The bearded men of Brooklyn, and the women who dig them, now have a niche online dating site to help them find each another. LumberMatch, which launched a few weeks ago, caters to gay and straight “lumbersexuals,” a group the site defines as “stylish, bearded, tattooed, flannel and boot-wearing men.” If the concept seems too outrageous to be true, consider Farmers Only. This is just the latest, lifestyle-focused dating site to debut in the past year. The only requirement for members, it seems, is a love of facial hair.
“Just know, that at Lumbermatch.com if you have a beard, you have found a home,” the site boasts. It describes the typical lumbersexual ranging from “the bearded lumberjack out in the woods to the urban hipster trying to return to a manlier time”—in other words, a more rugged riff on the metrosexual look. The site also explains that the women who fit the trend don’t necessarily dress in plaid and vintage boots; they simply appreciate the appearance of lumbersexual men.
Unlike OkCupid and other dating sites, LumberMatch doesn’t try to pair you with potential partners. (This is already a pretty self-selecting group.) Upon signing up, you can search based on location, age range and gender and then scroll through the matches on your own. It’s likely that there are more gawkers here than bearded men and their admirers, though, since a large number of LumberMatch users don’t post profile pictures. Those who fly under the radar get a goofy avatar instead–ironically without a beard.
According to Urban Beardsman—a magazine devoted to the “bearded lifestyle”–the dating site was developed by Kevin Gillem after receiving requests for such a service on his twitter account, @trulumbersexual, where he posts photos of luxurious beards. “It seemed to naturally evolve that most of my followers were women who started asking where they could meet these bearded men,” Gillem told Urban Beardsman. He hopes the site will help people find lovers as well as “lifelong friends.”
Nurturing connections is so key to LumberMatch, you can send a public or private message to any member or add them as friends, which makes the site seem more like an exclusive Facebook than a place to find a date. There’s even an option to join groups, the most popular being “Show us your beard!,” “Tattoo Nation” and “New York,” which has more members, 38, than any other location-based group, ranging from Utah to the U.K. But while Brooklyn may seem like the ideal place to spot, and date a lumbersexual, only 15 Brooklyn men and 36 Brooklyn women have joined out of a total 3,615 members so far.