tech

How Recon.com Snuck Its iPhone App Into iTunes

Above is the homepage of Recon.com, “the world’s largest hook-up site for men into fetish gear.” It is a chat and social networking site zeroing in on that niche of gay men who love latex and bondage. And it is also, despite its obvious sexual overtones and hook-up encouragement, one of few a few gay sex brands to sneak its way into the Apple iPhone store.

Apple chief Steve Jobs has already said there’s no place for porn in the app store — even suggestive gay photos that are part of a city culture guide are prohibited from iPhone apps.

Which explains why you don’t see Manhunt.net or adam4adam in the iTunes store (though whether that’s because Apple has banned their apps, or they haven’t developed them, is anyone’s guess).

So how did Recon get on there? By “invest[ing] a lot of effort in designing an application that ensures that [they] walk the right side of the line as far as content and imagery is concerned,” says the company.

Or maybe it’s because Recon’s iPhone app is really just a geo-locating chat app, like Grindr. There’s no obvious sex going on in user profiles, but it sure is suggestive. The real X-rated back-and-forth must happen in private chats, which neither Apple nor the software developers have control over. And there in lies the secret to getting risque gay sex brands on to the iPhone: Cut out the sex, and let your users generate it behind closed oors.