I’ve been chicken-littling over collarspace.com for a while now.
I know a lot of people hate the site, but I’ve met lovely submissive men there (I found sunshine on collarspace), and it’s still the biggest BDSM dating site despite all of its faults. And make no mistake, when it comes to dating, size matters :P.
I think it’s in trouble.
It has always suffered from some level of flakiness and ‘not-being-properly-maintain’edness, but there are red flags a-plenty pointing to its imminent demise at the moment.
1. The forum side (collarchat.com) was removed some months ago without warning
2. The chatrooms were whittled down and now there’s only
3. Profile editing has not been functioning for over a month
4. New profiles aren’t being approved
5. Last ‘new user’ join date (i.e. the last profile that was approved) appears to be 21 April 2018
6. Support isn’t answering emails
About 5 days ago, I created a new account because people were saying it had been taken over by alt and you could see that in the sign-up process, which would explain why they are essentially making the site unusable.
When I clicked ‘Join Collarspace’ in the sign-up process, it redirected me to this page:
It DID let me create that new account despite that redirection, and I got this welcome email in my new account’s inbox suggesting that I “join our affiliate alt.com” and well, a dating site is not going to recommend a rival dating site now is it? So yeah, things are afoot.
I created a profile and it told me it had to be approved. It has been 4 days now and it’s still not approved.
Whatever is going on there, the site is slowly being made unusable (though why they don’t just say ‘Get over to alt.com’ to all its users and shut it down, I have no idea).
My advice to users: If you are messaging with some potentials or friends over there and you want to keep in touch, now is a good time to exchange alternative contact information because if it goes down, I don’t think there will be any warning. I think it will just be ‘poof’, gone.
A request to my readers: If you are using a free kinky dating site AND you like it AND it has more than a few dozen users, please let us know in the comments. I don’t just want names (I can google those): What I’d like is sites you would personally recommend.
Edited 25 May to add:
After hearing reports that they are stripping paragraph breaks and other characters out of emails (presumably for security reasons because it includes words like ‘script’), I did a test. And yes, they are indeed stripping out both, so what you send to someone is probably not at all what they receive.
What I sent:
I’m just testing emails, and a thing I heard that
a) they are stripping out paragraph breaks and
b) that they are stripping out anything that sounds like it might be script-like, like the word script.
So test words:
Also my email email@example.com
And a link to my book http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HC038MS/?tag=dommechron-20
Anyway, send me money, you lowly worm creature.
What they received:
So now if you get shitty emails, you can’t even be mad about it :P.
Update 29 May:
Re 3 above. Profile editing is back (for me and for some other users at least).
Re 5 above. There is ONE actual new user turning up for me in ‘New Users’.
When I originally wrote this post, the last new user in that list had a join date of 21 April.
There is a new one who shows as having joined 4 May.
So best case, they are going through a backlog to approve new users OR not, and the ‘New Users’ functionality is just broken. It could go either way to be honest.
Update 7 June:
Re 5 above. There are a few more new users turning up in my ‘New Users’ view, so more new accounts (showing a join date in May) are being approved.
Some people who edited their profiles and then were unable to use their accounts because the changes were not being approved have had their edits approved and are now able to use the site again (others are still awaiting approval).
Update 8 June 2018:
** The ‘Join BDSM Community’ link to create a new accounts now takes you to alt.com **
That means they are not allowing any new accounts to be created: If there’s a definitive sign of a dead site, that’s it.
Update 12 June 2018:
The ‘Join BDSM Community‘ link to create new accounts is working again now. They are fucking with us. I have no idea if they are approving new profiles.
I received an email from someone with a friend at alt: Unsurprisingly, this fuckery is a deliberate push to get users to switch to alt before they shut down CS (max 18 months, though I expect it will be dead long before that).
Update 12 September 2018:
I’m still getting reports of people being locked out after updating their profile, and new accounts not being approved. However it seems to be pretty much random: That is, some are getting through fine (I am seeing a lot of new accounts now), and some are not (plenty of people reporting that they are in limbo awaiting approval).
They seem to have re-allowed paragraph breaks in messages, but I haven’t bothered to fully test what is or isn’t being stripped out. It’s still shit and both your sent and received messages are a crap shoot in terms of what gets through.
Update 16 July 2019:
The site is still up and running (I’m surprised, to be honest). The quality of messaging has improved somewhat since I gave the example above (that is, while they still strip out some text from messages you send, it’s not as bad as it was).
NYMaster has just left a comment to point out that they have removed the ‘New Members’ link which used to show you people who had recently joined the site. I’ve confirmed that it’s gone for me also. Not sure if it’s because there are no new members joining (there were, for the record), or if they just want to hide how few. Or maybe they’re just going to phase out functionality bit by bit until it’s completely unusable (whether it’s unusable now is arguable :)).
Update 17 Dec 2019:
The ‘Join BDSM Community’ link for new account registrations is again going straight to alt.com, same as it did in the middle of last year.
Mind you, whether a new account will get approved or not, and if so when, is anyone’s guess. Don’t hold your breath.
My shouty advice still stands:
IF YOU’RE TALKING TO ANYONE ON THERE, GET ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THEM (note that if you DO give alternative contact information, check your sent box for how that message looks after it goes through the ‘strip all the things out’ filter that CS has in place)