Mar 032015
 

whiplr kinky app

Whiplr: Kinky Tinder (kinda) .

There’s a new app called “Whiplr.” According to developers, Whiplr is “The world’s first and only location-based messaging app to help you connect with people who share your interests in kinks, either online or in person.”

Think Tinder for for kinky people… kinda. At least I think that’s the intention.

Like Tinder, Whiplr is a messaging app with GPS and location services that will help you find people in your area to fuck.

But with Whiplr, not only can you find people who want to fuck, but also, you can find people who want to tie you down and hit you with stuff… and they can find you too! (what could possibly go wrong?)

Other Differences (in no particular order):

Whiplr allows connection with people outside your geographic location for online interactions. Tinder does not.

Tinder requires access to users’ Facebook accounts. Whiplr does not. It boasts total anonymity[1] and privacy.[2]

Presumably, Tinder was developed by people with some sexual experience. Clearly, Whiplr was NOT developed by kinky people.

Additional Points of WTF.

Helloooo Gender Binaries. Whiplr is ridiculously reductive and outdated in its limited gender and sexuality options. While the app allows users to enter in sexual partner gender preferences on a sliding scale (e.g. “75% into men, 25% into women”), it’s still a sliding scale between binaries. Worse than that, the only two options users have to identify their genders are “I am a man” or “I am a woman.”

whiplr bdsm app kink categoriesBaffling Kink Categories: Whiplr groups kinks and fetishes into eight (almost totally nonsensical) categories: just curious, fashion, objects, behavior, materials, accessories, sounds, other. (I can’t wait to see what happens when a dude who’s interested in dirty talk meets up with a woman who’s interested in sticking metal rods into cocks. Sounds vs. sounds? What could be more clear?)

WTF Profile Guidelines: According to the “Profile Guidelines,” Whiplr doesn’t allow nudity, see-through clothing, or implied nudity (whatever that is). Also, it prohibits “sexually explicit pics, period,” including “[s]ex acts or sex toys of any kind. Fetish & BDSM toys are okay as long as they are not sexually explicit.” (Yeah, I know sex and BDSM can be completely separate… but come on… seriously? I’m eager to see what makes the cut as a BDSM toy that isn’t sexually explicit. I mean, rope isn’t inherently sexually explicit, but in the context of a kinky hookup app, it’s pretty fucking suggestive.)

It’s Broken: At the moment, Whiplr doesn’t work so well. Users report glitches, difficulty searching, and a number of other problems. I concur. I downloaded the app, started creating a profile, but got stuck at the “upload a photo” area — I can’t seem to upload anything (it won’t access my photos). I’ll keep trying, though… for SCIENCE!

Kinking on Community Capitalism.

Anyway, based on its ridiculously limited choices for gender and its mysterious kink categories alone, I’d bet my favorite flogger that none of the developers actually belong to any “kink community” or have much experience with BDSM. It doesn’t look like they even bothered to read up on anything.

According to an email to The Daily Dot, CCO Daniel Sevitt says Whiplr aims to “help experienced kinksters connect” and “provide a safe and welcoming environment for the kink curious to begin their journey.” While that sounds nice, my hunch is that the far more accurate interpretation of the company’s mission is available on the Partners.Whiplr website.

In about a week, Whiplr will roll out an affiliate scheme program aimed at signing up new users to the free version, and ultimately, encouraging paid subscription memberships called “Dekadom” (WTF kind of name is that? I would have liked “Dodecahedom” better… like a twelve-sided dom. “Dodecahedom” sounds badass.)

whiplr-screenshots

Of course Whiplr is trying to make money… and that’s fine. I’ve got no beef with people trying to make a buck, and certainly, with 50-shades-of-OMG-it’s-everywhere, now is the right time. (Or… maybe not, with recent reports of newbies suffering kink-related injuries and the awful story of a subhuman shit-stain at the University of Illinois who bound, gagged, and raped a woman after being “inspired” by Fifty Shades of Grey).

Obviously, users (and potential users) can and will criticize the app for its reductive gender options, limited preferences, and nonsensical kink groupings, etc…. and they should.

But what I’m interested in is the lack of discussion (thus far) about potential problems beyond the technological, discussions about responsibility (which Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory engaged, though I think she’s the only one), and some recognition of the shockingly uncritical, laughably optimistic reporting on the app, on “kink communities,” and on consent and safety.

I’m going to jump into that in a day or two.

Until then…

Dodecahedom

1. I’m not sure total anonymity is a good thing.
2. The Terms of Service seem to suggest Whiplr can use your content, images, messages, and anything else for a fuck ton of reasons. I mean, I didn’t study the text (I have trouble paying attention as it is), but I’m pretty sure the whole “privacy” thing is functionally meaningless.
Images courtesy of Whiplr.

  5 Responses to “Whiplr: the app for kinky fuckery”

  1. I really think they should have spent some time and money to hire a qualified kinky consultant. Not that I tend to think of this as a particularly fantastic idea in the first place. Those categories are… not helpful. And don’t get me started on gender binaries.

    “I can’t wait to see what happens when a dude who’s interested in dirty talk meets up with a woman who’s interested in sticking metal rods into cocks.”

    And that was my first thought as well. Of course, I’m one of those women interested in sticking metal rods into cocks!

  2. They probably have such ridiculous restrictions on pictures and toys due to Apple’s puritanical view of the Internet. The app would get pulled from the app store if it allowed nude pictures or realistic sex toys.

    • That would make sense if it wasn’t for Tinder. It’s available in the Apple App Store and Tinder’s TOS barely mentions sexual content. The only prohibition is “material that exploits people in a sexual, violent or other illegal manner, or solicits personal information from anyone under the age of 18.”

  3. I think the bigger question is just how well known is it? This is only the second time I’ve even heard of this app and the first was from a comedian. People not talking about it tends to mean people just aren’t using it.

  4. Dreadful poorly conceived pile of badly written code. I’m a kinkster, trans and write software for a living. It fails on so many levels it’s almost laughable.

    The profile creation is dire, the kinks are just insane and don’t get me started on gender and sexuality (I’m pansexual – I love other trans people – but can’t choose that as an option!).

    And currently doesn’t even open on my iOS device. Do not waste the bandwidth downloading.

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