There’s an App for That!
And then there was a glimmer of hope! With the advent of space phones (I refrain from calling them “smart” because my iPhone is a C student, at best), our world has become driven by mobile applications, lovingly called apps. There’s an app for cooking, an app for viewing the stars, there’s even an app that will translate your language into spoken word to let you communicate abroad. And… wait for it… there’s an app for gay dating… several, in fact.
But are they all they’re cracked up to be? Are they the solution to the “scene” bloat? Hell no. But they are not without their merit.
This advent of openly broadcasting yourself seems to be relegated solely to the gay male community. To my knowledge, there are few, if any, mobile applications marketed toward lesbian, transgender, or bi-sexual women; none that have survived or been monetized or marketed well, anyway. For the sake of this blog post, and since I’m a homosexual man, I’m going to focus on this demographic for now.
While these apps do provide the ability to filter or ignore/block individuals with ease who don’t meet standards or simply creep you out, they proliferate and even intensify the dominance of the NSA, DTF, FWB, etc., scene. Upon opening the app for the first time, even before you can get a picture uploaded or your height and weight entered, you are liable to get a “Looking?” message from a headless torso who looks like he lives in the sauna of the local 24 Hour Fitness. Yuck! And then there’s always my favorite: the man in his 50s saying he’s 26 with a picture of himself holding a gerbil standing next to a washing machine. I mean, what does that even mean?!
Gay dating apps come in varied forms and attract all sub-cultures of gay men.
Some apps are proximity apps that show you, using GPS, all of the other app users within a certain mile radius of you like Grindr and Scruff. Some apps allow you to like, fave, wink, or woof, at other guys whom you’re interested in. And some apps act like traditional online dating profiles that don’t show proximity at all like OkCupid! (which, incidentally, is open to all genders, sexes, and orientations).
Every app on the market uses a profile picture as the primary filter. Users scroll through a sometimes-endless stream of tiled images and, when you find one you like, you tap it to view the full profile. This has led, or at least encouraged, what is commonly referred to as an “Adonis Culture” where gay men obsess over how their bodies look and are presented to the app communities and those who don’t have perfect abs and flawless features develop Body Dysmorphic Disorders; another topic for another day.
One good thing has come out of it: anonymous communication without the threat of retaliation although it is not perfect.
It’s obvious that if someone is using the app, they’re surely also a gay man. So the water is clear and men, like myself, are free to openly flirt and break the ice without fear of being embarrassed or physically threatened. I would mark this as a positive improvement albeit a bit detached and impersonal at times. This freedom does come with a downside, however. It is not unprecedented to have an unsolicited and highly explicit image sent without warning… and they expect reciprocation. I just block them immediately, but it’s definitely common.
It’s Not All Bad…
I know it sounds disgusting and a tad on the creepy side, but it’s not impossible to find the diamond in the rough. I know that’s a lame cliché, but it’s the truth. There are limitations in dating in the queer world, less so than in the past, but no matter who you are, what orientation you are, and what sub-culture you identify with, there are many opportunities available.
It may be a daunting task to get out of your shell to go out to a club or a bar (if that’s your scene) or to cope with the annoying and incessant virtual cat-calls on a mobile application, but there’s hope yet. If someone is looking to find you in the sea of crazy, this is how they’re going to find you and it would a tragedy to miss the opportunity presented to you. So gather your sexiest selfies, refine your “About Me” skills, decide how high you wish to set your standards, and get out there to find your future!!
(last week we discussed how difficult it has been to meet someone outside the drug and booze infested “Gay Scene”…well, up until now…) There’s an App for That! And then there was a glimmer of hope! With the advent of … Continue reading