Dating apps like Grindr are known to be cesspools of horny guys and random genital pictures. But what if you’re a gay guy who just wants to talk and get to know someone?
Enter Chappy. Founded by Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke, Chappy aims to eliminate dick pics from online dating.
Aside from unsolicited dick pics, apps like Grindr also promote issues of racism, ageism, fat shaming, and femme shaming among the gay community. To combat these issues, Chappy introduced a pledge for its users: basically, don’t be an asshole. If you don’t find someone attractive, simply swipe left.
In the following video, Chappy brought together 16 gay men to talk about their negative experiences on dating apps.
Some words these men used to describe their experiences include mean, rejection, racist, shallow, lonely, negativity, and disappointment. The men of color often faced racist comments under the guise of not being someone’s ‘type.’ Fat and disabled men also experienced body shaming and ableism.
‘If you don’t like somebody you can just ignore their message, you don’t have to broadcast it and put down the entire community for your own hang ups,’ Thomas, a gay demisexual man, tells GSN.
When users join Chappy, they must take the pledge. ‘At Chappy, we believe beauty is found in the way you treat others. Discrimination by race, religion, disability, gender identity, age, or anything else is strictly forbidden.’
‘By using Chappy, you commit to treating your fellow members with respect, kindness, and honesty without judgment or bias.’
The 16 men in the video were all pleasantly surprised by this pledge. Chappy is the first app of its kind to explicitly forbid harmful behavior.
How Chappy works
‘Chappy is like a dating app that you can sort based on preference “mr. right, mr. right now, mr. who knows”,’ Thomas explains.
This is known as the ‘Chappy Scale.’ It allows users to slide between ‘Mr. Right’ and ‘Mr. Right Now’ depending on what they’re looking for.
‘It avoids the first awkward 10 minutes of chatting where you are trying to figure out what someone wants or those first three dates before one of you just wants to hook up and the other is looking for something more serious,’ co-founder Jack Rogers told The Independent.
Users can change the scale depending on their mood.
Chappy is available in London, New York City, and Los Angeles. It’s even been backed by Whitney Wolfe, co-founder of Tinder and CEO of Bumble, a dating app where only women can initiate conversation.
‘Bumble has made great strides for women in the dating scene and we believe Chappy will do the same for gay men,’ Wolfe said.
‘I didn’t want a dick pic to be quite honest, I did not want someone sending me a picture of their penis immediately. I wanted to be able to find someone who I could bring to my friends who I had fallen for,’ Locke explains.
In order to combat this culture of unsolicited dick pics, Chappy verifies users via Facebook, like Tinder. It also doesn’t allow photos to be uploaded unless the user’s face is in it.
‘For someone who might be 20-years-old coming out, I don’t want a 45-year-old man to send me a picture of their dick. It’s not responsible, it doesn’t feel like something be happening to a young community in 2017 and we are trying to break that,’ Locke states.