Article by Maya Vukovska

Wise people have said, "Don’t shit where you eat." If we have to paraphrase that in gay language, it’ll sound like, "Don’t fuck where you work." And yet, some people do it. And quite successfully at that! Believe it or not, you can use dating apps not only for sexual gratification, but also to make friends, find a roommate, and create business opportunities for yourself. If you’re interested in how to use this quite obscure feature of the apps, just keep reading. The CEO of the most popular LGBTQ+ dating app has revealed that he’s been hiring people using the platform. But some users too have discovered that the app can help them find not only a potential date but also a potential job. Actually, 25% of the users say their key activity on the app is not looking for hookups, but networking. For sure you’ve seen bios on dating apps where good-looking guys invite you to follow them on Instagram “if you like what you see.” Matching with profiles like that is nothing but a scheme to gain more followers. Driving traffic from their dating app profiles to their private pages is a preferred method to build personal brands or maximize one’s influence in the social media. There are, however, other, equally effective ways to utilize dating platforms to build a network and gain professional opportunities. Some guys smartly use the “drop-the-pin-on-the-map” feature to explore places they are going to visit or move to permanently. They get in contact with other gay people who live there to collect information about things to do, the types of guys they’ll meet and places to meet them, what the best gayborhoods are, etc. Except for arranging hookups the map-based application can be used also for finding a roommate. That’s quite useful, especially in cities where the rents are ridiculously high. and if you want the person you share an apartment with to be, without doubt, gay friendly. Apart from the obvious benefits, though, these platforms have tons of issues, like catfishing and queerbaiting, so one has to be extra careful when choosing a roommate. To be honest, I personally don’t know many gays who use the filters to look for mentors or potential job opportunities. Most of those who have built professional connections did it while on actual dates with dudes they hooked up with on the apps. You know how it works: “Oh, so you are into fashion? I know someone who can help you become an ambassador of their successful brand.” Or, you need inside information for an upcoming job interview at a certain marketing firm - with some luck, this can be arranged too. The point is that although you have initially connected on a dating app to hook up, sometimes connections turn purely platonic, but they can be also very useful. Some young guys for example use the age filter to connect with dudes aged 50+ not because they are into older men but because they have discovered the advantage of interacting over dinner or a cup of coffee with people with tons of experience in different areas - art, entertainment, modern technologies, investments, etc. This is why mentorship is one of those benefits that one can gain from connecting with elder members of the gay community, and many of them are truly happy to help the younger members find their own path in life. But if one thing leads to another, and both parties enjoy it, that’s even better! You may ask, why use a hookup application if you only want to chat? Simple. Studies show that people connect with other people on a much deeper level if they have some distinctive features in common. Through gay dating apps, you meet people of all ages, races, and sizes, of different social backgrounds, political affiliations, and professions, and queerness is that magical lingua franca that allows you to connect and easily communicate with all of them. That in itself makes dating apps an incredibly powerful social bonding tool. And to you who are still suspicious about this other side of dating apps, because you believe that everyone is on those apps for one particular thing, and you’ll be lying if you’re just looking for friendships, I’ll tell you this: Since you’re already using these platforms for dating and sex, why not consider expanding your horizons to fully benefit of your time spent on them? It won't hurt, I promise. Only remember that you cannot start building professional relationships or any type of non-sexual relationships for that matter if you keep that profile picture of your hairy torso with pierced nipples, with no head attached to it. Just a friendly reminder.
August 29, 2023 — Andrew Christian
Tags: Gay Culture