Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Grindr Effect/Defect

Here's a thought-provoking video I found last night that reminded me of my recent vacation.

When you go to Boracay alone, especially if you're in your 20s and single, the expectation of people, and perhaps of yourself, is you'll meet someone, or some people, and go home with juicy stories for all your friends to giggle and laugh about. So when I got back from my recent vacation, it was no surprise that friends anticipated exciting (maybe even R-rated) stories from me. I think more than two people asked me if I had birthday sex. Sadly, I came home empty-handed.

Save for that incident when a guy kissed my ear while saying sorry for stepping on my slippers, my trip was pretty PG. I'm going to be lying if I said I didn't wish I had met someone but I'm also partly to blame. It was my choice to hang with my good, female friend from college for all the three nights I spent there, slimming down my chances of meeting someone. It was also my choice to dance up a storm instead of working my way around the bar and talking to prospects. But above everything else, I think my biggest deficiency or error, was not having Grindr. In fact, I don't even have mobile browsing right now because my Blackberry broke down a few weeks ago.

Apparently, the top gay scenesters have largely shifted to Grindr, which, I think, explains the poor selection left in Planet Romeo. I can personally attest to the latter as the profiles listed under Boracay were truly disappointing. My other friend, however, who was also visiting the island alone and who maintains a Grindr account, was on a roll, meeting multiple guys in one day, thanks to his iPhone. He even hooked up with that doctor I went on a date with earlier this year! He was swiping away half the time we were together, sun-bathing.

And it's not just Grindr anymore, apparently. The shift to mobile apps is further strengthened by newer similar applications such as Jack'd, Hornet and Bender, catering to today's savvy and adventurous gay guys.

I have no access to any of these apps at the moment and now, I can't help but feel like a second-class citizen of the gay world. I wondered what it would have been like had I had such convenience. That's when I realized what a difficult trick I would have been, having too many restrictions and conditions that most guys would probably not agree with. Somehow, I find slight relief in knowing that it never would have worked out.

This makes me long for the old days. By that I mean, the guys4men era with the simple, nondescript interface; a time when computers are left at home and bars are for dancing and for people who come up to each other without the help of any app.

So I didn't return with a hot, raunchy tale about how I met someone and did things I wouldn't want my family to know about but I can't say I didn't have a blast. Boracay just never disappoints. Besides, you don't need to be on vacation in a beautiful tropical island for those hanky panky stories, do you?