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Grindr it ain't: Mixed messages haunt Blendr

Date
Cat Lynch

Cat Lynch

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 scoop@brisbanetimes.com.au 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.

96 comments

  • I find it particularly frustrating that women maintain that they have a libido every bit as strong as a mans and yet when it comes down to some sort of empirical test - like actually having casual sex as opposed to saying they want it - it shows that they clearly are not in the same league.
    I get it that evolutionary psychology is anathema to modern feminism. That feminism is uncomfortable with the idea that our biological differences hardwire us for particular behaviours and that any differences that are observed are due to nurture not nature, that we are socialised by a patriarchal society etc.
    In general - men want more sex than women. In particular they want more casual sex with more women. With women whom's names they will never know. This is very desirable.
    And then women turn and tell us that we should not want that. That it's yucky, shallow, meaningless, etc. And I say YES ! thats the point.
    I wish I was gay. I would not wish the frustration of being a high sex male on my worst enemy. Its a feeling, a need that never never ever goes away.
    The disparity is more important than you think. It is responsible for a lot of infidelity, divorce and unhappiness in long term relationships.

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 18, 2012, 8:07AM
    • Never confuse a woman’s libido with their desire to have sex with you.

      Commenter
      Victorious Painter
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 10:33AM
    • Women want sex. But need emotional satisfaction too. So the casual shag doesn't cut it. Plenty of women want more sex, just not of the casual/emotionless/unsatisfactory kind.

      Commenter
      She-Raz
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 11:01AM
    • @ Steve:

      I'll bet a lot of people (male and female) would agree that wanting someone just for their body (be you male or female and be the one you want male or female), and not even wanting to know their name - that IS shallow. Let's call a spade a spade.

      It's shallow because it negates their humanity and personhood and makes them into a mere object to satisfy yourself with, without any regard for their emotions. As the author of the piece put it: "prey". As women are (on average) not as strong as men, there will always be the fear of rape for them. For example: a woman may not want anal sex in a casual sexual encounter, but if the man overpowers and forces her, what then? Or he may be rough with her and what can she do? He may refuse to wear a condom. Due to safety issues women always need to consider whether they can trust a man. The more "shallow" and unconcerned with her wellbeing he appears to be, the less trustworthy he becomes in a woman's eyes, if she has a healthy level of self-esteem.

      There are levels of casualness to sex and as discussed on a previous blog, all casual sex need not be soulless and heartless. It is possible to give of yourself both emotionally as well as physically even with a perfect stranger, it is possible to care about another person, even in a casual sexual encounter - or not. The less you care, however, the more empty and meaningless the act will be.

      Commenter
      MO4
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 12:01PM
    • Never confuse a woman’s libido with their desire to have sex with you.
      Commenter Victorious Painter
      ==================================================================

      Yes spot on VP

      Women want sex. But need emotional satisfaction too. So the casual shag doesn't cut it. Plenty of women want more sex, just not of the casual/emotionless/unsatisfactory kind.
      Commenter She-Raz
      ==================================================================

      This is me to a tee.I have a high libido - I enjoy sex with my partner whenever I feel like it. But I don't want to shag someone who's name I don't even know.

      Just my 0.02 denarii

      Commenter
      Anne Droid
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 12:49PM
    • Women are socially and culturally trained to be more sexually cautious.

      Commenter
      Jill
      Location
      psychedelia
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 12:56PM
    • @Steve, I'm with you on this..... though my observation women do have a high libido, but also incredibly unrealistic standards to go along with it. They are quite ready for random casual sex so long as the random guy is a cross between Pitt, Clooney and Jackman. Men (like me) on the other hand are just happy to have random casual sex... anything else is an irrelevance!

      Commenter
      Oz
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 12:59PM
    • She-Raz, I've met a few women in my time who have quite a different view to yours. An emotionally-detached energetic shag was well within their range, I found. None of us can presume to speak on behalf of an entire gender.

      Commenter
      rudy
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 1:10PM
    • @Oz
      Or, it's not their natural inclination but some offers are just too good to pass up ;)

      Commenter
      Rollercoaster
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 1:16PM
    • I was not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself Rudy. Of course other people are different.

      Commenter
      She-Raz
      Date and time
      July 18, 2012, 2:20PM

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