And he doesn’t think it’s fair to say all sites are created the same — just like gay bars, there’s something for everyone. Are you required by law to save the chat logs and e-mail between members? Logs are kept, but only for the protection of the site and our customers. We’ve no interest in whoring out our members for profit.
Henricks talks about Gaydar.net’s humble beginnings (it started so the founders’ friend could land a man), whether online dating among gays is more about Mr. Right Now, which political circle has been caught quietly cruising for men and why its new mobile app is more than just another Grindr. Gaydar began in June 1999 because the founders, Henry Badenhorst and Gary Frisch, had a friend who was desperate to find a boyfriend but didn’t have the time or interest in trawling gay bars. Only in the case of a major harassment complaint are the logs opened, and even then they can only be accessed by the customer service director. Works for some, but it’s just not what the Gaydar brand is about.
Or maybe it’s just about getting a date for Valentine’s Day.
Whatever your mood — especially this time of year — it’s wrong to think online gay social sites are all about hookups … Phil Henricks, the marketing guru currently with and previously a creative mind with and M4M World, is a pioneer in online dating.
Dallas Voice: You have quite a history as the man behind the curtain of the world’s most popular dating sites — Manhunt, M4M World, and now you’re head of North American marketing at Gaydar. They recommended [the search engine] Excite, which had a personals page where one could post a profile, but it took the poor guy two weeks to get a response. We are exceedingly strict about guarding our members’ privacy. A couple years ago launched On The Hunt.com, which facilitates real members hooking up on film, and the sudden popularity of Grindr sort of revolutionized the way gays connect on and offline. Gaydar is about fun, meeting, dating, as well as gay culture.
Is it true that that site was started because the founder’s friend wanted a boyfriend? Henry thought he could do better and created a personal site just for the gay market. Gaydar is a very welcoming site — a friendly gay bar, if you will. That said, we’re really welcoming to guys age 24 and younger, who get totally free, full-access membership. All kinds — gay, straight, men, women, out of work MPs — who go at it, 18 hours a day. Gaydar prides itself on its relaxed stance when it comes to profile text, so we prefer not to censor. When it comes to photos, of course, they have to be of the member [as in, the person in the profile] and images of children, penetration, ejaculation and sex with animals or office supplies are forbidden. True, it’d be the ultimate fly-on-the-wall moment, but it’ll never happen. We have Gaydar Nation.com, which is our huge gay entertainment site, plus there’s Gaydar Radio.com, with half a million listeners. We just launched the Gaydar app for the i Phone, which was an immediate hit since we were the first major gay dating site to offer a fully integrated app, allowing app and web users the exact same access to its profiles and options.
The Players: Manhunt, a gay dating site founded in 2001 with over 6.5 million members and their new, racy, gay billboards; Kelly Cole, co-president of the Valley View elementary PTA who thinks those ads are too racy and gay.
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In 2013, we saw some pretty major court cases that changed the game for same sex marriages and relationships, and the recognition they can and should receive.
Interestingly, as the courts came around, I started to notice a big jump in the amount of gay men who were coming to Profile Helper seeking an online dating coach that could help them find a date or potential husband.
"You try explaining the “Zero feet away MANHUNT MOBILE” phone application to your 9-year-old son.
A 9-year-old who loves Army guys, and so noticed the dog tags right away." She explains it's not the "blatant porniness" or that the ad is gay-focused which bothers her: It’s the fact that I am forced to figure out a way to frame to my fourth-grader the fact that some people like to find casual sex partners fast using their mobile phones...