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UPDATE: Blendr is Not Just For Straight People

Picture 2 When the maker of Grindr introduced his new iPhone app, Blendr, the media greeted it with headlines like this: "iPhone hookups go straight," "Grindr for women: Can the gay hook-up app go straight?" "Hit gay iPhone app goes straight," etc. Instinct Magazine called it Grindr's "heterosexual cousin." Gawker declared: "The new Grindr for straight people will never work." 

I, too, called it the "straight version of Grindr." But a few watchful commenters have brought to my attention that I was wrong. Blendr is for straights, gays and bisexuals. It's for everyone. And it's not really about sex, either. Says GregV: 

Blendr is marketed as a place for PEOPLE to socialize, whether to ask for a recommendation for a restaurant, make friends while on vacation, or suggest to a stranger to come skydiving (to use some of their examples).

There's no suggestion that it's for straight people (you can choose to leave "orientation" blank in the profile or choose to check whether you're gay, straight or bi if you wish). 

The way it's marketed does not appear to lean toward dating or straight people or opposite sexes at all. 

And therein lies the potential genius of Blendr. It might just make the world far less anonymous. I'm not sure why so many media outlets rushed to brand it a straight sex app, because it's neither exclusively straight nor sexual. I, for one, stand corrected. Maybe it's worth downloading? 

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Comments

  1. You look at the difference between m4f and m4m on Craigs' list and you will see why this app won't really be successful.

    Posted by: Max | Sep 12, 2011 2:29:27 AM


  2. Max! Read. The. Post.

    Posted by: Henry | Sep 12, 2011 2:59:15 AM


  3. I think this will be for swingers- couples who want to import something. The brand is already sexualized, but single women are unlikely to advertise their sexual desire to strangers. People who are more bisexual or questioning will leave their orientation blank. Whatever the social pretense is, there will be the opportunity and probably the expectation for these relationships to involve sex. And I'm okay with that.

    Posted by: Rob | Sep 12, 2011 6:32:18 AM


  4. @rob: you dont know iphone users, this app will be used by kids to communicate real time, it has facebook integration and listing sexual orientation is an option not a requirement. the app is in no way sexualized, it doesnt have the grindr feel, it is like a better foursquare.

    maybe you guys could download and see the app before commenting, or more importantly, before writing two towleroad articles about it

    Posted by: mld | Sep 12, 2011 7:00:29 AM


  5. hopefully it's a little more substantive than a collection of faceless torsoes with little relevent information about an actual human being.

    grindr is simply sad.

    Posted by: h | Sep 12, 2011 7:26:15 AM


  6. I haven't been a fan of Penn's at-times histrionic reportage, but anyone who is willing to stand corrected in public deserves my respect.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 12, 2011 7:59:02 AM


  7. @H

    Grindr is sad and so is every other dumbass gay website that has been and will be created.Gays cant keep blaming the "sexualization" of these sites on their creators.If homos stopped using those sites for that purpose there wouldnt be a shitload of them popping up all over the web.Blame yourselves Marys!

    Posted by: Rocky | Sep 12, 2011 8:19:55 AM


  8. Another step "down" for mankind.

    Posted by: Jeff | Sep 12, 2011 8:35:08 AM


  9. I don't understand the purpose of sites like these, but I'm also more of a "romantic" than a "girls gone wild" type. Sex, to me, is better when there is intimacy involved. It is belonging to another person for that moment in time, face to face, eyes to eyes...it can be just glorious when you're totally, exponentially in love with someone.

    Ahem...

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 12, 2011 9:09:51 AM


  10. "I haven't been a fan of Penn's at-times histrionic reportage, but anyone who is willing to stand corrected in public deserves my respect."

    Because that's the absolute least he can do after falsely reporting on it and when the truth is evident to anybody who simply opens the app on the iTunes store? I'm reserving my respect for any instances of accurate histrionics-free writing, instead.

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 12, 2011 10:49:31 AM


  11. this is exciting... just think of all the conservative bigots out there who will see a gay person online or maybe even strike up a friendship with one of us and realize how cool and beautiful we really are!!

    Posted by: Drew | Sep 12, 2011 5:56:50 PM


  12. and its great that its a friendship app too!! its hard using grindr to make friends lol

    Posted by: Drew | Sep 12, 2011 5:57:51 PM


  13. Thanks Penn for reading comments and subsequently re-educating readers as to the purpose and execution of blendr.

    I'm actually more interested in blendr as a way to get a snapshot of the people around me, a sort of demographic insight into where I am geographically. Instead of finding people through sites like facebook, that share similar interests but aren't nearby or aren't even online, I can just chat up someone that may like the same music or movie and get some info on what they know or just share a good conversation. I think it'll actually work to socially integrate...like making it a big mix (hence the term blendr I suspect). And as I'm more inclined to talk, or set up a date with someone of the same orientation, I prefer trying blendr over grindr.

    Posted by: newcityspot | Sep 14, 2011 10:40:10 PM


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