As iPhones become ubiquitous and indispensible, we ask: Has Steve Jobs become the Internet’s gay pimp?

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer

Hook ‘em Horney | Gay networking programs for the iPhone — including Grindr, PPX To-Go, Fabulis, DList, iDate Gay and Looking4LGBT —have made the hook-up almost too easy. What about buying me a drink first?

When I was first asked to write a story on gay applications for the Apple iPhone, I had no idea I’d turn into such a slut. Who knew what a disproportionate number of gay dating and social networking apps are available, compared to other LGBT program categories (or the same for straight people).

Still, although I’m happily married, I signed up for every gay dating/networking/hook-up site I could find. (Even the apps recommended to me when I contacted Apple fell into this category, so it’s obviously popular.)

With Steve Jobs as my virtual pimp, I’ve experienced plenty of highs, lows, rejected advances and a too-frequent-for-comfort request to wait naked in my pool while somebody sneaks in the back gate to “surprise” me.

Sorry, fellas, my dedication to journalistic research has its limits.

What follows is a catalogue of gay hook-up apps with the advantages and disadvantages discovered during my time as a cyber-whore and ranked on a scale of one to five “hooks.” (Because I’m being paid for this story, I think I’ve been downgraded from mere slut.) But the upside, I met a lot of nice people (guys and girls, when I was pretending to be a lesbian) and these apps do make connecting with people fun, easy … and shockingly time-consuming.

If you’re looking to connect with someone for just coffee or the chance at a delicious morning-after breakfast, download these apps. Best of all, they’re all free. And to MusclMusclMuscl214, if you’re reading this, my answer is “yes.”


Grindr is the Kleenex of gay social networking apps — the one everyone knows about and nearly every gay with an iPhone uses, whether he admits it or not. The app loads 100 profiles (200 if you pay a $3 monthly fee) based on a guy’s relative distance to you.

Advantages: Tons of guys to choose from wherever you may roam (it’s the largest all-male location-based network in the world), easy-to-use interface.

Disadvantages: Few options to narrow search. Loading a few guys at a time can be a pain.

Rating: 4 out of 5 hooks


Though more people familiar with Grindr, Purpll was the first gay dating app for the iPhone. Includes local business listings, as well as a gay newsfeed similar to Facebook where you can spy on who became friends with whom … though why anyone would care is unclear. It may be the first, but far from the best.

Advantages: Ability to narrow down photos that are shown; lesbian profiles.

Disadvantages: A “Hot or Not” feature subjects people to being rated as good-looking or not resulting in an overall hotness rating. Beyond useless unless you only want to date guys or gals who are at least 86 percent hot.

Rating: 2 out of 5 hooks


Everything I love about Grindr is amped up with Qrushr, plus they’ve got a version just for lesbians.

Advantages: Streaming radio (listen to dance music while you prowl!), magazine articles, multiple images per profile, very detailed profile information, fantastic search function.

Disadvantages: Group chat rooms are just plain annoying.

Rating: 5 out of 5 hooks


Wow. If you’re looking for anything related to sex, this is your app. From hookups to paid entertainers, adult shops, peepshows and legal brothers, they’ve left no mattress unturned and no stripper pole unoccupied.

Advantages: Something for everyone. I’m surprised there isn’t a donkey-show-specific search function.

Disadvantages: You have to click on icons from a map, rather than an easier-to-use list or grid of available matches. Also, not too many people signed up yet, especially in Dallas. But give it time, this one could be huge.

Rating: 3 out of 5 hooks


The popular website for gay men and their friends goes mobile.

Advantages: Integrates with the website so all your chatting doesn’t have to be done solely on your phone.

Disadvantages: No search functions at all — it just loads all profiles closest to you.

Rating: 3 out of 5 hooks


If there’s such a thing as a homemade app, this one sure looks like it. Ugly interface, terrible logo and, from my tests, only four people in Dallas are on the app. The search options are by age, zodiac sign (what is this, 1972?) and body type.

Advantages: This is the only app I found that actually gave the option to identify as or search for M2F and F2M transsexuals, so it’s refreshingly progressive in that respect. Also appears to be more long-term-relationship oriented because one of the main questions asks whether or not you want children.

Disadvantages: Plenty. It’s rudimentary, clunky and there are very few active users.

Rating: 1 out of 5 hooks


These “sister” apps are both free, but to enjoy all the extra services (like sending “gifts” or “wink bombing” multiple people at once to maximize your chances of a response) you’ve gotta have points. And points cost money.

Advantages: Great search function. Narcissists and those truly desperate can be what I call “Featured Meat” (they call it “Look at Me”). Here you bid on prime position to get all the flirts you can handle. Private photos that you unlock for specific people. You know, so you can have naughty pics.

Disadvantages: Unexpected fees everywhere. This is an anything-goes dating app. Gay, straight, bi — they’re all here (unless you download the men-only Boy Ahoy, which features all the same functionality). Not sure that anyone would want their straight co-workers to easily view the sexual proclivities and innermost desires you’ve chosen to list on your profile. And Virtual Gifts are just plain stupid. What ever happened to buying someone a real drink, not an animated one?

Rating: 2 out of 5 hooks


The extremely user-friendly interface for both gays and lesbians makes this one a surprise hit. Fantastic search functions and plenty of information available — if only people fill out their profiles extensively.

Advantages: Multiple photos per profile, robust search options, quick-loading of hundreds of profiles.

Disadvantages: Crashes often. More of those stupid gifts that require a point purchase.

Rating: 4 out of 5 hooks


This isn’t a hook-up site in the traditional sense, but that does go on here, too. It’s worth inclusion, though, just because it’s so much fun. It ties in with your Facebook account (required) and allows you to interact with all your Facebook friends who are on Fabulis. You earn points by doing stuff (not paying) and you can use points to increase the worldwide Fabulis ranking of your friends.

Advantages: Area events are listed and friends can see which ones you plan to attend. The popularity contest aspect here is actually fun. How Fabulis are you compared to the rest of the world? Evidently, I’m the 3,012th most Fabulis gay in the village. Let’s get those votes in!

Disadvantages: Not specifically designed for hooking up, so advances could be quickly rejected. (But believe me, even here people are looking for action).
Rating: 5 out of 5 hooks

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.