||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (January 2009)|
|Slogan||Make friends, get dates, have sex.|
|Type of site||Social Networking and Dating website for gay and bisexual men.|
|Available language(s)||Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese|
|Users||1.56 million (as of September 2013)|
|Created by||Jens Schmidt and Manuel Abraham|
|Revenue||Membership fee for "Plus" accounts in certain countries; advertising.|
GayRomeo is a worldwide social network, instant messaging and dating community for gay, bisexual and transgender men. The site was established in October 2002 by PlanetRomeo GmbH in Berlin, Germany. According to its own figures, GayRomeo has more than 6,740,000 registered profiles and 1,389,150  active users worldwide and is the biggest German-speaking chat and dating community for gay, bisexual and transgender men on the web.
Because of its German origins the majority of GayRomeo's users come from German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, since the site is available in altogether 20 languages (English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Portuguese, French, Tagalog, Turkish, Italian, Thai, Polish, Romanian, Dutch, Serbian, Greek, Hungarian, Czech, and Swedish), the number of users from non-German-speaking countries is constantly increasing.
In order to expand the international services of GayRomeo and in order to avoid possible legal problems with the comparatively strict German laws for the protection of children and young people, GayRomeo has been operated by PlanetRomeo B.V. located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands since September 2006.
In March 2009 the online community Guys4Men.com joined up GayRomeo.
Users who prefer to keep the site layout strictly non-sexual and inconspicuous, can use a graphical neutral version and a small GayRomeo-messenger available under www.planetromeo.com. This can be helpful when using GayRomeo in gay-unfriendly public spaces like offices, hotels or internet cafés.
Users by countries
|July 29, 2012|
(excluding the Middle East)
(excluding Central America)
|Australia and Oceania||8,236|
|27 September 2013|
In Germany, due to its high number of registered users, GayRomeo is often called the "Gay Registry Office" (schwules Einwohnermeldeamt) or "The Blue pages" (Die blauen Seiten), referring to the well known telephone directories the yellow pages and the white pages. In a satirical reference to the Nazis' compilation of lists of homosexual men in the 1930s, the German newspaper "Taz" announced: "The pink lists are back".
Just like general Internet use, the use of GayRomeo varies depending on age, education level and other criteria. Even politicians are known to use the services of GayRomeo. For example, member of the German Parliament Volker Beck (Green Party) offered virtual consulting hours on GayRomeo during the election campaigns of 2005.
Controversies on GayRomeo
GayRomeo offers detailed and high-profile information about safer sex, the risks associated with barebacking and other sexually transmitted diseases. Reflecting its community roots GayRomeo also freely gives its own point of view about such issues.
Contact information for HIV/AIDS support groups and organisations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland is also provided on the website. There is no censoring of user profiles that promote unsafe sex or barebacking, but in their profiles users have the option to state their position regarding safer sex to indicate whether they always or never practise safer sex or whether the issue for them requires discussion.
In addition to the health information available on the site, in February 2007 GayRomeo launched a live and online health advise service in cooperation with Germany's national NGO for HIV/Aids issues Deutsche Aids-Hilfe. The online supporters are trained in questions of health and healthcare, and all user's enquires are dealt with in the strictest confidence. In this way users are offered the same level of service as when Deutsche Aids-Hilfe do their outreach work in gay bars, clubs and saunas.
To access GayRomeo users create an individual profile which typically includes a simple physical description and one or more photographs of themselves. Sexual preferences, cultural interests and hobbies can be added optionally. GayRomeo is exclusively for men (gay, bisexual or transgendered) of eighteen years or older.
Clubs and guide entries
Aside from personal messaging, GayRomeo offers users the chance to create clubs-profiles and guide-entries as another way of getting in touch with gay men sharing similar interests. For example the regular customers of a bar or sauna can link their private profile to the club or guide-profile of that place. Members of a particular club can exchange news or discuss diverse subjects in the club's forum or via a newsletter. Clubs also exist for supporters of political parties, members of religious groups and employees in particular industries. There are also clubs that are more sex or fetish orientated such as a club for men who like men with big ears. There are also fan-clubs for pop or movie stars, classical music etc. In fact, since any user can create a club-profile, the list is limitless.
Reflecting its community ethos GayRomeo also includes a lot of information regarding safer sex, coming out, health support as well as links to gay magazines and other community organizations. All these functions are free on GayRomeo.
Some additional features are reserved for users who upgrade to a so-called "plus"-account such as customized profile design, picture search and SSL-encrypted log-in. The plus-account has a small monthly charge. The website also provides free "plus" accounts for users who are living in countries where homosexuality is illegal or where gay rights are undeveloped.
The PlanetRomeo Foundation
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to GayRomeo.|