Hooking up in the digital age is a comedy of errors. Mixed signals, ghosting, and misleading profiles all work in tandem to spin you in circles until you don’t know left from right. You may have been on the dating app scene for years, but remain as clueless on Tinder as you were the day you first signed up.
It doesn’t help that when you’re just looking for some hanky panky, a dating app that puts folks looking to get hitched in the same pool as those looking for a one-night stand just makes things even harder. How can you break the ice about your budding interest in latex when you’re not sure if the person sitting across from you is already picking a wedding DJ? With so many crossed wires, and a seemingly endless sea of other people looking to match with your same prospects, you’re trapped.
The best way to get more bites on your profile is to dilute yourself into something easy to digest. At the expense of your sexual nuance, you write one quip about yourself, match with someone whose only bio is a string of emojis, and drink your beer like a chaser to swallow down the spiciest desires that rev you up. At the end of the night, you may have gotten laid, but those deep, nestled kinks and fantasies remain unexamined for yet another day.
It can be exhausting. From dick pics to the endless litany of copy/pasted pickup lines to people going AWOL after what you thought was a good night, it can sometimes feel like we’re better off without dating apps at all. Thankfully, there’s one app out there that cuts right to the chase, one that’s been quietly building a following for years – and it’s one you should have installed on your phone last week: Feeld.
Formerly called 3nder before a disgruntled Tinder foisted a lawsuit on them, Feeld is a dating app designed for people who, well, want to play the field. After its 2014 debut, the app has grown steadily in the public sphere. The app’s main goal? To foster a place for folks to explore their sexualities and loosen those neckties. But don’t get them wrong: Feeld isn’t content to just exist as a place for horndogs to exchange explicit content (although a lot of that certainly happens once matches are made). Instead, the emphasis is on exploration. Rules about gender, sexual orientation, monogamy, and kink-shaming are all tossed out the window here, and tender openness reigns supreme.
When you look closer at other dating apps and sites, Feeld’s approach is a gust of fresh air. On the one hand, you have places like Tinder or Bumble, where the focus is on love – or at least a date – and most people on it are vanilla. Conventional dating apps aren’t a place that encourages you to try out new sexual experiences.
On the other hand, hard kink sites like FetLife are intimidating for newbies or folks who aren’t living a full-time BDSM lifestyle. Curious people just browsing there can be overwhelmed by the immediately explicit content, and may not know how to connect with others who are so fluent in kink. Navigating a new kind of intimacy with someone who’s been a pro domme for twenty years when you’ve never explored that facet of yourself before now? Forget about it.
Straddling FetLife and Tinder, the folks at Feeld want their users to feel bountiful surrounded by all the diverse opportunities to get frisky. Unlike Tinder, you’re encouraged to share your sexual fantasies in the “looking for” section of your bio. But unlike FetLife, NSFW photos aren’t allowed in your profile.
Resting in that middle ground, Feeld wants every user’s experience to be “navigable,” at all stages of their sexual awakening. To make sure it’s a comfortable space for everyone, they have one hard boundary: anything unkind, rude, oppressive, or belittling is strictly prohibited. Nothing will get your account deleted faster than making someone else feel small for their identity or desires.
That’s the best part about Feeld: their digital heart beats “inclusivity, acceptance, and respect.” If something happens that violates “these principles towards anyone in [the] community,” Feeld is not afraid to let users know their behavior won’t be tolerated, and can kick them off the app for good.
Many online dating resources focus only on their bottom dollar, pushing to get as many people to sign up as possible. Driven by quality over quantity, Feeld’s raison d’etre is fostering an inclusive space, not necessarily an enormous one. This attitude is especially welcoming for folks who are queer, trans*, have disabilities, or are otherwise not given the mic on the dating scene. With the app explicitly in their corner, all users are on more stable ground to be themselves and dive into the world of online dating.
Don’t let the old name fool you. Although they got their notoriety as a threesome app, Feeld doesn’t want to be pigeonholed in such a narrow category. Instead, they want users to appreciate the app for what it is: “a sex-positive space for humans looking to explore dating beyond the norm.”
When you click around on their website, it becomes apparent that they take that to heart. There are blog posts, artistic collaborations, a literary journal, and regular events that range from virtual talks to (pre-COVID) dance parties. With an eye on diversity, radical inclusion, and sexy connections, Feeld takes the expectations for a hookup app, raises the bar a bit – and then raises it all over again.
Feeld is an app that’s perfect for everyone looking for connections. For singles looking for flings or polyamorous folks looking to make new connections, you can find anything from a hookup for the night as you breeze through London to a life partner to hop into your poly quad.
Some people are even looking to find people interested in attending their orgies. Through matching with folks individually, getting to know them for a second, and then giving them a rundown of the orgy’s guidelines, group sex parties form swiftly and discreetly on Feeld. Don’t be surprised if someone invites you into their big love puddle. Sound like your cup of tea? Be bold and say so in your profile. You never know who’s going to nibble.
It almost goes without saying that an app like this flourishes in places where the kinky, queer, and adventurous gather in droves. There are a few bustling cities where you can find a wealth of folks on Feeld, like:
Although these are only a handful of large cities compared to the breadth of fun places to explore across the world, Feeld’s reach spans five continents, meaning you’re wide open to connect internationally as you travel. Sounds hard to beat – but of course, a hookup app is only as good as the people populating it...which begs the next question:
With an app as international and diverse as this, the dating pool has to be interesting – and Feeld doesn’t disappoint. So many different threads to follow provide near limitless new experiences. But although Feeld is truly for everyone, it specializes in radical queer inclusivity, which they work hard to make abundantly clear.
It’s not that the hookup app is only for the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll definitely see a good chunk of straight folks (mostly couples) looking for threesomes on Feeld. But they are far from the majority and are usually found exploring specific niches like swinging and orgies. However you identify, you’re welcome on Feeld. As rad as it might sound to have a queer-only dating app, the purpose of this one is to push everyone to be more open-minded and radically accepting of all the sexy potential the world has in store.
While the kind of person using Feeld can’t be wrangled down, you can expect to find a lot of curious people, especially folks who are contemplating hooking up with new kinds of people. Because your search parameters are private, people have room to explore without blasting their evolving sexual identity or questions for the world to see.
And you’ll have no lack of options to explore thanks to the single best thing about this app:
There’s a treasure trove of identities to choose from
The brains behind Feeld have one core tenet: respect. They aren’t just paying lip service, though. Through regular updates, the app strives to embody that tenet at every step. Respect comes for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from – and respect begins with inclusivity.
That’s the thing that sets Feeld apart from all other casual dating apps: the vast array of sexualities and gender identities resting at your fingertips. On many dating apps, you have, at best, the option to say you’re bisexual. At worst, some apps like Coffee Meets Bagel only let you choose whether you’re straight or gay/lesbian. There is no middle ground. What’s a polyamorous, pansexual, genderqueer high femme like me to do?
For those of us who don’t exist within the clear-cut lines of popular society’s sexual leanings, Feeld serves as a perfect source for intimacy by offering nineteen sexualities to identify as:
Knowing that humans evolve over time, Feeld lets you change your sexual identity as many times as you’d like. They are continually adding new terms to the basket, so we can be free to define ourselves however we see fit.
Their selection for gender identity is just as broad as the sexual orientations – although there is a limit to how many times you can change your gender here. Pick from one of nineteen gender expressions to best define you:
Every identity is welcome, and every expression is celebrated. Just like with sexual orientation, they are continually embracing and expanding their definitions and terms, and their website even provides a glossary of terms, so people can better understand the cuties they’re swiping on.
And unlike some websites that fall flat of the finish line by letting you identify as nonbinary but only letting you search for men or women, this site lets you choose exactly who you’re looking for. The search parameters include all of the gender identities above, as well as different poly configurations of “Male + Female,” “Male + Male,” or “Female + Female.”
In fact, that’s my only critique of the whole thing. You can’t select to specifically look for queer couples – meaning you have to wade through the straight ones along with the others, or look for solo genderqueer people and hope they’re in a duo. But given Feeld’s track record, I firmly believe that it’s only a matter of time before they’ll iron out this one unwelcome hitch.
When your identity exists in spaces that can’t be contained as tidily as man or woman, and your attraction doesn’t nestle tidily under straight, bi, or gay, an app like Feeld feels like a dream come true.
Polyamory and ethical nonmonogamy are de rigueur here. If anything, you’re more likely to have to mention that you’re monogamous than that you’re polyamorous.
If you’re looking to share your individuality while going on the prowl as a duo, Feeld has you covered still. Made with poly couples or “curious friends” in mind, the site lets you link your account with another person’s. That way, someone can swipe on you as an individual, but see the whole package you and your partner entail. Feeld is proud to support the nonmonogamous community and wants your existing relationship to be something you’re proud to state, not a strange hindrance you have to tack onto the end of your Tinder bio.
And unlike Tinder, where people have condescending comments galore about poly folks, Feeld is designed without the bounds of monogamy upheld as law. It’s for queer and poly people, by queer and poly people, and you’re encouraged to share love freely with as many meaningful partners as you want.
We all know online dating in the time of COVID can be awkward as hell (just ask me about my online Rummikub skills as a dating tactic), and many people are wondering how to go forward and explore the world of intimacy in their own lives without putting themselves, their families, and their roommates at risk.
Ever-changing for our ever-fluid times, Feeld had a plan. Almost immediately after COVID shuttered our windows and turned the deadlocks on our doors, the app announced three fresh ways to connect with people around the world, all without leaving the safety of our own four walls. They called them the “self-isolation cores.” In lieu of putting the city you live as your location, you can now choose one of three cores as your town, so you can connect with folks around the globe looking for the same things you are. International users have flocked from over seventy countries to this sexy resource for couples and individuals to experience new kinds of intimacy, virtually.
Of their self-isolation cores, there are three tiers featuring different kinds of expectations and play.
We’re all lonely right now – and it’s making even the most buttoned-up of us feel a little raunchy cabin fever. Folks living in isolation went from sexy Tinder hookups on a regular basis to nada. Zilch. A dried up dribble where a whole damn river once flowed. If you’re stuck at home and want to finally hit the scene and flirt, the “Staying at Home” self-isolation core may be just right for you.
Don’t knock it til you try it. This is one way to test the scene out virtually without having high expectations. The folks at Feeld recommend you give this one a whirl if you’re looking to “connect with self-isolating humans from around the world.” Perfect for everyone, including shy folks, folks who have never done virtual hookups before, or folks who aren’t even sure if this is their cup of tea, Feeld’s blog says you can expect “romance, friendly and even platonic connections” in the Staying at Home Core.
Worst case scenario, consider it the perfect time to practice flirting with a beautiful, artistic, and brooding French couple.
Looking to get a little spicier than just making friends and complimenting someone’s shoulder freckle via Zoom? Turn up the temperature by hitting up the Remote Trios Core. Specifically designed for couples and singles aching to play together digitally, this location setting lets threesomes unfold all over the globe, no questions asked.
The goal of this group is just to connect people for long-distance threesomes over Zoom or Skype. Just be careful you’re all on the same page, so your Zoom threesome doesn’t end up looking something like this.
If the other two cores sound too tame and you’re looking to be so scandalized you blush right down to your knuckles, throw your hat in the ring at the Fantasy Bunkers Core. Dedicated to all things devilishly NSFW, this core cuts right to the chase and is all about people meeting to get sexy right out the gate.
You’re not here to play games or virtual footsie with people, are you? In the Fantasy Bunkers, orgies, sexting, nudes exchanges, and all other socially distant canoodlings you can imagine abound. Anyone with a dirtier mind who’s not looking for romancing will find themselves right at home here.
What particularly sets the Fantasy Bunkers Core apart from the others is that instead of giving space to create potentially meaningful connections, the focus is just on letting that freak flag flow with pride.
An app like this is bound to have its thorns, and at the end of the day, Feeld is as flawed as any other dating app. For starters, like on all dating sites, people sometimes can be strange. But here, “strange” may be flipped. Some users are really straight-laced compared to the lax attitude, and they seem like they’re just there to take – not to give. In their photos, their faces are always cropped out, and they’re wearing the kinds of outfits you’d see at an upscale bar: a black cocktail dress and strappy heels for her, and a button-down and suit jacket for him. The problem with it is that their profiles have minimal effort, and the only interests they express focus on how they can receive pleasure, not how they can exchange it. While this may fly on other apps, it feels jarring and out of place on such a collaborative place as Feeld, and can take you out of the swiping zone fast.
That’s not the only problem. I love this app, I really do, but there’s something that’s missing: people. While you’ll be scrolling pretty endlessly in large cities like Denver, New York City, San Francisco, and even Portland, Oregon, living in a smaller town will yield absolutely nothing. While we were visiting Tallahassee, Florida last year for a wedding, my husband and I pulled up Feeld out of curiosity – and found nobody. Literally. As wonderful as the app is, it’s unfortunately maybe a little too ahead of its time for some of the sleepier parts of the globe. Still, just like any site (including the one you’re reading this article on), it’s only worth what the users and community put into it. To help Feeld thrive, download it no matter you live, and check back every once and a while. Even if you never find anyone in your town, the worst case scenario is that you have an app and profile that are ready for vacation flings.
There’s one final problem that has many people throwing their hands up about this app altogether: the glitches. Personally, I love Feeld enough to deal with them, but I get why some people are frustrated. It’s no fun when all the swipes you did are suddenly gone, and the people you’ve swiped “no” on pop right back into your feed. Sometimes, the app won’t let you see anyone nearby, even though you’re in a busy city that had plenty of users just the day before. Judging by the reviews, iPhone users seem to have it a lot better than Android users. The Feeld app has 4.3 stars on the iTunes store from nearly eleven thousand users, while the Android store gives it a shocking 2.4 stars from just over seven thousand disgruntled folks looking for a hookup. If a glitching app is enough to deter you from trying new dating sites out, then I’ll be honest: Feeld may not be the one for you.
I’m not a Feeld spokesmodel, but I have been using this app since 2016 – and it has been the source of countless beautiful experiences. From my first threesome with my husband to my first orgy, and all the way to my current fledgling poly Coronaboo situation with a new partner, I’ve reached for this app time and again as the world unfolds and changes around me. No matter what happens, I know there’s one dating and hookup app that’s keeping up with the times. Glitches and all, this is one app you can’t sleep on.