Technology » Personal Tech

Homo Tech :: App Helps Judge If Mr. Right Now Is Mr. Right

by Shaun Knittel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Dec 27, 2012
Homo Tech :: App Helps Judge If Mr. Right Now Is Mr. Right

Gay men might not have exactly invented online dating, but, man, we sure took to it quickly.

The soaring popularity of hookup apps like Grindr, GuySpy and Manhunt proves that we sure took the bull -- or bulls -- by the horns. Since a walk down any urban gayborhood demonstrates how attached we are to our smartphones, it's no wonder we migrated so quickly from the Internet to our mobile devices.
It goes where you go, and lets you find out who is else is around.

Stagg, which launched December 20, is the latest entrant in the gay dating app category. Billed as a next-generation mobile dating platform, the app features what its creator calls cutting-edge technology that allow users to "know more than his location."

Stagg claims to streamline the dating numbers game. It offers members an instant opportunity to know what they have in common with other guys and gauge the likelihood of feeling a spark in person.

Stagg Co-Founder Brad Brenner claims the company's product will be suitable for the slut, the saint, and everyone else in-between.

"Knowing the distance between you and an attractive and available guy is great, but the next big step for apps is harnessing a smartphone's ability to instantly run thousands of calculations to also reveal the potential for more," Brenner told EDGE. "In a drastically transformed dating landscape, gay guys want an updated mobile dating app, and with Stagg, we've utilized the latest technology to meet those demands."

Brenner continued, "Friends joked with me that there needed to be an app that finds the sweet spot somewhere in between the delightfully slutty hookup-only apps and the sinfully boring matchmaking-style websites. They're convinced of the need for something that captures the best of each. That guided our decision-making as we built Stagg."

"While first-generation mobile dating apps changed how gay men communicated and connected with each other almost overnight," Brenner claims Stagg advances the mobile dating experience by using permutations to help figure out that most mysterious set of molecules, the chemistry between two people that makes them click.

"It is undeniable that chemistry is key when seeking dates," said Brenner. "Learning about compatible interests and traits - what makes a man unique - is now easier than ever before with Stagg."

According to Brenner, Stagg was designed partly in response to a nationwide survey of 537 gay men. It showed a large majority of respondents who use mobile hook-up apps use them in the hopes of finding Mr. Right, as opposed to (or maybe along with) Mr. Right Now.

Once downloaded and opened, Stagg looks like any other sex finder app. There's the instant photo grid of potentially available sex partners, presorted by different preference. The difference between Stagg and other such apps is that, according to Brenner, Stagg "overhauls mobile dating for gay men with state-of-the-art app technology."

The "Best Fit Scores" reveals raw compatibility ratings between members. A "Rep System" shows a mash-up of members' interests, likes, and personality traits. "Sonar Technology," a new kind of mapping system, shows moment-by-moment updates of a city's hot spots for mingling with guys in person.

It's easy to see why apps like Stagg have caught on. They're certainly more convenient and less humiliating than the old "Meat Rack" situations in bars and clubs, where face-to-face rejection can really sting. And you don't have to buy a cocktail or spend hours on a dance floor.

Brenner himself comes with an interesting background for a tech company executive. A Ph.D. in psychology, he maintains a private practice in Washington, D.C. Whether Stagg will catch on in increasingly crowded app marketplace remains to be seen, but then again, a few years ago, Grindr would have been considered nothing more than misspelling.

For more information on Stagg or to download the app, visit

Shaun Knittel is an openly gay journalist and public affairs specialist living in Seattle. His work as a photographer, columnist, and reporter has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to writing for EDGE, Knittel is the current Associate Editor for Seattle Gay News.


This story is part of our special report titled "HomoTech." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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