Silicon Valley has its fingers in a lot of pies—and I’m not just talking about the kind you bake. In the past decade, tens of millions of Americans have turned to the Internet for love—and dating and sex apps ballooned out from a few big players like OkCupid and Match to hundreds of niche interest and fetish sites.
As entrepreneurs have grown increasingly hungry for a slice of this proverbial love pie, desperate start-ups have been trying to carve out their own tiny and loyal user bases. You may have heard about 3ndr (pronounced “thrinder”), the app for finding threesomes, or FarmersOnly, the dating website for meeting farmers. But have you heard of any of these quirkier ones?
IntimiDate: This dating app caters only to type-A, Ivy League grads with perfect GPAs, low body fat and a high sperm count.
Bi & Large:Pretty much what it sounds like, Bi & Large is the premier dating site for bears who swing on both sides of the branch. Grr?
Thatch.com: The only dating website for people who work in the roofing and construction industry. Their motto? “Single and ready to shingle.”
MeatPeople: An industry-centric dating app that caters exclusively to butchers and meatpackers, and the people who love them (and their bloody, swollen hands). As you might have guessed from the name, it has a focus on casual encounters. Who knew butchers were so horny?
Outskirts: A dating website specifically for dykes who live in the suburbs.
FluoriDate: This is a dating app exclusively for dentists and dental hygienists who live in the Miami area. Hmm, that name works on three levels.
Theterosexuals: For the few straight people who work in the theater industry, this is a dating and casual-sex site just for you. Users can list their relationship goal as “long-term dating,” “short-term dating” or “duet partner.”
Pedalphile: This unfortunately named dating app caters to those with a fetish for cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts. There’s fierce competition in the cyclist-fetish dating-app space. BicyXual, one similar app, has as its motto, “Are You Bike-Curious?”
KinkedIn: Though more of a career-building site than a strict dating site, KinkedIn is networking for people in the BDSM world. They recently merged with TwinkedIn.
CraigsTryst: This fork of the Craigslist website allows you to search casual encounters exclusively.
Humpr: Humpr is a casual dating service for—yes, you guessed it—lonely dogs. Profiles of nearby pups, including their breed, weight and neutered/non-neutered status, appear next to their pictures. Fido then swipes left or right with his or her paw. If a mutual connection is made, the owners arrange a meet-up. Humpr suggests that the first meeting be held somewhere in public, like a dog run.
Given the size of doggie paws compared to human fingers, the Humpr app is optimized for the large-screened, paw-friendly iPad. Humpr recently announced that a Lightning port “smell-o-vision” connector is in development for an “immersive, sensory canine dating experience”—sort of like Oculus Rift for dogs, I guess.
High Standards: Unsurprisingly, there’s a dating app for stoners. This is California, after all.