For gay men, to say that dating apps have been revolutionary would frankly be an understatement. But at what cost does this lack of face-to-face interaction come?
Since the advent of smartphones, dating apps have grown exponentially in popularity. There are now apps catering to every orientation, every niche of hobby and interest, every age group.
For gay men, to say that dating apps have been revolutionary would frankly be an understatement. In a heteronormative world, where every flirtation and locked eye contact can be underpinned by the uncertainty of the stranger’s true intentions, gay dating apps eliminate such anxieties inasmuch that users already know for sure that the gentleman they’ve matched with is gay – not a straight guy the other side of the bar who just looks like he could be gay, for example. Dating apps also mean, of course, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home in order to match with and get your flirt on with hot, interesting men – but at what cost does this lack of face-to-face interaction come?
With almost 6 million users and free to download (although with premium features), Grindr is, according to its website, the world’s most popular dating app for gay men. Incidentally, it caters also for queer and trans people. A dearth of functional trans-specific dating apps on the market mean it’s little wonder Grindr attracts such a sizable proportion of this group.
Grindr is commonly considered amongst its user base to be a very informal setting in which a characteristic tendency towards casual sexual relations underlies much of the interaction. Speaking symbolically, Grindr is a celebration of the Pride movement, a judgement-free safe space for promiscuity and hook-ups. Unlike some swipe apps, users can contact each other without having had to match, so you may dating in St. Petersburg expect to receive the odd horny message (or picture) during your tenure as a Grindr-er (a demonym I may have just invented). Grindr’s dating pool is diverse and the app has, it’s fair to say, been both an achievement and a milestone in the gay community.
Where Grindr caters to the more casual, short-term encounters at one end of the scale of relationship seriousness, Chappy centres much more wholly on the search for love. Also free to download, the app was introduced in LA, London and NYC in 2017, backed by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder cofounder and Bumble CEO. ‘Both of us identified that all apps out there at the moment are very much casual, focusing on facilitating hook-ups,’ asserts co-founder Jack Rogers in an interview with The Independent.
Too little time has elapsed since its inception to judge whether Chappy really will produce longer, stronger, more satisfying relationships in contrast with apps of a more traditional bent such as Grindr, but Chappy is nevertheless admirable in genuinely meaning what it sets out to achieve.
As the world moves ever more rapidly online, it can be hard to remember how dating used to work. Dating apps don’t encourage the confidence required to go and chat up a hot guy in real life – and yet, up until a few years ago, you’d have had no other option if you wanted to get to know him.
If you’re struggling with this kind of confidence – or even if you’re not, but are feeling bored, jaded or disillusioned with dating apps and the gay dating scene as a whole – there is an alternative.
Matchmaking is a traditional practice; in some senses, the concept of setting up two complementary singletons who know you but who don’t know each other is as old as time. Matchmaking provides a warm, personable service; your personal matchmaker gets to know your wants, needs and long-term aspirations when it comes to romance. At The Vida Consultancy, we understand the trials and tribulations of being a gay man looking for that special someone – and are here to help.
If you’re a gay man looking for love, why not get in touch and let us weave our matchmaking magic? At The Vida Consultancy, we have an exclusive network of some of the world’s most exceptional gay men, all waiting to meet that special someone. Contact us today – find the man of your dreams tomorrow.