Sex and HIV in the age of GRINDR

So I must admit I am an Android boy in a committed relationship for the past six years, so I have not had the experience of using the iphone application GRINDR to seek out sex partners.  However, from what I understand, if I wanted to, I could find someone with 300 feet of me to suck my dick and fuck me, and know his exact location, all in the span of about 4 seconds.  According to their website, GRINDR “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.”

This instant sex is not anything new, as we have had sites like Manhunt, Adam4Adam and (wow I have not visited those sites until now for several years since my single days; visiting them now provokes an eerie spookiness for multiple reasons).  However, this GRINDR business takes a whole unnecessary chat equation out of play.  I don’t have to ask you your location, as I already know it from the phone.  I don’t have to ask you to send a picture, as I already see your picture.  And much like online chat, when I talk to you on GRINDR, much like when I talk to you on, I will not ask you about your HIV status. Perhaps I will lie about my status on my GRINDR page, saying I am negative when I am not.   While it’s difficult to say if GRINDR has created additional risk for HIV transmission, perhaps, just perhaps, it brought instant sex to a newer generation who had not stumbled upon or used sites like Manhunt. And with sex with strangers, there is always the risk of HIV transmission, unless 100 percent of the people meeting on GRINDR engage in safe sex with their GRINDR mates 100 % of the time.  And perhaps, just perhaps, if I am looking for multiple sex partners, while doing a drug such as crystal meth, I will find more partners more quickly, with the use of a mobile device as opposed to sitting at my computer.

Then of course, there’s my passion, the global tilt.  According to Wikipedia, GRINDR has been reported activity in countries as far reaching as Iran, Iraq, Israel and Kazakhstan.  In such countries, there is indeed potential for GRINDR to contribute to the HIV epidemic.   In countries where homosexuality is taboo, many times homosexual activity is conducted underground in secret without protection. Individuals who have access to cellular networks, but not the Internet and computers will be able to find immediate sex partners and engage in sex.  

What ever happened to going to the bar to find a nice man and getting to know him before getting in his pants? Ah, technology.

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  • jaccob  On July 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    LOL When I was coming out in the 90’s people used to use the exact same language to complain about bars and clubs as they now do to bitch and moan about grindr: superficial/impersonal/anonymous/not a place where you can count on people to be themselves. It seems no matter what format people use to connect for romantic/sexual reasons, there is always going to someone knocking it.

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