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Image for We're divided by the Grindr revolution

We're divided by the Grindrrevolution

Log in, find your man, get off. It’s all easy with Grindr.

But Melbourne writer Robbie Smith fears our mobile hook-ups are killing the gay scene – and damaging our LGBTI community. Do you agree?


The advent of the iPhone and the cavalcade of apps that followed paved the way for innovation in everyday society – and it was only going to be a matter of time before the creation of a lusty app to sate the appetite of the ravenous gay male community.

Launched in March 2009, Grindr founder Joel Simkhai had pure intentions for the gregarious dating app, declaring it his intention for it to “help young gay men through the coming out process.”

Unfortunately it’s done just the opposite, allowing deeply closeted men (who contribute nothing but chlamydia to the gay movement mind you) to glean sex from the privacy of their own home and exposing the impressionable younger generation to a pseudo-judging panel of one-dimensional people, all hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

It’s also partly to blame for the death of gay strips in our major cities. Once havens that attracted a ‘liquorice all-sorts’ in the gay fraternity are now seen as desperate and dateless dance parties littered with ageing drag queens. Instead of waltzing to the local pink palazzo, stacks of guys are powering up Grindr at any hetero nightspot and scouring the talent, discreetly of course.

“Grindr has changed the face of gay sex and socialising – and it’s one digital step too far.”

And herein lies the problem. We want a strong and pulsating gay community (gay clubs included) which attract the hottest and most desirable men, to thereby elicit healthy patronage from the new generation of gay men and fuel the growth and visibility of united man-on-man communities.

But Grindr makes the literal gay world seem so passé. iPhone enthusiasts are skipping the homo clubs in record numbers, evidenced by the calamitous state of Commercial Road in Melbourne and the laughable line-up of bars on Oxford Street in Sydney.

They’re dieing slow and arduous deaths and they’re just not places worthy of worship anymore. The gay men of today are fading into obscurity in the annals of the hetero world, glued to their trusty Grindr screens and awaiting the buzz of a new discovery in a dank noise-polluted sports bar.

More and more GLBTI guys are disconnected from their culture, indulging in the risky Grindr-fuelled lifestyle of promiscuity, yet retaining the façade of a heterosexual pedigree – something that was impossible only a few short years ago.

Sure we had internet dating, but it wasn’t accessible when you were out of your house, and it certainly didn’t provide access to a real-time catalogue of men within a 100-metre radius.

Grindr has changed the face of gay sex and socialising – and it’s one digital step too far.

The architecture of the gay movement is weakened as a result. We’re a distinct culture and community and need to have our own physical space in society. We need to actually show our faces in the real world en masse and come together to meet likeminded individuals the old fashioned way.

Ditch the new technology boys and connect to your grassroots heritage – the traditional gay way of life and future generations depend on you.

Social

Comments

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29491
Suriag

Suriag said on the 9th Nov, 2012

Future generations do not depend upon the 'gay strip' culture that you mourn losing. I won't miss it, and am thankful for such applications as this. I am neither self-loathing nor closeted. Anti-social i'll grant, though~

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 9th Nov, 2012

couldn't agree more its another symptom of an anti social self loathing culture

plumage

plumage said on the 9th Nov, 2012

we have only realised that technology has changed the gay club scene now? People stopped going out years ago. But... as Suriag also mentioned, the people out on the scene ARE generally unpleasant anyway. Especially if you don't live 5 minutes from Oxford.

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 9th Nov, 2012

I don't think Grindr itself is to blame. Everything and everyone is much more connected now in so many ways. Being LGBTQI is becoming more and more accepted also.

The scene would still be "strong" and vibrant and action packed if we weren't all texting and calling each other every day.
With social networking we all know what everyone is up to all day and sure it doesn't compare to actual in-person interaction, but it has now become a part of how we interact.

Imagine what Oxford Street would look like on a Friday or Saturday night if everyone hadn't been chatting all week on Facebook, hadn't been flirting all week on Grindr and weren't gonna get the chance to hang out and party and be this social for at least another week?

I don't think Grindr is the problem, Grindr is a symptom.

I have a very good friend who I met on Grindr. We met strictly platonically as he was just looking for friends. No sexual history, no sexual tension, just a good genuine friend.
I bring this up because Grindr is viewed as, well, we all know how Grindr is viewed. But there are nice normal people out there who are completely genuine.
Grindr itself is a tool and it's how you use it that counts.

"The scene" isn't dead or dying, it's evolving and adapting to LGBTQI people the same way that we're evolving and adapting to it.

stevie51

stevie51 said on the 9th Nov, 2012

i never found the gay scene overly inviting. over priced drinks and heaters on 35oC. I often felt judged and excluded. Im comfortable behind my little 4" screen, because those who are rude are just a block away. Being gay these days is pretty normal, so I dont need a 'safe' haven to hang out in. I think the scene has more to answer for than we do for abandoning it.

queertheorist

queertheorist said on the 9th Nov, 2012

"We want a strong and pulsating gay community...which attract the hottest and most desirable men, to thereby elicit healthy patronage from the new generation of gay men and fuel the growth and visibility of united man-on-man communities."

So, if you're gay and deemed unattractive, undesirable, or an "ageing drag queen," you should stay at home because you're scaring the "desirable" men away, and therefore, forcing the closure of gay clubs? Did I get that right? Maybe its comments such as this that mask the reality that the majority of gay men are just average guys who don't feel like they belong in a community that is obsessed with a youthful body image and find it difficult to live up to the incredibly high standards.

I would argue that this article is wrong to claim that "GLBTI guys are disconnected from their culture." First, it is worth noting here the fact that the author includes bisexual, trans, and intersex people to the list of those who are "disconnected" from the culture. Well, der... Of course they are disconnected. Bigoted comments such as the author's own in regards to "ageing drag queens" reveals his own deep prejudice against people who don't conform to conventional gender identities. The author has clearly never give a second thought about what problems these other letters in "the alphabet soup" might raise and just throws it in there as a sign of good gesture.

Second, the article seems to suggest that "indulging in the risky Grindr-fuelled lifestyle of promiscuity" is a step away from "the traditional gay way of life." Since when were gay men not interested in sex? Has something changed? Yes, something has. The gay movement itself. That is, the shift to *embracing* "the faade of a heterosexual pedigree" that has changed. Moves towards marriage equality and having a family has pushed gay men back into the closet (figuratively speaking); and as a result, it has made talking about one's sex life a taboo topic (to a degree), especially in the public arena. Grindr has provided gay men a way of living their sex lives in the privacy of their own homes, without having to worry about being someone or something they're not. I think the popularity of the app speaks for itself. In sum, the gay movement has produced the change this article talks about, not Grindr.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 9th Nov, 2012

do we really need our own separate space in society, aren't we wanting to be accepted and all that jazz? i haven't been to a gay club in a few years in fact being 22 i should probably be out their going to 'gay' venues, but its just not appealing, its not that im a self hating gay, its just...gay clubs suck.

Willy358

Willy358 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

On what evidence are you basing your claims of a Grindr-fueled decline of gay venues? Im not saying you're wrong but your story comes across as a nothing more than a fallacy.

Maybe our own quest for acceptance into "normal" society is to blame? Maybe we are finally getting our way, and as a result we feel safe enough to hang out openly in bars that aren't exclusively gay? Hence the diluted gay venues. Then again maybe you're right.

Boycotting Grindr is going to be difficult.

mark_

mark_ said on the 10th Nov, 2012

( I can't comment in this thread because I've never seen grindr in action and I've vowed never to advertise myself to strangers. But, also, wasn't there a thread a little while ago where peeps were saying they just used grindr to laugh at and never seriously put it to use? )

nerd

nerd said on the 10th Nov, 2012

"It%u2019s also partly to blame for the death of gay strips in our major cities" ... sorry but that blame has been thrown in many directions long before Grindr appeared. This article is a little last-shower.

NATEE

NATEE said on the 10th Nov, 2012

I partly agree with this article. Gay men are hiding behind a 'screen'. Easily judging a book by its a cover i.e what photo is up, the angle of the photo. How many times do you look at a profile picture and turn your head sideways? ;-)

There is internet dating. Then there is Grindr. (Across all mobile User Interface platforms) As JarrodJ stated "I don't think Grindr is the problem, Grindr is a symptom." I completely agree with that. However because of certain applications like Grindr, a lot of gay men are continuously looking for the next best thing , not realizing that the best thing could be in front of them until it is too late. Not giving each other a go or exploring each others boundaries in life. We are starting to have a generation of gay men who are single and alone because sex offered by Grindr is so accessible.

It would not surprise me that gay men continuously using Grindr or those particular applications will still be using them in the next 5 to 10 years to come. Ready and waiting for the hottest and latest person to log on.

Grindr is not the complete cause of a 'slowly dying gay scene'. It is the way guys are stupidly misusing the application.

Here is an example. Beresford on a Sunday arvo/evening see how many guys are on Grindr in a place full of homosexual men. Checking their mobile devices whilst they are in front of each other. How ironic is that? I guess the evidence speaks for itself.

The comments that I have been reading does show that gay guys are slightly divided by the Grindr revolution. Just remember its not the applications (Grindr, Manhunt, Gaydar) that is revolutionizing the way gay guys interact, it is more their choices on how they use those applications.

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Also I think that any time you take away human contact it is a bad thing.
I was with my first boyfriend for 2.5 years and we just met randomly at a party and (*shock horror*) got to know each other and got together. I always said that on paper, he and I would never have picked each other as a partner and it's true.

If we had seen each other on an app or website, we would have glossed over each other. But we really clicked that night we met and that was that.

Also while my recent boyfriend and I did meet online, we were on the phone to each other the day we "met" and we met in person just 2 days later so most of our initial interaction was actual human contact.

If I had a dollar for every time I thought I had a connection with someone on Grindr/online but then it was a complete fizzle in person..

It also goes the other way. There was a guy who I had hooked up with several times from Grindr. Purely just sex. We got to chatting a little bit more and he started expressing a desire to actually date me and for us to be together. I thought I was ok with this idea but as the talk/possibility became more serious I realised that I couldn't do it. We were "fuck buddies" and both treated the relationship and each other like that. Freely sharing stories and histories you usually don't do with a partner until you get to know them and you have trust and security.

He wanted to romantically woo me, how do you woo someone who has not only already fucked your brains out. but been told stories by you about the various gang bangs you've been involved in?

I should know that that in this situation I am a bit "old fashioned" in that I don't really enjoy hearing/knowing about a partner's exes or sexual exploits (at least early on, and I don't like talking about mine either) and also that this all occurred due to "hooking up randomly" and not just Grindr, but as I said earlier it's still a symptom of problems in the community.

ernesto_1

ernesto_1 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

^^^ geez someone's been getting alot of action *roll eyes* :p

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 10th Nov, 2012



haha believe me I have not.

Evidence: It's Saturday night and I'm online not only just talking about sex, but how little I am having. :P

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Also I think that any time you take away human contact it is a bad thing.
I was with my first boyfriend for 2.5 years and we just met randomly at a party and (*shock horror*) got to know each other and got together. I always said that on paper, he and I would never have picked each other as a partner and it's true.

If we had seen each other on an app or website, we would have glossed over each other. But we really clicked that night we met and that was that.

Also while my recent boyfriend and I did meet online, we were on the phone to each other the day we "met" and we met in person just 2 days later so most of our initial interaction was actual human contact.

If I had a dollar for every time I thought I had a connection with someone on Grindr/online but then it was a complete fizzle in person..

It also goes the other way. There was a guy who I had hooked up with several times from Grindr. Purely just sex. We got to chatting a little bit more and he started expressing a desire to actually date me and for us to be together. I thought I was ok with this idea but as the talk/possibility became more serious I realised that I couldn't do it. We were "fuck buddies" and both treated the relationship and each other like that. Freely sharing stories and histories you usually don't do with a partner until you get to know them and you have trust and security.

He wanted to romantically woo me, how do you woo someone who has not only already fucked your brains out. but been told stories by you about the various gang bangs you've been involved in?

I should know that that in this situation I am a bit "old fashioned" in that I don't really enjoy hearing/knowing about a partner's exes or sexual exploits (at least early on, and I don't like talking about mine either) and also that this all occurred due to "hooking up randomly" and not just Grindr, but as I said earlier it's still a symptom of problems in the community.



Chemistry Jarrod , you just cant beat it !

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 10th Nov, 2012

^^^ Exactly

I made more genuine friends in a few hours at the last SameSame meetup than I have in the few years that I've been exposed to Grindr.

chad_74

chad_74 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

the problem is alot of queens are piss elegant self centred twats, many want to make a scene and be the only gay in the village.We see it many times over and over poofs grizzling over not having a place to go yet when one pops up they don't patronise it .We used to be diverse and fun now its just blow and go.

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 10th Nov, 2012

can't help noticing the younger guys are commenting bagging out the scene and supporting grindr however you guys are too young and didn't experience the scene when it was much better. I caught the tail end of it but I sure see a big difference when I first went out to now! It's never been perfect however I will never agree that sitting behind an app or gaydar is more desirable. in fact people are even ruder and more superficial on them. I would choose to meet and interact with guys in person any day! I guess when all you know and have been cultured with grindr and the like then you would not know better.

The gay scene now is bloody tragic

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 10th Nov, 2012

I'm only 25 and I don't think I've exactly been singing Grindr's praises.

xtacee1990

xtacee1990 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Judging by the photos of the gay "Events" on SameSame, the real life gay scene is not that much better than that on Grindr. At least on Grindr people who dont have a killer body like me dont have to risk being looked down on/ humiliated for our lack of physical perfection. We can go at our own space. I think Grindr is a great tool but has been misused for anonymous sexual interactions. Blame the users not the app.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

i dont think anyone has been singing grindrs praise lol?

Spooky

Spooky said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Give your self over to absolute pleasure!

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 10th Nov, 2012



There always be a need for gay clubs/pubs. Most ppl need to participate in socialization. Not all, but most. Most ppl like to socialise with ppl they feel comfortable with/have something in common with. Ppl can say gays/lesbians are more accepted today and to a certain point - that's true. But I don't expect to ever see a day where we are TOTALLY accepted in straight society. So most gays/lesbians will never feel 100% comfortable in straight pubs (eg putting their arm around a boyfriend/kissing them etc) Ergo - there will always be a need for gay clubs/pubs.

You don't find it to your liking, fine! But others will find that need for socialisation in the future and for some - these clubs/pubs will provide that need.

christianbaines82

christianbaines82 said on the 10th Nov, 2012

Apps like Grindr, like dating websites before them, have taken some of the hook-up culture out of the scene, but they will ultimately never be more than tools to supplement it. There's simply no way they can replace/emulate real social interaction. Cities like San Francisco, Chicago & Montreal have thriving gay precincts, but do you think guys there don't use Grindr? Blaming these tools for empty venues is just ignoring the real problem - that if a gay nightlife district isn't a pleasant place to go, people aren't gonna go.

And keeping a business thriving on Oxford Street is tough. The clubs are no different. It'll be interesting to see now, if the combined influences of Moore & Greenwich can somehow work with business owners to make the strip somewhere people want to be, day or night.

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 10th Nov, 2012

this has been talked about many times before. Grindr and all the other sites ie the internet took a lot out of most things social.

It was very social back before it all began. Drinks at a pub or two first which for us was either Cricketers Arms or Albury or Exchange then we picked a club which was either Flo's or Palms or Tropicana or Patch's/DCM's. You knew people and on the odd night friends didnt want to go out and I did , I still met up with people for a drink/dance/chat.

You wanted a root or a boyfriend you went out and as I mentioned to Jarrod , chemistry would kick in within a microsecond of meeting someone. With websites they may look like perfection to you , have a monster cock or something else you are into but the reality when you meet can be so different.

May as well get used it as I dont see it changing that much. We have a few venues left and if they dont get supported it will be hard convincing someone to put $'s into new ones.

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 11th Nov, 2012

yes they are all 'mixed' now and I doubt the way things are going that there will even be remotely gay in the future

NATEE

NATEE said on the 11th Nov, 2012

To be honest guys after using those applications like Grindr and Manhunt for a short period of time , they get very very boring. The same chatter, the same crap. Heterosexuals don't even spend half the time on hook up applications as much as homosexuals do. It's a little game that gets tiresome very quickly.

Grindr? I think I can hear a fog horn BOOORRRIIINNNGGG....

Sep77

Sep77 said on the 11th Nov, 2012

Suriag's attitude disappoints me. Without the gay strip as described in this article, there would be no Grindr. How so? The strives in our freedom had their catalyst at Stonewall. What's Stonewall? Good God, there is no hope for the next generation of activists. What's an activist? *dies*

bobbyandmimmi

bobbyandmimmi said on the 11th Nov, 2012

I agree with the oldie about chemistry and connection, you can only imagine what it would be like in real life, I have recently been out and with a few of the guys there was an instant pull.

grindr is a bit like take out, its quick and easy but gets boring after a while and you want something different that is real and good for you. I have met a few guys and become good friends, some from grindr but I actully knew them. and I get connections from friends.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 11th Nov, 2012

I agree with the oldie about chemistry and connection, you can only imagine what it would be like in real life, I have recently been out and with a few of the guys there was an instant pull.

grindr is a bit like take out, its quick and easy but gets boring after a while and you want something different that is real and good for you. I have met a few guys and become good friends, some from grindr but I actully knew them. and I get connections from friends.

You're a wise man Bobbyandmimmi!

Also it's interesting to see guys at saunas, you can tell a mile away when there's real chemistry or if they are just hooking up to get off.

ernesto_1

ernesto_1 said on the 11th Nov, 2012

all this sauna talk makes me think ashtina is back at his old haunts

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 11th Nov, 2012

Guns don't kill people.

People with guns kill people

Phazz

Phazz said on the 11th Nov, 2012

Guns don't kill people.

People with guns kill people

The shamwow guy uses his fists to kill prostitutes.

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 11th Nov, 2012



To be fair he only punched her because she wouldn't stop biting his tongue.

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 12th Nov, 2012



Wasn't it designed as a pick-up app? Dont think it's being misused mate. You're right guys like you don't get looked down on - from what ppl have posted on SS, most ppl with "killer bodies" would just block you.

I'm not condoning that kind of rudeness. Rudeness is fucking unacceptable whether it's in person like being on the scene or through an app/on line. But to say one is more ruder than the other is naive. People are people. They don't behave one way in one situation then change to accomodate another situation. And what makes you think that "scene queens" dont use GRINDR etc?

If ppl are arseholes mate then they'll be arseholes whether they're in clubs or using apps. To say otherwise is just plain bullshit.

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 12th Nov, 2012

Grindr and online dating does allow people to be more rude and to show less civility. But that is just due to the anonymity that the internet allows.

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 12th Nov, 2012

this has been talked about many times before. Grindr and all the other sites ie the internet took a lot out of most things social.

It was very social back before it all began. Drinks at a pub or two first which for us was either Cricketers Arms or Albury or Exchange then we picked a club which was either Flo's or Palms or Tropicana or Patch's/DCM's. You knew people and on the odd night friends didnt want to go out and I did , I still met up with people for a drink/dance/chat.

You wanted a root or a boyfriend you went out and as I mentioned to Jarrod , chemistry would kick in within a microsecond of meeting someone. With websites they may look like perfection to you , have a monster cock or something else you are into but the reality when you meet can be so different.

May as well get used it as I dont see it changing that much. We have a few venues left and if they dont get supported it will be hard convincing someone to put $'s into new ones.

But wouldn't you agree Oldie that Oxford Street was "gayer" back then? I can remember Palms (yep the same Palms) as a straight club and it lasted about 5 minutes then closed. At one time straight night clubs could never get a "foot hold" in Oxford St. You always had pubs like the Burdekin, Courthouse and Brighton ( on the corner of Reilly & Oxford) as straight hotels but that was it. Kinsellas was mixed but gayer than straight. Pubs and nightclubs abounded at one stage. Albury, Beachamp, Flinders, Green Park, Beresford, Oxford and Exchange Hotels were gay. A bit later, Dawn O'Donnell opened the Newtown & Imperial Hotels. Clubs like you said Oldie, Flos, Patchs (later DCMs) and Tropicana (Shift). Even remember Caps (never went there though and I think it burnt down). No Slide, Colombian or Stonewall back then - they were all still banks. LOL.

You'd go to the pubs til 12pm, they'd shut then onto the clubs. But the difference was that Oxford Street was gayer. No self-respecting straight guy would be seen DEAD in Oxford St. The only straight guys were the ones who occasionally cruised up Oxford St in their cars screaming, "Poofters!" Then something happened! The dynamic shifted and Oxford St suddenly started becoming the "Entertainment Strip". Straight clubs started springing up and the old "Golden Mile" lost it's sheen.

Now you can call it HETEROPHOBIA! Personally I don't give a shit! But when straight men start moving into Oxford St en masse into straight clubs then gays/lesbians dont feel as safe and look elsewhere.

I dont know how many threads on SS I've read about the "attitude" of gay club users. Guess what? That's always been there to some degree. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard about "scene queens" being shallow, plastic, rude, etc etc - I'd be a fucking millionaire. So I dont think that's the reason ppl have stopped going to Oxford St. I might be classified as a "separatist" but I think Oxford St should've stayed gay/lesbian. Straights can have the rest of the fucking suburbs to have their clubs in.

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 12th Nov, 2012



Well I guess they're hiding behind a screen. It's kind of "apples and oranges". Who's ruder - scene queens or on-line users? Still think it depends on the person, either way. An arsehole's an arsehole either in a club or on-line.

JarrodJ

JarrodJ said on the 12th Nov, 2012

It does depend on the person, but hiding behind the screen allows people to act in ways in which they wouldn't in person. I guess it's still the same rude person, but they can just let that rude side out much more online.

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 12th Nov, 2012



Suppose that's true of some ppl, mate.

Honzen

Honzen said on the 12th Nov, 2012

OH PLEASE!!!!! Oxford Street and Commercial Road began a long slow death years before Grindr came along! The age when newbies and twinks escaped the evil hetero world of suburbia and found gay life at the end of the rainbow in places like the Gay enclaves of Prahran and Darlinghurst is over! The Gay community is becoming increasingly gentrified and the need of "Gay Venues" is slowly fading. Why do you think places like Oxford Street and Commercial road are seeing closure of gay clubs? Hetero's taking over? The gay community being driven out?

NO! It's simply that the fabric of the gay lifestyle is changing and maturing. The wider 'Straight' community is becoming ever more accepting of gays and the need for Gay Clubs as a place to celebrate (or hide away) your sexuality is less relevant.

Apps like Grindr are simply another avenue to meet and interact with like minded people and are in fact a place where 'closeted' men can find and talk with other men. Having grown up in the outer suburbs during my teenage years, I wish they'd had Grindr then. It took me leaving home and moving to another city before i was able to meet ANYONE in the gay community!

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 12th Nov, 2012

OH PLEASE!!!!! Oxford Street and Commercial Road began a long slow death years before Grindr came along! The age when newbies and twinks escaped the evil hetero world of suburbia and found gay life at the end of the rainbow in places like the Gay enclaves of Prahran and Darlinghurst is over! The Gay community is becoming increasingly gentrified and the need of "Gay Venues" is slowly fading. Why do you think places like Oxford Street and Commercial road are seeing closure of gay clubs? Hetero's taking over? The gay community being driven out?

NO! It's simply that the fabric of the gay lifestyle is changing and maturing. The wider 'Straight' community is becoming ever more accepting of gays and the need for Gay Clubs as a place to celebrate (or hide away) your sexuality is less relevant.

Apps like Grindr are simply another avenue to meet and interact with like minded people and are in fact a place where 'closeted' men can find and talk with other men. Having grown up in the outer suburbs during my teenage years, I wish they'd had Grindr then. It took me leaving home and moving to another city before i was able to meet ANYONE in the gay community!

Try walking down George St in Sydney with your boyfriend arm in arm or better still out in suburbia and see how "accepting" they are, mate? Even remember hearing over the past few years about gay men getting bashed near Oxford St and another couple out in the western suburbs. "Accepting" I wonder if they'd agree with that statement. LOL.

As for Oxford Street dying a "slow death years before Grindr came along" bullshit! Gay clubs come and go for various reasons and have since the 1960s. Sure since GRINDR and the like came along, it gives guys a different way of meeting but there seem to be ppl becoming disillusioned with apps also - the rudeness, discrimination etc that they get from other app users.

Oxford St will change and evolve like it always has. Getting rid of straight clubs wouldn't increase club use - just make it easier for club patrons. That is - not having to run the gauntlet of straight patrons waiting outside straight clubs, harrassing gays walking past. You know - those same "accepting" straight ppl you mentioned :eek:

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 12th Nov, 2012

we had threads on this years back and the conclusioon we all came to was there were varioous reaons for the decline fo oxford st

1)main one was yes online and app hook up sites

2)the rising cost of living in sydney and many can't afford to live near oxford st and live far out now

3)in addition to cost of living many can't afford to go out drinking a few nights a week or even weekly as once was the norm

4)it is more possible to be gay and mix in certain straight circles but lets face it it isn't as easy as going anywhere when we want hand in hand, it requires blending in and being discreet.

5) gay venues stopped catering to just the GBLTI community and have since been catering more and more to straights for their money and at the expense of gays. In fact they are no longer community and safe areas for us but just businesses as seen with places like arq and colombian when there were many bashings and they threw the victims on the street cause they didn't want it on their record etc. gays don't feel safe like they used to on oxford st.

6) after the attempted clean up of the cross some years back all the scum moved down to oxford st - there was an outcry from our community to the police for protection and instead they responded by targeting the gay venues with drug dogs, lock outs, punishing venues that reported violence (like stonewal - naming it in the top 3 most violent venues in sydney what a joke! when the venue next to it was attracting the violent clientele owned by john ibrahim) and all manner of stupid responses whilst most gays/drags/lesbians still getting bashed and abused on the street right under the polices noses and nothing was done. I feel after this period most gave up on the strip.

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 12th Nov, 2012

But wouldn't you agree Oldie that Oxford Street was "gayer" back then? I can remember Palms (yep the same Palms) as a straight club and it lasted about 5 minutes then closed. At one time straight night clubs could never get a "foot hold" in Oxford St. You always had pubs like the Burdekin, Courthouse and Brighton ( on the corner of Reilly & Oxford) as straight hotels but that was it. Kinsellas was mixed but gayer than straight. Pubs and nightclubs abounded at one stage. Albury, Beachamp, Flinders, Green Park, Beresford, Oxford and Exchange Hotels were gay. A bit later, Dawn O'Donnell opened the Newtown & Imperial Hotels. Clubs like you said Oldie, Flos, Patchs (later DCMs) and Tropicana (Shift). Even remember Caps (never went there though and I think it burnt down). No Slide, Colombian or Stonewall back then - they were all still banks. LOL.

You'd go to the pubs til 12pm, they'd shut then onto the clubs. But the difference was that Oxford Street was gayer. No self-respecting straight guy would be seen DEAD in Oxford St. The only straight guys were the ones who occasionally cruised up Oxford St in their cars screaming, "Poofters!" Then something happened! The dynamic shifted and Oxford St suddenly started becoming the "Entertainment Strip". Straight clubs started springing up and the old "Golden Mile" lost it's sheen.

Now you can call it HETEROPHOBIA! Personally I don't give a shit! But when straight men start moving into Oxford St en masse into straight clubs then gays/lesbians dont feel as safe and look elsewhere.

I dont know how many threads on SS I've read about the "attitude" of gay club users. Guess what? That's always been there to some degree. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard about "scene queens" being shallow, plastic, rude, etc etc - I'd be a fucking millionaire. So I dont think that's the reason ppl have stopped going to Oxford St. I might be classified as a "separatist" but I think Oxford St should've stayed gay/lesbian. Straights can have the rest of the fucking suburbs to have their clubs in.


100% agree it was gayer , Eggs.

I dont really dwell on the past but all those other places you mentioned bought back such memories ! We tended to bolt out of the pubs about 11pm so we could get into the Clubs without queuing ! dont do queues.

And I posted once about the only straights were the minivans of bucks parties going down the St yelling out or mooning.

Everyone had a laugh , shouted back abuse. You met friends on the St , hugs/kisses and no problems.

Back then it was easy to handle the "scene queens" , we were all young and desirable :) had a natural talent of looking at someone with a look " you're dirt" and sniffed off down the street.

Also the dance parties took a lot out of Oxford St. My gang stopped going there and headed for Club Hordern or Alexandria Basketball Stadium. After those big dance floors , big spaces I couldnt go back to a tiny club on Oxford St.

And as Mikey has said , how many can afford to do it every week ?

chad_74

chad_74 said on the 12th Nov, 2012

the reason gay venues allowed heteros is simple.
Many Gays took to drugs and would buy one drink of bottled water then take it to the mens or ladies and keep refilling it all night.The heteros mostly still liked to get drunk thus would but at least 4 drinks per person per night.
Some venues got kickbacks from or were the drug dealers but the clean operators many found it hard to earn a living thus the closures.
The arrival of fly by nighters that took over straight clubs for one night a week didnt help the scene either .

0rnanke1

0rnanke1 said on the 14th Nov, 2012

I use grindr all the time but I love gay night clubs. I grew up in a country town so there was never a gay scene. Oxford street seemed like this holly grain. A street I could walk down and see gay people every where, have awesome music and pick up in a club. I can pick up on grindr easier than talking to a guy in a club. I hope the gay club scene doesn't die. It stands for what I never got to have.

RobbieGee

RobbieGee said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Really interesting article - check out a blog a friend of mine is writing titled 'Grindrles'. It's all about trying to survive and meet people in this crazy Grindr-obsessed world - http://grindrless.blog.com/here-we-are/

EggsBenedict

EggsBenedict said on the 15th Nov, 2012

the reason gay venues allowed heteros is simple.
Many Gays took to drugs and would buy one drink of bottled water then take it to the mens or ladies and keep refilling it all night.The heteros mostly still liked to get drunk thus would but at least 4 drinks per person per night.
Some venues got kickbacks from or were the drug dealers but the clean operators many found it hard to earn a living thus the closures.
The arrival of fly by nighters that took over straight clubs for one night a week didnt help the scene either .

I think the reason gay venues let in heteros was CASH. They're out to make money, it's a business after all. The old days on the strip-they'd water down the booze and make you pay more for it. Difference then was gays/lesbians wanted their own venues. We weren't welcome in straight venues and there were very few "mixed" venues back then. Most clubs on the strip were run, at one time, by a triumvirate of businesspeople. They were Dawn O'Donnell, Roger-Claude Teyssedre and Abe Saffron. They weren't the only club owners but they did have a bit of a monopoly at one stage.

But as I said in a previous post, Oxford Street changes and evolves. Even when it was primarily gay/lesbian. Clubs would come, clubs would go! Same with the gay/lesbian pubs. Come and go with "gay abandon" (pun intended).

The dynamic that changed was the "straight male" factor. While you always had straight guys going along to Mardi Gras parties (at least back in the 80s & 90s) they wouldn't be caught dead in the Oxford St area less they be branded a "poof". Straight clubs got in a "toe-in" to Oxford St in the 90s and then BAM, suddenly it wasn't unthinkable for straight guys to venture to the strip anymore. While some gay/lesbian ppl saw this as a good thing (ie inclusion) others have not. Sadly one of the things which sometimes comes with straight men (and yes I know it's a generalisation) is alcohol-fuelled violence.

I don't know how many times I've heard ppl say or have read it in the GLBT press that "Oxford St is dying" or "it's not as good as it was in the old days". That's been said since the 80s. Everything changes and evolves over time. Nothing stays the same! I don't think Oxford St will "die" (although I'm sure there are some that wished it would - both gay & straight) it will simply continue to change to meet the needs of the ppl who frequent the area - be they GLBT or straight. But stay the same! Never!

MyHorseLikesYou

MyHorseLikesYou said on the 15th Nov, 2012

One thing I have noticed, especially in Australia, is that people increasingly want to hear music they are familiar with.
For me clubs are all about the music & dancing. When you have several clubs all playing the same stale shit or music everyone heard a thousand times I'm looking elsewhere. I really don't go out to a club to dance to tunes I've been banging at home or playing out for months. Actually I'm currently having the same problem with my local gay club. Same commercial shit you can hear on the radio week after week (seriously lady gaga three times in the one set - you'd think the bitch invented dance music). Sure commercial crap may bring in the masses but it leaves no distinguishing attributes musically. I still have friends that hit the strip but most of my mates have moved on to clubs or parties that have more of a forward thinking music policy. Trying to play tunes that are good quality or ground breaking in some way that you may never have heard before.
That was pretty much my main motivator for abandoning the clubs on ocky st. Most of the rest has already been mentioned by others.

deadposh

deadposh said on the 15th Nov, 2012

Grindr isn't the reason I've stopped going out, it's the threat of violence on the street, it's reached the point where I don't feel safe walking up Oxford St on a Saturday night, and the thought of coming out of a bar (not completely sober) after midnight and being confronted by the demographic is way to scary for me. I remember a time when I could walk up the street holding my boyfriends hand proudly, those days are gone and Grindr seems a safer option to meet someone...

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 15th Nov, 2012

One thing I have noticed, especially in Australia, is that people increasingly want to hear music they are familiar with.
For me clubs are all about the music & dancing. When you have several clubs all playing the same stale shit or music everyone heard a thousand times I'm looking elsewhere. I really don't go out to a club to dance to tunes I've been banging at home or playing out for months. Actually I'm currently having the same problem with my local gay club. Same commercial shit you can hear on the radio week after week (seriously lady gaga three times in the one set - you'd think the bitch invented dance music). Sure commercial crap may bring in the masses but it leaves no distinguishing attributes musically. I still have friends that hit the strip but most of my mates have moved on to clubs or parties that have more of a forward thinking music policy. Trying to play tunes that are good quality or ground breaking in some way that you may never have heard before.
That was pretty much my main motivator for abandoning the clubs on ocky st. Most of the rest has already been mentioned by others.

have posted similar before MyHorseLikesYou

for us it was the early 90's. Cant begin to tell you how many times when pub/club hopping you would get the same song 2 or 3 times that night.

My gang started to go for the harder styles of music from trance to house to tribal and you rarely get that in any Club and it was the dance parties that catered for it so have never gone back to anything on Oxford St since. The occassional beer at a Pub but no Clubs since.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 15th Nov, 2012

what about a same same dance club? im prepared to throw glitter at confetti at everyone all night.

Tigerland

Tigerland said on the 16th Nov, 2012



Ummm... you joined SS over 5 years ago and have only JUST posted something? Better late than never I guess. ;)

dougster

dougster said on the 17th Nov, 2012



yup 100% spot on man. oxford st's 2 dangerous @ nite specially if ur munted or trashed

dougster

dougster said on the 17th Nov, 2012



mayb strong silent type. lol.

Iratei

Iratei said on the 18th Nov, 2012

interesting article. Created some good discussion.

MyHorseLikesYou

MyHorseLikesYou said on the 18th Nov, 2012

have posted similar before MyHorseLikesYou

for us it was the early 90's. Cant begin to tell you how many times when pub/club hopping you would get the same song 2 or 3 times that night.

My gang started to go for the harder styles of music from trance to house to tribal and you rarely get that in any Club and it was the dance parties that catered for it so have never gone back to anything on Oxford St since. The occassional beer at a Pub but no Clubs since.

I've pretty much always listened to heaps of different stuff (from folk to metal to hardcore to indie rock/ pop whatever - inheriting records from the older siblings helped with that) but I have to admit the music in the early to mid 90's on Oxford St was what truly sent me to clubs that were playing different stuff without much concern for whether they were gay or str8 venues.

I do find it interesting that so many people want the familiar stuff though. I mean some of the best clubbing moments for me have been when an awesome track came in that I'd never heard before. I guess the crowd looking for familiar music they know miss out on that.

Trust the DJ - best name for a mix cd series ever.

andrewc

andrewc said on the 19th Nov, 2012

I don't need to go to pubs/clubs to pick up anymore, I go out to socialise (mostly), and I think this is common amongst most people.

If the gay venues want to survive, they have to be more than just a meeting point for guys to pick up. The overcrowded, noisy and sweaty venues were great for picking up. They aren't so great for having a chat!

local_warming

local_warming said on the 22nd Nov, 2012

Yeah, but grindr can be abit of a time-thief sometimes