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Mister is a gay meetup app that aims to help the dating Grind grow up

There aren't a lot of cutting edge apps for gay dating. The most popular one is Grindr, but that app is largely used to find men who want to hook up rather than be your long-term boyfriend. What if you want more than just another hook-up? Why can't there be a grown-up alternative to Grindr? There is, and it's called Mister.

With a user base of 1 million there are plenty of other men looking for love on Mister's network, and their new app makes finding "the one" easier than ever.

Mister is designed to take gay dating apps beyond the limit of hook-up culture and truly help each user focus on a well-rounded image of the men they're looking for. Unlike Grindr, which limits you to 130 characters in your profile, Mister provides 3,000 characters to present an image of who you truly are. Instead of the one picture Grindr allows, Mister allows you to post 25.

Every day users get 30 personalized introductions, and the app's learning engine allows it to evolve its selections over time to help you find a better match. Matches are done using a mix of geolocation and Mister's web server, leveraging the web server's power to give you better searches. In addition, the new app is faster, sleeker and easier to browse than ever before.

Mister CEO Carl Sandler created Mister as a place that emphasizes maturity, safety and respect in the app dating scene. When I spoke to Sandler last week, he explained the motive accordingly:

A lot of people in other apps created an environment that was very much aimed at people who look really great in one photo of themselves. Especially shirtless. So if you happen to not be the kind of person that has a washboard stomach or is 23, Grinder sort of became a place that wasn't for you. It wasn't inclusive of a lot of people. There are reasons for that, but a lot of it is because Grindr was designed as a hook-up app. And a lot of people are looking for more than that.

To that end Mister also features an encouraged, but optional, MISTER code of ethics.

  • 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.

The MISTER code creates an environment that's free of the sometimes outright insulting and hostile stances taken on other apps. Sandler told me:

This is a space for real men that's about being themselves. You don't have to pretend to be some kind of super jock or athlete. You can have a space that's about authentic experiences and conversations. We want to use the app to empower people not to have shame around dating. You can go on the app to look around and have a good time, or find dates. I'd say we're somewhere between a Match.Com and a Grindr.

Mister's redesigned app is debuting exclusively on iOS today, with an Android version coming out in the fall. iOS was the logical place to debut the app, considering around 70 percent of its current users have iPhones.

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