Vice gay dating apps

Where it leads sex, networking, a new friendship is up to the participants. And as gay spaces continue to close around the world , dating apps may soon be all that's left to replace them.

Grindr Users Talk Highs and Lows After Ten Years of the App

Grindr alone boasts over 2 million daily users today in countries. Its Chinese rival, Blued, is drawing similar daily numbers, and claims to have over 27 million registered users in total. But it remains to be seen whether these apps will be able to replace the myriad functions gay bars serve in the LGBTQ community. By their very nature, apps strip people of the depth of first impressions. When you "meet" someone on an app, they're reduced to a narrow band of information—a few photos, their "stats" age, height, weight, ethnicity, relationship status, sexual preferences, etc.

The Artist Who Makes Beautiful Portraits of the Men of Grindr

It's no surprise that gay dudes often complain that apps are too sexually-focused—which makes sense. While some definitely use apps just to find friendship and establish ties to the queer community, when platforms reduce users to pictures and physical characteristics, it's natural that people will treat those platforms like a meat market. And while gay bars have been said to feel like meat markets themselves the comparison is sometimes uncanny , gathering queers in a physical space fosters unexpected encounters, where people can't be filtered out by their stats. Plus, gay bars provide a place for the queer community to raise awareness of issues that might affect it, or to hold fundraisers and events for its causes and organizations.

For some, the decline of the gay bar isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it provides new opportunities for connection in more diverse settings. It's a sign of acceptance.

Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination? - VICE

I'm drawn to mixed venues, where revelers have access to a safe space and the prospects of an evening out hold more surprise. Jay says that gay dating apps have been central to his sexual life since he first came out of the closet. I took to online dating as a way of learning a little more about people before I would meet them.


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I came to learn that expectations were counterproductive, and began to accept these apps for what they were—a meeting space where anything is possible. But for some gay men, apps haven't proven to the best place to build meaningful social networks or make friends.

Mark Asbury, a year-old American PhD student who moved to Australia on a student visa without any queer friends in , says he's found it easier to kindle friendships on sites like Meetup , which can connect users with local LGBTQ groups. But he has established a group of gay friends through groups dedicated to queer meditation, gaming and non-sexual, all-gender nudist nights. Others find gay bars irrelevant, if anything, in our digital age. Buckell said that for men who grew up in the pre-internet age and are used to the subcultures of traditional gay bars, it takes some adjusting to orient oneself to dating app culture.

But there's some room to wriggle around if you want to make friends—you just have to know how to create it," he said.

When Huynh said the comments qualified as harassment, the man acknowledged he was being "rude" but added "that's just the way the world is and you don't fit into it. Obviously, there's no excuse for that kind of in-your-face hatred. But the more common and subtle form of discrimination found on gay dating apps comes from people who romantically speaking, claim they aren't attracted to people from certain ethnic groups. Often, they defend themselves by saying it's simply a matter of preference.

Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination?

That's not racist. He told me his definition of racism is when a person expresses a "malicious intent" and likened not being attracted to people of a certain race to his own disinterest in women. Research published last year, however, suggests that's in fact bullshit—it's still racism sexual racism, to be precise. Sydney-based researcher Denton Callander, who led the study , compared men's attitudes toward sexual racism online and their racist attitudes in general.

His conclusion? They come from the same shitty place. He said he's caught a lot of heat for this theory because people view it as an "attack" on their sexual freedom.

Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination?

At the end of the day, we live in a world rife with racial inequality, so it is not at all surprising that racism should permeate our desires as well. Chijioke has been called a "monkey" on Grindr, but he said those types of insults are rarer than run-of-the-mill "I'm not into black guys" rejections, backhanded compliments, or straight up fetishizing. Rajiv, a year-old Vancouverite who did not want his real name used, has had men seek him out for his "brown uncut dick. Wanting me to be his Indian Prince.

So Many Gay Dudes Are Openly Racist On Dating Apps

Callander said racial fetishization is a form of racism that's framed positively; ultimately, it's still based on stereotypes, like the idea that "all black men have large penises. Most of the men I spoke with seemed to think the anonymity of being behind a screen and the tendency to treat people on hook-up apps as commodities partially explains the blunt racism.

Gay men are also more inclined to be direct because they've been using these apps for longer, added Callander. In terms of dealing with the problem, the strategy seems to be to simply grow a thicker skin.


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