CLOSE
iStock
iStock

10 Remarkably Niche Dating Websites

iStock
iStock

Match.com released its annual survey of singles last week and, as always, the findings ranged from odd to obvious to not quite helpful. Some examples: Sushi on the first date increases chances of a second; 60 percent of singles surveyed think the evening is the best time for a date; half of the respondents said that a “good” first encounter should end with a kiss.

If mainstream modern courtship, with all its vague standards and fluid expectations, isn’t working for you, you can tailor your search for love with these 10 niche dating websites or apps.

1. FARMERSONLY

Jerry Miller was working in agricultural marketing and heard the same story from many farmers: Dating was tough. Nobody else understands the relentless hours and how “everybody knows everybody in their small rural community,” Miller told CBC Radio, “and if they didn’t marry their high school sweetheart, they have a serious problem.” So he started FarmersOnly, where 4 million people have created profiles in the hopes of harvesting a relationship. Users pay a monthly fee around $15 to send and receive messages.

It makes sense: 20 percent of farmers and ranchers and 27 percent of other agricultural workers marry within the profession, two of the highest rates of any industry, according to Priceonomics. “[H]e met me at a Western Store because every country girl needs another new pair of boots,” a user named Amanda wrote of meeting her partner on FarmersOnly. “Little did he know, I had heard several horror stories about people meeting online and so again in true country girl fashion, I carried my revolver in the car with me on our first date. He likes to joke around that after over a year together that my Judge still has the same bullets in it.”

2. VINEALOVE

If the mood was broken during your last romantic picnic when your date pulled out a $9 bottle of something he couldn’t pronounce, try VineaLove, “the first international dating website and social network for wine lovers." The site, created by former wine journalist Françoise Pauly and her daughter Roxane Brooke in 2013, costs $20 a month and claims to have about 2500 members, half of whom work in the wine business.

"I was dreaming of having an international platform for wine lovers and so we decided to make it also a social network and professional network as well," Pauly told The Los Angeles Times. The service also hosts events where members can sample vintages with each other.

3. ALIKEWISE

The dating site for bibliophiles, Alikewise asks users to combine a profile with paragraph-sized reviews of their favorite books. Find a soulmate who also remembers all the different Aurelianos in One Hundred Years of Solitude, or just load up your Amazon wish list by learning what other people who like Gabriel García Márquez are into. Web developers Matt Sherman and Matt Masina launched the site in 2010, though Alikewise's future seems to be up in the air. As of last year, they have been looking for someone to buy the site from them.

4. VEGGIEDATE

Because much of dating is eating together, there is VeggieDate, a site which is geared towards vegetarians but allows users to get much more specific. They can select their level of culinary exclusion, from “vegetarian at home” to “raw vegan,” and their reason for going meat-free, a value that crosses into a slew of religions and lifestyles (“yoga vegetarian” is a category). The site, online since 1999, features both free accounts and premium paid membership plans.

5. TREK PASSIONS

A go-to for sci-fi fans is Trek Passions. The site, one of a handful launched by the Passions Network of niche dating sites in 2004, advertises itself to not just fans of Gene Roddenberry’s immortal media franchise but to devotees of old-school speculative fiction in general.

The message boards indicate there were signs of life here in the mid-to-late ’00s, but recently it looks as desolate as a planet whose population was assimilated by the Borg.

6. THE ATLASPHERE

Seeking the Dagny to your Galt? Check out The Atlasphere, the dating site for devotees of author Ayn Rand. The site, founded by Joshua Zader in 2003, says it has 17,000 dating profiles—so evaluating each and every user for an adequately productive and independent mate may take slightly less time than reading Atlas Shrugged.

A Vice writer who signed up found a woman with the wonderful username “ObjectivelyHot” who was “[h]oping to find someone as strong as Rearden Metal.” Of course, this is a capitalist endeavor, and you have to pay a $9 monthly fee to send and receive messages.

7. MOUSE MINGLE

Disney classics don't shy away from happily-ever-afters, so it’s natural that fans should try to find a Prince Charming or Snow White over their mutual love of the entertainment giant. Mouse Mingle creator and Disney fanatic Dave Tavres, who established the site in 2015, told Mashable that friends badgered him about his lack of online dating profiles. “I told them I had tried them, but there was no way to narrow down the searches to find women in the right distance and age range who loved Disney,” he said. “That was the inception moment.”

8. NATURIST PASSIONS

Most of us have to wait a good while before seeing our dates naked. You might get to take it all in sooner at Naturist Passions (Beware: NSFW!)—and “sooner” might mean upon clicking on a profile pic. The site claims to be “the first, most-trusted and largest site for nudist/naturist friends in the world.” Users can post their ideal clothes-free date to entice others who live in the buff. A male naturist from Houston would like to “find a nice secluded wooded meadow for a nude picnic of our favorite foods and wine.”

9. SEA CAPTAIN DATE

When Sea Captain Date went viral in 2012, plenty of journalists suspected it was a hoax. The cheeky video featuring a supposed user named Caleb didn’t help. (“My mistress may be the sea, but the thing is, that's just an expression. There’s really no sex involved.”)

According to promotional materials, the founder and CEO is a veteran mariner named Bill Kay, who was 86 when he broke the proverbial bottle of wine on the new endeavor in 2007. His pledge: “In the unforgiving ocean of love, let us be your lighthouse.”

Anna North of Jezebel spoke with a 28-year-old woman who said she began a voyage towards love on the site and met a marine captain who stays in contact, via video chat, on his journeys. "I guess SeaCaptainDate could still be a hoax," North wrote. "But if that's true, someone out there is trying really, really hard to make us believe that you can sign up to date sea captains on the internet. And that's a labor of love in itself."

10. 420 SINGLES

Toking up is a beloved pastime for some, so the existence of 420 Singles should not be a surprise. Site founder Ryan Moxon recounted its 2011 origin story to Cosmopolitan in terms you would expect: “I was like, dude, I know how to build sites, I should just do that. And then I was thinking about how I was single and I went searching for 420 dating sites, but I couldn't find any real ones. To think that people could meet and, like, have a baby because of something I made? That trips me out.” One of the site's presumed benefits? If the person with whom you were furiously exchanging flirtatious texts suddenly fails to message you back for three hours, you don’t have to speculate why.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Animals
Sploot 101: 12 Animal Slang Words Every Pet Parent Should Know
iStock
iStock

For centuries, dogs were dogs and cats were cats. They did things like bark and drink water and lay down—actions that pet parents didn’t need a translator to understand.

Then the internet arrived. Scroll through the countless Facebook groups and Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing cute animal pictures and you’ll quickly see that dogs don’t have snouts, they have snoots, and cats come in a colorful assortment of shapes and sizes ranging from smol to floof.

Pet meme language has been around long enough to start leaking into everyday conversation. If you're a pet owner (or lover) who doesn’t want to be out of the loop, here are the terms you need to know.

1. SPLOOT

You know your pet is fully relaxed when they’re doing a sploot. Like a split but for the whole body, a sploot occurs when a dog or cat stretches so their bellies are flat on the ground and their back legs are pointing behind them. The amusing pose may be a way for them to take advantage of the cool ground on a hot day, or just to feel a satisfying stretch in their hip flexors. Corgis are famous for the sploot, but any quadruped can do it if they’re flexible enough.

2. DERP

Person holding Marnie the dog.
Emma McIntyre, Getty Images for ASPCA

Unlike most items on this list, the word derp isn’t limited to cats and dogs. It can also be a stand-in for such expressions of stupidity as “duh” or “dur.” In recent years the term has become associated with clumsy, clueless, or silly-looking cats and dogs. A pet with a tongue perpetually hanging out of its mouth, like Marnie or Lil Bub, is textbook derpy.

3. BLEP

Cat laying on desk chair.
PoppetCloset, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you’ve ever caught a cat or dog poking the tip of its tongue past its front teeth, you’ve seen a blep in action. Unlike a derpy tongue, a blep is subtle and often gone as quickly as it appears. Animal experts aren’t entirely sure why pets blep, but in cats it may have something to do with the Flehmen response, in which they use their tongues to “smell” the air.

4. MLEM

Mlems and bleps, though very closely related, aren’t exactly the same. While blep is a passive state of being, mlem is active. It’s what happens when a pet flicks its tongue in and out of its mouth, whether to slurp up water, taste food, or just lick the air in a derpy fashion. Dogs and cats do it, of course, but reptiles have also been known to mlem.

5. FLOOF

Very fluffy cat.
J. Sibiga Photography, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Some pets barely have any fur, and others have coats so voluminous that hair appears to make up most of their bodyweight. Dogs and cats in the latter group are known as floofs. Floofy animals will famously leave a wake of fur wherever they sit and can squeeze through tight spaces despite their enormous mass. Samoyeds, Pomeranians, and Persian cats are all prime examples of floofs.

6. BORK

Dog outside barking.
iStock

According to some corners of the internet, dogs don’t bark, they bork. Listen carefully next time you’re around a vocal doggo and you won’t be able to unhear it.

7. DOGGO

Shiba inu smiling up at the camera.
iStock

Speaking of doggos: This word isn’t hard to decode. Every dog—regardless of size, floofiness, or derpiness—can be a doggo. If you’re willing to get creative, the word can even be applied to non-dog animals like fennec foxes (special doggos) or seals (water doggos). The usage of doggo saw a spike in 2016 thanks to the internet and by the end of 2017 it was listed as one of Merriam-Webster’s “Words We’re Watching.”

8. SMOL

Tiny kitten in grass.
iStock

Some pets are so adorably, unbearably tiny that using proper English to describe them just doesn’t cut it. Not every small pet is smol: To earn the label, a cat or dog (or kitten or puppy) must excel in both the tiny and cute departments. A pet that’s truly smol is likely to induce excited squees from everyone around it.

9. PUPPER

Hands holding a puppy.
iStock

Like doggo, pupper is self-explanatory: It can be used in place of the word puppy, but if you want to use it to describe a fully-grown doggo who’s particularly smol and cute, you can probably get away with it.

10. BOOF

We’ve already established that doggos go bork, but that’s not the only sound they make. A low, deep bark—perhaps from a dog that can’t decide if it wants to expend its energy on a full bark—is best described as a boof. Consider a boof a warning bark before the real thing.

11. SNOOT

Dog noses poking out beneath blanket.
iStock

Snoot was already a dictionary-official synonym for nose by the time dog meme culture took the internet by storm. But while snoot is rarely used to describe human faces today, it’s quickly becoming the preferred term for pet snouts. There’s even a wholesome viral challenge dedicated to dogs poking their snoots through their owners' hands.

12. BOOP

Have you ever seen a dog snoot so cute you just had to reach out and tap it? And when you did, was your action accompanied by an involuntary “boop” sound? This urge is so universal that boop is now its own verb. Humans aren’t the only ones who can boop: Search the word on YouTube and treat yourself to hours of dogs, cats, and other animals exchanging the love tap.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Need to Meet Amazon's Free Shipping Minimum? This Site Will Tell You What to Buy
iStock
iStock

It's all too easy to find whatever you need on Amazon, but sometimes, those low prices come with a slight inconvenience: shipping. While Amazon will give you free shipping on orders of $25 or more, that doesn't help if you're only buying, say, $23 worth of laundry detergent. If you can't figure out what you can buy to hit that coveted shipping minimum, check out CheapFiller.com, a website that finds the cheapest items you can buy to hit that $25 mark.

As we spotted on Lifehacker, CheapFiller.com is designed to help you get above the free-shipping threshold without going far above it. So instead of buying $23 worth of laundry detergent and $15 worth of toilet paper, you can spend $23 on laundry detergent and $3 on glue sticks.

A screenshot of CheapFiller.com with listings of products for $4.29
Screenshot, CheapFiller.com

You can search through the listings on the site manually, but if you have a specific price you need to hit, you can search for items that sell for exactly that price. For instance, if you have exactly $4.29 left to reach the shipping minimum, CheapFiller.com will bring up a list of items that sell for that price, including nail clippers, a sketch book, a screen protector for iPads, soccer-themed baking cups, or a leaf hammock for your Betta fish.

You may not exactly need any of these items, but you may discover that it's a wiser financial choice to spend a few dollars on new nail clippers or household glass cleaner than to pay for shipping.

[h/t Lifehacker]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios