Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are You Tired of Hunting on Manhunt?

For lots of gay men, cruising hookup or dating sites has become a way of life. It is as trendy as wearing Calvin Klein underwear or as hip as donning Skeecher footwear. After all, come to think of, all three run together--sex, body, and image. No self-respecting gay man would be caught dead garbed in Arrow shirts, and similarly no one would admit that he has never had a profile on at least one such site.

But now researchers argue that popular gay hookup or dating sites such as Manhunt, Adam4Adam, and gay.com, just to name a few, have encouraged gay men to create fraudulent alter egos. They have enabled subscribers to "sell" online pornographic versions of themselves. They promote a form of addiction. And they sanction the creation of a secret life. All that is true.

But what about the benefits of these sites?

For one thing, you save time. Have you ever entered a dimly lit bar or club? Have you ever furtively search for one face, one body, that you are slightly interested in? If so, fear not. Come to one of these sites. Notwithstanding people who post old photos dating back to the age of the dinosaurs, let us just say there is a lot to see, and much more than what you can glean in that bar or club.

Then again, you must consider what these fellow cruisers are looking for. If you are looking for real, and I mean, real dates, complete with conversations, then you must come to these sites. Sure, you will be hard pressed to find what you are looking for, but fear not. If you spend countless of hours, searching page after page of photos and profile texts, eventually you will stumble upon that one fantastic, earth-shattering profile of an angelic man and his pictures that are straight out of a Hollywood studio. So, assuming you haven't lost your job looking for these profiles while at work, you will find your Prince Charming. Never mind if the guy turns out a bit older than what his profile says, or a little chubbier than what the picture leads you to believe, or that his marketing job actually is a telemarketer one.

If you are still not convinced that these sites are worth your time, consider this important factor. The TV world has so many reality shows on these days, so much so that you can be forgiven if you start imagining yourself in one of these shows, including those "find a husband" type. So now imagine yourself online, searching these sites for Mr. Right. What you are doing is no different from being on a reality show. Fact and fiction are entwined now, and life could not be better.

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