For gay men, to say that dating apps have been revolutionary would frankly be an understatement. But at what cost does this lack of face-to-face interaction come?
Since the advent of smartphones, dating apps have grown exponentially in popularity. There are now apps catering to every orientation, every niche of hobby and interest, every age group.
For gay men, to say that dating apps have been revolutionary would frankly be an understatement. In a heteronormative world, where every flirtation and locked eye contact can be underpinned by the uncertainty of the stranger’s true intentions, gay dating apps eliminate such anxieties inasmuch that users already know for sure that the gentleman they’ve matched with is gay – not a straight guy the other side of the bar who just looks like he could be gay, for example. Dating apps also mean, of course, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home in order to match with and get your flirt on with hot, interesting men – but at what cost does this lack of face-to-face interaction come?
With almost 6 million users and free to download (although with premium features), Grindr is, according to its website, the world’s most popular dating app for gay men. Incidentally, it caters also for queer and trans people. A dearth of functional trans-specific dating apps on the market mean it’s little wonder Grindr attracts such a sizable proportion of this group.
Grindr is commonly considered amongst its user base to be a very informal setting in which a characteristic tendency towards casual sexual relations underlies much of the interaction. Speaking symbolically, Grindr is a celebration of the Pride movement, a judgement-free safe space for promiscuity and hook-ups. Unlike some swipe apps, users can contact each other without having had to match, so you may expect to receive the odd horny message (or picture) during your tenure as a Grindr-er (a demonym I may have just invented).