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Words…

“As a normative way of socializing for gay men, online cruising is a disaster. We need to recognize its effects — including its tendency to isolate us, encourage objectification, and diminish our sense of life’s nonsexual possibilities — as disasters. We need to recognize that too many of us, too much of the time, are cruising online because it is easier and feels safer than thinking about the love we are missing and the power we do not have.” – From journalist Michael Joseph Gross’ latest Out article, “Has ManHunt Destroyed Gay Culture?”

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Aug 7, 2008
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 17 Comments
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      Absolutely 100% agree. ManHunt and Gaydar are curses on gay culture.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 8:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • spunkbox
      spunkbox

      Wow, great article. The part that freaked me was manhunt co-owner ‘Crutchley, a liberal Republican’. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Figures a self hating fag would be behind that site ManCunt.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Yawn. Argument was made during gay classified ads, phone lines, AOL chat rooms … somehow we’ve survived.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darth Paul
      Darth Paul

      I’m with HKG on this one. The problem is that many gay and bi dudes never grow up emotionally and remain stuck in a 19YO mentality of sex = validation. That attitude will mess you up online or otherwise.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • foofyjim
      foofyjim

      Like anything else, moderation is best.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean S.
      Sean S.

      Sex = validation for everyone, including straight people. People, not surprisingly, enjoy sex and enjoy the feeling of being sexually desired. I would much prefer a world where sex my be a bit excessive over one where peoples needs and wants have been straitjacketed.

      The reality is every generation, in any community, theres a sudden fear that paralyzes everyone that there is Something Wrong with the Young Folk (TM). And indeed they probably DO have problems, there probably not OUR problems, and they’ll probably survive okay. People need to be a little more charitable.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rowen
      Rowen

      I’m not so sure it’s something that can be just swept under the rug that like Sean and HKG. There’s a lot of gay men out there who suffer from depression and various body dysmorphic diseases because, as a community, seem to be regressing back to high school. From the constant barrage of beautiful, smooth, thin 19 year olds on our ads to the bitchy fags who think that a 6 pac gives them the right to be assholes, we’ve forgotten how to treat each other. Then, numerous movies and shows reinforce the idea that only the ugly and pathetic aren’t hooking up left and right (or at least those percieved to be ugly and pathetic. I could never figure out why Ted had to fill the “ugly” guy role on QaF). There’s nothing wrong with hooking up. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. However, the gay community, in general (as in, not everyone so if this doesn’t apply to you, don’t start bitching at me), has turned looking good and having sex into a major addiction, and it costing us our mental health, as WELL as screwing up our physical health, again.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ajax
      ajax

      Darth Paul and Sean S., I think the issue is: there are forms of validation other than sex – like love, charity, or art. It’s harder to achieve some forms of validation than others. If one focuses only on easily-obtainable validation, what does that say about the person? For many, online sex is a crutch – like drugs or alcohol. It allows them to focus on what comes easily rather than on things that might contribut to their personal growth, the growth of our community, or the growth of humanity.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • victor
      victor

      Amen ajax!

      Aug 7, 2008 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rowen
      Rowen

      Thanks Ajax!!!! That’s exactly what I was trying to say, but got all confusticated this morning.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Technology has enabled modern society to be more connected than ever, yet this connectivity has led to an unforseen disconnect from the world around us; but, this is a condition that plagues the general population. One may sit in a public square and watch groups of people (generally the younger generations)text message to acquaintenances far away, while remaining oblivious to the very people who are in their company.

      We hurl ourselves down highways at 70 miles an hour in our cars while talking on our cell phones, and we bring our laptops with us during vacations, and feel lost without or Blackberrys and iBooks. Our children spend more and more time in front of their computers and television sets playing video games, and when they leave their homes, the bring the portable versions of the games they’ve been playing for hours upon hours. Even our language is changing, and our communication being reduced to clipped and abbreviated remarks. “You” is spelled “U,” and “Forever” is now spelled “4ever.”

      So distracted and consumed are we in our connectivity we are utterly alienated from the natural world and the environments in which we move. But, then, technology will continue to shift and adapt to the advancements and limitations of technology.

      It is sad that we lose so much in terms of human relations, but this is not a condition impacting gays alone. Besides, who really believes that meeting new people while in a drunken haze in a darkened bar was ever really such a good idea?

      Aug 7, 2008 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolfie
      Wolfie

      This is going to be a very unpopular comment and I know that going in but here’s my take on it.

      Manhunt, et al all sprung up out of one thing. The policing of Gay men’s sexual habits and the belief that changing them would stop the spread of infectious diseases but that was only a part of it. AIDS even though started in Africa became the Gay Plague. Because it WAS sexually transmitted and Gay men LOVED SEX. (And hopefully still do because if Alfred Kinsey was still alive you guys would probably give him an aneurysm,) That gave the “moral” folk a very good excuse to clean sex up. GAY and STRAIGHT but mostly GAY. A MAJOR part of Gay History and some of the reasons we are where we are today is based in SEX. Before Manhunt and the Chat rooms were cruising areas, bathhouses, and backrooms bars and clubs such as The Mineshaft, The Anvil and Alex in Wonderlands. Before that there were YMCA’s and Anonymous Restroom sex and hidden bars that we had to keep SECRET that the “MORAL” people wanted closed. SEX is a natural human function and how someone goes about getting it a personal choice. As far as sexual attitudes go we really have regressed back many many years. It actually amazes me a how “prudish” some gay men have become. Sitting here. Reading this. Watching people analyze why some gay men like to have sex. Can’t it just be because it feels good and is fun? There are many straight boys that go out looking for a new girl to lay every night and have the freedom to pick them up ANYWHERE because it is the norm. Other than the bars and some “community events” where do Gay Men really have the open opportunity to meet other men? And if someone wants to have some good old fashioned anonymous sex and if its between two consenting adults who are we to say anything about those people? Really would this discussion be going on if it was a Hetro situation? There are MANY MANY STRAIGHT CHATS and WEBSITES devoted to just having sex. Ever heard of “Swingers” That’s not a “dirty secret” as the author tries to make MANHUNT out to be. Do we live in such a bubble and has society really changed our culture so much that we must police and knock our brethren because they want to get laid? Don’t we have enough outsiders judging us without judging our own culture.

      Seriously in my opinion the article is a crock of shit and an embarrassment. That article is something that I would like to keep secret.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      Rather than just pointing the finger at online-cruising sites, there’s also the phenomenon of the closing of gay bars as non-discrimination laws become more widespread. When there was once the need for “safe places” to socialize, we had a number of local gay bars. Now, they’ve all closed and the only gay bars left are in the big city’s gay urban neighborhoods. Twenty years ago we had 6 local…if slightly illict…gay bars within reasonable driving distance; now there’s none within an hour’s drive each-way, all but one are adjacent states.

      So is it a surprise that local guys turn to the internet? There’s no other local outlet for gay socialization/interaction….

      Aug 7, 2008 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ajax
      ajax

      Wolfie, I don’t think anyone has said anything against sex, anonymous or otherwise. It’s possible to have a healthy attitude about sex without having sex indiscrimately – and I think that’s what most commenter have said. Don’t be so defensive.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolfie
      Wolfie

      Sorry ajax. But there seems to be this whole new thing of just critiquing our own. And its time to stop. We should support each other. theer is nothign wrong with Manhunt. Woth all the other things that are going againt us as gay men IMO it was a total waste. While the writer was musing sipping cocktails on Martha’s Vineyard. *cough* And talking about how Manhunt and how “we need to recognize that too many of us, too much of the time, are cruising online because it is easier and feels safer than thinking about the love we are missing and the power we do not have.”

      Perhaps he should talk about why there aren’t other venues and the discrimination that has occured that has caused the other benues to be closed down.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ajax
      ajax

      Wolfie, honey. I’m old and old fashioned. I started dating before the internet was born and I never lacked for dates. There are thousands of venues where you can meet men you want to boff, date, or bring home to the folks. I dated men I met on busses, subways, planes, trains, in department stores, museums, at college, through work, doing volunteer work, on vacation … The best way to meet your fellow human is not and will never be any other way but by to be in the company of humans and to be open to meet new humans.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Smith
      John Smith

      Spunkbox, who are you to hurl insults at Manhunt? Your own blog/website has links to bareback pay sites and other stuff that makes Manhunt look absolutely innocent by comparison.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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