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Technology is bringing men closer together—even to the point of penetration.With the help of the i Phone, mobile application use has grown exponentially from elite tech fashion to an entire culture of app whores. If there’s an app for anything from emergency medical advice to language translation, is it any surprise there’s one to calculate distance to sex?Before I even have a chance to get bored, a newer, better method always presents itself, as it did when a whole gaggle of gays exclaimed at a recent party, "Oh my God, you've never heard of Grindr?!"My i Phone was snatched from my hands and the Grindr app downloaded by committee.Especially since online dating is really the only kind of dating I've ever known.I started cruising AOL's m4m chat rooms when I was 14, and in college used to look for relationships, while supplementing my dates with cheap hookups from I can't count how many of my online profiles have gone the way of My Space: outdated photos and spam piling up in my inbox.It uses GPS technology to determine your exact coordinates and instantly shows you photos of the guys around you." Or as I first saw it, Grindr tells me which guys in my immediate vicinity might be looking to hook up.I look at my i Phone, and sure enough, Joel is 1.2 miles away. We've never met in person, though—I found him on Grindr, which is where I decided to conduct our interview."It's great when you know what a person looks like or whatever, but that information is not valuable unless you factor in proximity," he said.
In just those few minutes I was swept up in the undertow of what Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai calls online's "third wave.""The Grindr i Phone application," Joel explained to me, "is all about location.Welcome to Grindr, the i Phone app that tracks its gay male user's every move and can find him a hookup nearby."This is so easy," I thought, as I pulled my shirt back on and thanked the charming young man whom I had adulterated about five minutes prior. " he asked, trying not to seem needy."You know where to find me," I responded, which was code for "No." Putting my i Phone back in my pocket I exited the building—and walked across the street to my house.As a tragically hip, gay thirty-something, you'd think I would have been one of the early adopters of Grindr, the i Phone app that tracks its gay male user's every move and can find him a hookup nearby."Now can we talk in person cuz I hate typing on my phone."Grindr is a remarkably simple experience.
You have a screen name, one picture, and a few personal statistics to accompany it, followed by the obligatory short blurb about what it is you're looking for (all of which you can choose to not publish if you're uncomfortable.) The rest happens through texting.
You can choose to put up your face picture, which most men do.