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Grindr is a dating app for smartphones, which primarily attracts gay and bisexual men.It displays other users in the area and allows users to contact each other.“Gay culture has long been mediatised and closely knitted with communication technology.The internet took cruising from the street to the internet, but mobile apps have taken it back to the street again, says Møller.“Grindr has mobilised the digital practice. Cruising is no longer reliant on subtle coded signals or glances, and is instead limited to these apps.Møller’s interest in Grindr stems from his own use of the app.“When Grindr came out it felt kind of revolutionary.For example, whether it is an open relationship or a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ agreement.Avoiding conflict within relationships can be difficult and requires some work, since by default, Grindr shows everyone who is online in the neighbourhood, including your partner.Chem-sex refers to sex parties involving the use of euphoric substances.
For example, chem-sex, which is a rising trend,” he says.
We use code words for each other and to go under the radar,” says Møller.
This concept of ‘cruising’ refers to coded behaviour where gay men make contact with one another by moving in a particular way or exchanging glances. You see someone on the street and think ‘is he gay? Cruising may have gone back to the street but it is now in a different form that is conditioned by modern technology.
According to Shield, it is an interesting methodological project and makes way for further studies.
Shield’s own research shows that Grindr users use the app for more than just finding sexual partners.