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Gay Couples Offer Dramatic Readings of Grindr Messages: VIDEO

Rj

Reading Grindr messages seems to be an endless form of entertainment. Especially for moms, as we saw yesterday.

YouTube couples RJ and Will, and Trent and Luke along with other gay YouTube personalities sat down for a riveting read of the lewd, and often hilarious, messages men send to each other on Grindr.

The messages they read run the gamut of everything from one user telling another user that they must ask their mother for permission to have sex first, to one user describing how his time spent in jail with tough men led him to "switch sides."

You can watch the group read the painful, yet humorous, Grindr messages AFTER THE JUMP

And if you missed Part 1, it's HERE.

Continue reading "Gay Couples Offer Dramatic Readings of Grindr Messages: VIDEO" »


Is Your Cruise Ship Homophobic? Spend Your Queer Dollars On Gay-friendly Cruise Lines

Artistic Guys Craig Smith

This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital premium gay travel magazine from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

ManAboutWorld examined the gay-friendliness of the cruise industry by polling all major cruise companies. The cruise industry hasn’t always had a great relationship with gay cruisers. When RSVP Vacations first started chartering ships 30 years ago, most lines wouldn’t even allow a gay group. Today, most lines are actively welcoming, if not marketing directly to LGBT customers. But when it comes to policies that actively engage LGBT customers and protect LGBT employees and guests, the lines in general, are not as far along as you’d think, and in general, reluctant to discuss it. 

Celebrity solstice harbor inlet small John OconnorSome cruise lines do much better than others. For example MSC Cruises has just launched a wedding program for lesbian and gay couples, performing legal same-sex weddings in Miami, and symbolic weddings in select other ports. Others aren’t so enthusiastic about their LGBT guests, providing vague responses about ‘welcoming everyone.’  And five major lines (Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises and Windstar Cruises) haven’t yet responded to numerous requests for over two months. It’s even harder to understand when taking into account that some of them, including Windstar, offer full-ship charters to gay cruise operators. 

We don’t have enough responses to fairly grade the individual lines this year, but we’re reporting the responses we did receive. We believe their answers should matter to all of us as gay consumers, and urge you to join the conversation. See the full article with the cruise lines’ responses in the March issue of ManAboutWorld or on ManAboutWorld.com. Be sure to tell us about your cruising experiences: the good, the bad and even the NSFW in the comments section in our blog.

We want to make the straight high seas a safer and more fun place for gay cruisers so we propose the following set of LGBT-friendly criteria for cruise lines. 

  • LGBT employees should be covered by a non-discrimination policy that explicitly mentions sexual orientation and gender expression.
  • Customer-facing employees should have diversity/inclusion training that specifically covers LGBT guests.
  • Cruise lines docking in ports where homosexuality or gender expression are criminalized should provide all passengers notice about such laws before disembarkation in those ports.

In addition to these minimum standards, we believe marketing and outreach to LGBT consumers, membership in the IGLTA and promotion of LGBT gatherings in daily cruise calendars are important indicators of a cruise line’s commitment to LGBT customers, not just commerce. How will cruise lines react to our criteria? We’ll hold them accountable and report back in a year. 

ManAboutWorld offers opinionated travel information and inspiration in over 100 destinations around the world: Get ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android). 

Image credits: Top: Craig Smith, Source Events; Right: John O'Connor, Tropics Magazine; Bottom: Steven Bereznai

Tdance crowd Steven Berenzal

 


New Dating App Survey Reveals Interesting Figures On Gay Dating, Hook-Up Habits: INFOGRAPHIC

GrabhimA study conducted by grabhim.net found interesting data pertaining to gay mens’ dating and hookup app habits ranging from how often they send pictures of their genitals to how many users actually meet and/ or hookup with in a single month. The study consisted of asking 4,000 gay men, over the course of four weeks, to fill out a 19-question online survey centered around a general premise; how do gay men act on an app? 

The most surprising figures show that 83 percent of the 4,000 gay men polled in the study have sent pictures of their penis to another user, with only 17 percent saying they don’t send those types of pictures. Around 76 percent said they respond honestly when another user asks them about their penis size with only 3 percent saying they exaggerate their size. Most surprising of all is that 43 percent of users have not met anyone they met on the app in person within the last month; 24 percent state they physically met only one person they met online within the last month.

Unsurprisingly, 45 percent of users said they prefer a date but will go with a hookup if it seems right, while 24 percent of users solely look for hookups. Disappointing numbers show HIV stigma exists as 28 percent of men said they were unlikely to initiate contact or respond favorably to attractive men who state they’re HIV positive in their profiles, with another 29 percent saying it is highly unlikely they would do so either. Around 43 percent of HIV positive users state they disclose their status on their profile, with another 31 percent saying they disclose their status before physically meeting; only 10 percent don’t disclose their status unless asked. Surprisingly only 45 percent of guys who actually meet up don’t hook up at all, although when they do 50 percent choose to do it at home, while 50 percent pick neutral locations.

The study found that a majority of users are between 18-50 years old, with 29 percent using Grindr and 16 percent using Scruff however, the study doesn’t give those polled an option to select more than one dating app option.

Check out the full infographic, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies Comprise Over 10% Of Popular 'Sugar Dating' Site's Membership

SeekingArrangement

The worsening student-debt crisis reportedly is fueling a surge in the number of college students seeking "sugar daddies" to help them pay their way through school. 

The Atlantic reported last month on the latest numbers from SeekingArrangement.com, which bills itself as "the world's largest sugar dating dating site":  

What might have been little more than a nuisance in the past has turned into an outright hindrance to many students’ financial security: It takes about 14 years on average to pay off the debt. As a result, young women across the country are turning to sugar daddies in droves. ... More than 1.4 million students have signed up as members, including nearly 1 million in the U.S., according to the company. The website claims that 42 percent of its members are students, many of whom are incentivized by SeekingArrangement to join; people who sign up with a .edu email address or show proof of enrollment, for example, receive "premium memberships" for free.

SugarBabyYou wouldn't necessarily know it from the many news stories about the trend — or even from the promotional images at SeekingArrangement.com, most of which feature younger women and older men — but many of the site's sugar babies, sugar daddies and sugar mommies are in fact LGBT. 

Back in 2008, SeekingArrangement.com reported that it had reached 250,000 gay members, announced an LGBT landing page (above) and released a promotional video from a gay sugar baby (right):  

Unlike normal gay dating sites that feel more like meat markets than places to find “true love”, SeekingArrangement has a professional, warm, sincere feel to it. Here older and wealthy gay Daddies or Mommas are looking for more than intimacy. They are actually interested in helping grow young men and women into successful adults.

Gay Sugar Daddies don’t necessarily fit your average gay stereotype, as many married heterosexual men are experimenting here for their first time as well. Here on SeekingArrangement, about half of the gay Sugar Daddies are bisexual or closeted men in heterosexual relationships.

In 2010, SeekingArrangement.com released its Top 10 Cities For Gay Sugar Daddies, led by New York City.  

So, in the wake of recent news reports about the site's growth, Towleroad reached out to SeekingArrangement.com for the latest numbers on LGBT members. Spokeswoman Angela Bermudo responded by providing this breakdown:  

• 280,000 Gay Sugar Baby Males
• 60,000 Gay Sugar Daddies 
• 8,400 Lesbian Sugar Mommies
• 40,000 Lesbian Sugar Babies 
• 75 Trans Sugar Babies 

All told, that means 388,475 of the site's 3.6 million members worldwide are LGBT — or about 11 percent. 

SeekingArrangement.com recently released figures on the fastest-growing schools for sugar babies — with the University of Texas leading the way — but Bermudo declined to provide those breakdowns for LGBT members, citing privacy concerns because numbers are small at some schools.  

Some have accused SeekingArrangement.com of promoting prostitution. But the site says it conducts background checks, and for some LGBT sugar babies, sugar daddies and sugar mommies, it may provide a viable alternative to hookup apps. 

Watch the site's promotional video fearing a gay sugar baby, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Gay Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies Comprise Over 10% Of Popular 'Sugar Dating' Site's Membership" »


Scruff Posts Huge Gay Ad On Billboard Outside University Of Phoenix Stadium Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Scruff1

It looks like Scruff is appealing toward its “masc4masc” demographic as the dating/hookup app bought a billboard outside of University of Phoenix Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl and posted a 48-foot ad featuring two guys in a locker room sizing each other up with the slogan "Play On Our Team," reports Refinery29. A press release from Scruff explains why they bought the Super Bowl themed ad.

Said Scruff:

"At a time when professional NFL players like Michael Sam and Kwame Harris bravely come out to the world and some coaches admit to not wanting gay players on their teams, [Scruff]... is sending a message to the NFL — by putting up a Phoenix billboard advertisement that’s certain to start a conversation about perception and acceptance among both gay and straight sports fans."

Scruff's bold move to challenge the NFL on its homophobia may elicit homophobic criticism and condemnation from sports fans and players alike, that is if the scores of straight men pouring into the stadium on Sunday can even figure out what Scruff even is. 


Pakistan: 'A Gay Man's Paradise'?

Gay couplePakistan may not seem like the most gay-friendly place on Earth. Not even close, since its anti-gay laws are technically more restrictive than Russia's (Russia's laws don't actually criminalize gay sex, Pakistan's do). However, with the advent of the internet, more and more members of Pakistan's underground gay community have managed to find each other and create an underground community. Thanks to a recent article released by BBC News Magazine, we now have a glimpse into that community. As it turns out, gay men in Pakistan are a lot more sexually active than some might expect. 

The article's title sums up the situation pretty succinctly: "Gay Pakistan: Where sex is available and relationships are difficult". Precisely how easy is gay sex to come by? Just ask "Danyaal", a businessman from the wealthy city of Karachi. He tells BBC that "if you want sex...it's a gay man's paradise." Danyaal is part of the city's underground gay party scene, where invite-only parties host sometimes hundreds of gay men in a private venue where they can be open about their sexuality. That doesn't mean that gay men in Karachi only get together in private setting, though. Ironically, one of the city's best gay cruising spots is one of its busiest shrines, the Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine:

"Every Thursday evening, as the sun sets, men from across the city gather there. A tightly packed circle is formed and those in the centre of the circle are groped by those on the periphery. To outsiders it looks like a writhing mass of men huddling around one another. Some even describe it as a 'mysterious religious ceremony'. For participants, it's anonymous group sex. This kind of behaviour is, of course, not condoned by Pakistan's religious authorities."

...Of course. Gay sex is also readily available via a malchi walah, or a "masseuse" who offers certain "extras" for a small additional fee (the equivalent of approximately $7.80 USD). These masseuses don't usually have to worry about local authorities, either, since many of them are loyal clients. "We get important people - police, army officers and ministers too," says one masseuse called "Ahmed". Ahmed even has two wives, who know about his unusual career choice and are fine with it.  "I know he has sex. No problem," said one wife. "If he doesn't work how will the kids eat? I get angry when people call them names. People are stuck in their ways."

Gay pakistanOne researcher, Qasim Iqbal, explained the possible origins of Pakistan's casual male-on-male sex culture:

"In Pakistan men are discouraged from having girlfriends and so often, their first sexual experiences will be with male friends or cousins. This is often seen as a part of growing up and it can be overlooked by families - it's the idea that 'boys will be boys'. Sex between men will be overlooked as long as no-one feels that tradition or religion are being challenged. At the end of it all, everyone gets married to a member of the opposite sex and nothing is spoken about."

Just like Iqbal says, while gay men in Pakistan have no trouble soliciting sex from other men, relationships are much harder to come by. More often than not, they will end up marrying a member of the opposite sex for convenience purposes while continuing to sleep with men on the side. Iqbal says that:

"Gay men [in Pakistan] will make every effort to stop any investment in a same-sex relationship because they know that one day they will have to get married to a woman."

Thus, in Pakistan's patriarchal society, long term man-on-man relationships are exceedingly rare. In the case of gay couple "Ali" and "Akbar", they were allowed to continue because Ali's family was run by a matriarch instead. Akbar told BBC:

"His grandmother was the head of the house so I knew that winning her over would mean everything else would fall into place. I took the time to talk to her and convince her that I was a good person. That was first and foremost. It wasn't about 'coming out' in a formal sense. It's more important to convince Ali's family that I'm a good human being.

"She once gave me a hand-embroidered decorative cloth that she had made as a teenager. She said she was giving it to me because she knew I 'take care of things'. It was a kind gesture and a very personal kind of acceptance."

GayMuslimsExist1-e1281529089994-360x270Unfortunately, it's much more difficult for lesbians, since any sort of outward expression of sexuality by women, gay or stright, is generally frowned upon. That's why lesbians "Beena" and "Fatima" have to keep their relationship rather discreet. Beena is still in the closet while Fatima contributes to an invite-only online support group for other gay Pakistanis online. Beena says that the two of them are looking to find a gay couple with which to enter into a marriage of convenience:

"I think we'll have a marriage of convenience. I know some gay guys and maybe we'll do a deal so we put in money together and they have one portion of the house and we'll have another portion. We may as well do that."

And as for the progress of LGBT rights in their home country? Beena has noticed a correlation between LGBT and women's rights in other nations. Unfortunately, that likely means that full equality will not come during their lifetime should they choose to stay in Pakistan:

"Gay rights in America came after women had basic rights. You don't see that in Pakistan. You are not allowed a difference of opinion here. My father is a gentleman but I wouldn't put it past him to put a bullet through my head. I'm all for being 'true to myself' but I don't want to die young. I think it's selfish for me to come out and campaign for gay rights now. It's selfish to the women in my family who are fighting for education and the right to marry the man of their dreams, or not to marry at all."


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