There’s more fun to be had if you face your desires
I’m going to say it – gay people have it easy.
The homosexual community may not have many rights when it comes to matters of the heart but in terms of negotiating bedroom bureaucracy things are so much more… uncomplicated. At least in the social networking space.
The other day I joined Blendr, the “straight” version of gay hook-up app Grindr, in the hopes it would make a good story.
I wanted to see if the new incarnation of the reportedly invaluable GPS/social networking Grindr app - used to arrange trysts with nearby users - would work for us straighty-180s.
But I’ve started to realise it doesn’t, because frankly, when it comes to our bedrooms we’re just not that honest about what we want.
(Caveat: As a happily engaged woman I can’t say I was really in it for the “fun and good times” that my profile suggested).
Grindr is great because it’s a straight-forward, no-nonsense casual sex tool.
In Grindr land it’s okay to say “come around at eight, take your shirt off, don’t talk and then leave.”
Blendr on the other hand is still playing mind games. It’s a hook-up app masquerading as a dating site.
In the interests of journalism I set up a fake Grindr account to compare the reaction rate, and the content of communications.
About an hour after I completed my profile, uploading a photo of a handsome but plain man I found on Google Images, I was being propositioned. What do I like? Am I interested in hooking up? When? Where?
“Do you have a hairy chest?” wrote one user.
“Top, bottom or versatile?” asked another. It’s a brave new world out there in Grindr land. Much braver than Blendr.
I’ve been on Blendr for three days now also under a pseudonym and fake photo. And though one or two users asked if I would be interested in meeting up, you know - hypothetically - not a single user has manned-up and arranged an actual date.
On Blendr there are a lot of mixed messages. Though it’s marketed as a GPS dating/social-networking site, clearly most users have something else in mind.
The gender split is pretty uneven.
When I joined there were about 28 profiles of men in various stages of undress and about seven curious women, mostly fully clothed, who were probably just looking for someone to take them to dinner and listen to what they have to say.
Guys hear: “sweet, an easier way to get laid”. The girls hear: ‘oh good I can do all my dating from my smartphone, I won’t have to join RSVP.com.’
Here’s a sample of some of the messages I’ve received so far on Blendr:
“You tell me where you want it and more than happy to give it to you (sic),” wrote one user.
“Hey gorgeous, you looking for some fun?” said another.
One user wrote: “Mebbe after (work) we could grab a drink ?.”
That’s about as saucy as it gets. I received just as many messages containing a simple “hi” or “what movies R U into?”
I’ve spent a great portion of my time on Blendr texting about my hobbies, my favourite movies and how long I’ve been using Blendr for (the digital version of “come here often?”). Except instead of communicating with just one person I’m repeating the same lie en-masse to about 25 people at a time.
Rather than being an easy, simple, more convenient and honest app than conventional dating sites, it just felt time consuming, arduous and dishonest.
Since I joined Blendr I’ve been receiving about four messages an hour. At work. When I’m at the gym or getting ready for bed. It’s exhausting and a little intrusive.
Nothing says “come hither” like the sound of your mobile phone vibrating against the desk every few minutes.
Not one user has so far been game enough to write “let’s hop on the good foot and do the bad thing”.
Though I would never agree to such a tryst I envy the person on Blendr honest enough to call it what it is. I might even buy them a beer, so long as they promise to keep their distance.
This is the problem with the new app: it needs to decide what it is.
It may not be in the best interests of the creators for the world to know that Blendr was created by the same company as Grindr. But the company, Nearby Buddy Finder, haven’t done much to differentiate it either. Even the layout is the same as Grindr.
What have I concluded from all this?
That straight people could have more fun if they could face up to their own desires. That Grindr is possibly one of the most honest smart-phone apps ever created.
And that it turns out there are more excruciating things than awkward first dates and drunkenly flirting with strangers at a club. Join Blendr and a whole new world of tedious interactions will open up to you.
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