Katherine Feeney is away. Today's guest blogger is Cat Lynch.
I will never forget the first encounter I had with my gay mate's Grindr account. It was as though my eyes had been opened up to a new life form.
The direct request of "pic?" often came straight after the word "hello" and was an immediate invitation to send a well pondered 'I prepared this earlier' picture of your Johnson at its most flattering, alert but not alarmed, pose.
My friend explained that in the Grindr world, a full sentence is deemed a hideous waste of time when you could be examining an encyclopedia worth of penis.
"Is scrolling through a motley crew of man bits, like you're shopping for jeans on ASOS, really that much of a turn on?" I asked.
His response was: “Cat, I could look at penises all day… in fact sometimes I do.”
If a no-strings-attached, logistically convenient hook-up is your thing, then Grindr is mind-blowingly efficient. But could there ever be an appropriate equivalent for in the straight world? (I'm not asking for me... I'm asking for a friend).
Of course, Joel Simkhai, Grindr's creator, tried when he set up Blendr.
But Blendr doesn't even come close to the upfront nature of Grindr.
First and foremost, everyone seems to be showing their face as opposed to their bare chest. On Grindr, it is merely an assumption that you have a face, which is considered an advantage because it means you breathe through it and probably have a pulse. Because if you don’t (have a pulse), then you have just wasted the time and built up loin-fire of some horny, impatient beast who has just walked 1.4 kilometres around New Farm Park to get to your apartment only to find you are just a useless pulseless false advertisement.
Like Grindr, Blendr also gives you the exact proximity of available 'prey'. The difference here is that none of the females I know who have used this app would, in their right mind, invite a random into their home without meeting them in a public place first. I guess it makes us feel better when we can ask questions such as “are you a serial killer?” before we commit to any action.
Blendr also seems more polite in its focus on interests, hobbies and star signs, which should make us all feel a little more civilised before hunting down our nearby prey and dry humping their leg at the local. Grindr has no such pretensions; the only search filter provided is age.
Blendr also makes a point of offering broader opportunities, such as meeting new friends. This can lead to confusion, as a male friend of mine found when he tried his luck on Blendr after going through a particularly bad dry spell that left a large amount of unused condoms close to expiry. Responses varied so widely, he wasn’t sure if when a girl was asking him over for tea, there was actually going to be a hot beverage involved or just straight-up business time. On the other side of the coin, some ladies were so upfront with what they wanted that my friend was terrified for his wellbeing and manhood. And quite frankly, chiropractors can put you back in place but can’t rebuild your damaged soul.
Personally, I can't see there ever being a Grindr equivalent in the straight world. It's not about the differences between hetero and homosexual; it's about the differences between men and women. Our approach to dating and casual sex is just too far removed.
If I’m looking for new, platonic friendships, I’m more likely to join a mixed netball team. And I’d be happier just announcing my singledom by displaying my bananas right side up on a Tuesday night at New Farm Coles.
Cat Lynch is an announcer on NovaFM 106.9, 9am-1pm weekdays.
As well as commissioning a series of guest posts while CityKat is away, brisbanetimes.com.au is also going to select one reader entry for publication. Email your submissions through to firstname.lastname@example.org with CK GUEST BLOG in the subject line by COB Wednesday. Our editorial team will take a look and select a reader entry for publication this Friday.