I have a confession to make: I am spoiled. PlanetRomeo spoiled me regarding my expectations towards gay (online) dating and hook up.
For those of you who don’t know PlanetRomeo: It is the major gay dating website in Germany or even Europe. Founded about 10 years ago it earned the reputation for being the gay “registration office” in Germany with a coverage of nearly 10% of all German gays. And it earned this success well with a detailed profiles and searches (yes, you can search be fetish and if somebody is into BDSM), free unlimited profile viewing and messaging and until recently free access to porno pics if you had enough friends.
Prior of coming to the USA, I made some research on gay dating over here. So I was prepared that I will not have it as comfortable as I had it in Germany but the experience I have made is way worse than I expected it to be.
The first thing I have done is switching my Recon profile to Chicago. This got me into contact with some people but as everywhere there are way too many subs I have to compete with so success has been fairly limited. At Recon I first observed the American attitude towards date communication: If you haven’t agreed on something specific after the 5th message they will refuse to write back. For a person who is only into rough sessions which need some coordination on what can happen and a certain level of trust which builds up during the chat, such a communication habit is depressing. Futhermore, the rather basic search function and the small limit of daily profile views when you are not a premium member make a thorough search stressful and annoying. I could upgrade but the relatively low number of potential guys and the relatively high price of a subscription – at least compared to the price of the one at PlanetRomeo – put me off. Of cause there are some promising guys so I might get lucky but sadly they are a small minority.
Next I downloaded Grindr and Scruff on my smartphone. Since I don’t have a perfect body I can’t use a picture of my faceless abs which makes me uninteresting for 90% of the guys there. 5% of the guys show the American communication pattern (see above) and the last 5% are desperate guys into vanilla – mostly bottoms – who stalk every new guy.
Being used to more traditional gay online dating I signed up on Manhunt.com and… oh boy! The material there is comparable to the one on PlanetRomeo in Germany: A decent cross section of the gay community. However, there are just so few guys on there that you are stuck with a little number of BDSM kinksters. But this isn’t a big deal: With a limit to 10 (!) messages a day and no possibility so see you sent messages (both without the premium subscription), there is no way a decent communication can be established. And again: With no talk, there is no date – at least for me, especially since I have heard so many horrible stories from crazy and dangerous persons on gay dating sites who will lure you into your home to do all kinds of mischief to you.
And of cause there is PlanetRomeo. But with less than 900 members in the Chicago Metropolitan Area I don’t think to write any more on this website.
I know, I am only at the beginning of my US experience and I hope to soon get in contact with some pervert locals. But since I am easier to get in touch with people first online and then meet them in real life it might be a bit harder to get to know new people over here. So my adventure just got a bit more challenging and interesting. If you are interested in helping me settling in or overcoming my difficulties just hit me up.
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Your observations about the dating apps here are spot-on. The mobile apps leave much to be desired. Recon seems pretty good to me, but could be better if it wasn’t as pricey. On the other hand a premium membership indicates someone is at least a bit serious and less likely to be a fake. Adam4Adam is another site, which is mostly free, but very vanilla.