Mench’D: A New Long-Term Dating App for Gay Men

Many gay men know of the smart phone applications, Grindr, Jack’d, and Scruff. These apps are largely utilized to connect gay men for dating, networking, friends, friends with benefits, or just for hooking up. However, there is a new app on the gay dating market now: Mench’D. This up-and-coming app is unlike other popular gay dating apps because it focuses on establishing long-term relationships (LTRs) between gay men. While the other apps out there largely are used for short-term dating and casual sex, the goal of Mench’D is to establish more long-term relationship connections among gay men and to minimize the “quickie” culture of other apps.

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I was curious about this application, so I decided to give it a try. My first impression: I thought the app had some very good qualities. Similar to OkCupid, the app allows gay men to report important lifestyle information (e.g., whether you smoke, have children, want to get married, etc) used for general compatibility. Also, I like how the app has photo-upload categories. For example, the app encourages you to upload a “face” picture, a “body” picture, and “group” shots with friends. Unlike Grindr or Jack’d that allow 100% “body” shots or “headless torsos”, this app allows users to view more pieces of one’s life that aren’t inherently connected to sex. Along those same lines, the introductory video feature on Mench’D is great in my opinion because it allows gay men to showcase their personality rather than just their physical appearance.

I feel that this application is a step in the right direction for gay men looking for more than just sex or short-term dating. Granted, not all gay men are looking for a LTR, however not all gay men are looking for a quick fling either. Gay men who are more long-term oriented may benefit from this application because it allows them to connect based on similarity and personality in addition to physical attraction.

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Currently, the app does not have as many users compared to other mainstream dating applications. However, the good news is that this app is steadily growing. The CEO of Mench’D, Justin Maxx, is hopeful that the application will continue to expand its user base. Still curious about the goals and implications of the new app, I decided to interview Justin about Mench’D:

Q: Why do you think single gay men need Mench’D?

     Justin: I think our community needs a platform that encourages LTRs. Many gay men have vocalized shared frustrations over using Grindr and or other location-based gay “dating” apps. Mench’d is the first matchmaking app on the smartphone.

We think our community is finally realizing that we need a platform like this.

Q: What makes Mench’D different from other gay dating applications?

     Justin: Mench’D functions by utilizing a series of questions to determine one’s personality and compatibility level with other gay men looking for love in their area, pinpointing an exact percentage of compatibility. It’s sexy, simple, and we are growing constantly – a little over 800 users join monthly.

Q: In your opinion, what technical features about Mench’D makes it stand out to its users? I personally loved how there was a video component in addition to the pictures.

     Justin: The video feature is our newest feature, the users are loving it. It helps the guys know that they are talking to the same person who is in the profile picture. You get to hear the guys voice, watch him tell a joke or even just catch his smile.

We also host monthly events in a couple cities around the world. Our single and mingle events are growing every month.

Q: What implications do you think this app has for gay men’s dating patterns?

     Justin: I wanted to create a visually stunning platform, one that didn’t forget that we are still men. I wanted the users to feel like it was a quality service where they will find quality men. Our new update is coming out soon on android and app store. It’s going to be life changing.

Gay dating isn’t about scrolling through profiles that say “masc into masc”! Mench’D doesn’t forget that sex is a huge part of our worlds and is necessary to sustain a relationship but we don’t put that at the center of our mission. We allow our users to connect emotionally first and flirt later.There will always be something different about logging on to a platform that you know everyone on there is looking for the same thing. Love.

There are so many apps for “encounters” and one-night stands, and this is what I’ve focused on staying away from. The casualness is cool, but it doesn’t allow for a dating life. We all deserve to be loved sexually and emotionally and the truth is, it’s hard to find that! At the end of the day, we are all looking for a best friend and a life partner, and you can find this on Mench’d.

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For more information on Mench’D, please visit the official website: http://www.menchd.com/

New Look, New Perspective

Gay-Straight Relationships has been LIVE for almost a year, and the blog has come a long way. With over 800 Facebook fans and many loyal readers, Gay-Straight Relationships has gotten off to a very powerful start. In celebration of this milestone, it is our pleasure to introduce the “new look” to our site where we will continue to provide a fresh, “new perspective” regarding the relationships between gay and straight.

As we continue to expand and grow, we hope that you will be able to share our perspectives your close friends and utilize our information to foster acceptance and growth within your relationships. We want to thank you for your support and interest in Gay-Straight Relationships.

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Why are you still single?

Being a relationship consultant and lifecoach over the past seven years, I hear similar stories of men and women being left alone and deprived of love for numerous reasons. The newest on my “Why are you Still Single? A.k.a., Why are you Thirsty?” list: the Bitch Factor. It is a recent development or trend I’ve noticed, specifically amongst gay men. This is when your gay friend is such a judgmental and drama filled individual that they can’t even keep it to themselves – they must impose it upon other people (most notably like a few pop culture references: Perez Hilton, the cast of A*List Dallas & New York, or certain contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race).

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Over the past few years, many homosexual men have embraced the notion that, at times, it can be appropriate to embrace these unconventional social norms; most, even those not familiar with the culture, would deem this as inappropriate. But, in reality, it has always been inappropriate for your gay friend to act like this. Is it possible that this “bitch” factor would likely leave your straight female friends in the same “single and ready to mingle” party?  The answer is Yes.

Most suitors process their prospect’s friends, family, and living environment to get a better idea of who they are.  Within the strokes of a couple keys, you can learn the most intimate details of a person and their social circle by just knowing what to look for.  A woman’s closest friend’s attitude weighs heavy and, at times, can cause a person to lose interest. Why? Because you are the company you keep.  So for those men that embrace the “bitch factor” you are not only causing yourself to be single, but also you could be keeping your straight friends from finding a good mate. No one wants to deal with drama.

We all have basic interests: being loved, valued, and happy.  Don’t be the one with the “bitch factor” in your social circle.  Realize that you could be “winning” in all of your social circles if you left your “bitch factor” at the house.  Not only will it help you, but it could help your best pal in their relationships, as well.

Here are a few tips to keep you going down the right path:

1. Be comfortable – Most people are attracted to others that are comfortable in their own skin.  People more often cross paths with people that are insecure.  Don’t be ignored by your potential suitor, stand out!

2. Be confident – Be confident, not arrogant. Possessing this trait well get you noticed immediately but will also get you iced out if you don’t control yourself.

3. Have an opinion – No one ever wants just a “Yes” man.  Engage people often.

4. Be independent – Have your life on pace regardless of whom you come across. Why? Most people have people dependent on them personally or professionally. Don’t add more weight to their ship called “life”.

5. Be Open to Change, but offer stability – Ever heard the classic saying, “A house is not a home?” This is tricky but achievable.  We are all living an evolutionary lifestyle, but little things that never change are much appreciated.

6. Be the Company you want to keep – Negative people can be toxic. Not just for you, but for new relationships.

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My job is not to critic and spread negativity, it is to enhance and educate. As a relationship consultant, I cannot guarantee love or marriage, but I can ensure that I place individuals in a better position to receive love. If we all check our egos at the door, we have the ability to grow and evolve towards something greater. A man regardless of his sexual orientation should not be excused from good manners and a level of self-respect. Don’t jump off or burn the bridge, enhance and make it stronger so others may cross.

We thank Thomas for his guest post to Gay-Straight Relationships. Thomas Massaquoi is a life coach and relationship consultant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. http://www.thomasmassaquoi.com/

Gay Marriage: Supporting and Avoiding?

I want to touch on a topic that has not yet been discussed on Gay-Straight Relationships: marriage. I recently received an email from a reader that raised an interesting question regarding the topic. A gay male, whose name will remain anonymous, emailed me to inquire:

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“Sometimes I do not understand gay men. At one moment, you see them waving a flag for marriage equality, but then the next minute you notice them avoiding the thought of a long-term, committed relationship. It seems gay men enjoy the thought of marriage than actually wanting to pursue it. Why do you think this is?”

Based on my own observations, I have noticed something similar among gay men. This is most certainly not the case for all gay men, but some gay men prefer not to enter into long-term relationships even though many of them may be supporters of marriage equality. I do not necessarily view this as hypocritical; rather, I feel that many gay men want to support gay marriage even though they may not want to get married or pursue long-term relationships themselves.

Although research has not explored the ‘why’ behind this idea, I will offer two perspectives:

The Age Demographic – When I first read this inquiry, the first question that popped into my head was: Are these gay men younger or older? It is likely that age plays a huge role for whether gay men wish to pursue marriage partners. For instance, younger gay men (20s to early 30s) may simply not be ready for such a commitment. Even though some gay men in this age range seek and desire long-term, committed relationships, some gay men may not. Gay men in their mid-20s to early 30s may be still trying to establish their career, connections, and friendships. Thus, it isn’t that surprising that some gay men in this age range casually date rather than committing to something that is longer-term.

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Partial Acceptance – Another explanation that could be driving gay men away from long-term relationships in their own lives is that marriage is not yet 100% accepted. Even though the U.S. has made wonderful progress over the past few years, there are still many states where it is not legal for gay individuals to marry. Additionally, there are many places in the United States (even in the world) where it is frowned upon to have a gay partner at your hip. From a psychological perspective, this may cause gay men to feel ostracized by walking down the street with their partner.  Because of this, some gay men may not want to pursue long-term, committed relationships and may see it easier to casually date other gay men.

(Received reader’s consent to publicly post)