By playing, I do mean playing: I have been happily married for a year and a half, and am not looking for dates, just subjects to chat with.
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My editor asked me to write a piece on what seems to be a perennial question: Most of them seem to boil down to stereotypes. They go something like: Straight women are frigid. Heterosexuality always has been, and always will be, a sad compromise between men who want to get as much sex for as little affection as women can wheedle out of them, etc. I think these stereotypes are both unkind and untrue.
I wanted to see whether I could come up with something better. I reactivate my Tinder account. He gets on Grindr. We spend a night hopping from bar to bar together and see what kinds of romantic or sexual prospects each of these apps presents us. But I still fret about the ethics of it. Because Tinder simply draws photos from Facebook, my husband is in most of mine.
Why isn't there a Grindr for straight people?
I joke about the caged tiger he is crouching over in one of his. My initial hypothesis is that Tinder is the Grindr for straight people. Of the different apps that tried to corner the market circa , Tinder certainly seems to have been the most successful.
However, Henry — who uses both — is skeptical of the idea that the two apps are comparable. That immediacy makes hookups much more possible than I think Tinder does. Both Grindr and Tinder are mobile dating apps that rely on geolocation technology: Grindr, which is geared toward gay and bisexual men, came first; it launched in Tinder followed in They are similar in purpose but their designs are different.
Tinder displays just one person at a time, while Grindr presents a grid of active users, listed in order of how close they are to you in space.
By the time Henry and I settle in a bar, the app shows active users who are less than 10 minutes away on foot. One especially cute one appears to be within 20 feet but Henry shakes his head.
He could be anywhere. He could live in one of the apartments upstairs. He could be walking by on the street. Henry seems to be right about immediacy: So I let my app idle and start up Facebook chats with a dozen friends and friends of friends who have agreed to speak with me about the subject of apps that let men look for men.
As I do, I start to understand the problem with the design of our little experiment.
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A friend, in his mids, who currently works at the University of Michigan, put it this way in a Facebook message:. For the first-time Grindr user, browsing through other users — whose profile photos are arranged, like tiles, in a grid according to proximity with filters by eg, age, if you like , and can be tapped to reveal a short profile — there is an entire lexicon to learn. Why is there no quorum of heteros who want truly casual, convenient sex? In the research that I conducted for my book Labor of Love , I found that there were countless varieties not only of apps but of ways of using apps, of mobile phone enabled sexual communities and cultures.
For instance, last November, I interviewed a group of trans women. Despite being owned by a Chinese firm, Grindr is not the number one gay dating app in China.
That position is held by Beijing-based app Blued, which claims to have 40 million users worldwide. Gay dating app Grindr to sell shares 30 August Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Grindr's parent company has given approval for its IPO Gay dating app Grindr is to list its shares on international stock exchanges, under a plan submitted by its Chinese parent company Kunlun Group.
The Chinese tech firm originally bought a It then took full control in January. Related Topics China Companies Dating apps. More on this story.
Gay dating app Grindr to sell shares
Tinder, Chappy and Bumble 'least preferred' way to meet people. Grindr defends HIV-related data sharing. Elsewhere on the BBC. A daily distraction Is your phone making you less productive?