Interested in BDSM and looking for a date?
You’ve probably already heard of ALT.com.
ALT.com is a platform for kinks and fetishists; a social network for those looking to share their passion for bondage, BDSM and powerplay. It’s designed to let you connect with like-minded kinks in your area, but as always with these hookup sites… we want to know, is Alt.com any good?
In many ways, ALT.com is comparable to Adult Friend Finder. Not least because the sites share so many members in their respective databases! While ALT has an impressive network of members — with strong coverage in popular markets like the US, Canada and the UK — it also suffers from fake profiles and a large contingent of escorts parading as horny single women.
If BDSM is your jam, ALT is certainly one of the better ways of connecting with kinks near you. But you may have to wade through some time-wasters or some defunct profiles to uncover the gems.
In this ALT.com review, we give you an overview of the popular BDSM dating website and how it compares to its competitors in the BDSM hookup dating space.
What is Alt.com?
Alt.com is a specialist dating website for people who have an interest in BDSM as well as other alternative lifestyles.
Run by Adult Friend Finder, the site has over 1.1 million members and is the world’s largest specialist hookup site for bondage and S&M aficionados.
Adult Friend Finder has been operating online dating services since 1995 and expanded its network with sites like alt.com (as well as bondage.com) to take advantage of the fact that its members have a wide variety of interests.
Users who are registered with the main network and indicate an interest in BDSM are automatically filtered into the relevant sub-sites to expand the potential pool of partners. It’s a clever idea and gives Alt.com a massive head start over any rival sites by virtue of numbers alone.
By joining ALT.com, you are tapping in to one of the world’s largest networks of self-declared kinks! And that means you’re much more likely to bump in to members in your local city or town.
Registering with Alt.com is easy and you can quickly set up a basic profile for free within a couple of minutes.
Though you are encouraged to upgrade your membership from the off, you can simply bypass this stage and start browsing on a basic profile. In this respect, the only thing you have to divulge to get started is a valid email address from which you can verify your account.
There are several elements you need to update before you can access the site including your birthdate, country and zip code. This helps establish your location and age range for other users to find you.
However, if you want to maximise your chances of getting a date then you will need to create a good profile, complete with ‘kink’ information and a good photo.
It’s worth spending a bit of time on your profile to improve your chances of being found and, once you are, getting a date.
The golden rules of using a dating site effectively also translates over to ALT.com.
You want to contain enough absurd and unique information to make your profile jump out, without coming across as an absolute psychopath in the process.
We’d suggest dipping in to our extensive A to Z of BDSM slang to make your profile ‘pop’.
Finding Other Members on ALT.com
The site gives you quite a few options when it comes to how to search for other members, all of which can be customized and saved to your account.
The search menu contains filters, known as your ‘Cupid Preferences’, that change the search results by age, location and additional preferences such as race, body type, sexual orientation and marital status.
Once these have been set, you can choose other ways to narrow your searches including membership type, last login and those members who have videos, photos or broadcast on a cam.
Tip: Searching and filtering by last login is a good way to increase your response rate on ALT.com.
As well as some random ways to connect, the main draw for Alt.com is the ‘Kink Search’.
An A-Z directory of kinks, fetishes and alternative lifestyle interests, you can search for members by fetish type, and there are plenty. Each kink shows how many other members share that particular kink with some being more popular than others.
Adding kinks to your profile helps with getting matched to the right users.
Each search uses your default settings to deliver thumbnails that match your preferences with gold members being shown first, then silver, then regular members. Once you see someone suitable, the rest is up to you.
You can get a free membership with Alt.com which basically allows you to browse the site, search basic details of other members as well as view some of the features.
However, to get the best out of the site you will need to upgrade to a membership. There are two types you can choose from:
- Allows you to view and contact other members
- Show up before other users (after Gold members) in searches
- Contact new members
- Access video intros
- Partial access to community forums, blogs and groups
All of the features of Silver membership, plus:
- Show up first in all searches
- Full access to online community
- Access to extra-large photos
- Ability to use Yahoo, MSN, AIM and ICQ to message other members
- Be at the head of the queue when it comes to contacting new members
The cost of membership is as follows:
As you can see from the above figures, Gold membership (when purchased for a year) is heavily discounted to match the equivalent Silver membership. Though a limited time offer, the site often runs these kind of discounts.
You can also pay extra to enhance your profile which increases your chances of getting responses. These include:
- Highlight your listing so it stands out – $9.95/month
- Allow standard members to contact you for free – $19.95/month
- Access to BDSM movie library – $14.95/month
Payment can be made via debit or credit card over a secured payment network or you can pay by electronic check, direct debit or money order.
Best Extra Features
The site has plenty of extra features including the ability for members to broadcast themselves on live cams, live chat rooms and access to adult movies.
There is also a very active community section where users can become members of specialist groups. These groups are usually a good basis for connecting with other users that have similar kinks.
You can also catch up on the blogs of other members (or start your own) and access the community magazine.
This last section offers members the chance to publish articles of their own choosing. You also have the option of updating your profile with ‘bling’; small icons and gifs that show off your personality. Bling can also be gifted to other members.
ALT.com Review: Is It Worth Joining For BDSM Dating?
When you register with a lot of online dating or hookup services, you instantly get dozens of notifications of messages from other members who want to connect with you.
This kind of instant response always makes us suspicious as often you don’t even need to have uploaded any pictures or even written a half decent profile.
However, with alt.com, we didn’t get that initial surge that smacks of a scammy website run with autobots or users paid to get new members interacting.
What we did get was notices of people looking at our profile, maybe adding us to a list and one or two direct messages within the first 24 hours… and that was on a free profile.
Once we subscribed and started leading the way with a few private messages, we happily received some good contacts that were willing to start up a decent chat and even line up some dates.
By and large, the user reviews across the board for alt.com are very good and indicate that, with the right effort on your part, it should be relatively easy to get a date within at least four weeks.
We think that Alt.com offers a comprehensive community experience for connecting with other people who share a similar taste in alternative lifestyles.
The extra features make it a ‘sticky’ place to be and offers the chance to become part of a wider online group that really improves your chances of hooking up.
Featured imaged via alt.com