We Talk to Threesome App ‘Feeld’ Creators and Read Through Wild User Stories

Ah, the threesome. It is the most commonly held sexual fantasy amongst both men and women. A recent study found that 95% of men and 87% of women had fantasised about sex with multiple partners. Such statistics could make a ménage-a-trois seem positively vanilla. 

However, there is a huge difference between one’s interior desires and choosing to physically act them out. Navigating intimacy and pleasure with just one other partner presents more than enough challenges for most people. When you throw into the mix a third body and ego, you are opening the doors to new highs- and potential lows- of desire. There is a spark of chaos in group play; you are outside the rules of engagement that bind most of society. Perhaps that is part of the appeal. 

And perhaps that is why this most popular of sexual fantasies remains- for many if not most people- just that; a fantasy.  

However, if three (or more) in the bed is an item on your sexual bucket list that you just have to cross off, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s an app for that. 

Feeld, founded in 2015, is a dating platform aimed at both “couples and singles.” Users swipe- either as an individual or as part of a pair- through potential matches theoretically all seeking group play, kink, or other ‘alternative’ arrangements. 

The app aims to be a fun, accessible and progressive space for people to express themselves, their sexuality and their desire. And in the last two years it has seen it’s user base increase by over 100%. Clearly, there’s a demographic out there that they are successfully tapping into. 

Over 50% of Feeld users identify as other than heterosexual, with over 20 different options to describe both a user’s gender and orientation. 

I feel the need to put an obligatory disclaimer here. Just because you are bi/queer does not mean you are inherently interested in a threesome. Many activists have done excellent tireless work attempting to dissuade the straight world that us queers live in one constant orgy of swinging free sex. (Yes, I know we actually do. But it’s better if the hetty’s don’t cotton on.) 

However…

It is completely normal and natural that a bi person *might* be interested in group sex, particularly with multiple genders. It’s one of the only actions that is recognisably bisexual- eg, a guy getting daisy chained between a man and a woman. Pretty undeniably and visibly bi. Of course, I realise that you don’t have to sleep with multiple genders at the same time to affirm your bisexuality! That said, life is short and generally dull, so if you can do…you get my point. 

The team behind Feeld explain what makes their app unique, how group sex can survive in a pandemic and the future of online dating. 

So…who is using Feeld?

Feeld’s top countries are the US, UK and Australia. We have seen some strong growth in the Netherlands, France and Germany among others. Our top cities are NYC, LA, London and Berlin. 

About 35 percent of users are on the app with a partner. Almost 50 percent identify as something other than heterosexual, where users identifying as heteroflexible, bisexual and bi-curious represent the largest portion [of non-straight identities]. 

Who founded it and for what reason? -What was the gap in the market you were hoping to fill?

Feeld was founded in 2015 by Dimo Trifonov in London. His partner shared with him that she had feelings for one of her female colleagues at the time. She had a fantasy; she wanted to experiment, maybe have a threesome. Dimo, instead of getting upset, was instead inspired. He believed that if his partner had those feelings, other humans-in couples or singles- must feel that curiosity and desire to explore too. So the idea of Feeld was born. 

Initially they looked on other platforms only to find that there wasn’t a space for that middle ground of inexperienced but curious and open-minded couples. So he created a landing page and overnight it became viral. That marks the moment when Dimo realised he had identified a gap in the market. 

Feeld today is a place for open-minded couples and singles to meet, date, explore and design their own relationships. Dimo’s partner Ana is Feeld’s Product Lead and Dimo is the company’s CEO.

Grindr has been around for over a decade now. In that time how people meet (and how they hook up) has been revolutionised. What does the next decade of dating apps look like?

The answer to that question would have looked very differently before corona, but the reality is there is a global pandemic! Meeting new people has changed drastically! 

It’s difficult to predict decades ahead, but what we have learned is that people will always need to feel close and connected to others. A case in point is our very successful new virtual ‘Cores’; these are like virtual locations where our users can ‘teleport’ to. We launched them during the initial wave of lockdowns around the world. We created 3 virtual locations – Staying at Home, Remote Trios and Fantasy Bunker – each with its own specific purpose. People were so excited by them, we saw users joining Cores from over 70 countries. People were connecting and messaging at an extraordinary rate! We saw over 120% growth in messages sent in March and April for instance. What we take away from this is that people will always seek connections, and as a tech company our role is to provide innovative ways for people to be able to create meaningful connections. 

Feeld is perhaps colloquially known as the ‘threesome app’ but through its functions and options around identity and sexuality it does have the ability to really appeal to the queer community at large.

Feeld was inspired by a fantasy of a threesome and is still the go-to-place for those looking for a three way experience, couples and singles alike. Alongside that we want to make sure that Feeld is a welcoming place for everyone who wants to explore their sexuality and desires, especially when it comes to people exploring their own relationship structures. This has absolutely resonated with the queer community from what we can see. 

Essentially we wanted to create a place for people to understand that the deeply ingrained rules of our society are not rules at all, but choices and we can work to design our own ‘rules’.

What do you do to ensure that Feeld remains a safe space for users, particularly those from more marginalised identities?

First of all, we present our Community and Safety guidelines to our users during onboarding. Our Support team is made up of amazing, patient and caring individuals that handle all questions or reports from our users, where we have zero tolerance for any type of abuse. Anyone breaking our guidelines is either temporarily or permanently banned from our platform to protect our users. And last but not least, we believe that we really have a community of like-minded individuals that contribute to a safer environment for everyone in the app. A lot of the users on Feeld are so direct and open about their desires that shame or any other negative attitude is really not fitting so people naturally accept others and who they are.

As the app has grown in popularity (or become more mainstream) has that posed new problems?

So far nothing comes to mind! Of course the pandemic was and still is a big challenge for everyone, but people will always seek connection with others and that definitely leads to more people finding and using Feeld [during lockdown.] 

We are paying special attention not to lose the strength of our community while this growth is happening and we are working constantly on improving our product, bringing better experiences to our users.

Notes from the Feeld

App users tell their stories

“We’ve heard some horror stories…”
F&V, 32, London 

My partner and I had always wanted to explore our bisexuality together but had no idea how to go about dating as a couple. We didn’t want to hook up with friends (too risky!) and just could not imagine meeting someone in a bar who was on our wavelength! 

Since we started using it in 2017, we’ve noticed that more and more straight people are using it – which is totally fine per se – but not when you are messaging a guy who states he is ‘heteroflexible’ and it turns out he just wants to fuck the girl while the guy watches. Fine, but not really our bag. Also, we’ve noticed more and more couples where the guy is straight and the girl is bicurious – I’m sure this is completely the case for many couples but to us it often feels suspicious/performative/is he coercing her?

We have always felt safe – but there’s two of us. We’ve heard some horror stories from dates – some funny, some genuinely scary. We’re very aware that we come as a pair, and try very hard to make sure our dates feel safe and comfortable, both online and in person. 

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

“There are increasing numbers of straight men, which has been a turn off.”
S, 25, London

I basically started using it because one of my friends who was in an open relationship told me about it. I had always found the idea of an open relationship interesting, and I wanted to understand why people would choose to have one, and maybe unlearn some of my own views and misconceptions around them. 

I’ve noticed there are increasing numbers of straight men and straight couples using the app, which has been a bit of a turn off. But generally, the people who are using Feeld are much more open minded!

“It gave us something to talk about in lockdown!”
R&L, 28, Manchester

The app is quite the anecdote generator! We turned up to one date and it was clear that wires had been crossed somewhere and she was not expecting both of us! We struggled through an awkward pint and made our excuses. 

We were dating a girl who invited us to her friend’s birthday party. We turned up with her to discover that the host was someone we’d previously dated, who had then ghosted us! The look on his face was one to remember…

We have had a few odd experiences with other couples, where the dynamics just weren’t right. We went on a (super fun) date with a couple and ended up back at theirs. It was very late and we were very drunk – and they started a quite full on BDSM session – which we were unprepared for! We escaped and laughed at the time, but that kind of play when off your face, with strangers and no agreed boundaries/safe words can be dangerous. 

But it gave us something to talk about during lockdown! 

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

“12 hour sessions and endless orgasms!”
E, 30, London 

When using Feeld I’m particularly picky, so I look for eloquent profiles and signals that someone is experienced (as a proxy for ‘verified’) and I know not to meet anyone where the conversation doesn’t feel natural. However, I have come across a lot of men who think it’s somewhere to have a quick shag and don’t always appreciate the human element or the need for communication – or haven’t felt genuine. 

It’s always funny when you meet lovely dates and realise you’ve played with the same people they have through the app. Swapping Feeld anecdotes can be a lot of fun.

At its best, Feeld is meeting people who have great chemistry, the ability to set boundaries, communicate well, apply trust.. all that good stuff. 12 hour sessions and endless orgasms!

“There’s a lot of people who shouldn’t be on the app.”
SG, 34, London 

I downloaded Feeld to meet like minded people. The app has changed quite a lot over the years; it now feels far more like just a dating app. There’s a lot of catfish out there, and probably a lot of people who shouldn’t be on the app. But the best thing about Feeld is meeting a like-minded couple and gaining their trust. When things go well, it is probably the most relaxed first date you’ll ever have!

“I told them I had my period and beelined the fuck out of there!”
P, 38, New York 

I’ve found (most of) the couples on this app to be experienced and respectful. However, there are exceptions…

Once, I met a couple out for what I thought was going to be a standard drink and vibe check. When I got there, it was a fancy dress party at a bar where everyone was in togas. Turns out, it was the woman’s sister’s birthday. And, no, she did not know that her sister and her beau were on a date with me. They made it clear that I should keep it on the DL. They had also invited another girl that they date without clearing it with me first. Needless to say, the event and the people were a train wreck. However, I couldn’t look away! I had to see what else would go down so I went with all four of them to a bar where the dude proceeded to try and make out with all of us. Also, the girlfriend told me that she and her boyfriend used to have a completely open relationship, but now he was the only one able to fuck other people autonomously and she showed me pictures of his last birthday, which was about 7:1 ratio of girls to him. It seemed like they were in more of an abusive situation than a cool sub/dom one. Anyway, when they asked me to come home with them, I told them I had my period and beelined the fuck out of there.

“I would make them cum and then the day after they would ghost me.”
C, 27, London

I wanted a hookup app that made you feel actual value for yourself and other people. I also wanted an app that had a whole diverse range of people/s, as a big ol’ bisexual myself. 

I had a few occasions where I would match with people and it would lead to kinky talk. I would slowly describe how I would dominate them, and would slowly tease them until they begged and begged. I would make them cum and then the day after they would ghost me. It was funny the first time… but then it kept happening. 

“It has given us an unusual and intense bond as a couple.”
F&D, 27, Brighton 

We have met some brilliant people who have become good friends as well as lovers. We’ve connected with people we never would have come across otherwise. We have experienced all the ecstatic highs and plummeting lows of modern dating as a pair – which has given us an unusual and intense bond as a couple. 

Photo by Rebecca Matthews on Unsplash

In compiling these interviews, I heard one user describe how they had felt fetishised (as someone bi and non-binary) by certain users on the app. I wondered whether they had found that there were lots of people who use Feeld disingenuously, or even nefariously?

They quickly pointed out that all apps have their liars, trolls and dickheads. Feeld is no worse. In fact, Feeld is as inclusive a dating app and safe space as one is likely to get. 

In truth, if you get past the smirking and innuendo around threesomes, Feeld is a platform like any other. It may encourage users to break society’s relationship ‘rules,’ but that only goes to show that those ‘rules’ need breaking. 

Conversation, sex, romance, rejection, love. In truth, online or in a bar, in two’s, threes or mores, in these socially distant times we’re all just looking for connection. 


Written by Joe Von Malachowski


Featured image by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

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