat and polls for adult babies and the people who love them.  The very existence of such a site is no doubt reassuring to its users and leaves them feeling less isolated, even if they never meet someone in person.
Cougars
Yes! Mrs. Robinson is one of several websites dedicated to cougars and their younger prey.  It’s a pay site that seems geared toward casual encounters.  There’s dating coach available through the site and “Mrs. Robinson” keeps a blog about her dating experiences. 
Chubbies and their Chasers
Cuddly Lovers is a site for big, beautiful people and the chubby chasers who love them.  It’s a pay site that claims over 13 million members.  It offers audio and video chat.  Erotic photography can either be blocked or viewed.  Users can also fill out a “Sexual CV”, a sort of resume for intimate encounters.
Tattoos
Tattooed Singles caters to those with tattoos and the people who prefer their lovers to come decorated.  As the popularity of tattoos grows, so one might expect a site like this to expand as well, but customers who have tried this pay site complain that there are too few users.  Perhaps tattoos are no longer niche enough to support a pay site.
Gay Men
When it comes to websites for gay men, Adam4Adam is one of the most popular, likely because it’s free and has a large number of users.  There are even ways to make a profit on the site, as escorts aren’t discouraged and men can charge for video chat.  Most of the site’s revenue is generated by ads.  Some users find the messaging system confusing.  Others have expressed a concern that some people aren’t
being honest about their HIV statuses.  It seems to be used to find friends with benefits and casual hook-ups than for dating. 
Race
Black People Meet is probably the best website focused on introducing people of African descent.  It’s one of the largest, too, with over 1000 people signing up each day.  It’s a pay site.  Users can record audio or video greetings for their profiles and can suggest that sort of things they like in a first message, providing guidance to those interested in getting to know them.  Gays and lesbians are welcome.    Unfortunately, the matching system doesn’t take personality into consideration.
Single Parents
Local Single Moms is a pay site that allows people to build video profiles about themselves and their families.  It also has audio and video chat capabilities.  Reviews online, however, mostly portray it as place to meet potential hook ups, rather than partners. 

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