Tag Archives: Dating App Review

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Bumble

 

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Contrary to what we will tell you, gay men are obsessed with the idea of finding a sense of normalcy. This implies that gay men are obsessed with the idea of finding companionship.

But what does that mean?

We are obsessed with dating apps. We live them. We breathe them. We devour them. We can’t have enough of them. If you’ve been an avid reader of this column, you’ve probably read all ten of the brutally honest dating app reviews I covered last year. But it’s 2019, and I’ve got more ground to cover.

Without further ado, make a beeline for a fresh new beginning to last year’s hit series, and come say hi to Bumble.

What it is: Bumble may have started in 2014 as a safe space for women to ‘date, meet and network better’ by sending the first message (and making the first move), but when have gay men ever let a good thing go to waste?

We came for your fashion. We came for your sleepovers. And now, we come for your dating apps. ‘Why do the gays need to infringe on our space?’ the vilest of bigots would ask, ‘Won’t they think about the children?’ they’ll yell.

As a self-aware, self-loving gay man, let me tell you something.

If our next big love isn’t hidden behind a mesh of profiles on the dating app of our choice, there’s a very big chance he’s not waiting for us at the bar with free drinks (and if he is, there’s a chance he might give us chlamydia). He’s not waiting at the bookstore. And contrary to most rom-coms, he’s not waiting for us at the airport. Conventional ways of finding love are nonexistent for the quintessential gay man of today, so we look for every opportunity that comes our way, hungry for love — including dating apps that aren’t meant for us, in the conventional sense.

Also, we’re really bored of talking to the same people on Grindr.

How it works: Like most dating apps in the market, Bumble is a clearance sale of Facebook/Instagram profile pictures. You can swipe right to ‘Like’, or turn left to ‘Oh-I-don’t-think-so’. You collect the ones you love, and ignore the ones you don’t.

Before you start swiping, you do need to fill out your profile – a few pictures, a well-worded bio, some personal questions (but not like the ones you get asked by your nagging aunt), and a quick verification later, you are ready to start looking.

However, in this case, the app comes with three different modes to look in – date eligible men with Bumble Date, meet new people with Bumble BFF, and network with aspiring entrepreneurs with Bumble Bizz. That’s three different apps for the price of one (or if like me, you chose to go for the free version, the price of none).

But there’s a catch (if there wasn’t, would this even be a dating app?). Once you’ve matched, you only have 24 hours to strike up a conversation before your prospective partner disappears into the dregs of deleted chats and long-forgotten matches. This is a problem, yes, because sometimes it takes me longer to decide what I want to have for dinner.

Which is funny, because all I am looking for on Bumble is some dessert.

What I like about it: Bumble is the wingman you secretly pine to have in your corner. It nudges you to meet the cute guy over at the bar (with Bumble Date), pulls you into its huddle of really cool friends while asking you to join their squad (Bumble BFF), and also gets you to hustle for that perfect job you’ve been dreaming about ever since you left college (Bumble Bizz). It’s the best friend you need, but honestly, judging by your track record, don’t deserve.

When has a relationship app gone beyond the portals of romance?

Before Bumble, never.

What I don’t like about it: Bumble was first founded to challenge the antiquated rules of dating – by letting women make the first move, it literally puts them in the driver’s seat when it comes to navigating the datingscape. So what happens when the gays take over?

A lot of confusion. Who makes the first move? Is there a first move? Do we stop and ask each other ‘who’s the man and who’s the woman in the relationship’? Is the app sensitive to not stereotyping gay men? Is the app even for gay men? Before you get into a giant debate about #NotAllMen, let me stop you right there.

Bumble has bigger problems at hand. I spent all of a week sifting through a carousel of (very pretty) women, only to realise that I had to change my settings to get my preferences (and my sexual orientation) right. And once you’ve got that out of the way, it’s the interface that stings.

Yes, Bumble is the complete package when it comes to finding you your future soulmate/bff/job/Netflix original, but since it lists all your matches together, there’s a high chance you’ll be left looking like a bumbling idiot. Sure, the matches are colour coordinated so that you don’t mix them up, but what if you accidentally hit your business connection up with a ‘what’s up dawg’? What if you mistakenly ask your (rather platonic and woefully straight) future best friend out for a hookup? Or worse, what if you ask your date to write you a LinkedIn recommendation?

Rating someone according to their dating game? That’s one testimonial no one wants to see.

Bonus feature: Remember how scores of gay men complain about the constant fear of being catfished on a dating app? Imagine spending hours talking to someone whose profile pictures look like they are straight out of the GQ magazine, only to realise they’ve probably been copy-pasted from GQ.

With their video chat and voice-calling feature, Bumble lets you sort out the cool cats from the catfishes. Now if it only had a feature to sort people out according to their sexual identity…

Who is it for: For men* who don’t really have the time (or the space on their phone) to shift between LinkedIn, Facebook and the dating app of their choice.

Disclaimer: When its sole target audience of women is not using the app, of course.

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter:

Hookability: 4/10
Compatibility: 9/10
Usability: 6/10
Downloadability: 7/1

What Does Your Favourite Dating App Say About You?

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Like a man’s scent and his shoes, his preferred dating app can speak volumes about his personality (and his data usage). Does he like to swipe right or send a spark? Does he send texts or thirst traps? Are his location settings enabled? What about his notifications? Or even better, his guards?

While you don’t have an option of playing favourites with children, pets or cast members from Brooklyn Nine Nine, you do get to be biased when it comes to online dating apps. The truth is every gay man has a go-to dating app, one that he likes cuddling up to (or find men on which he can cuddle with) after a day that’s wrapped in loneliness and long-forgotten email threads. It’s the app that he gets a drink with. The app that he gushes to his friends about. The one that he takes back home, safely in the confines of his smartphone.

You may have swiped through my very detailed reviews for each of these apps mentioned below, but how well do you know them? Have you ever wondered what the dating app you’re on says about you, or the people you meet on them? Swipe right through this list:

Tinder

Who is it for: Men who can’t afford a Fairy Godmother to find the One™.

What does it say about you: “If I have to kiss a few frogs to find my Prince Charming, so be it. I really wish I could send dick pics though…”

Grindr

Who is it for: Men looking for something beyond companionship and compatibility, unless it’s the sort of compatibility you seek in bed.

What does it say about you: ‘What? Of course, I don’t take this seriously. Do you stay alone, btw?’

Scruff

Who is it for: Men looking for men with some hair on their chest and dirt on their nails.

What does it say about you: “Not that I have a problem with the spectrum, but why can’t all gay men be more straight-acting?’

Planet Romeo

Who is it for: Men looking for pure, uninhibited, unadulterated sex. Carry a condom.

What does it say about you: ‘I like to believe I am sex positive.’

Hinge

Who is it for: Disney princes looking for friends of friends who are Disney princes.

What does it say about you: “I have so many friends, why can’t they set me up with someone they know?’

Happn

Who is it for: Men who believe in second chances. Just make sure you have a friend on SOS, and the neighborhood’s criminal offender’s list on standby.

What does it say about you: “Maybe I should go out more…”

Hornet

Who is it for: Men who like it easy, but don’t want to seem easy.

What does it say about you: “I want to have sex, but I want my friends to have sex too.”

Jack’d

Who is it for: Same as Hornet, but they also prefer being called sapiosexuals.

What does it say about you: “Don’t even get me started on what I think about the current government’s administration…”

Bro

Who is it for: Men who don’t want to commit – to labels, relationships, or even sexual orientations.

What does it say about you: “So buddy, I am really not gay… but you want to get a beer or two and give me a blowjob later?”

Delta

Who is it for: Men who’ve tried every dating app there is, and are tired of the same.

What does it say about you: “…but what about #MakeInIndia?”

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Delta

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It should come as no surprise when I say that I’ve traversed the A-Z of online dating to find the elusive needle in the haystack of honest, hot men. I found a few As, a couple of Bs and a whole lot of Zs. I’ve dodged some Xs and questioned a bunch of Ys.

But it still looks like we’ve missed a few Ds. Well, there’s only one thing left to do.

Dial D for Delta.

Just make sure you don’t hit up the American airline company with the same name.

What it is:

Delta calls itself ‘India’s first homegrown LGBT community, networking and support app’, and if you didn’t get that the first time they told you, they’ll make it a point to reiterate it everywhere else — on their website, in your email inbox and even your phone’s push notifications — in fact, it’s one ‘good morning’ text away from being an active part of your family’s WhatsApp group.

Ping.

Ping.

Ping.

Do we have a spammer in the house?

And yet, the app doesn’t disappoint. Delta is to the Indian queer moment what Grindr is to the international gay scene – it’s revolutionising the LGBTQIA+ community over the country, sans the unsolicited dick pics and bare-chested torsos.

How it works:

What sets Delta apart from other dating (or ‘networking’) apps is that it can be used by the entire umbrella of the queer spectrum — which automatically makes it more woke than everything else out there (that includes you, Jack’d). It looks like we have a winner!

‘Would I want to meet and date amazing singles from the community?’ it asks me. Well, as an ‘amazing single’ from the community, I’d really like to. The interface (which was a lot choppier in the beta version) is easy to use — just like my range of emotions.

Profiles pop up one after the other, names fully hidden (a step up from Hinge) and a compatibility quiz waiting to find you your future plus one. There are 16 questions in all, but as long as I am not the one being played, I really don’t mind answering any of them (unlike my Class 11 Advanced Physics quiz, where every question was a player).

Each profile comes with a trust score — men (and women) are verified by their phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook statuses and even a selfie (because hello, 2018) — the higher your score, the more the number of sparks that get credited into your account. These are what you send to each other to match and (ultimately) unlock names, and other such trivial details.

Are we done yet? Because I am ready to start dating. I send sparks to a few boys who look interesting. And I hope for a few (read: at least one) on the side.

And then I wait. And I wait. And I wait. I go and take their quiz again.

And then I wait some more.

The app draws a blank, just like I did in my high school Physics paper.

What I like about it:

Delta’s compatibility feature is a breath of fresh air — pairing people based on common interests, and things that actually matter (unlike Scruff’s Match tool) — such as their expectations from a long-term partner and their views on a long-distance relationship, rather than their preferences in bed.

It’s an app that really tries hard to make a difference (with much emphasis on the ‘trying’), but fails only because of one crucial kink in the plan — people lie on their compatibility tests just like they like on their LinkedIn resumes — so that attractive surgeon who thinks that jealousy has no place in a loving relationship? Chances are he’s already blacklisted all your exes.

And he’s probably going to blacklist you too.

What I don’t like about it:

Like all the boys I’ve ever dated, Delta is perfect on paper. An app that redefines inclusion? Hell, yes. A calendar that’s packed with LGBTQIA+ events and inclusive-brands? Swipe out those debit cards. Most importantly, a secure space for the queer community? Sign me up, please.

But like all the boys I’ve dated, Delta has one major problem — it hasn’t made up its mind on what it wants to be. It ends us looking confused, trying to find itself in a world full of labels. Is Delta a dating app? Is it a networking platform? Is it a matchmaking service? Is it a brand-listing device?  Is it a discussion forum? Is it a helpline? Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Sadly, it’s no Superman.

Bonus Feature:

The app’s Instagram feed gives me a boner — it’s inspiring, inquisitive and invigorating — just like I want my men to be. Here’s a giant shout to their social media rep, who not only needs a raise, but also my phone number.

Who is it for:

If you are really tired of all the apps I (tirelessly) reviewed over the past nine+ weeks, then you should swing the doors wide open for Delta. It’ll probably show up in a tux, bearing a box of chocolates and a bouquet of red roses (or tulips, if you like them). It’ll make sure it talks about all the right things, and woos you with all the right words.

And most importantly, it won’t even make a big deal if you don’t put out at the end of the date (side note: but it’s totally your choice if you want to).

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter:

Hookability: 6/10

Compatibility: 9/10

Usability: 7/10

Downloadability: 7/10

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Jack’d

 

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You’re probably tired by now.

We’ve gallivanted with Grindr, tangoed with Tinder, sneakily seduced Scruff, bumped awkwardly into Bro at the mall, and had an honest conversation with Hinge and Happn (but separately) about where this (relationship) is headed.

Thinking of giving up already?

Not so fast. Say hello to Jack’d.

What it is: Like Grindr, Jack’d shows users around 300 eligible guys on an interface that is geo-located by those closest to where you are. Unlike Grindr, Jack’d is tailored specifically for people of colour.

When you are already in a minority group, finding someone with interests or expectations that match your own can be difficult. It can seem that all the apps out there cater to only one type of man – the ‘straight-acting, fit-bodied sapiosexual’. Jack’d appears to have the most diverse community of users, broken down into what they refer to as ‘scenes’ – twinks, bears, big muscles, strictly friends, LTR (Long Term Relationships) and straight/bi-curious. By choosing which scene you identify with, you make it easier for other people who are attracted to your type to find you.

No more disappointments. No more d*****bags who don’t text back.

How it works: Jack’d requires users to rate each other, but moving away from the Tinder style of swiping, men tick either a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ box under a profile to suggest whether they’re into someone else or not. Which means, you won’t need a wingman when you’ve got Jack’d in your hands.

The app might look like it’s geared more towards NSA (No Strings Attached) meetups, but rather than encourage X-rated pictures, the tone on Jack’d is more sophisticated – more Aamir Khan, less Kamal R Khan. Users can create an album of grandma-friendly pictures, which are so PG-13, you can (accidentally) project them even at work.

Not that you should.

What I like about it: The parent company of the Jack’d app is a company called Online Buddies, who made the bold claim that the app is the ‘fastest-growing gay social app in the whole world’. Do I believe them?

Yes, because when an app says this (read: concluding line) in their brand motto, you know you’ve got yourselves a winner – ‘If you like him, tell him. If you don’t like how that feels, say so. Girl, if you like short shorts, wear them.’

Jack’d believes that the ability to ‘stand up and tell it like it is’ is what makes the LGBTQIA+ community stand out, and promote an inclusive and authentic community of users.

What I don’t like about it: I am just really tired of writing reviews for dating apps right now. That’s it.

Bonus feature: Of course, to keep in line with all the other apps, there is a premium service, which provides users with a more personalised experience. Jack’d Pro offers unlimited daily matches, more advanced filtering services, anonymous profile viewing, and ‘insight’ data on people you may like.

It’s the FBI agent of online dating.

Who is it for: If you still aren’t bogged down with the repository of gay online dating apps, jack up your chances of finding your potential soul mate with Jack’d.

There’s a high chance he’ll be as woke as the app.

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter:

Hookability: 7/10

Compatibility: 6/10

Usability: 6/10

Downloadability: 6/10

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Hornet

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How many online dating apps does it take to screw on a light bulb?

I wouldn’t know. But what I do know for a fact is that there’s no dearth of them when it comes to the queer community – from the morally ambiguous (Planet Romeo) to the sexually ambiguous (Bro), this giant pool is one that you can take multiple laps in. Ready for another round right to the fag end?

Oh hi there, Hornet.

What it is: Conventionally speaking, Hornet is an upgraded version of Grindr. Daunting name aside, the app lets you match with your future plus one, while letting you find him in a pretty grid of handsome men all by yourself – and usually from all over the world (separating it from the other apps by a wide margin). Gush over Hollywood with Ryan from Los Angeles, parley over Pisco Sours with Anthony from Peru, serenade Haruto from Japan with stories of your mild obsession with sushi, or ramble over world politics with Vladimir from Russia – you don’t need any flight tickets to get flirty on Hornet. Only visa on arrival.

Like Grindr, Hornet targets pretty much all kinds of men (who are into dating other men), rather than having a niche audience like Scruff, which is for older men or Happn, which is for roadside creeps. Unlike Grindr, you can also ‘follow’ other users, search for men using hashtags, and have multiple pictures up on your profile. So does that make Hornet the ‘Instagram’ of the gay dating world?

Maybe so, but you don’t need any filters here. What gives Hornet its extra sting is the fact that it’s so simple to use, your grandmother could use it.

Not that she should.

How it works: Hornet borrows its features from all over the Internet, trying to make itself ‘the perfect app for gay singles’. In fact, it even uses the same template that Scruff does – grids of four, stacked up to create a jigsaw puzzle of all the gay men using the app in your neighborhood (and beyond). The app targets a diverse range of gay, bisexual and curious men.

However, Hornet’s editorial content appeals to a wider LGBT+ community, so it could also interest women and non-binary people who are interested in reading about queer issues.

What I like about it: While Hornet might seem like your typical gay dating app that will soon find its way into your trash folder (because you are just so used to Grindr), it does what no other queer-exclusive app can do – it lets you play matchmaker and forward a profile to a friend. You might not earn a boyfriend this way, but you’d win over bottles full of karma. And last I checked, that’s always a good thing.

UPDATE: Tinder has a similar feature, but when has Tinder ever been the representation of a queer dating app?

What I don’t like about it: Although it’s highly travel-friendly, if you strip Hornet down to its core, it’s just a paella of all the pros (and cons) of other dating apps from the App store. Sure, the ads are less intrusive and you can have more than one picture up on your profile, but at the end of the day, it’s all old (and some new) features in new packaging. So what do you do?

Just shunt it off as a Christmas present to your (less fortunate) gay friends.

Who is it for: For men who like it easy, but don’t want to seem easy.

Hornet is for guys who want that extra push when they are looking for a fling (or a ring) – something that shunts them all across the world. No travel stamps necessary.

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter:

Hookability: 7/10

Compatibility: 6/10

Usability: 8/10

Downloadability: 7/10