The Future of Sex
Technology keeps changing the way gay men connect -- whether it's to hook up,
find love, make new friends, or some combination of those things. And it's all
happening so fast! Just eleven years ago, I was commissioned by a national gay
magazine to write about the "strange new world" of online dating
sites. Now, without these sorts of Web sites, many of us would have no love
life or sex life (or social life) at all. And I remember a time when no one had
cell phones with them when they went out to the clubs -- a time when no one I
knew had an email address, even.
It was the early '90s, and I remember meeting new people, getting laid, and so
on -- though doing so without the use of text messages and the Internet today
might seem impossible. Meeting guys in bars or on
phone chat lines -- we had to talk to them first! It sounds so
archaic now. Does anyone else look back at those days with similar feelings of
nostalgia and disbelief?
Of course, it's not just that technology is changing us -- we're changing it,
too: adapting it to our needs and desires. I'm pretty sure that the minds
behind the Internet did not envision some of the naughty uses we've found for
Looking back at the olden days got me and some friends thinking about what
social changes new technology might soon bring. With a truly mobile Internet in
our pockets at all times, what's next for gay dating and hooking up? Already,
when I'm out in the bars, I'm seeing more and more iPhone-equipped guys who are
more interested in seeing who's online than cruising the people in the same
I don't think it'll be too long before an app like Loopt combined with
something like Google Latitude will be allowing gay men to find guys with
similar interests or desires, for instant hookups. Say you're interested in
tall, 30-something, redhaired tops who are "looking for now" but open
to dating. Wouldn't it be great if your cell phone could alert you when one is
nearby and looking for someone like you? There you'd be -- in a bar or just at the grocery store, and your cell phone would vibrate when a mutually attractive guy got within 50 feet. It'd be like a new-millennium version of the "hanky code" (except the info would come from your pocket, not his)!
A digital hanky code? Maybe, after all, the more things change, the more things stay the same.