Ménage Ápp Trois

Dating apps. The new norm. Everyone’s on them. I’ve even been in a taxi where the driver was swiping as he drove (please never do this). As dating apps become more commonplace the need for variety on the market becomes greater. Every niche has to be catered for. With this in mind, I took to Feeld, the app formerly known as 3nder, to investigate what arranging threesomes online was like.  

Regrettably this app only lets you choose pictures from your Facebook account, which is horrendous if you’re like me and don’t use it enough to have anything other than hideous pictures, but considering their tongue and cheek “no nudity, society is not ready yet” rule it makes perfect sense, even if it comes at the cost of stifling creativity with your profile. Additionally, the only gender identity outwith the binary is “trans” which is better than nothing but, considering there were so many options for sexualities, I think they can do better.

To get the full experience I set my account to look for any possible match. However, I thought trying to create a groupchat with two other single users would be too time consuming, and decided to stick to couples instead.  When something arouses your curiosity you simply swipe up and if it’s a turn off, swipe down, which is easy for someone like me who struggles to differentiate between right and left. I wanted to let my friend check out my profile before I got swiping, but returned to find that Feeld has a strange and unique feature where you can see how many other users have ‘loved’ you before you’ve got started yourself, to encourage you to start finding those matches. In just over 3 hours I had over 350 ‘loves’. I was astounded and, like with any app offering a sense of instant gratification and validation, a fleeting mild obsession followed.

I kept my bio brief with “mid existential crisis” (I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually read it). My assumption was wrong, but it didn’t seem to put anyone off. Instead, it invited messages asking if this was a code for seeking sexual liberation, which is my own fault really. Don’t be a smart arse, lesson learned the hard way.

I only swiped for couples with real photographs and was struck that most couples I matched with were “Majestic” users, meaning they were shelling out £8.99/month to fulfil the narcissist’s wet dream of being able to scan the profiles of those they’d rejected but that had ‘loved’ them, among other exclusive benefits.

I became pretty blunt when I started sending off messages, and most couples replying to my nosey questioning of their experience on the app did so with some variation on “we’d like you to join us in bed”. As you can tell, it didn’t take long for their, shall we say, intensity to become evident. After exchanging a handful messages one pair were asking if I wanted them to travel the 600km between us to meet for ‘drinks’.

Don’t get me wrong, they were perfectly nice, no one I spoke to ever bordered on any boundaries, but they were very keen. Though it did take a surprisingly long time for me to encounter a couple whose bio consisted solely of a penis and bra size (at least that’s what I’m assuming the measurements were supposed to indicate). For the first time ever I was hoping to be sent some unsolicited photographs to give me the opportunity to test the block feature- but alas, none came my way. From what I experienced, this app aims to provide a safe environment to satisfy whatever desire tickles your fancy.  

I found that most users fell into one of a few categories. For some couples it seems no more than a fantasy, a form of escapism afforded to them with this technology. For others it was a regular thing to spice up a long term relationship, whereas for the rest it was an encounter to cross off the bucket list. I decided I’d exposed enough about the app by Sunday night when I was exhausted of the constant messages, and ignoring a couple trying to pin me down to meet and take MDMA.

Some couples told me their experience on the app hadn’t led anywhere because there wasn’t enough interest, so if this peaks your curiosity head to the app store without shame! There’s nothing to fear, if someone has a foot fetish they’ll definitely tell you within a few minutes. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately if you’re my mum and happen to be reading this, in which case, I’m very sorry) my time on the app didn’t lead to a threesome, but it was nice to pretend to live in a Vice article for a while.

[Stacey Anderson – @staceyanders0n]

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