When it comes to dating (or hooking up), do you have a racial preference?

“The heart wants what it wants,” the saying goes, but even if that’s the case, does broadcasting a racial or ethnic preferences on a hookup app smack of honesty … or racism?

It’s a question many gay men have probably asked themselves in the age of Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, Jack’d and other such apps. “Not into Asian guys — sorry, just a preference” is probably familiar to some. Others are more coarse: “No blacks! No exceptions!”

This summer, the blog Angry Homosexual took up this cause with an experiment: The author (himself Asian) posted two profiles on Grindr with equally impressive stats and pictures. The only difference? One profile was for a white guy, one an Asian. And the author found that the white guy did a lot better in the dating market.

According to him, there’s a hierarchy that goes “white, Latino (honorary whites), Mixed, Asian, Black, Indian, etc.” I’m not sure where he gets all those stats, but I won’t dispute them here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not discriminate on race or ethnicity. I have been in relationships with white, Southeast Asian, Arab, black, mixed race and Latino men over my adult life. To me, hot is hot … and nice is nice, interesting is interesting, a good person is a good person. Am I attracted to men who “turn me on” more than those who have good qualities but I don’t find physically appealing? Sure, we all do. But race is never a factor for me.

I wonder if, once you start dating outside your own race, you have a sense for physical beauty that’s more expansive than if you never did. For instance: If you grew up idealizing blond hair and blue eyes, chances are black, Latin and Asian men don’t fit into that. But what if you dated a bald guy? Once you got beyond the color of the hair, and developed an attraction for a sleek head, would you start to think, “Hmmm… dark-skinned heads can be nice, too.”

The question I have about this, though, is: How do you feel about guys who express those preferences on their hookup profiles? If they aren’t attracted to one race, do you appreciate them being up-front about it so you don’t waste your time? Or is that assertion of one preference a breach of social decorum?

And maybe just as importantly: Does it matter what your race is? I mean, you rarely see “no white guys” on app profiles, so is being white the advantage the Angry Homosexual says it is? But I have seen black men saying “not into blacks” and Asians who do not wish to date other Asians. Is this better or worse?

And what about guys who only want a different race? Some men will ask, for instance, “You into black guys?” Is being into someone because of their race better or worse than not wanting someone for the same reason?

And how do you personally react when you see a same-sex interracial couple? Is it still a taboo?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Straight dudes download Grindr for the first time

IMG_4093I learned a new phrase from a straight dude today: “Down to clown.” That’s the same as a hookup, I gather. I learned it watching this video, in which about nine straight guys get on Grindr for the first time. I can’t think these guys present the typical hetero men with their easy-going attitude about gay sex, but as for sex in general … well, it’s just proof all men are basically horndogs. In any event, it’s a fun watch.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Del. deputy attorney general charged with rape of teen he met on Grindr

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Daniel Simmons (New Castle County Police)

Police accused Delaware’s deputy attorney general Friday of raping a teen boy he met on the gay hookup app Grindr, the News Journal reports.

Officer Tracey Duffy told the newspaper that Daniel Simmons, 34, a deputy attorney general assigned to the New Castle County Misdemeanor Trial Unit, was charged with four counts of fourth-degree rape.

The investigation was launched in March, after police learned of incidents involving a 16-year-old boy, whom Simmons met via the popular gay dating app Grindr. Duffy said that Simmons was identified as the perpetrator early in the investigation but that he did not meet the teen through his job as a prosecutor.

Delaware’s Attorney General’s Office was notified of the investigation conclusion Friday and approved a warrant for Simmons’ arrest, the News Journal reports.

According to a statement released by the state Attorney General’s Office Friday night, Simmons was placed on administrative leave.

“These charges are serious and will be addressed through the criminal justice system,” spokesman Jason Miller said.

According to UPI.com, State Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, who created Delaware’s Child Predator Unit has yet made a comment about the incident.

Bail information has not yet been released. Other details are being withheld to protect the teen’s identity, CBS Philly reports. Authorities believe there are other victims, however.

—  Steve Ramos

Gay adult film actor Arpad Miklos dies; anti-gay activist caught on Grindr

arpad-miklosThese two stories caught my eye in the gayniverse this morning:

• Arpad Miklos, pictured, the adult film star of more than 50 porn movies discovered by Kristen Bjorn, was found dead in his apartment at age 45, the victim of an apparent suicide, according to Out.com. Not much else is known at this time, other than Miklos is merely the latest gay porn icon to pass in recent months. Josh Weston died last year of AIDS-related illness, and Falcon star Erik Rhoades died last summer.

• We also learned that Matt Moore, an “ex-gay” blogger for the Christian Post, confirmed that the photo and profile on gay hook-up app Grindr recently is, in fact, his. Like a lot of other “former” gays caught on the prowl, Moore merely acknowledged the “lapse” and moved on. “I am wrong in having been on Grindr. I haven’t changed my views on homosexuality, the Bible,” he told atheist blogger Zinnia Jones.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Grindr honors Dallas Voice, other locals in gay mobile app’s Best of 2012 Awards

Voting is in full swing for our own 2013 Readers Voice Awards, and if you haven’t cast your ballot already, you should hurry up and do so now for a chance to win two free tickets on American Airlines. Click here to vote.

While we’re eagerly awaiting this year’s Readers Voice results, we thought we’d share the Dallas winners of gay mobile app Grindr’s Best of 2012 Awards, which were released this week based on user surveys conducted between Dec. 5 and Dec. 22 in Big D and nine other cities.

The winners include Dallas Voice, which was named Best Local Gay News Outlet. Although I’m not sure what our competition was, something tells me that if you look at the cumulative amount of time our staff spends on Grindr, we probably deserve the award.

Here are all the local Grindr winners followed, after the jump, by the full press release with national winners and winners from other cities:

Gym with the hottest guys:  24 Hour Fitness
Best place to get a haircut: Supercuts on Lemmon
Best place to take a first date: West Village
Best Sunday funday: The Grapevine
Favorite gay bar/club: The Round-Up Saloon
Favorite bartender: Dylan Brown
Best gay night/party: Purple Party
Best DJ: Brandon Moses
Fiercest drag queen/nightlife personality: Krystal Summers
Local hero/community advocate of the year: James Doyle
Best local gay news outlet: Dallas Voice

 

—  John Wright

Tex’n the City: Item No. 5 — Find a boyfriend (potential future husband)

Brandon James Singleton faces a sad conclusion: Dating isn’t as easy as it was when you were pretending to be straight… and he may not check off all the items on his checklist after all. 

You know what really sucks? When people hop into short-lived relationships. Apparently, since they both have siblings, and both love Britney’s third album the most, and neither likes going out to bars or clubs (though that doesn’t include Wednesdays through Tuesdays) and both previously had bad breakups and think most gay guys are trashy (not them, though) … They instantly knew when they saw each other’s upper torsos on that handy business networking site for gays only, they were star-crossed lovers destined to spend their lives together.

You can tell ‘em they’re making a mistake (again), but they swear up and down that “this one is different.” But they still find themselves single two or three weeks later because the person they thought they were “falling in love with” has somehow changed and lied to them about something and was just as trashy as the last bf.

Imagine that. “DtxFUNboiPartyAllNight8in,” the serious mature guy you’ve been talking to — your soulmate of two weeks — lied to you about something! I can’t believe it! I won’t believe it. Never!

Then you have to go out and get them drunk, allow them to be silly and stupid as they attempt to numb the pain … only to repeat the entire  process over the following week with their new soulmate, “DoggyWannaBone8in.”

But you know what else really sucks? Being single. Especially when you finally feel like you’re mentally and emotionally more ready than you’ve ever been to handle a true mature relationship.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Online hookup terminology decoded

I saw this on Twitter, and I think it will prove very helpful, especially for young guys just entering the gay scene and even older men who feel more comfortable with hanky codes than what’s meant in app-dating profiles. Here is some gay terminology, explained:

Bottom = bottom

Versatile bottom  = bottom

Versatile = bottom

Versatile top = bottom

Top = will top if necessary, but prefer to bottom

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Apparently, Olympians value a hookup almost as much as a medal

There are precious few out gay athletes, at least in pro sports, but if this news item is to be believed, there are more than a few in the amateur sports. In a story reported on a U.K. website, as soon as the hoards of Olympians began arriving in London, they quickly crashed a website.

And that website was Grindr.

The story gingerly refers to Grindr as a “gay dating” app, though we all know it is really about hookups. And the East London neighborhood where most of the athletes are staying saw such a spike in log-ons, the site was unavailable in London for an entire day. According to the story, they got it up and running as quickly as possible.

That’s good news — it would be terrible if all those closeted swimmers and equestrians and gymnasts didn’t get to score a little cardio before the opening ceremonies. Of course, people like Matthew Mitcham probably don’t have to worry about it; he’s out, so he’ll just go to a gay bar.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Grindr on the hunt for models — no, really

Scott Barretto of local firm Straight Out Media just posted that hook-up app Grindr is on the hunt for models for upcoming marketing campaigns. So what better place to look than its own clients? And he says you could even earn some scratch from it. From Barretto via Facebook:

Looking for guys that would like to submit their profile shots as “models” in Grindr marketing / advertising. Especially interested in Latinos, Asians and African Americans. It pays a small fee. Shoot me a email if you would like to submit your pic.

Barretto clarified that Grindr isn’t just looking for those demographics, so you white guys are still eligible. Just contact Barretto with your pic and you could be one of the next faces of Grindr. Which is a lot better than being on of these guys.

—  Rich Lopez

“Gayby” screens Tuesday and Wednesday at DIFF

There’s not too much gay programming at the Dallas International Film Festival, but what is featured is pretty darn gay. Case in point: Gayby, which screens tonight and tomorrow at the Angelika.

Matt (adorkable Matthew Wilkas) and Jenn (Jenn Harris) are a Will-&-Grace-like couple — straight girl, gay guy — who each want something more in life: She wants a baby (but, as a friend notes, is barren), he wants a relationship more meaningful than a Grindr hookup. It’s not three minutes in before the two decide to have a baby together — not with a turkey baster, but old-fashioned sex.

That’s the premise for the short film on which this feature is based (and which played in Dallas at OutTakes a few years back); it basically ended with them getting it on. Here, it’s more a jumping-off point for the witty, dry humor of writer-director Jonathan Lisecki.

The film screening at the Angelika April 17 at 7:15 p.m., and April 18 at 1 0 p.m. Check it out.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones