Among the recent surge of new “UR Fill-in-the-Blank” Facebook pages, one page succeeded in raising quite a few eyebrows, particularly when compared to the relatively tame “UofR Crushes & Compliments” or the rabble-rousing “Overheard at Rochester.”
Late this last spring, “UR Kinks” was born and, this semester, began matching up students who have similar sexual interests, fetishes, or wishes for experimentation.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what inspired it,” said the page creator, who, due to the sensitive nature of the subject, wishes to remain anonymous. “I guess it was inspired by the idea of Grindr and Tinder, but with a kinky twist that also allows for anonymity. [UR Kinks was made] so you don’t have to write ‘I just really want somebody to whip me’ on your Tinder profile.”
The premise is that a UR student can fill out a Google form, answering questions about gender identity, body type, and ethnicity as well as providing an ideal potential partner along with a kink, fetish, or sexual interest. The sexual interest can then be posted on the Facebook page and an interested partner can message the page and potentially be matched up with the submitter, or alternatively be kept private and the creator will find a match.
“By maintaining anonymity, I hope to help reduce the slut shaming that often goes along with casual hookups,” the page creator said. “Basically, I want to create a judgment-free system that allows people to open up and explore desires they might not be comfortable expressing to a casual hookup buddy or even with a long term partner. Knowing that you’ve been paired with somebody who wants to do exactly what you want them to do takes the awkwardness out of exploring hidden or taboo desires.”
However, junior Heather Payne does not feel this page is doing anything to help reduce slut shaming. “I think this is an entirely wrong way to go about it. If anything, I think it would increase it,” she said, noting that her group of friends does not slut shame but acknowledges that it is a real problem among young women.
She also contended that students are likely to make a joke out of the page, similar to trolling posts and comments on the other UR Facebook pages. Payne said people are likely to “send in something absolutely ridiculous to make others laugh.”
Yet the page creator is confident the anonymous applications system will be successful, even if there are a few fake submissions.
“Both parties will remain anonymous until they meet or decide to disclose their identity to each other, so if somebody gets a fake match, I guess it’s not the end of the world,” the page creator said. “I truly hope that U of R students can be mature enough to respect that some people want to explore kinks or try something new in bed and that nobody abuses the service.”
Since beginning this semester, there have been almost 100 applications, according to the page creator. “The response has been pretty good, but the gender ratio hasn’t,” the page creator said, noting that about 80% of applications are male. Most of the applicants are straight, although a few submissions have been received from bicurious, homosexual, or bisexual people.
“I think students are, in general, pretty open-minded,” said the page creator. “I think sex/gender/sexuality is a fascinating topic and I think we can all be made a little uncomfortable by it at times, but overall I think U of R’s student body is pretty split between knowledgeable and still learning, mature and immature.”
Both Payne and the page creator agree that exploring sexuality in a safe manner is important. Payne noted that using the page to find people with similar sexual interests is a personal decision. “Obviously it’s always important that the other partner or partners are comfortable and on the same page and have an open discussion beforehand,” she added.
The page creator concurred. “Whatever two people do in their bedroom is between them. As long as there is no threat to somebody’s life, I’m fine with it. As long as both parties consent, they both have power and can experience pleasure.”
Students interested in submitting an application can visit http://goo.gl/jqGGPq.
Students in need of advice or help regarding sexual health should visit UHS.
Kanakam is a member of the class of 2016.