Friday, October 7, 2011

18 Ground Rules for Grindr

via HuffPost Gay Voices, by Kris Seto

We gays tend to be a wily bunch. Throughout the years, we've demonstrated incredible resilience conjuring up innovative ways to identify and contact each other: handkerchief signals, telephone dating services, AOL chat rooms (a/s/l, anyone?), even right- vs. left-ear piercings.

These all paved the way for the modern-day marvel: geolocation-based mobile applications like Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt, BoyAhoy, Jack'd and Locate-a-Gay (I made the last one up, but I'm sure it's in development by now).

For better or worse, these applications have plowed through and parked themselves as mainstays in our culture, allowing us to be even more (anti-) social.

We now have the ability to take a real-time sample of who's around us and chat with complete strangers nearby or even miles away. Our options were once limited.

Now, with the advent of these applications, we're suddenly getting picky and filtering by eyebrow color and arm hair density.

As we delve into this new era, I'd like to propose a few ground rules for getting your grind on -- some Grindr guidelines, if you will.

(Side note: Did spelling out "applications" make this article seem more high-brow? I hope so, because it's all about to go downhill very quickly.)

Read the rest

1 comment:

  1. Q I’m a gay male who is HIV negative. I recently broke up with an HIV-positive guy, after a year of dating, because I was unwilling to have unprotected sex. My research indicated a 4 percent risk of HIV transmission from the bottom (him) to the top (me), which is a risk I wouldn’t take. As such, he had no sex drive because to him, sex with a condom is “just sex—not love” since there is a “barrier between the two people.” This week I found out that he has been posting sex ads on Craigslist and when explicitly asked by potential hookups about his HIV status, he responds that he is negative. I know this because an out-of-town friend was cruising Craigslist ads here last week, recognized his face pic and showed me their e-mail conversation. My ex has very few friends and no family. I still love him and care about him, but don’t know what to say or do about this self-destructive and potentially illegal behavior.
    A Illegal? Absolutely. But how to proceed? That gets tricky. If you end up spreading word about his HIV status, then you could be in legal trouble yourself. The fact is, no one should really be trusting a stranger to tell them the truth about their HIV status. Anyone who is barebacking with someone they just met on Craiglist or Manhunt or wherever else is putting themselves at risk for HIV. You clearly try to take good care of yourself and are taking very smart measures (talking with partners about their HIV status and standing firm about using condoms). Not everyone does this. As a result, we have an HIV epidemic of enormous proportions among men who have sex with men in the U.S. While on the whole, fewer than one percent of Americans are infected with HIV, in urban areas as many as 20 to 30 percent of men who have sex with men are HIV positive—and many don’t know it. Several studies have shown that people who are HIV positive do not always disclose their status to partners, which means that people need to be more proactive about getting tested together and sticking around to hear each others’ results. That’s right: Get each others’ permission to sit in the room together and hear each others’ results. You made a very good decision: Although the risk of HIV infection from bottom to top is small, it is real, so condom use matters. You cannot save the world from your ex’s lies. You can, of course, talk with mutual friends. You can even post reminders on Craigslist that some people are knowingly lying about their HIV status—but you probably can’t say who without winding up in a lot of legal trouble yourself. If you’re in communication with your ex, you could talk to him about it. You can also contact the Howard Brown Health Center and ask for suggestions about how to handle specific situations, about what you can or cannot say and about whether there’s someone, such as a case worker, who can intervene with your ex and remind him of the risk he is putting other people at, as well as his own legal risk should he infect someone.


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