For those who don’t know about Grindr, it is one of many gay dating apps for the iPhone and android phones. Along with Qrushr, Scruff and the app version of Gaydar, the hugely successful application has revolutionised the way gay man can meet each other.
In it’s 12 years Gaydar, the online dating website has broken down boundaries and brought LGBT people together from all over the world. Whether you want a one night stand, a relationship, friends or just an online chat about Kylie, there will always be someone online willing to give you what you want.
The invention of smart phones has given this simple idea legs and now means you can do all these things on the move. You can see gay men who are near by and even on some apps see there location on a map!
I can obviously see the benefits of these apps. It does allow the shy among us to make the first move without the embarrassment of having to actually approach someone. It gives you the courage to message someone you may not have the nerves to speak to in real life. I have made friends through these apps and am sure that for some they have worked for the reason they intended. Many people have gained relationships and many, many more have have had great sex with someone they’ve met on these apps.
I think however it does become a bit impersonal. Countless conversations I’ve had have included the question “Top or bottom?” in the first few lines. I tend to not go much further in these conversations. Another classic is “What are you looking for?” This is a question you would only ask on a messaging site and would never be an opening question when meeting someone. I guess what I’m saying is that there is still a lot to be said for the art of conversation. Most of the people I have stayed in contact with are people who have discussed things other than sex.
When I was in my teens (before Gaydar!) we had to rely on our own confidence. If you wanted to speak to a guy then you had to go up to them and strike up a conversation. I certainly never led with “Top or Bottom?” I can certainly see the advantages of Grindr and it’s similar rivals but it is in danger of developing young gay men who lack the experience of approaching men themselves and more importantly saying “No, I’m not interested” when faced with unwanted advances.
I tend to use the applications less than I used to. I have certainly come to the conclusion that it is not the way to meet the man of my dreams.