Navigating your way through the many fetish dating websites out there is challenging. In the latest of our ongoing series, Fetish.com reviews Alternative Date Link. But just how 'alternative' is this kink site?
 

Alternative Date Link: unimpressive first impressions

The registration process is clunky at best. You have to complete your profile in full before you can search the site, so there’s no chance to see what you’re getting before you sign up. And for a supposedly ‘alternative’ dating site the whole experience is weirdly conservative.

For starters, the only available gender options on Alternative Date Link are male and female – there’s no mention of trans, CIS, or anything else. Things get worse from there with a raft of inane profile questions that would be irrelevant even on a vanilla site.
 

Where is the fetish on Alternative Date Link?

The tiny profile pics and drab design give the site the overall look and feel of a dated dad-porn website from about 1999. There are some search options available, but this is where the non-scene profile questions start to cause problems because the checkbox based 'detailed', 'quick', and 'personality' searches give no hint whatsoever of any kinky proclivities.

Don’t get me wrong; the detailed search on Alternative Date Link facility is quick and easy to use. It will serve you well if you have a particular urge to meet, say, a non-religious Native American management executive earning $100k who only drinks socially, has children and likes cats. However, anybody hoping to satisfy a specific sexual fetish will need to put in a lot more work.

The only way to find exactly what you’re looking for is to do a keyword search – or multiple searches if you have more than one interest. A simple check-box list for Scene preferences would solve this.
 

Alternative Date Link is free for women, not so free for men

OK, so you’ve gone to the trouble of setting up your profile and running multiple searches, and you have a list of like-minded potential playmates to work through. Now, if you’re female, you can go right ahead and start exploring, because you have subscription-free access to all the major functions of the site.

But if you’re a man, you get to run those searches, and that’s it. Literally. You can’t even read a profile or view more than a basic profile picture, which in a lot of cases is either absent or very obviously fake anyway.

As for the rest of the promised features, the live one-on-one chat facility is a paid service no different to any you’d find on a porn site. The free instant messaging is only actually free if you’re female. Guys are bombarded by the usual chatbot popups and find themselves instantly bounced to the subscription page if they try to interact.
 

Where are all the 'real' people on Alternative Date Link?

Although the homepage boasts of having thousands of new members signing up daily, a look through the search results shows that the majority of accounts haven’t been used within the last 30 days. My theory is this: when men join and find they have no functionality, most abandon their profiles, and only a tiny minority subscribe. Women join and have all the functionality but hardly any men to interact with because most of them haven’t paid up.

The guys who do go to the expense of subscribing to Alternative Date Link then have their kinky dating dreams shattered by the number of inactive women. Moreover, these women have by now have mostly abandoned their profiles because of the lack of men. It's a vicious circle.
 

Alternative Date Link: but you can save it!

The only real positive on Alternative Date Link is the facility to save your searches and receive automated update emails. So at least once you’ve set all the keyword searches needed to cater to your kinks you can have new matches delivered to your inbox every week with no additional hassle.

However, for me this (very) minor benefit doesn’t make Alternative Date Link a site worth joining, let alone paying a subscription for. If it offered directly-searchable kink and fetish options and a lot more subscription-free activity, then maybe, but as it stands, it’s really not worth the bother. The number of inactive members means that the odds of making a connection are slim even without the other drawbacks. 

 

If you’re after an online kinky dating experience where you stand a decent chance of meeting someone to play with why not join Fetish.com for free?

 

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