Gay men chatting and dating website
Grindr has acquired a somewhat iconic status in the gay community and understandably so.
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.
I duly reported him and made the decision that I just didn’t need Grindr in my life. What this all too common sort of unwanted communication illustrates is that whilst gay dating sites provide a useful platform for meeting men you may never otherwise have had access to, they also further diminish the importance of intimacy in favour of instant sexual gratification.
That’s not to say that anonymous sex is inherently wrong, it’s merely an observation I have made, and one which has greater implications for our gay youth than any other demographic.
On Monday, I was one of 30 or so men to take part in the filming of an advert for Survivors UK, a lottery funded charity set up to support men who have been raped or sexually abused.
Fortunately, I have never been a victim myself, and attended the shoot merely as an extra.
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.
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.
A decade ago, I just didn’t have the emotional confidence to refuse.
I suspect that while there are a lot of young gay men who are sexually empowered and psychologically well-adjusted, there are also many who suffer from low self-esteem as a result of having grown up gay in homophobic environments.
More pertinently, the most vulnerable individuals on these sites, the young, inexperienced men who really need positive sexual role-models are being taught that in order to receive the attention and intimacy they crave, they must allow themselves to be used as sex objects.
Unfortunately, many of these young men do just that, and acquire for themselves a sex education which dictates that submission, relinquishment of power and subserviently allowing yourself to be used sexually are the modes by which you can most expediently access affection, however fleeting and ephemeral it may be.