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Gaydar and its influence on Gay Culture


Rob Gibb talks about and its influence on gay culture 'the Internet essentially, when the kind of Gaydar stuff kicked in about 1997/8, that had an effect on how you meet people. Rather than meeting someone face to face in a bar or a sauna, you could talk to someone in a virtual space and suddenly people begin to make relationships, which are based tenuously on what they think someone is rather than what they are, and that had a huge knock on effect. As suddenly the amount of people you could meet online is significantly different, and the notion of a small insignificant boundary is limited by how far you can travel whether by public transport or your own transport or how long it would take to get from A to B in one night has altered completely. You do find that suddenly people are much more European in their outlook without necessarily having been to Europe, they have suddenly become aware of what is feasible, what is possible."

"I think (the way people used the scene because of the ) for a short time, it changed in the late nineties and early 2000s where people were hung up on staying indoors, meeting people (online), creating conversations and that's a different kind of mindset. When you actually meet someone you have to react quickly, you read their facial expressions, their body language; you know what they are talking about you can communicate through eye contact and engage with someone quite quickly but realise that this is quite interesting, as opposed to talking to someone through pushing some buttons and typing some words in. I think there was a point where everyone went "I can meet people, aren't they all fantastic". Then there came a point when people just went "This is all bollocks" and the Internet collapses and people start to go out and meet people again as opposed to virtual people. In the last few years it has started to happen again where people have online relationships with 'ideals' as opposed to real relationships with normal people."

"People who are twenty seven and upwards tend to stay online a little longer as they feel they are too old to go to some of the clubs which are geared towards younger people who are twenty years old."

Contributed by: Rob Gibb, 43

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