Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  HANDS ON SCIENCE

Is $449,437 Too Much Money To Study Bareback Flirting?

If you’re like so many gay men, you’ve probably spent thousands on website memberships, gym fees, grooming products, tight clothes, sparkling alcohol, sex toys, and intensive psychotherapy to figure out the secrets of successful flirting. But if you were a Smart Homosexual, you would have simply applied for a grant like Brooklyn College’s assistant professor of health and nutrition sciences Christian Grov did. Grov will get to blow $449,437 figuring out whether barebackers prefer nonverbal flirting in person or verbal flirting online. Silly professor, don’t you know that horny web surfers spend more time jerking-off on camera than actually “talking” to each other?

The National Institute of Health awarded Grov a Support of Competitive Research grant to conduct his in-depth three-year study. He explains: “A study I published in 2007 found that bars/clubs, bathhouses and the Internet were the three most common venues that gay and bisexual men use to meet partners. In this new study for those venues, we will use time-space sampling, which involves the creation of a list of every possible place and then the random assignment of recruitment teams to each venue at random time intervals in order to avoid any bias.”

So Grov will need to pay research volunteers to patrol bathhouses and barebackfuckslutz.net at all hours of the night, y’know, for science. But does he really need almost half a million dollars to do it? The average subscription price for a cruisy website is about $15 a month and a one-year membership to a bathhouse costs about $300 a year (uh… or so I’ve heard).

Assuming Grov’s not buying sex toys and tight clothes for his bareback buddies, how the heck is he gonna burn through half a mil in three years? Where’s the approval committee for his budgeting costs? And most importantly, does lube count as a research expenditure?

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jun 17, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 32 Comments
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      NO it’s not enough. Comes out to 150K a year…to pay staff and all the other shit.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anonymous
      anonymous

      $300 a year just for membership at a bathhouse? Wow! And I thought Westside Club in NYC was a rip-off at $45 a year.

      Thank you Queerty for letting me know what a bargain I have.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      “The average subscription price for a cruisy website is about $15 a month and a one-year membership to a bathhouse costs about $300 a year (uh… or so I’ve heard).

      Assuming Grov’s not buying sex toys and tight clothes for his bareback buddies, how the heck is he gonna burn through half a mil in three years?”

      Multiply by enough people to get a significant N for the study. Say, 1,000. Oh look, that’s $300,000 for bathhouse memberships. Add administrative costs and you’re there easily.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      Ok, so from the website here’s how the study will actually go down: “The SCORE-funded study will follow 150 men for six months to chart their behavioral patterns. The recruit’s initial visit and two follow-up visits will be held at Hunter College’s Center for HIV Education Studies and Training (CHEST).”

      It’s still not ludicrous. And it’s a very good question.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “Assuming Grov’s not buying sex toys and tight clothes for his bareback buddies, how the heck is he gonna burn through half a mil in three years?”

      First, don’t forget the university’s overhead rate on grants, which means that only a fraction of the funding goes to the researchers’ salaries. Second, they have to find a representative sample of test subjects to study. Just putting an ad in something like “The Village Voice” is not going to do that. Just figuring out how to get a good sample is a non-trivial task. Third, you have to keep tabs on test subjects and make sure they are reporting accurately if possible. Forth, since barebacking is a known high-risk factor for the spread of HIV, knowing how people into that hook up is very useful information, both for determining where to focus safe-sex education programs and for making estimates of future transmission rates.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      Looks like a waste of money to me.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      @B: Actually, the university’s charge an overhead fee on the actual grant amount. So Grov will get 450K to spend. While his salary is covered by the university, he will still have to pay outreach workers and office/research staff, so 150K a year is a tight budget.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      From Grov’s page: “the meeting of minds, or at least the exchange of words, that is essential to an Internet liaison.”

      Er. Meeting of minds? Exchange of words?

      I want to know which sites *he* uses.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      Some nice bootys in that pic!

      Jun 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Another person who doesn’t have to get a real job!!!

      Jun 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.Single
      L.Single

      Let’s try re-casting this post:

      The NIH recently announced that it was spending almost $450,000 to try to learn about the habits of men who seek unprotected sex with other men on the internet, sex clubs and other public places. This valuable research will assist public health outreach programs to target these men to reduce the incidents of risky behaviors that contribute to HIV transmission.

      Is $450,000 too much to spend to try to keep people from contracting HIV? Especially compared to the costs of treating HIV, much less the loss of a human life.

      Seriously, I would expect this type of post from Fox News or Focus on the Family, not a gay-themed web site.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • counterpoll
      counterpoll

      Grove’s got the goods….Prof Grove got his PhD in 2007 and has already got two NIH grants, authored many articles in very well-respected publications, and knows more about barebacking than any USA-based researcher. [in an academic sense of course].

      Put it this way: your chances of getting TWO simultaneous grants from NIH is less than the odds of your mom giving you money to hire two rentboys for your 17th birthday party!]

      BONUS: He wrote an excellent paper on the use of Barebacking Websites as an “Environment for reducing HIV risk.”

      For a newly-minted PhD, his research is in many ways groundbreaking. He has the rare gift of knowing BOTH quantitative methods [statistics] and qualitative methods [making sure your stats actually measure something useful].

      These studies always DO sound pretty fluffy, but they can help pinpoint ways to reduce the incidence and effects of unsafe behavior. That’s why the NIH is spending some coin on this stuff.

      Plus, he’s kinda cute!

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • counterpoll
      counterpoll

      I just spelled Grov’s name wrong. Ugh.
      New eyeglasses will be sought soon.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I think they should use the money to buy a giant vacuum cleaner to clean out the entire gay male scene.

      We’ve become a community of sleaze and stranger sex. No wonder we don’t deserve equality.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McShane
      McShane

      Horrendously larger amounts are paid out for fraudulent experimentation on bad drugs. 1/2 mill is nothing. The U.S pays trillions for a mostly useless military agrandizement, and everyone just says oh well!

      See how the experiment is designed and what it discovers. I’m amazed that people are so disconnected from reality that
      they enjoy watching each other masturbate on the web.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmi
      Jimmi

      poor confused Queerty. Not enough AIDS and HIV Prevention awareness and then too much? Is Queerty being run by fiscal conservatives? How much money is wasted on Wavy Davy Snorts Meth Off A Bear In Bathhouse?

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      “We’ve become a community of sleaze and stranger sex.”

      Lol, become? Honey, you need to learn your history. If anything, we’ve become enormously prude by comparison.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      o. 7 · Qjersey wrote, “@B: Actually, the university’s charge an overhead fee on the actual grant amount.” Usually what happens is that the researchers have an idea of the total amount available and ask for a grant amount so that, with the overhead fee, they won’t be asking for more than the sponsoring agency wants to spend.

      Remember that each university has its own overhead fee so the sponsor won’t ignore it. Also, reporters can include the overhead fee in the amount they report, particularly if they want it to sound as large as possible to attract readers’ attention.

      Aside from that, my guess is that the picture QUEERTY showed was taken at either the Folsom Street Fair or the Dore Alley Fair.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @jason: And how are you basing your “facts” on that str8 men screw sans condomns any less than gayz men? Do u know the stats? No u do not.

      get some help jason! Dial 1-8OO-SO-CRAZY & speak with experienced mentalhealth professionals on yr hatered of women, men, people, your mom, illegal immigrants & yrself.

      time is running out.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      @L.Single: @Jimmi: @counterpoll: I am humbled by your intelligent takes on this material and must admit that my coverage of it was facile and shallow. It’s far more interesting to see the study as a groundbreaking piece of of preventative social medicine rather than a cheap punchline about the costs of bathhouse memberships. I appreciate your high level of engagement and will keep it in mind as I continue to publish here. Our community deserves to have these questions intelligently explored and not carelessly rehashed.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CWH
      CWH

      this article is not only misguided but potentially damaging. the language and tone reads exactly like the conservative critics of funding for research in our community. these critics minimize and simplify the actual work that is being done in order to make it appear as if we are “wasting” money doing this type of work. the simple truth is, “common sense” is often wrong AND contradictory (for example, the early bird can’t get the worm if good things come to those who wait – it also isn’t possible that opposites attract when birds of a feather flock together) – research such as this helps us find out which “common sense” and which “conventional wisdom” is actually right so that better intervention efforts can be launched. sorry, but if this research even leads to 10 people NOT contracting HIV, the cost savings in the long-term will be more than worth it. more importantly, the moral value of saving even 10 lives is worth it and more. shame on you queerty for using the master’s tools.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 6:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      COmplete waste of money and time

      Jun 18, 2010 at 7:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russ A NYC
      Russ A NYC

      Journalism and Research are both wonderful and useful. One to inform the public the other to gather information, analyze the data and come to a conclusion.

      While I do not agree with the Journalists’ article per se … my disagreement is founded in the journalists’ admitted lack of knowledge on the subject thus the piece was totally subjective.

      Grov is accessible and I do not get the sense the article was written after any sort of interview or discussion between the writer and the researcher. This isn’t “punchline” journalism … it is shoddy, sensational and dangerous journalism.

      A 24 pt. headline and one paragraph is as far as most people read. That is a qualified and quantified fact. Damage done but hopefully lesson learned. Responsible journalism!

      And an apology to the Dr.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I truly don’t care what you think about me. I’ve got a hide as thick as a rhino’s.

      The simple fact is that the male-male paradigm is conducive to promiscuity. Such behavior diminishes the sanctity of our gay rights notion. It exposes us as being based on a sex act rather than on an ideology of fairness and progress.

      Yes, the male-female paradigm can also be sleazy and promiscuous. However, it’s undeniable that women are the great moderators in such a paradigm. They have a moderating influence on male sexual excesses.

      In order to ensure that the male-male paradigm isn’t tarnished, we need to ensure that the promiscuous amongst us be banished. We don’t need nor do we deserve promiscuous sleazeballs in our gay community.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russ A NYC
      Russ A NYC

      @jason: Banished you say? Are you suggesting “A FINAL SOLUTION” akin to Camp Auschwitz? The gate still bears the motto “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work makes one free). Because your tone smacks of self loathing and intolerance.

      “Women have a ‘moderating’ influence on male sexual excesses” Is this based on empirical information? Or do you have personal experience in this area?

      There is room in the tent for everyone. This is what makes a community. Some good and yes some we may not like … none the less worthy of inclusion & respect.

      Having a thick hide is one thing … being “thick” in the head is another.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • counterpoll
      counterpoll

      @jason: Please do share the basis of your beliefs. Which journals were those findings published in? Which researchers did the studies and who funded them?

      Which publications have reported your own research? Prof Grov has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles. How about you?

      I promise to hand out your bibliography to my students.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Flex
      Flex

      These two guys wearing the jock straps feel good enough about their physical appearance to wear what they’re wearing in broad daylight. How did they become so confident? Do they prefer to show their asses, penis’, or both?

      Jun 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @Jason: how HYPCRITICAL of you:

      “rather than an on ideology of fairness and progress”

      Ha,ha.. You should be the last person saying this.
      Everytime theres a story about a Black person, that one Black person magically becomes the WHOLE Black community.

      “We don’t need nor do we deserve promiscuous sleaveballs in our gay community”

      Well Jason, we don’t need racist,lesbian,transgendered, bisexual hating sleaveballs in our community eather. Go away!!

      Jun 19, 2010 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I certainly won’t resile from what I’ve said. Facts are facts. The gay male scene is heavily imbued with promiscuity. We’re even worse than the het male’s Playboy Mansion scenario.

      By all means, let’s fight for our rights. But we need to be discerning as to what is a right and what is an indulgence. I recoil from the promiscuity I’ve seen in gay bars and sex clubs. Promiscuity isn’t rights, it’s simply promiscuity.

      One day, the gay community will regret going down the path of promiscuity. We are sowing the seeds of our destruction if we don’t get back to the moral basics of what our community should really be about – ie rights.

      Jun 19, 2010 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @L.Single: I don’t think that saying “the habits of men who seek unprotected sex with other men on the internet, sex clubs and other public places” is quite right.

      The page says the research will be about *whether* they do so on the web *or* in public spaces (bars, etc.) That’s not exactly the same thing.

      It should go without saying (but given the thumbing pattern on this post I feel I should mention it anyway) that I’m obviously *all* for *any* research that could help with prevention, but I’m not sure this is it.

      My worry is only enhanced by his previous research that, um, “found” that “bars/clubs, bathhouses and the Internet were the three most common venues that gay and bisexual men use to meet partners” – which, I’m sorry, sounds like a big “duh!” to me, not unlike that piece in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (vol 22, p 380) that “found” that “the excitement of gambling (was) tied to the expectancy of winning money” (or one, the reference to which escapes me at the mo’, that “found” children who had had a proper breakfast performed better at school that those who came to classes on empty stomachs.)

      I would argue, in addition, that patterns of risk-taking were somewhat well documented by now, after a quarter-century of studies, but I could be wrong there.

      To stress again a point: any amount of money for constructive research, I’m all for, and then some. This – not so sure.

      That said, I agree with you that the post’s tone was unnecessarily flippant.

      Jun 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vlad
      Vlad

      Jason, did you expect to see something other than promiscuity in a sex club?

      Jun 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mario C.
      Mario C.

      Geez, here in Chicago a 6-month membership to Steamworks is $20. I hope they’re not reading this and up the price.

      I think you probably mean that renting a room or locker every time you visit may add up to $300/year over your membership. ;-)

      Jul 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    !-- Sailthru Horizon -->
    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.