Respecting each other

The short version of an ad for a gay dating/cruising app:

MISTER is an online community for men who value themselves and other men. Unlike other gay social networking apps, MISTER encourages users to show their faces, show respect, spend less time searching and more time meeting men in the real world. The users of our app are proud to say, “I am MISTER.”

(There will eventually be a linguistic point.)

The (very) long version, from the website:

MISTER is a gay chat app that’s truly different from the others.

We’re an online, mobile community for men who value themselves and other men. Unlike rival gay social networking apps, MISTER encourages users to show their faces, to be respectful, and to waste less time searching and spend more time meeting quality men in the real world – whether you’re looking for fun or something more serious

Why do we do this? Because we believe in the power of individuals to build a better, more civil app community – one where users don’t misrepresent themselves, list discriminatory preferences, treat others with contempt, and ignore or disrespectfully reject one another outright. The truth is that behind every iPhone, iPad and Android is a real person – a real man – and MISTER believes we ought to recognize that fact. We should be accountable to one another and treat each other like human beings in our virtual interactions. That way, we’ll all live in a more positive and less alienated gay community in reality.

So when you use MISTER, be clear and up-front. We think it’s cool. Go ahead and state whether you’re husky or skinny, whether you’re HIV-positive or negative, whether you’re mature or young, whether you’re a top or a bottom. And be proud of it

In the meantime, we’ll be doing our part behind the scenes to get you linked up with the men who are right for you. MISTER’s new “MR. Right” feature learns what type of men you’re attracted to as you use the app and makes smart introductions, showing you more men it thinks you might like but whom you haven’t seen before. It’ll save you time and get you off your mobile device and out on more dates. With MISTER, you’ll have MR. Right as well as plenty more smart tools at your disposal. You can learn about them all on the MISTER features page.

One last thing: MISTER asks users to follow a simple code of conduct in using the app. It’s a sort of shared set of values that we all agree upon. Appropriately enough, we call it the MISTER Code.

Maturity: MISTERs act like adults. No games. No attitude.
Integrity: MISTERs live authentically and honestly.
Safety: MISTERs protect themselves and their partners, emotionally and physically.
Truth: MISTERs represent themselves accurately in their profiles.
Enjoyment: MISTERs value mutually pleasurable experiences.
Respect: MISTERs treat each other with respect.

Basically, we want to help you find men by being yourself and being kind to your fellow man. That’s when you’re at your hottest. We want all of our users to be proud to say, “I am MISTER.”

Respect, respect, respect,. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Now here’s the ad that came to me in e-mail:

Real men, not bitches. No bitchy queens, just masculine nice guys. Find the kind of man you want, but don’t reject any guy outright. “No fats, no fems” OUT, but “No bitches” OK. I’m baffled.

The slang noun bitch has several uses in gay contexts — as a slur for for a nasty, unpleasant gay man; as a reference to a woman; as a reference to a sexually subordinate man (“owned” by a dominant man; bitch here is a relational noun); and as a reference to an effeminate, often submissive, gay man. In the last two senses, men may choose to use the word neutrally, as a statement of relationship (I wanted to be his bitch for months; he offered to share his bitch with me) or persona (where some men use it, even proudly, like bitch-boy, as roughly interchangeable with reclaimed sissy-boy or pussy-boy: I’ve always been comfortable being a bitch and hanging with other bitches; he’s a really sweet bitch).

I’m also baffled by Less glitches, fewer bitches, with non-parallel less and fewer, though both are used here with plural count nouns. Less hassle, fewer bitches would have worked, and even been prescriptively standard, but of course it doesn’t rhyme. Fewer glitches, fewer bitches would have worked on all counts. And Less glitches, less bitches would have maintained paralellism and managed the rhyme, though at the cost of non-standard (but very common) usage. What MISTER went for is a bizarre jumble.

One Response to “Respecting each other”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Dennis Lewis on Facebook:

    Dennis Lewis Am I the only one who thinks submissives would be drawn to an app named “Mister” thinking it would link them to dominant masters? (“Yes sir!”).

    Well, there’s Grindr and Jack’d, and, specifically for gay masters and slaves, bebo.

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