Photo by Don Hankins.
Written by: Margaret Jacobi
OkCupid bringing you down? Match.com seem a little too mature? Sick of scouring profiles trying to find someone who really understands your obsession with your cats or Ayn Rand? Is there really a “someone” for everyone? Hell if I know. But lucky for us all, the Internet niche dating website explosion has made it possible for hyper picky singles to at least find their ultra-obsessive counterparts. We’ve made a roundup of the top ten most interesting niche sites. Whether they’re funny, upsetting, or just plain weird, once again the Internet has provided dating opportunities we may or may not want to even think about.
Unapologetically shallow, this site allows users to “Browse beautiful profiles of men and women without sifting through all the riff raff.” Applicants to this site undergo the scrutiny of being voted upon by existing members to be accepted into the exclusive pool of genetically blessed individuals. They are very serious about this filtration process. Apparently, the site axed 5,000 people in December 2010 for gaining winter weight. In a CNN article, founder Robert Hintze said “”Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded.” Harsh. Once you’re in though, the site claims it can provide opportunities to attend private events or be “discovered.” Which begs the question, is it a place where people look for love or a badge of beauty? Apparently the site will produce a television show featuring an elite group of people from their site. I wonder what that plot will be; oh wait, I’m already bored.
Screenshot of beautifulpeople.com.*
Perhaps a little less offensive than BeautifulPeople.com, DateMyPet.com offers a service for those who probably care more for their animals than their appearance. The site provides pet advice, dating tips, and pet AND dating advice (in three respective tabs). It presents a platform for users to find companions for their pets, themselves, or both. Singles post descriptions and photos of themselves and their dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, fish, etc. Matches are based on compatibility of users and their pets. And I thought my friends making Facebook profiles for their pets was taking it too far.
Screenshot of datemypet.com.*
If you’d rather be a pet than own one, pounced.org might be the right place for you. The site is made for “furries”, or people attracted to fur fandom, which can be best described as “the appreciation, promotion, and production of stories and art about anthropomorphic animals, as well as the exploration, interpretation and examination of humanity and human values through anthropomorphic expression.” Or in plain speak, dressing up as animals that embody human traits i.e. walking, talking, etc. You can search for different mates based on your “fursona” or the different animal species you relate to (avian, mammal, feline). One user writes of himself, “As for my fursona, I am a wolf-canine, but not a mean wolf, more of a trusting, loyal and protective wolf.” Right.
“Furries” in their natural habitat at the 2008 Midwest Fur Festival, photo by Laurence Parry.
“Love Long and Prosper” is the slogan for this site devoted to all those inclined to sci-fi. Members in this community can embrace their extensive knowledge of Star Wars, Star Trek, and make love “the final frontier.” Perhaps one of the only places where you can both argue about which Star Wars film is the best and meet a potential mate; where swooning a partner can actually be achieved through sci-fi geekery. Forum topics include everything from Battlestar Galactica to Dr. Who. Geek out and may the force be with you.
Photo by Meghan McMillan.
A site for people who REALLY love Ayn Rand, to the extent that fundamental admiration is necessary in a match. The site claims “For many people, Ayn Rand’s novels are more than just ‘a good read’; they inspire us to become better human beings.” Not that I necessarily disagree; a first date discussion focused entirely on mutual appreciation for Ayn Rand sounds insanely obnoxious.
Screenshot of theatlasphere.com.*
For those having a hard time finding a mellow mate, 420dating.com might be the answer. The site itself is somewhat subtle on its stance regarding marijuana, limiting its mention of the substance to graphics of the leaf or blog posts highlighting various hippy-centric subjects such as “10 reasons to date a stoner guy.” Some of the users are much more blatant, posting poems which profess love of the special green substance. If this particular site doesn’t strike your fancy though, a simple google search renders 3 similar alternatives.
Screenshot of 420dating.com.
[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/12021984[/vimeo]Official Salad Match promotional video.
A site for young professionals who are so WASPy that they feel it’s appropriate to base a love interest’s compatibility on salad toppings. “Don’t have time for a traditional date?” asks the site, “No problem! Meet at Just Salad for lunch or dinner, schmooze over a frozen yogurt, and get lost in each other’s eyes while enjoying a freshly chopped salad.” Soulmates are determined by which salad locations you frequent, when you eat salad, and what toppings you prefer. OMG I love Diet Coke too.
For country dwellers who do have good Internet connections way out where, FarmersOnly.com provides a new pastime once their hard day’s work is done. The site provides a safe haven for those with “good old fashioned traditional values” from the “city folks” who “just don’t get it.” The good folks feeding the country can have more than cows for company now.
Screenshot of farmersonly.com.*
Dedicated to those with a particular affinity to certain facial hair once assumed by creeps and recently adopted by hipsters. There are three different experience levels on the site for those who appreciate well-trimmed lip fur (newbies, experts, or stache groupies) in addition to various sorts of mustache categories (I recommend visiting the “Dirty Sanchez” stache group – ed.). So if you’ve always had the inclination to date a man with a handlebar mustache, that goal could be well within your reach.
Photo by Allison Cathrae.
Lastly, to the weirdest, probably most upsetting of all the niche dating sites, we’ve reached DailyDiapers.com. A site for “Adult Babies, Diaper Lovers, Big Kids, Mommies and Daddies featuring over 22,000 FREE photos of diapered women, men and couples.” This community won’t judge you for wanting to revert back to your childhood and soil an adult diaper. Elicit ads for spankings and a “mommy to change your diapy” border the site that allows people with this particular fetish to connect. I’m glad for them as long as they keep it on the Internet and behind closed doors. As for me, I’d rather never think about it again.
Screenshot of dailydaipers.com.*
*Screenshots copyright and trademarked by BeautifulPeople.com, SocialEgg, 420 Dating, FarmersOnly.com, and VTL DailyDi Websites, respectively.