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?