They say opposites attract, and that may be true. But most online dating sites follow an algorithm that suggests the more you have in common, the better the match. Because some interests are so specific, finding a like-minded partner is key. Listed below are nine of the strangest sites.
1. Dating with allergies.
If you’ve ever had a friend with allergies, you know that a certain set of rules apply when they come around. You can’t eat peanut butter around Maddie, you can’t offer pineapples to Katia, and so on. Luckily for them, they have very understanding boyfriends. But for those who aren't so lucky, an online community awaits. Singles with food allergies caters specifically to singles… with food allergies. They’ve even come out with some prize tag lines, like “Dairy-free and dynamic” and “Celiac and sexy.” It’s always good to have a sense of humor about these things. The site promises to help individuals around the country to “date, communicate, and develop lasting relationships based around the food allergy lifestyle.”
2. STD dating.
The stigmas surrounding sexually transmitted diseases may be just as irritating as an outbreak. Positive Singles is where people living with STDs can look for romance without ridicule and sex without shame. The site’s “unique features” include information on STDs, STD treatment stories, support forums, success stories, and “inspirational stories.”
3. Supernatural dating.
Writer Meg Favreau may have said it best when she wrote, “This is the only dating site I have ever seen that shows a picture of an 80-year-old man, but no couples.” She’s not exaggerating. In addition to a big, purple backdrop, the Supernatural Dating Society homepage presents viewers with a photo of an older gentleman wearing thick-rimmed glasses and a pinstripe suit, his chin resting on his hand. The man is the Amazing Kreskin, a mentalist who launched SDS for those whose interest range from aliens and haunted houses to contacting the dead. The site claims, “These folks would like nothing more than to meet other people with whom they can discuss their thoughts, beliefs, and experiences without compromise...without fear of embarrassment.”
4. Clown dating.
Clowns tend to freak a lot of people out. So it’s understandable that the idea of going to bed with one could be downright terrifying. Luckily, there’s a place for these folks to find friends who won’t be fearful. Clown Dating offers clowns, clown wannabes and clown lovers a place to chat, have fun and arrange dates. The site boasts, “Being on the road all the time can make it hard to find someone close by, but with members from towns and cities all over the world hooking up has never been easier.” Those really into red noses may be pleased to hear that clown porn is one of the industry’s most popular niches.
5. Amish dating.
This one will probably take a few readers by surprise. The name alone seems like an oxymoron; aren’t the Amish supposed to steer clear of certain technologies… and flirting? Maybe they do things differently in Canada. Amish Dating, a Canadian-based site, promises users the opportunity to “get in touch with devoted, diligent and caring singles from the Amish community.” The site also claims, “Once you register, you will become amazed at the amount of people that have already discovered this fantastic world that brought them smiles and happiness… Your inbox will be full of flirts and date invited from Amish singles all over Canada that would love to meet up with you.” But it seems the craze has traveled farther south. When I typed in my New York City address, there were over 1,500 users nearby… or so it said.
6. Ugly dating.
7. Tall dating.
If Tinder has taught us anything, it's that height matters. At least to some people. But there are less superficial reasons to be concerned with height. Date Tall People “makes it easy for taller guys to find taller girlfriends.” The site explains, “if you’re a tall person and have always felt awkward about dating someone who isn’t the right size for you, come chat with tall ladies and tall handsome gentleman at the biggest tall dating website on the web.”
8. Prison dating.
Discovery Channel's "Prison Wives" gave viewers a glimpse into what it’s like to fall in love with someone behind bars. It also got a lot of viewers asking, “How do these people even meet?” Turns out, the Internet often plays a helping hand. Though, prison dating isn’t quite like the other sites on this list. In this case, it’s the person on the outside who arranges the correspondence. Meet-An-Inmate has been ranked a leading website in helping set prisoners up with pen pals. Though it’s an online service, prisoners aren’t given access to the Internet. All correspondence takes place via the United States Postal Service. So if you’re looking to get into this, patience will be key.
9. Furry dating.
If you haven’t heard of “furries” before let me give you a brief education. This community is comprised of individuals who have an affinity for anthropomorphic animals. They dress up, they go out, and they gather. So really, it was only a matter of time before this tight-knit community put together a dating site. Pounced has over 63,000 members, and provides a space for furry fanatics to find love. One user describes herself as “a pink geeky subby bunny.” Another is a “bat eared fox” looking for a trustworthy friend. “The more specific, the better the profile, so furry friends, have at it.
Carrie Weisman is an AlterNet staff writer who focuses on sex, relationships and culture. Got tips, ideas or a first-person story? Email her.