Grindr and Adult Entertainment

Jake Basford

Essex-boy living in Cardiff, Jake is a writer, PR/Media officer, and Social Media consultant.
Obsessed with video games, American culture and Buffy. Can usually be found at his laptop working.

Online ‘dating’ has quickly been replaced over the last few years with mobiles, and whether you are looking for something quick and dirty or longer-lasting, it is expected that you can talk about certain things without fear of repercussion. Usual questions in these cases are age, attitude towards sex and relationships, what you do and usually a picture (unless you work in a field that means that being ‘out’ is an issue), but what happens if you work in porn? Well if you take what happened to JP Dubois as anything to go by, your pretty screwed – and not just at the office.

We were alerted to something moving in the force when his partner, Sam Barclay, tweeted his disdain at what had occurred:

And when we checked JP’s profile the full story unravelled:

Apparently, telling people what you do for a living makes it advertising, if you are an adult entertainer. Not if you’re a masseur, an LGBT football team, a volunteer for charity, an STI testing facility, an event organiser, or any one of a thousand different jobs discussed on Grindr on a daily basis.

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When asked, a representative from Grindr informed us that, “At Grindr, we do our best to provide an excellent customer experience, and we take swift action against users who violate our terms of service to prevent them from ruining the Grindr experience for others. If a user comes across a profile where someone is soliciting goods and services — we encourage him to take action by ‘flagging’ the profile in question or contacting customer support to lodge a complaint.

We work together with our users to keep anyone trying to solicit the sale of goods and services out of the Grindr community.”

Whether this places the onus of the actions against JP and not against others who actually “solicit goods and services” on the individuals who ‘flag’ profiles is unclear, and Grindr were unwilling to comment further. However what is clear is the message that this sends out to the gay community – adult entertainers are held to a different standard, and are automatically pegged as selling themselves as an icon.

Compare this notion to consultants of any field – we have all been there, where we are at a party and someone tries to plug themselves or their business, on Twitter and someone hijacks your feed, or even when you get an email through to your inbox offering unwarranted Viagra. These are clear violations of solicitation, and digitally we need to be smarter about the way we handle such complaints. A hard and fast rule is no longer applicable, and unless Grindr, and other app providers, are willing to judge on an individualised basis, real certainty isn’t going to happen.

What do you think – should adult entertainers be held to a different standard than other people, or should anyone who advertises me bumped from use?

When approached for comment on the use of Grindr for advertising their groups and volunteers, THT and Cardiff Dragons did not respond

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