Are Some of the Hook-up Sites Holding Us Hostage?
Lately, to grab more money – is there any other reason – a few of the tried and true hook-up sites have changed their access rules, forcing you to buy memberships whether they’re worth it to you or not.
Manhunt, the grand-daddy of all gay hook-up sites, recently switched its traditional messages format to folksy “Conversations,” attempting – I think too late – to mimic smartphone sites like Growl’r and Scruff that laptop driven MH is losing members to, especially among the Millennials who are crazy glued to their little mobile device phallic substitutes. (Some enterprising cellphone maker should make one the shape of a dildo so you can carry it up your ass. You’ll know you’re getting a hit when it vibrates. Hey, even if the hit doesn’t work out, the feeling will be, oh, so nice.)
Rumor has it Old School guys hate the new format (I sure do) and are leaving MH in droves. Worse, unless you are a paying member, you can’t see those tiny profile pics big enough to make a judgment call, and if you have a stalker or just plain pain in the ass who doesn’t give up even when you tell him to fuck off, you can’t block him. (It used to be non-paying members were restricted to five messages a day and that was about all.) Now, my hits on Manhunt were dwindling anyway as more guys use their phones rather than their laptops to window shop, (I know MH has a mobile version but it’s cumbersome in contrast to the new boys in town) but with these new restrictions, unless you pay, being on MH is virtually worthless. Will advertisers begin to complain about their rates should their membership rosters take a nosedive, forcing them to rethink their strategy?
Then there’s Bear411, on which I’ve been a member for a decade, though my definition of bear (humpy and hairy) and today’s definition (fat and sloppy) apparently are not in sync. But at least maybe one out of fifty hits comes from a guy who looks interesting. Because Bear’s webmaster failed to establish a commercial advertising base like most of the other sites touting sex toys and porn, he decided to force paid memberships on us by disallowing even getting messages for periods of time, and like MH, only permitting paid members to see all those auxiliary profile pics full size. Plus if you wanna pull up any of the guys on your “Pal” list who looked at your profile and who you may be able to cultivate into a roll in the hay, you guessed it, you have to pay to play.
So, did I capitulate to lust? You’ll have to hack my credit card account to find out, buddy.