The Brief: Instagram accounts dedicated to matchmaking for people looking for Caregiver/Little and/or kink relationships are often run by and followed by teenagers. Although there are measures in place to prevent predation, these accounts can provide opportunities for inappropriate interactions between minors and adults, or among minors.
What Are CGL Instagram Matchmaking Accounts?
There are dozens of public Instagram matchmaking accounts dedicated to helping people find matches for kink and CGL (caregiver/little) relationships that specifically cater to minors. These accounts, which are often run by teenagers, employ a series of rules and guidelines to protect the safety of community members, but this is a near-impossible task online.
Kink and CGL matchmaking accounts typically have the word “matchmaking” in their username and have between 100 and 1500 followers. These types of accounts invite people to submit information about themselves to admin for personal ads that will be posted publicly. People usually don’t engage with these accounts with their Rinstas, but use their Finstas or more anonymous side accounts instead. In personal ads, people include such information as age, ages that they regress to, first name or nickname, gender, sexual orientation, general location, preferences, and what type of relationship they’re looking for. These accounts are used both by people seeking platonic, SFW age-regression-based caregiver/little relationships and by those looking for kinky, BDSM, and/or sexual power exchanges related to age play.
Even with safety precautions in place, minors engaged in these online communities may be targeted by adult predators. Kink and BDSM relationships can be healthy and positive when only consenting adults are involved, but these sexual dynamics and power exchanges are inappropriate for minors.
Many of these accounts seem to rely on a harm-reduction model for teenagers who will inevitably participate in various CLG and/or kink relationships. The website for the space-themed matchmaking Instagram account @space.themed.matchmaking states:
“Minors are unavoidable in kink communities. No matter where you are on matchmaking platforms minors will always find a way to get themselves involved in whichever activity they like. Its important for minors to be educated in the community because if they’re here, and they’re not leaving, they should at least be safe. We believe as a part of community we have a responsibility to set an example for smaller accounts looking to do the same or similar thing that we are doing.”
Methods for harm reduction include strict labeling of posts based on a person’s age, preferences, and boundaries. Most matchmaking accounts include Story highlights which directly call out people who make unsolicited sexual advances, adults who talk to minors, and people who are otherwise disrespectful. These stories include screenshots and usernames of perpetrators so that community members know to watch out for them.
Account admin enforce strict rules for how people are to interact through their matchmaking service, both publicly and privately. Accounts specify whether they’re for SFW or NSFW relationships and which age ranges they’re intended for. They also explicitly bar relationships between minors and adults, harassment, and bullying. DNI or “do not interact” story highlights warn people against interacting with these accounts if their beliefs or behaviors contradict the mission of the account. Posted rules typically prohibit interactions between people who are looking for kinky ageplay versus non-kinky age regression relationships in order to keep these disparate activities separate.
A general consensus in online CGL communities is that kinky age play should be reserved for adults, but that platonic, non-kinky age-regression caretaker relationships between minors can be appropriate when proper communication is involved. Although these accounts take concerted efforts to curb inappropriate interactions and predation, there is no way to ensure complete online safety, especially when minors and kink are involved.