The big gay news lately is Manhunt.net, the web site where men go to find other men to have sex with. Manhunt basically consists of pages and pages of profiles with small photos and a few lines of text running the gamut from those who are seeking love, romance, dinner and a movie-type dates ("I know Mr. Right is out there somewhere") to graphic solicitation ("BB bottom cumdump seeks NSA loads"). It tilts pretty hard toward the direct appeals. Men will be men.
There's an article in the new issue of Out Magazine called, "Has Manhunt Destroyed Gay Culture?" and yesterday it was in the news that the owner of Manhunt is a Republican who has donated money to John McCain's campaign. All the gay blogs are talking about it.
I'll offer a couple random thoughts (which I posted as a comment to the post in The New Gay). There are so many aspects of this issue -- cultural, personal, political -- that it's hard to tease out a point of view.
Just think about two guys cruising Manhunt: one is there because he's deeply ashamed, married and closeted, desperate for the touch of another man, and this is the only way he knows. The other one is Out, sex-positive, and believes that sex is a political act and a fundamental right. (I think you get the same extremes with people who cruise parks or public bathrooms.) Pride is not the opposite of shame, it's the other side of the coin.
There's also a practical consideration. Heterosexual men live in a world where 97% of the women they encounter could at least theoretically, potentially be attracted to them. Homosexual men live in a world where 97% of the men they encounter would not under any circumstances be attracted to them and in fact a large percentage of them would be hostile or repulsed by the suggestion. As gay men, we look for and create situations where the probability of sex is higher. We want better odds.
We need places to find each other, and it's easier to sit in front of the computer at home than it is to sit in a bar. The Internet is a horny man's dream come true. But I don't think I like this development. Alcoholics are much more fun than Internet addicts.