Fling.com Review: Dating Site or Hookup Site or...Just What IS This Thing?
While we fully admit to being confused from time to time, Fling.com is even more confused than us. It doesn't know whether it wants to be a hookup site/app like Grindr or a conventional dating site like Match.com or a swingers' site or what. In a nutshell: we were suitably impressed by its functionality and free offerings, but mystified by the apparent schism in its personality.
What Is It?
Fling.com is an adult casual sex and relationship online dating site and mobile app.
Fling.com is owned by Miami FL-based Global Personals Media (GPM), which also owns MeetLocals.com, WebDate.com, WealthyMen.com, and BlackFling.com. GPM is a regular brick-and-mortar, tax-paying business that offers its employees a 4% retirement match, tuition reimbursement, gym membership, and all the other goodies of a legitimate business.
What We Loved
- Functionality: Not only do you get full functionality with the free membership, the site flows well and is easy to work with. A running message- and friend-request notifier in the upper right allows you to instantly see who is interested in you.
- Free Offerings: This site is free--really. You pay only for one enhanced feature, profile promotion. (Update: We are not sure about the cost anymore. See "Cost" section, below).
- Lack of Distractions: Lots of dating sites have silly, distracting things like polls, quizzes, photo rating, ads everywhere, etc. Fling.com is fairly distraction-free. Rarely does it exhort you to sign up for the pay service. Ads are discreetly tucked away on the side or bottom, and most of them really just divert you to other GPM dating sites.
What We Hated
- What Is This Site? If you want a hookup site, it's less hookup than you might think. But if you're looking for a conventional dating site, it feels a lot like a hookup site.
- Remote Members: What's the point of someone 2,233 miles away contacting you?
- Lack of Courtship: See topic below.
Hookup or Conventional Dating or Swingers or...?
Fling.com has the flavor of a dirty-dating site, claiming that it is "The World's Best Personals" site. Most male profiles include some expectation of immediate sex. Yet we find a lot of women's profiles talk vaguely about "looking for a nice guy" and "interested in a relationship," which does not describe a hookup, at least the last we checked. Then there's the swinger couple contingent, looking for single bi-females and other couples.
We found Fling.com's mission confusing and murky. We suspect that most of the horny, dick pic-wielding guys on the site do not get laid.
If we had to characterize Fling.com, we'd say: Largely a conventional dating site, but one that gives its members the freedom to mention their desire for sex, as well as the liberty to post pictures of nudity and sexual activity.
Are Dick Pictures the New Courtship?
In this business, we're hardly shocked to see a big one-eyed monster staring us in the face anymore. Nor are we dismayed to get the classic three-letter courtship text: "sup?" But sometimes, enough is enough.
What guys need to understand is that, even within the arena of a hookup site, there is such a thing as courtship. And dick pics do not constitute a courtship strategy.
When we first signed up to test Fling.com, the male half of TDG was surprised at the relentless flow of messages within the first hour, each amounting to no more than a grunt or bellow. He had heard rumors about how women on dating sites received offensive messages and pictures, but this was his first time experiencing it. His reaction: wow!
So, guys, listen up and listen good. As you've been coached numerous times by TV, magazines, and websites, do not send dick pics and guttural utterances (Wassup, mmm, ba-bee, what's the biz mama, etc.) on conventional dating sites such as OK Cupid and Match.
Wait! You know this already. But the shocker is that you should also refrain from doing this on hookup-type sites. Picture of your penis? Not impressed. Picture of your massive, veiny, 9 inch+ beast? Still not impressed.
One exception: we found that the older men (50+) could be relatively courtly in their courtship strategies, mentioning their boats or trips to Vegas, with the side assumption that sex would be part of the experience.
Update: Below we state that Fling.com is free. In our test, the site was fully functional for about one week. However, a reader has contacted us, saying that he had to pay for a Fling.com membership. Also we have read conflicting reports in other sources about Fling.com's cost. We have contacted parent company Global Personals Media and will update this report when we have heard back from them.
Free. This was another mystifying thing about Fling.com. Lots of dating sites offer you limited free functionality. They might let you view members' profiles and let other members look at you. But the instant you try to message someone or look at "special" pictures (meaning: nude), you hit the Paywall of Death. The site tells you that you must become a member--at the cost of $10-$30 per month--just to perform simple functions. It's a wicked tease.
But not so with Fling.com. Quite the opposite, in fact. With free membership, you can: create a full profile; have it displayed; look at other members' profiles; message in/out; post nude photos; and so much more.
We had to search for a way to pay money to Fling.com, and here it is:
Upgrade your profile to a featured profile today and increase your chances of getting laid! Featured profiles will appear highlighted above all other profiles on search result pages.$9.97 per month
Note: Why No Photos In This Review?
Normally, in our dating site reviews, we like to feature screenshots of the site so that you'll know what's in store for you without having to sign up (yes, we take the bullet for you). In the case of Fling.com, it was impossible to locate a good screenshot that did not show a member. We felt that, due to the discreet nature of this site, we'd rather not show member photos.