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Chasing the Digital Gay Sex Dragon

One of our favorite pastimes here at Queerty is chronicling the The New York Times‘ slow transformation into a college literary magazine by way of self-mythologizing “culture” pieces about the writing staff’s various crippling addictions. Previously, we told you about Susan Cheaver’s irritating and erroneous dry drunk conclusion that New Yorkers never drink. While we wait for Bill Kristol to write a 1,000 word essay on how he discovered the true heart of conservatism by way of a fourteen day LSD odyssey on the banks of the Russian River, the Times has fed our own personal addiction for awkward belles-lettres by way of Benoit Denizet-Lewis’ account of his super-entertaining sex addiction via online gay sex sites.

We could go on about the tickle in our throat we got while reading Lewis’ imagined dialogue with his addictive personality (Eg: “I will make Benoit lie and manipulate and chase sex every hour of every day, until he can’t feel anything anymore, until everything good and decent about him is removed. He needs me”), but the real question running through our head is, “If Benoit Denizet-Lewis was an online sex whore who would drive hundreds of miles for a hook-up, how the hell did we never see him on any gay sex site, ever?”

So, we pulled up all our old hook-up site accounts and decided to take a walk down memory lane to see where we missed out on the chance to take advantage of America’s favorite homo cultural anthropologist’s uncontrollable (but now controlled, congrats/alas) desire to examine the nooks and crannies of every boy on the ‘net.


Bulletin Board Services

Heyday: 1995
Long before the Internet took over, nascent gay sex-cruisers would dial up to their local BBS to get off. However, without photos or a real way of searching for guys, early online hook-ups were more a novelty than anything else.

AOL Chat Rooms
Heyday: 1997
In ’96, AOL changed its billing structure to an unlimited plan. Between that and the bazillion mailer CDs sent out, the service exploded to a staggering 10 million users. Online hook-ups hit the big time with M4M chat rooms catering to every locale and flavor you could possibly want. And while AOL caught flack for their willingness to hand over personal information to authorities (Naval officer Timothy McVeigh was booted from the service after AOL turned over his account, for instance), it was the first, best and really only game in town.

XY
Heyday: 1998
Peter Ian Cummings’ twinkariffic magazine hosted one of the early online hook-up spots, with a user base of 12 young guys and 3,000 or so, “admirers”. You had to pay, but the promise of young love managed to give the poorly-designed site a life all its own.

PlanetOut
Heyday: 2000
Long before it gobbled up The Advocate, Out and all of gay media (only to be gobbled up by Regent last week), Planet Out’s primary existence was as the first gay-specific hook-up spot. PO managed to be the Wal-Mart of sex sites; you could find a boyfriend, a one-night stand and everything in between.

Gay.com
Heyday: 2001
A rival to Planet Out, Gay.com offered much of the same, but with a more international flavor, with regional versions of the site available for the UK, US and Europe. The site was the first to offer extensive categories, finally making the quest for 21-24 year old brunette bottoms with a thing for leather as easy as point and click.

Friendster
Heyday: 2002
Constantly “in beta,” Friendster made it easy to find out who all your friends have been sleeping with—and using them to introduce yourself. Friendster made it a lot less skeevy to pick-up guys, since you knew where the guys were coming from. But, of course, that’s also what made it totally useless for anonymous sex. If you wanted to remember the name of the guy you were doing, Friendster was your best bet.

Manhunt
Heyday: 2004
Larry Basile and Jonathan Crutchley’s 200-pound gorilla of online sex has been accused of destroying gay culture, but it really just took the crusing scene into the 21st century. If early gay sex-pioneers were all about privacy and discretion, Manhunt boys were all about showing all the goods—and often. People imagined privacy somehow existed on the site, but as Perez Hilton and Andrew Sullivan soon learned, putting your penis on the Internet is about as discreet as standing on top of a bar and dropping trou.

MySpace
Heyday: 2006
MySpace is like Friendster, but uglier. But when the herd moves, you follow. It offers all the same appeals of Friendster, except with 100 million users and counting, your “friends” list is 2,000 people long.

Craigslist
Heyday: Determining a ‘heyday’ for Craigslist is tricky– best to think of it as a chronic and lingering condition.
Craigslist’s old school appeal (minimal search functions, lots of text) makes it the go-to site for closeted celebrities and others looking for old-fashioned anonymous sex with strangers. The downside of the anonymity is the high likelihood that the hot muscle jock you’re talking to is actually a 60-year old pic collector. The simplicity of the site, combined with users not needing to sign-up for an account means it will never die.

Connexion
Heyday: 2007
Connexion’s main appeal is that it’s a lot less tawdry than most gay sex sites. In fact, if you’re actually looking to go on a date– that is, you want to talk to your sex partner and be seen publicly with them, Connexion’s still the place to go.

Facebook

Heyday: 2008
See Myspace, Friendster.

Adam4Adam
Heyday: You have it open behind this window.
One of the top 5000 websites in the world, Adam4Adam takes the Manhunt model and makes it free, making its money off of advertising. It’s less a hook-up site than it is a giant database of sex, with every size, shape and predilection available at a moment’s notice.

So, what sites did you troll and when? We know we missed a lot of the interest specific (Bears411, for instance) places- any hidden gems? What’s on the horizon? And are gay sex sites going to turn all of us into sex addicts like Benoit?

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Jan 12, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 26 Comments
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      Back when Yahoo didn’t charge, I did plenty of tricking there. (Yes, that was a LONG time ago.)

      Jan 12, 2009 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bossito
      bossito

      In Europe gaydar.com and gayromeo.com are the most popular gay cruising websites. A new one, gays.com, promisses to give you what facebook gives to straight people.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Denguy
      Denguy

      What no IRC c. 1992-3?

      Jan 12, 2009 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Yahoo was taken over by right-wingers in 2004. With Mary Cheney at the helm, the “Night of a 1000 deletes!” happened to Gay groups before the election with only a few still in existence but most without Moderators. This was documented by GayGroups.info until they, too had the Moderators disappear. Many groups and also the chatrooms which disturbingly had underaged groups were also curtailed to Generic Tops and Bottoms in the Gay Group under Romance and Relationships. Yahoo would periodically switch the Edit your Marketing Preferences so your Inbox was swamped with solicitaions for Tranny Sex or Viagra. If you tried to search for groups, explicit lesbian porn for straight guys would be the top searches. It is no wonder that no-one uses Yahoo for anything. The great shame is that this was not documented. Yahoo continue to struggle since the Great Gay Purge.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Yahoo was taken over by right-wingers in 2004. With Mary Cheney at the helm, the “Night of a 1000 deletes!” happened to Gay groups before the election with only a few still in existence but most without Moderators. This was documented by GayGroups.info until they, too had the Moderators disappear. Many groups and also the chatrooms which disturbingly had underaged groups were also curtailed to Generic Tops and Bottoms in the Gay Group under Romance and Relationships. Yahoo would periodically switch the Edit your Marketing Preferences so your Inbox was swamped with solicitations for Tranny Sex or Viagra. If you tried to search for groups, explicit lesbian porn for straight guys would be the top searches. It is no wonder that no-one uses Yahoo for anything. The great shame is that this was not documented. Yahoo continue to struggle since the Great Gay Purge.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Sorry about the repeat, queerty is slow sometimes…

      Jan 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tweek
      Tweek

      DudesNude.com is by far the best site for those less shy/more expressionistic.

      Guys4Men.com is a bit more like Connexion, but more oriented towards hookups with people you might connect with.

      Both have beautifully simple interfaces (they are almost the same site), and both are free.

      also, don’t forget the dying Dlist.com – the myspace/friendster of the gay community.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tweek
      Tweek

      correction: expressionistic = exhibitionistic

      Jan 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      Hooking up online used to mean mostly sex. Now it means: “I’m bored”, “I need a reason to take drugs/get blind drunk”, “I want to get back at my BF”, ”I feel really bad about myself so I want to come over and insult/reject you”, “Everyone else is doing it I don’t want to miss anything”.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hmunky
      hmunky

      you missed Dlist.com lately a VERY popular place for younger guys!!

      Jan 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      Say what you want, my partner and I are getting more threeway action in our 50’s then we di in our 20’s. These sites are great!!!

      Jan 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blackie
      blackie

      what about bnskin.com? :)

      Jan 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bitch Republic
      Bitch Republic

      Yah, you forgot IRC, which helped me circa 1996 to accept that I was gay and come out.

      http://www.BitchRepublic.net

      Jan 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      @ggreen: So…hooray for diversification?

      Jan 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lindsay Davenport
      Lindsay Davenport

      god don’t forget
      barebackcity.com
      http://www.masters-n-slaves.com
      and spartanpederasty.com

      those were a few of my favorite hook ups way back when.

      Jan 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawster
      Dawster

      It’s funny, because one of my favorite pastimes is watching how Queerty is turning into Jossip’s version of AfterElton….

      Jan 13, 2009 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      First off, “It’s funny, because one of my favorite pastimes is watching how Queerty is turning into Jossip’s version of AfterElton…” DAMN! That’s funny Dawster, because it’s so true. All that is missing are cheesy, poorly made videos by two corny, unfunny guys. This site has definately gone through some changes (not all for the better).

      Secondly, my Connexion rant: I’m sure it’s not a conspiracy behind the scenes or a lot of fake profiles to up site traffic, but have you ever noticed the sheer number of really hot guys on that site. Like WAY more than any other site. They’re always shirtless and buff as hell – they look like models. It just seems unusually disproportionate compared to the other sites you’ve mentioned. You would think, ALRIGHT! SCORE! But, oddly enough, it’s kind of off-putting. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unknown
      unknown

      gay com is a joke. like the main character in the leather room who uses several profiles at once to talk to himself and impress everyone about his 900 person slave farm. its real funny when he gets drunk and uses his meds then forgets which profile he is typing on and answers the wrong profile with the wrong profile. like no one notices it but… he is on there 24 hrs a day and never leaves . Even if you are a paying member and he reports you with a few of his fake non-paying profiles you get banned with no refund of your membership. big waste of money

      Jan 14, 2009 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      With all of the sites dedicated to tweaking twinks, are there any sites for men over 30, or even over 40 who don’t like the Gay Children of the Corn? Please, not bear sites.

      Jan 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Connexion is a nightmare of Left-coast flaky types and hustlers who get by the dumb-ass administrator with discreet links to their money-making Ma$$age. Many of these sites are Rentboy fronts (Adam4Adam) or porn fronts (Oh, the guy next door is just a porn star getting you to pay for his streaming video) and then there are the bareback sex party throwing welfare queens who need a lil extra dough on top of those measly Food Stamps and Crystal income (SSI). Tribez was very similar to Connexion and down so often that it might as well vote itself off the Island. AOL = Hustlers and closeted Straights. Manhuntdotnet: Circuit PnP crowd and cheating spouses. MyGaydar: Big in Europe! Yahoo: Homeless hustlers who have to be paged. Facebook: Real friends with smiling faces. The Real World: Strangers checking out strangers (despite I-snobs.)

      Hurry UP Spring!

      Jan 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LOVE
      LOVE

      he you like m

      Jan 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gay com addict
      gay com addict

      @unknown: I know who you are talking about he has been on that same chat room since it began in about 2001 . He is the head of computer science at south carolina university in columbia. Goes by the programmer c or something like that. He is a real whacko. stay far away. if he gets your phone number he will crank call you and threaten your life. I thought the police arrested him for that a few years back but maybe it is someone new using the same profile now. Just beware

      Jan 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      It was a closeted Gay Dallas lawyer and Bush lobbyist who was behind the Gay Purge at Yahoo including an innocent Gay Star Wars group. He was a major a**hole who got gay sites shut down if anyone criticized the Commander-in-Thief in an election year! Too bad Yahoo is about to tank into obscurity (warning to investors!)Some of this was documented on GayGroups.info

      Jan 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
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      Mar 14, 2010 at 4:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J mill
      J mill

      I just saw this article today. Loved it. A wonderful glance at tawdry online life as the gays do it. I daresay you could develop this into a hilarious yets historically accurate book that would leave the gay community rolling on the ground with laughter and tears of days gone by…

      Apr 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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