Queer Eye From A Straight Guy – Manroulette
Unless you’ve been living underneath a sparkle-laced rock the last year or so, you’ve certainly heard of the Internet phenomenon known as “chat roulette.” While some of you may have only heard the term in passing, most of you have experienced the web beast in person. Not only did this face-to-face encounter with such an unpredictable opponent leave you speechless, chances are it caused some tingles where the sun don’t shine as well. But for those of you who have decided to lie to yourself and others by choosing to be apart of the former, I suppose a brief history is in order.
In November of last year, a Russian teenager by the name of Andrey Ternovskiy took his love for Skype video chats with his friends to an entirely new level. His idea was to create a video chat website that forced two strangers, generated at random, to video chat with one another and see where things go. Aside from your web cam, the interaction was anonymous and could be ended at either user’s discretion. Basically, this kid created a website that’s all the awkward sweaty goodness of a blind date and made it so that you didn’t even have to leave the house to embarrass yourself in front of a complete stranger.
As with most things that should never become a popular culture item, the Internet loved the idea and Chatroulette took off.
Also par for the course with most things that should never become a popular culture item, the Internet decided to abuse the site, using it as their stomping grounds for all things penis. If you had the desire to see a penis, you could log onto Chatroulette and have that craving taken care of almost instantly. Before long, the website became notorious for its dick which is never a good thing unless you’re lucky enough to have the name “Ron Jeremy.”
Almost a year later, the hype surrounding Chatroulette has quietly faded. I can only assume that its users have moved on to the next big pop culture trend that allows them to show off the hours they spent carving “bad romance” into their pubic hair.
However, those of you who have put away your gristle missle and assumed it would be hibernating from the Internet for the winter may be in for a pleasant surprise.
As usual, the gay community has taken what was once a great thing, added some glitter and made that thing even better. In other words, they have resurrected Chatroulette from the darkest corner of the Internet for your viewing pleasure.
They like to call it Manroulette.
Manroulette has the same basic principle behind it as Chatroulette, except it is obviously geared towards gay men. After logging on, you are thrown into a one-on-one video chat with what I hope is a complete stranger. You can either choose to chat with your new temporary pen pal or you can disconnect and search for a new random partner.
Your third option is to take the road that seems to be the Interstate 64 of Manroulette: you can show off how well you can crank your love pump in front of a live audience.
In the three days I spent on the website, I saw more men charming their snake than I’ve ever seen in my life. I wish I could avoid the phrase “all shapes and sizes,” but much like the subject at hand, it’s pretty tough to avoid. I literally saw everything from a 20-something trying to relieve a little stress to a grandfather assuming he was still alone in his 1947 dorm room.
While my web cam was on and functioning properly, I made the swift decision to play devil’s advocate and not only keep my clothes on, but keep my hands where my partner could see them. Some of them appreciated this. I’m sure after seeing a parade of video penises all evening, it’s refreshing to come across a normal looking dude holding a piece of pizza in one hand and a bottle of Whiskey in the other. On the other hand, others had clearly ventured to Manroulette to get their fair share of the penis pie and the fact that I was not feeding it to them like a baby bird did not bode well. As a result, the “disconnect” button was used quickly. And frequently.
Manroulette will likely never receive the success or attention that it’s predecessor received. It was not made with the intention of reaching a mass public audience. Not only is the site geared towards a select group of society, but the content within could make Bill Clinton blush like he’s taking a trip down memory lane. The small group that the site is intended for (gay men with a penis they want to show off) will find it to be incredibly useful and a fantastic procrastination tool.
I wonder if Adam4Adam knows that it has some serious competition looming.
Chad Brown is a straight male living in Richmond. He enjoys bourbon on the rocks and appreciates a firm ass. Male or female.
Check out the most read stories on GayRVA.com this year.December 28, 2011
- Behind 2010′s Biggest Stories, December 29, 2010
- First same-sex marriage related bill dies in VA Senate committee (expectedly)
- Longtime RVA lesbian activist Beth Marschak’s speech from March on Monument
- Firehouse Theatre and TheatreLAB open casting call for ‘Heathers: the Musical’
- 5th Wall’s ‘Luna Gale’ explores the dilemma of what is “best” for the child
- The Black Vaudeville experience exposed in Quill Theatre’s original musical drama “Top of Bravery”