Saturday, 8 January 2011

There's An App For That

Ahhh Apple, beautiful things for beautiful people. Shame about the whole anti-sex/censorship thing but oooo, they look so pretty.

Typing this on my iMac, no doubt checking visit stats later in bed on my Macbook Pro (I'm mildly obsessive) and tweeting about it on my iPhone, I'm hardly in a position to criticise Apple (I'm waiting for the iPad2 before giving in on that front too). In fact, Apple has a host of fantastic apps for all those interested in law and sexuality. The launch of Apple's new OS later this year will mean that Mac's also have access to App's rendering them ubiquitous for many users of technology.

So, what App's are worth downloading from the point of view of law and sexuality? The bad news is that Apps seem more pitched at a male audience than a female or trans audience. One App that's a relative newcomer but fantastically useful is the Pink News App, you can keep up to date with all the latest LGB news stories. Although written largely from a UK perspective, it does cover lots of international stories. It's a smooth, fast app which any law and sexuality student with an iPhone/iPad should download. It's also free!

The main UK lesbian and gay magazines can also be downloaded for £1.79 a pop. Attitude, Diva, and GT (Gay Times) are all available for a fraction of their hard-copy price but this is probably one for iPad users only.

Perhaps the best known App from a sexuality point of view is Grindr - popularised by Stephen Fry in one memorable episode of Top Gear. The location specific 'dating' (quick fuck) website makes for a brightening addition to lectures and workshops. It's also free, if mildly creepy.

Gaydar and Manhunt got in on the location specific concept but the Gaydar app is horrendously slow and you need a separate subscription (or enhanced subscription) to get member level access, even if you are a member of the Gaydar website. Such is the continued popularity of Gaydar (see Sharif Mowlabocus's wonderful book published last year by Ashgate on 'Gaydar Culture'), it will be downloaded many times, but to be honest, if it wasn't the Gaydar brand, few would bother. Manhunt is also slow but does give you more access to services. The trouble is Manhunt hasn't taken of fin the UK to the same degree as in the US and other aprts of the world, so that local guy could be many miles away. Both apps are free.

Other gay sites are making apps available such as the fetish site Recon (also free) and more are likely to appear.

For those curious about cottaging/tearooms and want to know more about correct toilet etiquette, I recommend two fabulous free apps. The first is called 'Urinal Game' and is an App version of a computer programme that has been doing the rounds for many many years now. It's simple, funny and quite educational - particularly for female viewers. The sharper, more complex 'Urinal Test' is a more modern addition and one I recommend to students during the public sex part of the course. Both App's are also free!

Let me take this opportunity for a shameless appeal, should anyone want to create an app of my blog for free, that would be lovely (and rather unlikely).

Please do feel free to add your own suggestions for App's I've missed off in comments below.

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