Gaydar app coming to straight iPhones

12 Jul

Looking for some hot, casual sex? There’s an app for that!

Well, to be more correct – if you’re gay, there’s an app for that and if you’re straight, it’s on the way. The app is called Grindr, available for the iPhone and BlackBerry, and it’s all the rage among gay men. The straight version is coming this year, The Guardian reports.

Grindr is basically the next evolution of dating websites. Users create a profile and post a picture, but rather than sit around and hope somebody messages them, it’s tied to the GPS on their smartphone. That way, if the user is out and about and in the mood to pick somebody up, they whip out their phone and see who’s available and nearby. Messages can be exchanged and hook-ups can be arranged.

Gay men have turned Grindr into, quite literally, the mythical gaydar, and they’re using it to have copious amounts of sex. As one user told The Guardian: “I’ve probably had as much [sex] in the past eight months of Grinding as I have over the 20 years since I came out.”

The app’s success is now prompting creator Joel Simkhai to put together a straight version. Simkhai believes it’ll be just as successful, based on what he says are numerous requests from women for it. “I do think it will be relevant for women. We’ll redesign it; we’ll call it something different, market it differently,” he said.

I’d be surprised if the straight version actually does well because it brings up a number of questions on the different dynamics between the straight and gay social worlds. Matthew Todd, editor of the gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, seems to suggest as much in the Guardian story when he says the gay world is very sexualized, and therefore more open to such an app.

Taken another way, his point calls into question just how the typical male-female sexual hook-up happens, and how the two genders go about looking for it. As anyone who’s ever been on the singles scene can probably attest to, women generally don’t go around broadcasting the fact that they are looking for sex, even if in fact they are. Men, of course, are the exact opposite. They even sometimes wear T-shirts stating as much.

That leads me to believe the majority of straight people who use the app will be male, turning it into one big sausage party which, by the Urban Dictionary definition, is “a f%$#& boring party.”

A similar thing happened recently to Chatroulette, which for a while was the hottest thing going on the web. The website became popular by letting users randomly meet other users through video, simply by clicking the “next” button. The problem is, it became heavily populated by single males with a propensity for flashing their genitals. As the Salon story about the website’s quick fall from grace correctly opines, “you can’t build an empire on dicks.”

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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in internet, sex


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