Since Grindr, a gay social networking application for the iPhone, launched in March of 2009, it has picked up over a million subscribers. The concept and purpose of Grindr is summed up on its official site as follows:
Unlike other dating or social network sites, Grindr is meant to be mobile. And it uses GPS technology to instantly zone in on guys in your area. New in town? Tap into Grindr to check out who’s on the scene. On a trip? Use Grindr to find a local who’d like to show you around. Hanging at home? Make Grindr your go-to place and see who’s looking to meet up. No matter where you find yourself, Grindr is the go-to app for socializing in seconds with the guys around you.
As the name of the application suggests, its primary use is probably not finding a local tour guide. In July, gay bloggers reported that hookup site Manhunt was in the process of developing a direct competitor to Grindr. Its working name until the product goes live? Assfinder. Let’s just say that if you do visit another city and fire up Grindr on your iPhone, you’re not going to be shown many local landmarks by your new buddy, unless you consider headboards and kitchen tables local landmarks.
A couple of months ago, a similar application for gay women, Qrushr, launched. The company that developed Qrushr is not the same one that developed Grindr, but the concept is similar: find local girls via GPS, chat with them, and see where it takes you.
Last week one of the editors suggested I write an article about the application, so I dutifully registered for an account. According to several sources, Qrushr has been downloaded 50,000 times since its launch; but when I logged in, exactly five people showed up on a map of New York City.
Users have the option of hiding their locations, and it is understandable why one would choose this option. Women have a few more things to worry about than guys. It is unlikely that a woman would sign up for a fake account on Grindr to trick guys into sending full frontal photos. On the other hand, as any queer woman who has used Craigslist to meet women will tell you, there are many guys posing as women on the W4W section of Craigslist. Add GPS to the mix, and the environment becomes even creepier.
Take, for example, this profile.
If the person behind that profile is a woman, I’ll eat a bowl of crickets, and I won’t even add salt or sriracha sauce. Plain, roasted crickets.
A couple profile photos were so explicit and just plain WTF that I had to send them to the editors to torture them for assigning me this story. This was our collective reaction.
Undaunted by the bizarre photographs, including one of staplers and genitalia, I decided to forge ahead, and I hit up a chat room to ask users about the “guys posing as women” problem.
Rainbow-pride then added that the moderators are diligent about ejecting trouble-making guys from the site.
Later that night, a friend of mine told me that she had some success in making connections via Qrushr.
“Normal people ages 25-35 without penises?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said. A few women had chatted her up, telling her that her picture was cute.
What do you think? Have you signed up for Qrushr? Concerned that it should probably be renamed “Stalkr”? Think the application may have potential? Would you give it a shot?