The Sex Diaries - A Critical Reading of New Yorkers’ Sexual Habits & Anxieties -- New York Magazine


From left: The Car Salesman in a Relationship With an Older Woman, 32, Brooklyn Heights; The Temporarily Celibate Actress, 23, Astoria; The Single Brooklyn Bartender, 23, Williamsburg; The Mailroom Worker in an On-Again-Off-Again Relationship, 35, Upper West Side.Photo: Joshua Allen; Grooming by Bryan Lynde

So there’s this iPhone app called Grindr. It’s a GPS-enabled social-networking service for gay men. It tells you how many feet away a possible hookup is standing. Each profile comes with a picture, a tagline, the relevant stats, and a declaration of interest. You scroll through a column of heads and torsos arranged in descending order of proximity, tapping on the ones that seem promising and chatting with the ones who want the same things you do. As you make your way through the city, the menu of men reshuffles, and the erotic terrain updates in real time.

Has the search for erotic gratification ever been so efficient? Until recently, being a cad or coquette took a lot of work: You needed to buy a little black book, and you had to go around filling it, and then you had to schedule your calls for a time when the target of your seduction was likely to be at home. The less-self-assured daters in New York faced the sickening anxiety of the first phone call, or the cold approach in the bar. There were palliatives designed to help people cope—the newspaper personal ads, the paid dating services, the dirty videos and magazines—but they were generally understood to be the province of weirdos and losers.



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Category: SEX