He's Five Feet Away — And Hot! Grindr Finds Sex Fast, But Only For Gay Men. Where's BoyBasket?

The default Home screen of the iPhone shows mo...
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Here’s another way to find sex fast — Grindr — a new iPhone app that shows gay men who’s nearby and eager to hook up. Writes Clark Harding in The Daily Beast:

My iPhone was snatched from my hands and the Grindr app downloaded by committee. I stumbled home that night, my pants already buzzing with new messages. In just those few minutes I was swept up in the undertow of what Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai calls online’s “third wave.”

“The Grindr iPhone application,” Joel explained to me, “is all about location. It uses GPS technology to determine your exact coordinates and instantly shows you photos of the guys around you.” Or as I first saw it, Grindr tells me which guys in my immediate vicinity might be looking to hook up. I look at my iPhone, and sure enough, Joel is 1.2 miles away. He is a slight, Israeli with a warm smile. We’ve never met in person, though—I found him on Grindr, which is where I decided to conduct our interview.

“It’s great when you know what a person looks like or whatever, but that information is not valuable unless you factor in proximity,” he said. “Now can we talk in person cuz I hate typing on my phone.”

Grindr is a remarkably simple experience. You have a screen name, one picture, and a few personal statistics to accompany it, followed by the obligatory short blurb about what it is you’re looking for (all of which you can choose to not publish if you’re uncomfortable.) The rest happens through texting. You can choose to put up your face picture, which most men do. Or, like me, you can publish your headless torso so your exes or, say, men who live across the street can’t tell you’re cruising the airwaves for something other than them. “It’s all about how you present yourself,” says Joel, “That is what dictates the experience.”

So, when’s the female-focused version of Grindr going to show up? Would it work?

Think of all the time and hassle it could save women — no more sitting around in bars looking alluring, slowly sipping that $12 merlot, no more speed-dating or flirting in the produce section. Guys, all around you, ready to go, literally at your fingertips for the choosing.

I like the efficiency of it, even though I’m not in the market. Having survived the tedious slog of on-line dating (liars, liars, more liars), anything that shortens the time between interest and contact argues in its favor. And women like to choose, not wait to be chosen. What’s our version — GuyShopper? BoyBasket?

But…Do women want or need something more than a body part on a screen to make a split-second decision? Are we less sexually voracious? Or just less comfortable showing it?

5 thoughts on “He's Five Feet Away — And Hot! Grindr Finds Sex Fast, But Only For Gay Men. Where's BoyBasket?

  1. Come on. Any girl who would like to hook-up can walk into ANY place, make her selection and take him home.

    Well, that’s what my single friends tell me anyway.

  2. Caitlin Kelly

    cgwalt, your friends are lying. Or they don’t live in New York City where, depending where a woman — certainly anyone over 35 or 40 — walks in, if she doesn’t speak fluent Russian and have a Phd in nuclear physics from MIT and an MBA and make a gazillion $$ and wear a size 6, forget it. Men in NYC define the word “picky” — it’s been said the women do, too.

  3. April Peveteaux

    This kind of creeps me out.

    While it would have been nice when I was single to be able to id the single dudes in the bar; announcing where you are, and that you’re ready and willing by GPS seems like a great recipe for one-night stands. Not so much for trying to get to know someone.

    So depending on where you are in your dating wants and needs – could be a super easy way to hook up. Or a super easy way to get some stalkers.

  4. Caitlin Kelly

    The safety issue certainly seems obvious for women — but it’s just as dangerous, seems to me, to pick someone up at a bar or elsewhere when you have no idea who they are. The app merely makes clear they’re out for sex, so no convenient or comforting lying would take place.

    I doubt I’d use it, but I bet some women would.

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