It wasn’t that long ago that Ashley Madison, the dating site for married people looking for extramarital affairs, went down in one of the biggest scandals of the century. AM was a dating/hook up site for a specific group of people (those who were looking to cheat on their partners for various reasons ranging from boredom to just plain kink) with a very specific requirement. Soon, they weren’t the only ones who were cashing in on specific dating. We scanned the app store and found gems that range from effective and helpful to downright bizarre.

 

MINDER

 

According to their website, Minder is the place for awesome Muslims to meet. Their tag line is: Swipe. Match. Marry. This gives you an idea of what Minder is like – it’s not exactly a hookup app — it’s literally for people seeking someone who can balance deen and duniya. The app is quite safe to use. All profiles are verified manually by a selfie and GPS locations. Of course, you can block any user from seeing you at any time. Minder sort of follows the Hinge pattern — you are allowed to add pictures, bio (which usually have passages from the Quran) and your “Muslim flavour” i.e. if you’re a Shia or a Sunni. “I love circumcised dicks, but tragically, Minder is not exactly for LGBT people. I’m too classy to catfish a hot Muslim man, so, I just uninstalled the app,” says Arnav, a resident of Mumbai, who was disappointed to find that the app was only available for heterosexual people.

 

BRO

 

If you’re in India, Bro could possibly be the most boring app to be on. It’s an app for straight/bicurious/bisexual men who’re looking to experiment with other men. While the idea sounds enticing, there are about fifteen men on Bro in Mumbai right now (our R&D was extensive) and the app’s interface is confusing, tacky and not very pleasing to the eye. However, Bro is quite popular abroad where people know such an app exists and “straight” men aren’t as openly rigid as they are in India.

 

THE LEAGUE

Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The League isn’t an app you download and install — it’s something you legitimately have to apply for. It is the app for those who believe they are of elevated pedigree. Your profile will only be seen by those who meet your preferences and an advanced screening algorithm keeps their community “well-balanced” and “high-quality”. One of the best features of this app is that it values their users’ time — if you’re the type who swipes right on everyone but never messages them, you’re only hurting yourself. Matches on The League expire after 21 days. The League requires your LinkedIn profile to protect your privacy and blocks business connections and co-workers. You can also include your Facebook account to block friends. “The team at The League does their research on social media, so when I swiped right, I didn’t feel like the guy was too good to be true,” says Divya Rani Rathore from Delhi, who is now dating a rolling-rich army brat from Jaipur.

 

GLEEDEN

 

For those looking to escape unhappy marriages or just get that adrenaline rush that comes from doing something taboo, Gleeden is here for you. Solene Paillet, the Marketing Strategist for Gleeden told IANS in an interview that, last year, women were 25 per cent of Gleeden’s Indian users, whereas now they constitute 30 per cent. Ever since the apex court decriminalised adultery, the number of users on the app has grown extensively. While Ashley Madison was marketed specifically for men, Gleeden is an app run by women which are completely free for women users. By getting men to pay for the app, it helps filter out trolls and creeps. The next step is providing services to men on a credit-based system that enables them to use in-app communication tools like private messaging, live chats and gifting options. “I was stuck in an unhappy marriage for a long time but found my current partner via Gleeden. He is sweet, funny and down to doing risqué stuff,” shared Moina Bhattacharya (name changed) from Bangalore.

 

SCRUFF

 

Scruff’s website has an interesting piece of statistics to share: If you’re part of the Scruff “family”, you’re one among fifteen million people in the world who are interested in hooking up/dating someone with body hair. Verifiable? No. Funny AF? Yes. While Scruff is usually favoured by those interested in people sporting bushy unkempt beards and body hair (read: bears), it can be downloaded and used by anyone in the gay, bisexual or transgender community. It’s not just a hookup app, though — of late, it’s also gotten a reputation for being a sort of global gay couchsurfing portal. Users can let other men know they’re visiting their cities and ask locals for tips. They can also publish their travel agenda on their profile or volunteer to be a Scruff Ambassador to help out people visiting their home city.

 

UGLY SCHMUCKS

 

Jeez, we couldn’t believe this app exists. Are you tired of people not seeing your inner beauty? Do you prefer genuine personality over outer appearance? Well, you might just be an Ugly Schmuck. A dating site, www.uglyschmucks.com is the “#1 Ugly Dating Community”, and is geared towards people who may feel unattractive or uncomfortable in their own skin and is designed to help them meet others who value genuine personality over outer appearance. If you’ve been on Tinder for weeks and haven’t received a single match yet, you could try your luck on this bizarre portal and app. “Of course, I’m not going to try it. I haven’t fallen that low yet,” said Archana Jaiswal on being asked if she’d sign up for it.

 

GOTHICMATCH

 

Have you ever coloured your nails black and applied black lipstick on your disturbingly chapped lips? Have you spent long nights blasting ACDC and getting reprimanded by your neighbours and haggard parents? GothicMatch is the dating site for you. “GothicMatch is the first, the largest and the best online Gothic social networking site for Gothic singles in the world,” claims the website. In order to help gothic singles, the site provides a Gothic forum, a Gothic blog for fellow Goths to share photos, stories and pictures of their tattoos and just . . . well, their gothicness, we guess.