Hi, everyone! Welcome back. This is Dr. Liz and I am excited today to talk to you about a dating app that I am happy to be a community ambassador for, #Open. I know that for me, one of the reasons I don’t do a lot of online dating is because there is just a lot of gross, garbage-y stuff out there.
I recently did an experiment and went on Tinder while I was in Europe over this past winter and I’m pleased to report that cis straight men are the same kind of gross over in Europe as well. I got a lot of like weird headless torso pics or dick pics or someone being like, “Yow, wanna bang?” And look, I am not on Tinder because I’m not open to casual sex. I’m totally down for casual sex. However, if the best you have is what to bang, I’m just – I’m not feeling it. It’s like I want something more from you.
#Open is an app that is specifically for folks who most of these dating sites and dating apps are not for. They are for folks who are non-monogamous, folks who are kinky, folks who are queer and trans and non-binary. And it’s all – they’ve got a great mission about centering people whose voices are often not centered, centering the voices of people of color, centering the voices of people who do sex work, centering people who keep getting booted from these other apps or having terrible experiences in these other places.
#Open has a really fascinating way of handling your profiles and handling the ways that you find and match with others. A lot of dating apps, you put up your picture and your description and then there is like swiping that happens or maybe some searching that happens but there aren’t a lot of really easy ways to filter down the people who are going to be into the things that you are into.
So friends, this is someone who is non-monogamous, there has been a chrome plugged in for a while that can make OkCupid a little easier for you to find folks who are more likely being non-monogamous. However, it’s not perfect and it’s still a lot of waiting through that you have to do.
For folks who are kinky, finding people through Tinder or OkCupid who are kinky can be really challenging and lead to a lot of strange questions that you get from folks.
And for people who are queer, there are ways that the visibility settings in terms of who you are visible to can make it really challenging.
#Open has the option for you to create either a solo profile or a couple’s profile or both. And they are working and I’ve been told on functionality for you to be able to create multiple partner profiles. You profile whether it’s a solo or a partner one will have photos, description, all of those kind of normal things but they also have these lists for hashtags. And these hashtag lists are there so that you can help narrow down what it is that you are looking for, what it is you are not looking for and what kinds of things you are into or open to trying.
So these hashtag lists give you a ton of flexibility. Let’s say that you are like really looking for someone who wants to play with a femdom, someone who is fem, who is the top, you can search for everyone who has the #femdom in their profile.
Let’s say you want to find other friends who are bisexual bi community can be really tough to come by. You can search for everyone who has hashtags related to bisexuality. You can really narrow down your field and find like-minded people in a way that is so much easier and simpler than any other dating app I’ve seen before.
In addition, they have really fantastic rules for how you engage on the app. One of the things I really like about #Open is the rules of the game. They have a policy that you have to follow these guidelines in order to be allowed to continue to be on the app. The acronym is NICE. It stands for Negotiation, Include, Consent, and Experience.
The idea is for you to negotiate and communicate honestly with anyone you are talking with on this app about what your intentions are, what it is you are looking for, and use clarity and honesty.
For include, it’s all about making sure that you treat everyone with respect. This is an app that is focused on getting a diverse user base and so anyone who brings in hate language or hate speech or who uses things like “no fats, no fun” on their profiles is someone who is not going to be welcomed there.
Consent. They want to make sure that all of their users are obtaining affirmative enthusiastic consent from everyone that they play with. And that’s on and off the app. And so, if you send unsolicited Nazi-forward pictures or display those publicly on your profile, you will be asked to take them down or asked to leave the app.
And finally, the experience. It’s all about being open to new experiences and the experiences of others, allowing yourself and everyone else to experience without shame or judgment. This creates a much safer space than a lot of the apps.
Their rule is you get three strikes before they will remove you from the app. So three strikes and you’re out. If you have three people say that you send them unsolicited dick pics, you are off the app. You’re done. And because it is linked to your phone number, it’s much harder to create a bunch of extra new accounts than it would be if you are just using an email address and you just need to get a new Gmail address.
With this app when you are looking through for folks, there are definitely ways that you can do it. They’ve got a card swipe view that’s kind of like Tinder, they’ve got a layout view that shows you pictures of a bunch of different profiles that you can scroll through, and on that layout view where you’ve got a grid of different folks, you can sort it by either people that you’ve said yes to, people you’ve said no to, people with whom you’ve matched or folks who haven’t seen before.
So it’s a really easy way to look over all of your matches and see if there’s someone you haven’t been messaging who you want to message again or to see if there is someone who you haven’t sent a message to that you want to make sure you do send a message to. And the option to view only folks you haven’t matched with before in a grid format, I absolutely love because that way, I don’t have to keep searching through the same profiles over and over again.
Some features that I’m hoping that they will update, right now, you can set your settings about who you are available to based on the gender or genders of those involved and you can also set your sexual orientation.
Something I would like to see as a way to limit by combination of like genders of the folks and sexual orientation. So for instance, because I play with folks of all genders, I selected all of the available genders for me to match with. But that ended – that method I ended up getting a lot of gay men who I’m pretty sure aren’t looking to match with folks like me.
I mean I’m non-binary but the way that I present is generally pretty fem and for the most part, most of the game that I have interacted with aren’t looking for folks who are non-binary in the that I tend to love non-binary.
So I kind of wish that there was a way for me to filter out like homosexual men or men who identify as gay just as a way to kind of save myself some space and time. But they have a bunch of gender options so you don’t have to just identify with male or female. They’ve got different choices for you to select, which is wonderful.
And for a lot of the fields in the profile about things like your gender or your sexual orientation or your relationship style, if you don’t see what fits for you, you can actually fill in your own information, which is a beautiful feature. It makes me super happy.
Overall, I’m really happy with #Open as an app. The biggest complaint that I have is that there aren’t so many people on the app because it’s new, well, that’s partly why I’m doing these kinds of videos is I want to make sure that all of you, all who are watching this, get on #Open and experience my dating pool.
I’m hoping as I keep working with them to have more videos about things like this and to also maybe have some of my own success stories from dating on #Open. Let’s see what happens. But until then, if you have questions about the app or if there’s anything that you want to know about it, please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
As I’ve mentioned in all my videos now, I now have a Patreon. If you want to support videos like these, a free education for everyone, as well as support folks who need some help in terms of affording really informed, well-educated, well-prepared therapy and coaching, you can go on over to Patreon and help me do this work.
And finally as always, if there’s a video you would like me to do, if there’s a question you want answered or something that you think I would be great fit to talk about, please leave it in the comments and I will try to get to that as soon as possible.
Thanks all for watching and I’ll see you next time. Bye!