Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who Needs Gaydar Any More?

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Jun 9, 2010

Leaving aside the serious topics of gays in the military, marriage equality, and non-discrimination in the workplace, this week's cartoon turns to the latest technological fad in the gay community.

Grindr uses the GPS function of your wireless handheld communications unit to track where you are; you can use it to check out anyone else with Grindr who happens to be nearby, and perhaps message whoever strikes your fancy. The other guys with Grindr on their phones are sorted for you according to their distance from you, so you can send messages to the cute guy who is across the room, across the street, or across town; and Grindr will display any messages from horny gay guys you passed since the last time you checked in. For an extra fee, Grindr will alert you to each incoming message as it arrives.

So I hear tell. I'm well spoken for, so I have no need to hunt for gay hookups on my phone. Heck, I have so far resisted the urge to have a phone with me at all times, which practically makes me a Luddite.

Here's how their web site advertises the service:
"Meet Guys Near You With Grindr
"Meet guys at home or on the road for free with Grindr for iPhone or iPod touch. Start chatting with local guys in seconds!
"The go-to place for gay, bi, and curious guys to meet, the location-based Grindr is free, fast, and fun. It uses GPS technology in your iPhone or BlackBerry and Wi-Fi in your iPod touch or iPad to determine your exact location and instantly connect you with guys in your area. Simply launch Grindr to see local guys (the closest appear first) and view pictures, stats, and map locations at a tap. It’s that easy. So come on, see who’s available on Grindr."

So it's a hook-up site -- the hottest thing since Chat Roulette (which is SO last February!). You might be able to locate a gay lawyer or plumber, but it's probably not the easiest way to find someone to draw up your power of attorney or fix your kitchen sink. If you're expecting to find a new free porn site, though, you'll be disappointed. Grindr rules require users to keep their profile pictures PG-13.

Two reporters for the Washington Examiner thought it would be newsworthy to find out how many Grindr customers they would find in the halls of the Senate and House, in the White House press room, and in the parking lot of the Pentagon. I'm not sure what they meant to prove, since there are usually plenty of tourists as well as government employees and lobbyists in and around government buildings -- and the reporters didn't record themselves trying to initiate any chat sessions. At the Pentagon, they may have been trying to suggest a quick way to purge the military of gay personnel while Don't Ask, Don't Tell is still in effect.

So you active service personnel might just want to ignore the incoming chat message from this fellow:

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