Over the past eight years, two-thirds of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ bars have closed, as well the city’s last bathhouse. Soon, there was Scruff, Mister, Growlr, Hornet, Surge, Romeo, Jack’d and countless others to choose from. There’s a lot to see here, including catfishing (pretending to be someone you’re not, in order to connect with someone online); ghosting (suddenly cutting off all communication, blocking contacts and disappearing); bread-crumbing (sending someone random, flirtatious messages that express interest but offer zero commitment); and benching (keeping someone waiting on your dating roster for their turn to play).
Her, the lesbian version of Grindr, arrived in 2015. Surrounded by game-players, fakers, flakers, lurkers and stalkers, it can be very difficult to believe in true love.
Today’s love-hate relationship with apps is similar to the earlier love-hate relationship with bathhouses. Maybe I’m an old-fashioned romantic who wants more than just fast and easy fun.
Imagine the regrettable fling that you know you need to stay away from, but honestly, can’t resist. Maybe I’m just skeptical because I’ve lived in Milwaukee forever and can’t imagine discovering someone I don’t already know.
I’m amazed at the number of committed-ish couples I know who are both active on apps, without monogamy and fidelity being called into question.
I suspect that underneath that need for newness is the old idea that the grass is always greener elsewhere.
Grindr eliminated all the awkwardness and pretense of first dates, as well as all the chasing and waiting of closing time hookups.
When there’s a bender in your pocket waiting to happen anywhere, any time, with anyone, how do you resist? It has been culturally fascinating to watch the world changing around me, as seemingly everyone is navigating a dimension that I’ve never visited myself.
Is it any wonder that one-third of the gay bars in America have closed since Grindr launched in 2009? There are definitely some human anthropology lessons emerging here, as social technologies are creating entirely new social behaviors.
Ninety percent had been following the recommended daily dosage since the time of prescription. And, when you’re just looking for someone who shares your lifelong love of bacon, there’s Sizzlr from Oscar Meyer. True confession: I’ve somehow made it to 2017 as the last American Grindr virgin. I’ve been in long-term relationships since the days when America Online was the only Internet most people knew.
There’s a health issue here that could quickly become fascinating: when apps encourage users to share HIV status and Pr EP usage in their profiles, could online channels actually become safer than offline hookups? I don’t harbor any strange moral hang-ups about hookup apps, they certainly have their time and place for everyone.