Celebrate with Gaydar!
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary since online dating specialist Gaydar was founded, we’ve been looking back at the history of online dating in past decades, and diving into some statistics to see what we can find out about how online dating has been evolving and adapting.
Dating before the internet
As well as meeting at bars or out cruising, one of the main dating options for queer guys was personals ads. Gay magazines would all have a personals section, where you could list your profile – there generally wasn’t any photos, just a few lines of text that listed your age, your location, and what you were looking for. If you liked the look of someone’s profile, you had to send a letter to the magazine, the magazine would then send it off to the person that you wanted to contact, if they were interested they would then write to you or call. It took some patience, and the strike-rate wasn’t particularly high.
The emergence of online dating
Henry Badenhorst and Gary Frisch created Gaydar when a friend told them that he was too busy to find a date. The emerging technology of the internet enabled the founders of Gaydar to take the principles of the printed personals ads in the magazines and speed up the whole process. Being able to send and receive messages in real-time was a total game-changer. Gaydar became the first gay social network – a platform that brought men together and created a safe space for them to talk and connect with each other.
Keep your options open
One of the downsides of online dating is that it can sometimes seem to encourage people to express unhealthy prejudices and toxic behaviours. Seeing profiles that spell out all of the different people that they don’t want, can be really hurtful and undermine self-esteem and self-worth. Spamming people with unwanted messages can feel like harassment. Totally ignoring or ghosting someone is rude, and sends a signal that you don’t value them or that they’re somehow inferior to you.
Embrace the karma of online dating. Conduct your online dating so that you are treating people in the way that you would want them to treat you – with respect, with honesty, with kindness. If you don’t feel a connection with someone, tell them in a way that’s direct and honest, but not cruel. If someone doesn’t respond to your messages, don’t waste any negative energy getting frustrated about it, move on and focus on people that you do find a connection with.
Keep your phone handy
The rise of the mobile means that most of our day-to-day life involves regular interactions with our phone. The geo-location functionality of smart-phones took online dating to a whole new level.
When is peak dating season for queer guys?
There’s never really a down-time in terms of when guys are looking to connect with other guys, but we do see some peaks at different points of the year.
The festive period across Christmas and New Year is a big one, and we see a big step-up in early January – meeting new people seems to feature high on everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions.
The Easter period is also very popular – lots of people are off work for a few days or travelling on vacation.
The summer months of July and August also see a spike in activity.
We are family
Throughout Gaydar’s 20-year history, we’re a business that’s been founded, owned, and managed by people who are proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. We’re here to help our members connect with each other, because we know from personal experience how important that is. We advocate for equality and fight against discrimination and homophobia because we know from personal experience how it feel to be treated as less than equal. We’re waving our flags at Pride marches around the world because we respect and honour the people who fought for our rights, and we want to create a better future for the generations of LGBTQ people who come after us.
Means Happy is proud to be part of the Gaydar family.