Meeting the Grindr guy

Published 30, May, 2013

Bob Leahy interviews Jamie Woo, author of the new book Meet Grindr about the smart phone app for gay men that has changed the way some of us cruise.

Meeting the Grindr guy

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Summit is always an interesting affair, a well attended conference put on by Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance.)  It attracts those involved in HIV prevention and support work, mostly from Ontario, but also from across Canada. It's held over two days in Toronto.

This year the theme was “Our Minds our Bodies and our Communities, connecting the dots between how we feel and how we fuck,” This allowed the exploration of themes like PrEP, barebacking (on which I reported here) and intersectionality. PositiveLite.com, partnering with the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) , conducted three video interviews at the summit as well as the audio-taped one referred to earlier.

One  of the most fascinating sessions, at least for this smart phone aficionado, was a presentation from author Jaime Woo talking about Grindr, the app that, using GPS, alerts you to gay men in your immediate area, and allows you to view their profiles and quickly connect with them.  It’s ingenious – and hugely popular.  Just four years old and with over 4 million users, of which upwards of 1 million use it daily, it and other apps like it have arguably changed the way gay men have sex.  But is there a downside? And what do we know about the sexual behaviour of men who use Grindr? Are some men left out?

I asked these questions and more to Jaime.  He’s an affable guy, a pleasure to interview. I think you’ll enjoy listening to him, and learning from him.

Want  more?  You can buy his book Meet Grindr here. 

You can also follow Jaime Woo on twitter @jaimewoo