In Amsterdam, two local politicians recently created Grindr profiles to gain voters.
“We are very fond of new technology and new media,” Jan-Bert Vroege, an openly gay candidate for the D66 party, told Reuters Wednesday. Vroege and his fellow candidate Pieter Rietman (who is openly bisexual) have both created profiles.
“We are also into making Amsterdam a lively gay destination, and using Grindr we can get that message to all the gay people of Amsterdam,” Vroege said.
This is just one more example of how The Netherlands are awesome. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2000. That action started a chain of similar passings in other countries. Belgium, Canada, and South Africa followed suit before the fight wound up on our doorstep in Massachusetts.
The D66 party is described as “a progressive opposition party which was an early proponent of liberal policies in the Netherlands, including gay marriage, euthanasia and drug tolerance. It ranked third in the most recent national opinion polls.”
For those that don’t know, Grindr is a gay dating and hookup app for smartphone users. You customize a profile, upload photos, and chat with guys nearby. It uses the geolocation services in your phone to locate other Grindr users around you. It even gives you a distance meter: the nearest guy may be 4329 feet away. Or 12 feet away. It’s pretty accurate.
There are more guys on Grindr than any other gay dating site or app. And if they’re not on Grindr, they’re on Scruff, Adam4Adam, Jack’d, Mister, GROWLr, Recon, the list goes on.
Regardless what site they’re on, there are so many guys with a digital profile somewhere that it’s ridiculous to think there would still be stigma against hookup apps. But there is.
I have been personally blasted for being on there by people who tell me that it looks bad for my reputation. That being on Grindr is sleazy and “presents the wrong image.” Maybe I should be a politician in the Netherlands.
Some of these naysayers are queer people. Some of them are progressive, liberal adults. Even sex-positive folks blast them. It seems as soon as you take the sex experience online, it becomes something cheap and degraded. A lower form of sex.
Grindr ain’t so bad. Sure, bad things happen on there sometimes, just as they do on Facebook, OkCupid, and eHarmony. People will lie, take advantage of you, insult you, steal your pics, share your pics, etc. But people are awful in person too, so I’m not sure why we choose to highlight our cruel tendencies when they happen digitally.
Looking to the Netherlands, a land of social liberalism, relaxed gender roles, and lower degrees of masculinity (according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions) I’m tempted to say that this stigma is worse in the United States, and certainly worse in the South.
Grindr naysyaers are generally naysayers of all dating/hookup apps. They believe apps like Grindr exist solely for hooking up, and that hooking up itself is inherently classless. I have hooked up more times in my life via Grindr than I can count, and have made wonderful friends along the way. Some of my best friendships started on apps that some people assume are for sex. Some of my best sexual encounters have too.
I have no patience for slut-shaming, even when it’s masqueraded as thinly-veiled tech-phobia. You shouldn’t either. Grindr is thew new gay club with global attendance and no cover. See you there.