A Tinder-like dating app for the BDSM community has launched in beta form in Germany. 

Aimed at fetish fans, the two Munich-based founders – Marina Rößer and Tolga Gigel – launched the app with the desire to digitize the BDSM community. 

“People with BDSM and fetish preferences have a particularly hard time finding a partner, as these tendencies are strongly stigmatized to this day and therefore remain a taboo subject,” Rößer tells SEXTECHGUIDE. “How is someone supposed to know if a counterpart has the same preferences, if it’s not talked about? With Deviance, we want to create a safe space for this.” 

Although the app is still in beta mode, more than 3,500 users are already registered – at the time of writing – 1,000 on iOS and 2,000 with Android. The app initially launched on Android and followed up with an iOS beta launch on April 7. Currently it’s only available in German, but it may well branch out to an English language version if growth allows.

The app’s matching motion is like Tinder’s (swipe right, swipe left, for those who have been living under a rock), but the app as a concept – aimed at the BDSM community – is closer to Feeld in its ambitions. There are 10 gender identities and 14 sexual orientations to choose from when setting up your profile. An algorithm selects up to three suitable partner suggestions every day.

However, the main difference between Feeld and Deviance is the prominence of stating your BDSM position on your profile, defining yourself as a ‘top’ or ‘bottom’. While dating apps such as Grindr also do this (which also includes a ‘Versatile’ option for those who like to play in both roles), it’s clear that Deviance has been made for matching like-minded BDSM enthusiasts — a lifestyle that extends beyond solely sex. 

On that note, Deviance also has an online magazine to go alongside the app product, giving tips on safe dating and other relevant topics in the BDSM world, even including related podcast and book recommendations.

“Anything that might be of interest to so-called kinksters”, Rößer adds. “With the increasing acceptance of alternative lifestyles that were considered taboo just a few years ago, it’s time that the topic of BDSM is also met with more acceptance — or at least a little more openness. We want to advocate for that with the app, but also with our content, our presence on social media, and as people.”

The app will be financed as a freemium model, but there are plans to add paid premium features sometime later this year, once a suitable number of users has been reached. Basic functions such as partner suggestions, matching and chatting will always remain free, the company says.

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