As a user of gay dating sites, this made me think about the danger inherent in meeting men who I know nothing about, other than what they choose to tell me, which may or may not be true.
My experience of meeting men from these sites has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have always prided myself on being a good judge of character. In reality, I never really know if the person I am about to meet is a safe bet. This realisation was further compounded when I recently re-joined Grindr.
It was the first geosocial networking based site and as such, it made the gay-dating game mobile in a way which no other site had achieved before.
It allowed men to identify and meet other men wherever they were, and therefore, implicitly at least, it promoted sex-on-the-go for which there is considerable demand.
When I was younger, more inhibited and less trusting of others, I used to hang around on Gaydar for hours, chatting with men I wasn’t even brave enough to meet.
At the time, I used to berate myself quite severely for it, but I may have been doing myself a favour.
Although gay dating sites provide a useful platform in allowing men to meet each other, Christopher Halton writes for Pink News of how they can also put some gay men at risk.
I can’t envisage the same trick working for heterosexual guys on straight sites.
Anyone who has spent time on Grindr or Gaydar will know that it is common to receive sexually aggressive messages accompanied by photographs of the sender in provocative poses, often naked.
Sometimes, the only photographic evidence of themselves they wish to send are close-up shots of their penises.
Perhaps I’m uptight and maybe this is all the bait some men need to be lured off to a not-so-glamorous location for some afternoon delight, but the practice makes me uneasy.
If sex has been debased to the level where men are willing to submit to each other on the basis of the size and shape of their respective members, then surely this is symptomatic of a larger sexual dysfunction.