What I Saw During 12 Hours on the Hookup Site Replacing Tinder
It’s 9 PM on a Saturday when a 36-year-old woman writes: “Looking forward to my sexy meet tonight,” pinging the message off to thousands of men and couples across London. A few dozen will reply, trying to convince her to meet them instead with either pick-up lines or, occasionally, money or drugs. Most, however, will put exclamation points on their messages in the form of dick pics.
Welcome to FabSwingers, a popular site among British swingers and an exploding number of 20- to 30-somethings who are abandoning the likes of Tinder in favor of the easy hookups it seems to provide. For an idea of what people come here for, here’s a random selection of user reviews:
With user profiles and status updates, it’s essentially Facebook with nudes-plus a little touch of eBay, insomuch as people leave reviews and verifications for other users, only these focus less on reliability or design, and more on stamina, girth, or “smell.”
Each user also has an “interests” section, where they can state what they’re into-be it cuckolding, sex in public, or watersports-and using the site is free, though you pay for features like seeing who views your profile and HD photos.
At 10 PM, a trans woman writes that she and a friend are at E15 Club-a gay sauna in Stratford-“looking for snow.” Her profile pic is blurry, but that’s not out of the ordinary amid Fab Swingers’ universally poor photography.
Of course, most faces are hidden-reserved instead for private messages-though a surprising number do show theirs publicly, sometimes even attached to other people’s genitals. The extreme close-up is the most common type of shot on Fab Swingers, with hairless labia and flabby penises dissecting screens like blunt pocket knives. In fact, the amount of dick pics on a profile is usually inverse to the amount of reviews, meaning that-no matter how pretty you think your cock is-photographing it from ten different angles predictably diminishes your chances of getting laid.
I’m a bit of a size queen, so if a hung guy sends me a dick pic and he seems cute, then I take more notice over a guy with [no dick pics].”
A basic website that seems to have not been updated since 1995, Fab Swingers is available in four countries outside Britain (including Ireland and the US), and despite not having an app has over 200,000 unique users a day, along with 30,000 online at pretty much all times
Out of the thousands of messages she receives, she says, 85 percent feature cock shots: “Maybe that’s why other women find it bothersome, but it’s not like the site is for meeting your knitting group, so why get offended?”
Unlike most women on Fab Swingers, one 23-year-old tells me that she doesn’t see the problem: “We’re clearly on a site devoted to sex, so dick pics actually help me wade through everyone
At 2 AM, a 25-year-old woman writes that she’s high and “looking for naughty company.” Another common preference on here is that women want men to be “gym fit,” which is fair enough in an economy of flesh, but not exactly a look most women on Fab Swingers have themselves. Luckily for those women-and unluckily for men who don’t know what “macros” or “renegade rows” are-there are plenty of budget Dwayne Johnsons on here.
At 3 AM mamba, a man in Camden asks, “Can accomodate [sic] in NW5 have party stuff aswell [sic] who wants to play?”
Naturally, profile lengths vary, with some users writing one-line bios and others longer more descriptive entries-though judging by the amount of headings like “READ PROFILE FIRST,” most go unread, with messages presumably dashed off in one-handed haste. Preferences are stated anyway; the most common for both sexes is no body hair, which is hardly novel.