Gay dating massachusetts
When I open the Grindr app on my smartphone, I see there’s a 26-year-old man with tanned abs just 200 feet away.
He’s called “looking4now,” and his profile explains that he wants sex at his place as soon as possible.
Since there’s little published research on the men using Grindr, I decided to conduct an informal survey and ask men why they’re on the app so much and how it’s affecting their relationships and mental health.
I created a profile identifying myself as a medical writer looking to talk to men about their experiences.
Apps like Grindr, with 3 million daily active users, and others like Scruff and Jack’d, are designed to help gay men solicit sex, often anonymously, online.
I am all for sexual liberation, but I can’t stop wondering if these apps also have a negative effect on gay men’s mental health.
Unfortunately, these messages are typically only skin-deep: “Hey man, cute pic. ” A recent survey of 200,000 i Phone users by Time Well Spent, a nonprofit focused on the digital attention crisis, showed that 77 percent of Grindr users felt regret after using the app.
The users I interviewed told me that when they closed their phones and reflected on the shallow conversations and sexually explicit pictures they sent, they felt more depressed, more anxious, and even more isolated.
Yet since 2007, more gay men have died from suicide than from HIV.
Neuroscientists have shown that orgasm causes activation of pleasure areas of the brain like the ventral tegmental area while deactivating areas involved with self-control.
And these patterns of activation in men are strikingly similar to what researchers see in the brain of individuals using heroin or cocaine.
Variable ratio reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to reinforce behavior, and it makes stopping that behavior extremely difficult. Because gamblers never know when the next payout will come, they can’t stop pulling the handle.
They hold out hope that the next pull will give them the pleasurable sound of coins clanking against a metal bin, and they end up pulling for hours.