What Details Go on Sex Apps?

I’m Alexander Cheves, a writer, author, and sex educator. My nickname is Beastly. I give adult advice on this blog — no question is off-limits. To ask me something, email AskBeastly@gmail.com or send a message via the Ask Beastly contact form.

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Hi Alexander,
I was wondering what your take is on this matter that I will try to explain (bear with me).

I am from Copenhagen, Denmark with Kurdish/Jewish roots (not the average blonde danish looking guy), and other than that I was born with one hand. My question is should I have that information on my dating apps, or should I do what I’ve experienced a couple of times of meeting up and taking the surprise?

Hi my friend,

I am admittedly not sure what significance, if any, being Kurdish/Jewish has in Denmark, as I’m not familiar with Denmark. If you have experienced racism there, I would absolutely include the details of your ethnicity on your app profile. Apps, when used smartly, can be useful in weeding out the trash.

My personal policy is to include all details on apps that guys might reject me for — my HIV status, my kinkiness, my penchant for fisting, my skilled hole that opens easily, everything. Doing this filters out the people I don’t want in my bed, and who don’t want me in theirs, with very little work on my part. I want the poz-phobic assholes who want tight beginner holes and demand condoms and are terrified of kink to block me. What fun could I possibly have with them? I will will never know all the people who block me preemptively or choose not to engage with my profile because of features I advertise that I can’t change (or don’t want to). By not hiding anything, I know that those who message me are more likely to embrace my details and proclivities, including my HIV. Sometimes they message me because of my HIV, which can be fun, too. I never, ever wait until in-person meetups to reveal my HIV or anything else that someone might reject me for. Rejection hurts more in person.

I suggest adopting this policy. Your body is a beautiful and powerful instrument, and if I were you, I’d present it exactly as it is on your app profiles without apology or hiding — and doing so is a practical move. If anyone doesn’t want to date or have sex with someone born with one hand, that’s their business. They can just block your profile or ignore it and you’ll be none the wiser — in fact, you’ll be glad that you don’t have to bother with them.

Apps are harsh places, not just for those who look differently or are differently-abled. Let’s not mince words: apps are racist trash pits where our most vile and ugly prejudices remain on display. Apps have taught us to see each other in the most generalized and diminutive categorical terms — top, bottom, hung, and so on. Using them, faggots have learned to view each other as traits and shorthand descriptors. While it’s easy to lament the mental and social ramifications of these apps — and there are many — they have made one thing easier: it hurts less to be rejected by a profile than a person. If we can make others small and dismissible, then the little sting of being unwanted by another box on a grid has no real burn, no value judgment. It’s easy to forget about. We can block the ones who don’t want us with one tap.

You must learn to do this — to discard people, because they are discarding you. Instead of viewing your body as something to reveal when you meet someone in person and hoping for the best, see it as something a) that you’re proud of, because you should be, and b) a prerequisite, a test others must pass if they are to fuck you. That’s what my HIV is. That’s what all my features are. Someone must embrace all of me to get the prize.

A brief note about safety: I am privileged to live in a place where I am safe putting all my details, including my HIV status, online. The last five cities I’ve lived in have all been places where I felt comfortable broadcasting my kinks, my face, my body, and much else with no fear of reprisal, job loss, or anything of that sort. I know that not everyone can do that. I’ve never experienced racism on an app and no one can see my disability on an app. I’ve never had a job I could lose by being openly gay, and I’ve never lived in a place where being gay was dangerous. Only broadcast what you are able to safely. But even if you go without a picture, I encourage you to be forthcoming in your profile text and tell visitors to read it — a lot of guys do this on apps. How many “READ PROFILE” screen names and usernames have we seen? Most people recognize the value of getting the messy bits — the disclosure and disclaimers — out of the way as soon as possible. I don’t even go through the business of telling about my HIV status anymore, because it’s clearly stated in every profile I have. I can’t help it if some people choose not to read.

Remember: fucking you is his win, not yours. You’re just getting sex, just getting your needs met. He’s getting to fuck you and date you. This is a subtle shift in mental perspective but one I’ve had to adopt in order to bear the brutality of seeking sex online. If he doesn’t want the one-handed Kurdish/Jewish boy, that’s his loss: he doesn’t get to experience your company. Thank you, next.

If someone only sees one characteristic or defines the totality of your personhood by one thing — a body trait or your skin color or something in your blood — they don’t deserve you. Always remember that. You are so much more than one thing, and so is everyone. But some people can’t look past the one thing. So trash them. They are viewing you reductively, so you must reduce them to nothing. As far as you’re concerned, they don’t exist. There’s nothing you can do for people who are racist, ableist, or just disinterested. You can’t teach them, encourage them, coax them, or make yourself appealing to them. You just have to let them go. They are the ones you don’t get to go home with. That’s okay — you get to go home with better ones. The more accepting and open-minded of us are the best in bed. I promise.

There’s a great economy to full-disclosure, and I believe full-disclosure online is the course that avoids the most hurt. But I’d be lying if I said that I only practice full-disclosure for that reason. I do it now because I love the things about me that are different — I think they add to my charm and value as a person. I’m more than 50% Deaf, and while my partial-Deafness makes various situations very difficult, it adds to my nature and, for some people, it makes me even sexier. My HIV was my invitation into bareback culture and cum pigs and kink. I tattooed a biohazard on my arm because I love my community so much.

Your body — your arm without a hand — makes you very interesting and will make you very sexy to some people (as a fist pig, my interest is admittedly piqued). Why not use it? People are always going to fetishize unconventional features that can’t be changed. We might as well enjoy these things about us and get what we can out of them. I use my Deaf ear so much! I can play it up, make myself helpless and adorable. It makes some guys want to hate-fuck me right there.

Only fuck the ones who want all of you.

Love, Beastly

1 Comment

  1. Absolutely loved this article, and so true to the point, a similarity on what I just went through with Grindr. However my issue is noted, my age although it ancient, I’m 46. But still I press on because I DO know my worth! Beautiful and inspiring, thank you!!!

    Like

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