BY ROB SALERNO – Gay
sex hunting social networking app Grindr has put out a press release boasting that its users are frequent travellers. This should not come as a surprise for anyone who has met a gay man with an iPhone, but it does point to one of Grindr’s strategies to make the little app into a moneymaker. After all, each one of its 2-million users is a “highly desirable travel demographic."
Grindr had 5,400 of its users complete a mobile survey of their travel habits and found that 42 percent had travelled to another continent in the past year and nearly 30 percent identified as luxury travellers. Nearly one quarter had booked flights and accommodations using their phones. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing hotels.com banners at the bottom of your Grindr cascades.
But Grindr isn’t just for travellers to find some nookie when they’re abroad. Locals in host countries where the gay scene isn’t quite so open are also using Grindr to find visitors to have sex with at lower risk than with their fellow countrymen. Grindr is, apparently, facilitating a whole new social movement by liberating gays to meet each other in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, a new hotel in New York is the first in that city to exclusively target gay men. The Out NYC is a 105-room luxury hotel on West 42nd St, in Hell’s Kitchen. It also has a built-in resto-bar and nightclub.
And, of course, a Speedos-required pool.
The hotel also offers four-bed rooms modelled after European hostels, for the somewhat budget-conscious (they still go for $99 US per night). The beds come with privacy curtains and a 22-inch TV in each pod. In the more luxurious rooms, beds have floor-to-ceiling mirrored headboards.
I suppose this sort of hotel experience will be very useful for the gay traveller who doesn’t already have Grindr.