IF you have logged into Grindr over the past week, you may have noticed a profile called: Sexpert, Ask Me Anything.

The Sexpert is not a super cheesy profile name, but an actual trained sexual health expert, who is online to answer any questions Grindr users may have about sex.

The initiative is spearheaded by NSW’s sexual health organisation ACON who for many years have run peer based programs where trained volunteers head out to bars, events and sex on premises venues to answer sexual health questions.

“ACON has a pre existing program called Sexperts, where we go out to sex on premises venues and talk to guys about sexual health,” said Thomas Munro, ACON coordinator peer programs and campaigns.

“They wear a t-shirt called ‘ask me anything thing’ and answer any questions.

“The Grindr outreach is an extension of that, it’s the same volunteers just in the digital space.”

ACON has more than 20 trained volunteer Sexperts, who do not approach people online, but wait for users to ask them any questions they may have about sexual health.

“The objective of this program is to increase people’s sexual health knowledge, especially those who are less community connected,” Munro said.

“We do run workshops that people can join, but there are still people who fall into the men who have sex with men (MSM) category, who might not identify as gay or are not as connected with the community.

“The Grindr initiative is an outreach project, we go to where people are.”
sexper

There are a number of profiles on Grindr claiming to offer sex advice, but users can identify ACON’s profile because it includes the ACON logo in the photos and is called ‘Sexpert, Ask Me Anything’.

The profile will be online when volunteers are able to give their time, but as the program collates data about high traffic times, it will try to cater to when most people are accessing the service.

Munro said volunteers would not block users and any unsolicited explicit photos would be deleted immediately.

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