Grindr. Jackd. BoyAhoy. Scruff. Mention these to tech-loving homosexuals – or those savvy enough to buy a smart phone – and you’re likely to elicit some strong opinions on the subject matter of these particular apps.
For the uninitiated, the apps listed above are used by gay men the world over to find friendship, dates, and opportunities for fornication with guys in their local area. I’m in a relationship now, with a very handsome Korean man with a dynamite booty and abs for days, but prior to that, I was a regular user of the gay apps. Heck, I even met my partner through one of the apps – he sent me a message on BoyAhoy and things went from there.
How useful are the apps to the traveller or expat, though? Do they deliver? More tragic than tantric, limp and lustreless or large and in charge? Well, that’s up to the individual, but I thought I’d share some tales from the crypt, so to speak. What, I’m a bottom. Who just referred to his manhole as a crypt. Let’s dust it off and refer to some of its sordid tales to see if they’re really worth it.
I have a knack for picking up doctors. Or, at least, men who tell me they’re doctors. Heesong popped up on Grindr and he looked just like an actor. Tall and with devastating cheekbones, we arranged to meet up in my then-home of Daegu. Everything he said was about “we” and I began to fall for his charms very quickly. He piggy-backed me through horrible smog during our first date. He didn’t get angry when I sent him out on an embarrassing errand to the local pharmacy, only to find that what I thought was mosquito repellent was actually lubricant. He didn’t seem to care that he was in a different stratosphere of hotness from me, and was oblivious to the fact that women and men alike would just stare at him walking down the street.
Ahh, Heesong. But then I found out he was fucking his Spanish professor whilst at the same time telling me that he wished that he could go to New Zealand with him.
Lesson Learned? Apps are full of playboys. Sometimes even playboy doctors. If they seem too good to be true, they probably are. Have sex with them anyway, though, but keep your guard up if you’re in a possible-relationship kind of place.
I told you I had a talent for picking up doctors, didn’t I? I was the envy of my female friends who couldn’t even get a date with the guys working at the local supermarket and here I was juggling doctors. This hunk found me through BoyAhoy, his profile picture showing him shirtless with rippling muscles. Pure, 100% beef, he was able to fling me around the motel rooms we hooked up in with ease while suffocating me under his tree-trunk thighs, bulging biceps and He-Man pectorals. I just wish that he didn’t smoke. Or try to introduce this weird red plastic finger sex toy thing that was rather cold and resembled the horn of a devil unicorn. I still don’t know what it was, but the thought of those thighs still makes my anus contract.
Lesson Learned? Sometimes, you just need to roll around with a man with muscles popping through his shirt that’s twice your size. The apps are good for that.
When a guy you’ve never met tells you over an app that he loves you, you not only have a cultural issue, but a basket case. Men in Korea, and Asia in general it seems, are very quick to drop the ‘L’ word. Usually enthusiastic bottoms, these particular men envision wedding bells from the offset and aren’t shy to tell you so. Seungjin was a total cutie in his first year of university and had the widest grin on his face of anyone that I’ve had the pleasure of poking with my love stick, not to mention one of the tightest tushies. I almost felt cruel when I never replied to his incessant, crazy texts which blew hot to cold and then switched to radiating dangerous levels of desperation. Almost.
Lesson Learned? Sometimes topping is fun. Also, it’s OK not to text crazies. Just make sure you sleep with them first if they’re cute – and never give them your address. Is it OK to hook up with them again and apologising when you’re super horny? That one’s up to you.
This guy was from Jackd. I don’t even remember his name. Seung-something. He sent me a message. We exchanged formalities. He asked me for a picture of me in my underwear. I obliged. He reciprocated. I told him to be outside the kindergarten by my apartment in five minutes. He was there in three. On leave with the army, seriously talented lips, and he spoke no English to me other than, “please fuck me,” whilst still wearing his over-sized glasses.
Lesson Learned? Sometimes you just have to bonk. The apps are always happy to oblige in this department.
Hooking up on the road or living as an expat is all well and good, but what if you don’t speak the local language, but at the same time really want to find someone to give you advice on the local gay scene or simply to give you a good nailing (or vice versa)? Well, I’m sorry but there’s no suggestion I can give you – tough shit and find a way to get laid yourself, or pay me to be your pimp. I have a PayPal account.
The apps can be frustrating, and choc full of playboys that may trick you into dating them, or full of hotties that you want to tumble with that reply to your message with a simple, “que?” Such is the joy of travelling. Sometimes you never know where you’re going to have your next meal. Sometimes you don’t know where you’re going to sleep that night. And other times, you don’t know what penis you’re going to admit to your hole of glory next. Well, the apps can give you an inkling – so download and, if you’re desperate, make sure you know how to say, “let’s fuck” in the local language.
It’s, “ga-chee jal-lay-yo?” in Korean, if you’re interested. There. I’ll give you that one.
Tom Stockwell is the voice, brain and fingers behind Waegook-Tom.com, an expat and travel blog based in South Korea. Now happily partnered, Tom no longer uses the apps, but will gladly regale you with more sordid tales if you pour a few Jagerbombs down his throat. Tom’s heading off on his round-the-world trip starting in 2013, and you can keep up with his adventures on Facebook and by following @waegook_tom on Twitter.