Scruff: Every Bit as Bad as Expected

Published at 10:37 on 9 February 2024

Let me start by saying this is not the fault of anyone at Perry Street Software. They actually tried. The Scruff app has features that would enable it to be something different from what it actually is in practice… if, of course, its user base desired that. The problem is that user base. What it wants is, generally, what Scruff actually is in practice. And what Scruff actually is, is not what I want.

I had written off smartphone dating apps as, well, basically what I have now experimentally determined them to be, ever since they first came on the scene. Late last year, I came to the conclusion I was being overly dismissive and should at least get some actual evidence to base my beliefs on.

It turns out there is dismissiveness, but then again there is also the wisdom of experience. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between the two. In this case, it was the wisdom of experience all along. The scene on Scruff is every bit as bleak as I had believed it to be. I did not bother checking out Grindr, but I did some research on their policies and all the evidence pointed it to being even worse, and with my current experience under my belt the latter is not even worth a chance.

You see, the main reason I do not self-identify as “gay” is that so much of the expression of gay male sexuality is the expression of typical male sexuality in general, specifically the typical male sex drive. I do not share that sex drive. My sex drive is more like the typical female sex drive; sex without a deeper personal connection is not very meaningful to me, and the few times I have had it, I have found it to be the most mediocre and disappointing sex of my life.

So much of the gay male subculture revolves around that male sex drive. (Straight men would have as much casual sex as gay men, if only straight women were as interested in it.) For me, it’s always seemed much like my junior high and high school years (where all the guys were madly obsessed over something I had little interest in) all over again.

I was hoping that by not choosing “Random Play/NSA” (NSA = no strings attached, i.e. sex without the expectation of anything more), and by writing a profile that indicated my interests, I might be able to find a kindred spirit of some sort.

Ho, ho, ho! Read the other guy’s profile. Good one. That would slow down the quest for more sexual conquests, so what’s the point? It’s all click on the pic and flirt for casual sex. Regarding NSA, approximately 98% of the user base indicates that as an interest. Because of course they do. Welcome to the gay male subculture.

I add a simple test in my profile (an unusual word that has to be mentioned at the start of any communications, to weed out those who did not read it). No new messages mention that word. None. Zero. Zilch. Oh well, at least it makes it easier to block ’em and move on.

General laziness, plus perhaps some unrealistic hope, means I haven’t yet closed my account and deleted the app. But I see that happening in the not too distant future.

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