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BDSM
La FotoMelanie Bonajo

Asking a BDSM enthusiast about the launch of a new kink app

KNKI is the hook-up app trying to revolutionise dating culture for the dating community

BDSM used to be the associated with PVC-coated perverts, the exact sort of people your parents had in mind when they taught you the basic principles of Stranger Danger. Not any more. Blame Fifty Shades of Grey, blame greater acceptance of alternate sexualities, blame the fact that ordinary sex becomes really fucking boring after a while — but there’s never been a better time to be a kinkster.

New app KNKI (get it? They’ve rearranged the word KINK) promises to do for the BDSM community what Tinder has done for the rest of us. Although the fetish community is already well-served online, with apps like Whiplr and the behemoth that is FetLife, KNKI is claiming that it will revolutionise dating culture for the kinkster community. According to its official marketing materials, KNKI will let you “have your kinky cake and eat it it too”, which I’m taking metaphorically unless it turns out that there’s a dedicated section on the app for people who are into eating whilst having sex (there may well be).

“I’m not into casual sex actually, so I’d welcome an app that could take the focus off simply meeting for sex, and on to it being more of a social networking thing (with hook-up options also built in)”

To find out whether the BDSM community really needs another app, we interviewed Alex*, a 22-year old fetish enthusiast. “I think there is room for another app that’s well-known and encourages dating, as opposed to just being really sex-focussed (like Whiplr seems to be). I’ve already got FetLife, but it’s just so bleak, I never really use it. The web design makes it look like the site of a S&M dungeon circa 1996, and it’s not linked to your Facebook so there tend to be way more creepers — because people can pretend to be whoever they want”. 

She’d be in favour of a BDSM app which filters out the people she’d never actually want to date in real life. “I get loads of random 60 year old men on FetLife asking me to come and be a maid at their ranch, but I’m like ‘no thanks.’"

A common misconception people outside the BDSM community might have is that kinksters are only looking for casual sex. “I’m not into casual sex actually, so I’d welcome an app that could take the focus off simply meeting for sex, and on to it being more of a social networking thing (with hook-up options also built in).”

A specific kinkster app would also save time when it comes to explaining your sexual preferences with new partners. “I was having a conversation with my friend the other day about the conversation you have to have when seeing someone new... "I want you to do this. No, I'm not crazy. No it won't leave any lasting damage. Yes, I am still a feminist." Sometimes it'd be easier to skip over all that.”

Ultimately, anything — even the much-maligned Fifty Shades of Grey — which brings kink out into the open and encourages women in particular to explore their sexuality is welcome.

“Women specifically carry a lot of shame about sexuality, unlike men they're taught they can't be desirous or actively seek out sex, or even ask for what they want. So if Fifty Shades of Grey encourages people to explore a new side of themselves via apps like this I can't see that as a bad thing.”