This is the fourth instalment of Feeld Stories, a platform for Feeld members who would like to share their experiences and stimulate productive discussion around unconventional desires and relationships. Conceived as a space for honest insight, not sensationalism or stereotyping, the series are part of our movement to normalise sexuality in its multiplicity.
Some answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.
Here are Cheyenne's insights.
What is your most memorable experience on Feeld?
Dating as a queer, fat, Black, sex and kink-neutral femme comes with a lot of challenges. During my time on mainstream dating apps, I dealt with fatphobia and being fetishised quite often, which caused me to feel excluded from dating altogether. However, after finding Feeld in 2018, I gained a new sense of hope about finding like-minded people to meet up with.
When I created my profile, I liked that there were so many options for sexual and gender identities, and I also liked the option to connect a partner’s profile to one's own. Additionally, I thought it was great I could include both my sexual and kink interests and my vanilla interests too.
When it comes to memorable experiences on Feeld, the one that stands out for me the most was meeting Sophie Mona Pagès of LVRSNFRNDS and engaging in community through her platform and Feeld’s app.
Has being on Feeld changed the way you date or the way you define your sexuality?
Feeld has opened me up to a number of things, namely ENM/poly relationships and feeling comfortable with coming out as non-binary on dating platforms. During the pandemic, I spent quite a lot of time thinking about gender and different relationship styles, and through using Feeld and talking to Pagès, I ended up realising that ENM may be a better fit for my current lifestyle.
Do you have any dating ‘rules’? Have they changed and evolved over time?
Initially, I had many stipulations around dating, such as only dating monogamous folk or dating kink-friendly people who have as much experience as I do. However, as I have become more familiar with Feeld, I am beginning to forego my rule of solely dating monogamous partners. When it comes to my other ‘rules’, such as primarily dating Black and Brown folk who are creatives or writers like myself, and who believe in and put into practice intersectional feminism, and my rule of finding kink-experienced partners; these remain non-negotiable.
What question do you get asked most often about your dating preferences?
In terms of my engagement on Feeld, most of the conversations I’ve had with users have started and ended briefly on the app. In 2019 I met the first and only person from Feeld who I dated casually for four months. In the end, it turned out we did not have the same values, something that is a recurring trend for me.
Aside from this, my biggest concern is that it is difficult to find other Black and Brown people on the app, and when I do find them, there is usually an exchange about how they share my experience and sentiments. It's partly for this reason that I was inspired to create Unveild, a budding-sex-and-kink neutral editorial community and publication for Black and Brown folk to come together, share their experiences, network online, and in person, create content and embrace this community.
What is one thing you would like society to know about unconventional dating preferences?
The one thing I would like society to understand about ‘unconventional dating styles and preferences’ is that these are not as unorthodox as they might seem from the outside. As denizens of a white supremacist system, we have internalised a lot of binary thinking, which is harmful and excludes all marginalised folk including people that share my identity. Feeld is an important app and has a lot of potential to create a community where people are individually and collectively living as their true selves, unpacking systemic oppression while also connecting with others. I think through finding ways to be more inclusive of Black and Brown folk, the app can serve as a resource for people to feel affirmed in all intersections of their identity while dating as well.