Out Magazine: Is Manhunt Destroying Gay Culture?

jeff's picture

Worth a read for all the boys (girls can read it, too, but it's not as applicable):


RaspberriesAreFun's picture

ur right: not very

ur right: not very applicable, but i still liked it. this is the quote that hit me hard: "the secret fear that, if we were truly known, we would never be loved." because thats not just gay men or gay women that's everyone. its also scary to think that if all the site users just donated all that money to the biggest gay organizations, "'there’s no limit to what we could do.'”
not that im a big philanthropist or anything so i have no room to talk.

If male homosexuals are called "gay," then female homosexuals should be called "ecstatic." ~Shelly Roberts

Ricky-chan72's picture

this was really interesting.

this was really interesting. makes you re-examine your online activities >.>;

-"my puss is the best on the block, your puss invaded Iraq!"-

jeff's picture


You've gone down this path already, eh? :-)

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Ricky-chan72's picture

umm. no comment. :P (I never

umm. no comment. :P (I never got lucky anyway!)
Zim: The Dib—the Dib! I don't care how delicious he is, he's evil! They'll destroy the base! There's only one thing to do!
GIR: You gonna make biscuits? You gonna make biscuits?! You gonna make biscuits?!? You gonna make biscuits?!?!
Zim: No, GIR.

5thstory's picture

That was quite

That was quite interesting... what really shocks me is that people is actually willing to put so many intimate details about themselves on the Internet. Whatever happened to privacy?

" . . . The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it." Charles Dickens

Torre's picture

Oh, how I long for the days of wbs.net

Where you met people all over the place...and got to know them first...

...wow...I just dated myself. *shrugs*

I'm busy updating and will have to read the rest of that article when I get the time tomorrow. Very interesting though...I'll say that. I can already feel a column coming out of it.

Current column: Oh, But I'm a Freak!: Thoughts on Pride--What does Pride mean to me? Good question.

jeff's picture


Lot of old school users showing up lately....

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Torre's picture

Yep, that was a fun week.

Gotta be sure everyone is still good. ;)

Current column: Flaws: Can flaws make or break a relationship if a person isn't willing to change for the other?

Disney's picture

Thanks for the article!

I remember looking at Manhunt a long time ago and not thinking much of it... I guess I'm as sheltered as most straightsies then for what it seems to be now (and probably even was back then)!

I think there's a close parallel to Manhunt and most anything else people get caught up in doing online (sans WORK). Whether it's gambling, gaming, blogging, lurking MySpace/Facebook, all of it eats up way too much time but people do it for the end result, whatever it might be. In this case though, real human-human interactions at some point = much more realistic concerns.

I don't think I'd turn to something like Manhunt for a looooong time, hopefully not ever, but I suppose that's a huge benefit to having money, going to live in a major city with a gay nightlife, enjoying physical interactions with people, dancing, and I'm under the age of 20. I can see how amazing this site must be for those trapped in rural spaces as mentioned in the article, but then as also eluded to, I wonder WTF goes on if a 13-17 year old guy heads off to meet a stranger and gets way more than they bargained for.

I haven't been to an array of gay bars or anything of the sort, but I really do see huge sense in meeting at those places and establishing SOME relationship, and I've never liked the idea of men just cruising and having sex and it being over. Or maybe I'm just not horned up enough? Hmm, in any case, I hope they do find some way to get Manhunt to crank in some advocacy dollars or draw awareness to a gay problem like the example with the 130,000 visitors did.

You're Amazing.

Neutrina's picture

So is there a version for

So is there a version for lesbians?

"When the people begin to reason, all is lost" - Voltaire

JB's picture


Why is manhunt singled out? why isn't gay.com singled out? squirt.org? I also thought out had some sort of dating site too years ago... JUst another sign that conservative america's values are making gay try and hide again and feel ashamed!

jeff's picture


Probably just because it's the biggest and the one the author had experience with...

But, judging from your closing line, sounds like you enjoy conspiracy theories, so out.com and advocate are both one company that for some time (not sure if they still do), but they were also partnered with gay.com.

This is a debate I hear all the time within the community, and it's certainly valid, not sure it's conservative necessarily. It's people deciding the life they're living isn't getting them the results they want, so you could just as easily say it is about self-empowerment, heh.

"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

msquared's picture

The author brought up some

The author brought up some good points, but in my opinion he never quite hit the nail on the head. Devaluing sex isn't just a gay problem--it's a modern problem. We live in an age of instant gratification: rather than taking an hour or two to prepare a nice pasta and vegetable dinner, we pop a Healthy Choice into the microwave for five minutes; instead of spending a day researching information in the library for a paper, we get everything we need from google in .215 seconds. Thanks to burgeoning technology and commercialism, everything is faster and easier. Instant. Just as microwaving food and using search engines is a part of our day-to-day lives, so is sex. So why should we treat it any differently? Why take weeks or months to get to know a person before bedding them when you can get the job done with a swift click of a button on manhunt.com? Or any similar heterosexual site, which I'm sure the internet is laden with.

Sure, there are plenty of good reasons why gay men are using online services to find sex/relationships, such as feelings of vulnerability and isolation, that the author brings up; but the issue of instant gratification is in my opinion an even bigger factor, and it has the added bonus of applying to people of all sexualities as well. The question is how are we going to fix our problem with instant gratification obsession. Well, things like microwaves and search engines are tools too valuable to 86 in an attempt to change our ways. We can't move back the clock. People need to learn how to make the best of our gadgets and gizmos rather than the worst. They need to remember that there are many prizes that are not instant, and that are worth working long and hard for. The fulfillment of these ideals is a lot easier said than done, obviously. I think we need good role models who can teach these lessons to the kids of today. Teachers, athletes, actors, activists, parents. These aren't easy to come by either, though, so...in conclusion, there really is no clear-cut solution. People aren't that easy. Well, maybe the ones on manhunt.com...;-)

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

the mouse that roared's picture

Instant gratification

Instant gratification obsession is a problem in Western society. Yes, we are too materialistic and impatient, but it might be an even bigger problem within the queer community due to a few factors. First, there isn't necessarily the expectation that one will marry and have kids; familial attachments often are frayed for queer people (and there is less of a grounding intergenerational family within sexual and gender minorities which can help historicize and give broader meaning than just sex), and society in general is still uncomfortable with the idea of queers as parents. Second, there are less alternatives to meeting people. I don't know statistics for who goes onto dating sites, but it sounds like a lot of the gay guy's social center revolves around sites like Manhunt. Some societally marginal heteros are socialized online, but for queer people it is one of the only places to turn to. This is worrying. It can be a great resource, but it is a much more tenuous human connection, which can exacerbate the problem of instant gratification obsession in the queer world.

This is why I am worried about instant gratification in general, but especially in relation to the queer community.

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day