Alternative Dating Online

The internet has opened up a world of opportunity for people who want to meet other who are on the same romantic and sexual wavelengths. There are websites available for LGBT dating, the BDSM community, fetishes and kink, leather, role-playing, as well as websites for older daters and websites that are religion- or ethnicity-specific.

Compare Sites

Compare sites that meet your interests for their features. Consider pay and free sites, and take advantage of free trials to test out features and see if you will find enough of the right kind of matches in your area.

Pay Sites

Be aware that people on pay sites are more likely to be serious about connecting, as people are less likely to join on a whim or as a joke. Some pay sites even do background checks, improving the general safety of the site.


Fill out your profile with specific information about what you're interested in and what you're looking for in a potential relationship. Because you're using a site specialized for a corner of the dating market, it's OK to be specific about your expectations so that you find the best possible matches.

Profile Safety

Never use your real name or other identifying information like phone number or address in an online dating profile. For more on online dating safety, see Resources.

Photos and Video

Dating websites have varying policies about the content of photos and video that their users upload. In general, it is best to upload only safe-for-work photos and video to protect yourself from unwanted exposure; however, you should upload content that meets the expectations of other users of the service.

Make Contact

You've taken the steps of signing up for the service, filling out your profile and uploading pictures, so now it's up to you to contact people you think you might mesh with. Remember, they're looking for what you're looking for: that's why they're there.

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About the Author

Erik Steel is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning his bachelor's degree in Russian. Steel has worked as writer for more than four years and has contributed content to eHow and Pluck on Demand. His work recently appeared in the literary journal "Arsenic Lobster."

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