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As a single lady with little time or inclination to go on traditional dates, I’ll admit it: I’ve long been jealous of my gay friends' access to Grindr, the location-based casual-hookup app. Indeed, a piece on online dating earlier this year pinpointed the biggest hurdle in transitioning hookup apps from the gay to the straight world: “making it work for straight women, who may not need an app to know that they are surrounded by willing straight men." This is an outmoded view of the sexual economy.For almost as long, I've been telling just about anyone who will listen to me that we need a heterosexual version of this technology. Data from online dating websites actually shows the opposite: Men are picky, and women are far more forgiving and flexible when it comes to seeking a partner.In this instance, Blendr (How many blades does it have? ) confuses the desire to have sex with the desire to have a relationship.
In the same way that having a shared passion for artisan bread, Hackney and the lyrics of obscure 1930s vaudeville artists doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a great relationship, nor does it mean that you’ll have amazing sex.Somehow, penis photography is even less appealing in Blendr's "just friends" trappings. Even for the modern woman who knows she wants a casual hookup, declaring this on a public profile will result in such an avalanche of attention, potential social stigma, and legitimate safety concerns that it negates the ease of using such an app.Alas, to quote my friend: “What’s gay-efficient is hetero-creepy.” Clearly Blendr isn't the hetero hookup app I've been waiting for. For a straight-Grindr to work, it also needs to position itself as clearly about casual sex. Can we please stop pretending that only men are interested in no-strings hookups? To make women comfortable, you need to put the control in their hands.I’m amazed that nobody had set up something like this before, especially considering the amount of magazine space filled by men complaining women never want sex and vice versa, but this week, Simkhai totally ignored the clamour of the sex-hungry and launched Blendr, the straight version for straight people. Simkhai says he decided to make an app that’s more about meeting people than just hooking up for sex, presumably anticipating a huge drought in online dating websites.When you’re a teenager, you are warned not to confuse sex with intimacy.