Journalist writes about using hook-up apps in Qatar, where gay sex is punishable by death

The gay dating scene in Qatar isn't quite as dangerous and repressive as you might think.

The gay dating scene in Qatar isn't quite as dangerous and repressive as you might think.

A must-read article by Bert Archer was posted to Vice on Sunday, in which the journalist documents his experiences using hookup apps in the capital of Qatar, where gay sex is punishable by death.

With “bits of four days to spare” and “an empty hotel room with the promise of a constant supply of clean sheets and towels,” he decided to scan his apps — none of which he names — and see who was actively looking, if anyone.

“Having sex with the locals,” he explains, “is one of the things I like most about travel.”

In Qatar, the maximum penalty for gay sex (or extramarital sex) is death. That didn’t stop the apps from bleeping and pinging every few minutes after he logged in.

He writes:

I should point out that I was not subject to the death penalty. As far as Qatar is concerned, I’m lost anyway, soul-wise. I’d just get put in prison, maybe tortured, I’m guessing raped, and then deported. But if you’re Muslim, the law says death, or at least imprisonment and 100 lashes. And these guys popping up on my screen with their endearingly displayed body parts all looked pretty Muslim….

***

But, look at this glowing screen. Look at those hopeful, horny, possibly brave, mostly young men, erupting out of this tiny desert nation with Goldblumian inevitability. Life will find a way, at least if by life, you mean semen.

In-between his various meetings and lunches, the author managed to seal the deal and have sex several times, learning a great deal about “the religious Muslim world” in the process.

His discoveries suggest Qatar’s gay scene isn’t quite as repressed as you’d think. It’s clear while reading of his exploits that he didn’t have a particularly difficult time finding men who were willing to have a good time.

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