I was forced to use dating apps like Grindr to find a place to stay. I was meeting up with complete strangers every night. You can find yourself in really scary situations, in which people try to take advantage of you. I tried to protect myself by arranging to meet in a public place first of all, to make sure it wasn't a hoax.
Hook up apps are all fine and well. They serve a (I want to say 'valuable' but I can't bring myself to) gap in the market and it would be impertinent and rude of me to suggest otherwise. However, if you are looking for something more it's a real challenge and I've been there, from the apps, the dating sites and the networks that promote promiscuity.
I can't quite believe I'm saying this but next year marks my 25th anniversary as an out and proud gay man... It feels like yesterday, but a lot has happened in the last two and a half decades that has made me thankful that I'm not 19 again, despite the perception that things are now a lot easier for young gay men and women.
When people have been asked why they use these apps, the most popular answer as for one-to-one sex - A positive message when you're looking for love - the second most popular answer was out of boredom - Both use of apps are confusing if you're already in a relationship and apparently 'happy' , which draws me to the question, Are we addicted to dating apps?
The word "tradition" is so often misunderstood to mean the dragging heels of a conservative past, whereas modern traditions actually include our calendar customs such as Halloween and April Fools, our music and dance, our games and sports, almost all the foods we eat, the stories we tell, and so much more.
Ah, who doesn't love a social media trend? Especially when it gives some thought to linguistics. We've recently gone mad for apps designed to help you interact with strangers, incidentally all suffixed with an 'r'. Meet Tinder and Grindr's new, potentially more terrifying cousin, Cuddlr. DUN DUN DUHHH.
It's no secret that gay men and women grow up with a sense of separation from their heterosexual peers, and that this anticipates their exclusion from mainstream culture, especially that of mainstream dating. And fittingly enough the emotionally sterile climate encouraged by Grindr is to the gay man what a crack den is to the heroin addict...
I get the feeling that he's typing one-handed, so decide now's as good a time as any to go into silent mode. He gives it one final go. "I shaved today," he says. I see the email has an attachment: a photo, which I open. Yes, he's shaved all right. Everywhere. Instead of a smooth chin or chest, I see gleaming genitalia - Spam-pink with sensitivity and not a hair to be seen...
I heard murmurings of a new dating app called Tinder. Someone had dressed it as "Grindr, but for straight people". Now, for all of you who don't know, Grindr is - in my limited knowledge - an app that uses your location to search for potential mates that are in your area. You make contact. You agree to meet. You agree to meat.
Hugo produced his phone from under the table and displayed his previous conversation with the apparent Ollie Locke... I couldn't believe it. I had been cloned. Somewhere out there is a man pretending to be me to get laid or to meet his soul mate. Little did he know, obviously not having read my book, that being me does not often grant access to getting sex regularly.