If you’re looking to turn your life into 50 Shades, (minus the dubious emotional abuse, bad acting, lip biting, and various feminist existential crises) there’s an app for that, and it launched today. Called Whiplr, the BDSM-themed app aims to take advantage of the world’s current collective spanking fantasy. It connects users with similar “interests” (read: kinks and fetishes) and helps beginners figure out what they’re interested in. It’s unabashedly inspired by the work of E.L. James, literally encouraging users to “embark on your own 50 Shades Of Grey journey.”
Despite its sex-based content, Whiplr’s interface is relatively vanilla. User profiles have to be SFW, and messages aren’t saved. You can message or video chat other people, and there’s supposedly no pressure to meet up in real life: It’s a safe space to explore a fantasy with a play partner. However, Whiplr is location-based, so if you wanted to meet up, it wouldn’t be impossible.
The world BDSM and kink existed long before “Mr. Grey will see you now,” and for many kinksters, the film’s supposedly scandalous content caused the eye roll heard round the world. But for many others, it brought to light desires and fantasies that maybe hadn’t been considered or taken seriously. Say what you will about the franchise: The film has caused BDSM to enter the mainstream. While apps like Whiplr might have been considered just for the fringes a few years ago, it seems destined for wild popularity.