With the meteoric rise of gay phone dating applications like Grindr, Scruff and Boy Ahoy, it was somewhat inevitable that our straight brothers and sisters would want to get in on the act.
Along comes Blendr, a site its creators claim was developed to provide a place for people to network and strike up conversations.
But my two-week test run of the site proved anything but that simple. What I found was a primarily male clientele that was, generally speaking, as straight as a corkscrew.
Granted, people were willing to talk and not every conversation resulted in an invitation to fuck within the first five minutes. But more often than not I was treated to (not always) sexy torso and cock shots of strangers keen for an injection of confidence.
My first message was from Mike, a 37-year-old professional into pets and wrestling of unstated sexual interest, though he told me was “into girls”.
But by the third message in the conversation, I was looking at a picture of his muscular, hairless, tanned torso and a message asking if the picture “did anything” for me.
By day three Mike confessed to being bisexual because “anything is possible after a couple of beers”.
I wondered if he had consumed a couple of those beers before this confession.
To keep the conversation running, I asked Mike why he was on Blendr, not Grindr. Mike said it was better for “networking and meeting people of all types”.
I wondered if he had got this line direct from the site’s creators. After all, the application clearly states it is “a social networking experience which focuses on expressing interests to strike up conversations”.
That was a line repeated in a written response to a series of questions I placed to Blendr management.
“Blendr’s targeted audience is everyone who wants to discover a more social network around them,” I was told by a nameless company spokesperson.
“Our goal was to create an incredibly fun and engaging app for everybody to make new social connections.”
Sounds great — but not one person I spoke to had any interest in listed hobbies. They were only interested in one thing … I had found the place all those boys my mother had warned me about liked to ‘hang’.
A 20-something “curious fella” from southern Sydney seemed a good person to strike up the next conversation with.
He said he was bisexual — and joined the site to find “a girl with a strap-on”.
Openly gay Paul, a self-confessed gym junkie, told me his Blendr experience was “funny, because of the number of gays on the site” pretending to be bi-curious in order to attract ‘straight’ guys.
After more than a week, I finally came across an actual straight boy on the site.
JBR, another 20-something, was into “weight-lifting and cars”.
He shunned my initial approach to talk with the message, “Dude, I’m a guy”. No shit Sherlock!
He said he wasn’t bothered by the constant approaches from guys — after all his torso pic was pretty sexy. It was, he confessed, “a bit of an ego boost”.
But getting anything more interesting out of him was akin to scoring a pill at Aunt Mary’s 80th birthday party.
So, what to make of all this? Despite Blendr management claims “the app is not about dating, but about meeting new people and talking about their interests to make new connections”, I found it anything but.
Perhaps if I had changed my interests to fast cars, shopping and expensive dinners with randoms I may have got that kind of conversation.
But let’s face it, the only thing I learnt was that our straight friends are just as lonely, desperate and horny as many of us gay boys — and that’s not really news at all. Is it?
by JEREMY MASPERO