PlanetRomeo B.V.
Type of site
Social networking and dating website for gay and bisexual men as well as transgender.
Available in 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
Owner PlanetRomeo B.V.
Created by Jens Schmidt and Manuel Abraham
Revenue Membership fee for PLUS accounts in certain countries; advertising.[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Yes
Users Increase 2.6 million (as of June 2014)
Launched October 2002
Current status Active

PlanetRomeo, previously named as GayRomeo,[2] is a social network[3][4] for gay, bisexual and transgender. The site was established in October 2002 by PlanetRomeo GmbH in Berlin, Germany. It was initially aimed for the German-speaking community but has evolved into an international sphere. The site is commonly used by the male gay community to seek friendship, dating, clubs and other related LGBT themes.[5]

Initially the site was available in German and hence it used to have a majority of users being from Germanic countries; such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The site has gradually become available in a total of 20 languages. The German-speaking community remains the largest community but not the majoritarian.

In order to expand the international services of PlanetRomeo and in order to avoid possible legal problems with the comparatively strict German laws for the protection of children and young people,[6] PlanetRomeo has been operated by PlanetRomeo B.V. located in Amsterdam, Netherlands since September 2006.

In March 2009 the online community joined that of PlanetRomeo.[7]

Users by country

In Germany, due to its high number of registered users, PlanetRomeo 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".[8]

Active Users by Country
Country User
Germany 379,857
Italy 118,337
Philippines 114,158
India 91,825
France 83,647
Spain 63,642
Switzerland 38,292
Malaysia 35,925
Thailand 33,848
United Kingdom 30,029
Austria 28,902
Netherlands 26,389
Greece 25,786
Belgium 24,596
United States 21,802
Turkey 20,300
Poland 16,472
Romania 17,189
Singapore 12,418
Hungary 12,101
Serbia 10,853
Morocco 9,974
Indonesia 9,850
Croatia 8,342
Brazil 7,287
China 6,572
Canada -
Russia 6,023
Portugal 5,271
United Arab
Australia 5,075
Sweden 4,919
Czech Republic 4,238
Mexico 3,794
Finland 3,616
Bulgaria 3,454
Colombia 3,309
Slovenia 3,286
Ireland 3,184
Ghana 3,067
Cyprus 2,901
Norway 2,881
Israel 2,835
Peru 2,572
Bosnia and
Ivory Coast 2,453
Denmark 2,444
Algeria 2,430
Argentina 2,395
Vietnam 2,358
Cameroon 2,342
Luxembourg 2,065
Macedonia 1,855
Egypt 1,849
Ukraine 1,741
South Africa 1,736
Japan 1,597
Venezuela 1,560
Slovakia 1,547
Saudi Arabia 1,456
Taiwan 1,442
Lebanon 1,397
Cuba 1,290
Estonia 1,223
Chile 1,201
Sri Lanka 1,139
Latvia 1,102
Malta 1,070
Montenegro 1,027
Other 28,434
Worldwide 1,389,150
July 29, 2012
Active Users by Continent/Region
Continent/Region User
Europe 1,503,414
(excluding the Middle East)
Africa 114,408
North America
(excluding Central America)
South America 49,845
Middle East 37,118
Australia and Oceania 17,002
Central America 9,098
Worldwide 2,661,828
27 September 2013

Continent- or region-wise distribution of PlanetRomeo users, as of 27th September 2013.

  Europe (68.46%)
  Asia (excluding the Middle East) (22.75%)
  Africa (2.94%)
  North America (excluding Central America) (2.66%)
  South America (1.24%)
  Middle East (1.18%)
  Australia and Oceana (0.53%)
  Central America (0.25%)

Controversies on PlanetRomeo

Safe sex

PlanetRomeo offers detailed and high-profile information about safer sex, the risks associated with barebacking, and sexually transmitted diseases. Reflecting its community roots, PlanetRomeo also freely gives its own point of view about such issues.[9]

Contact information for HIV/AIDS support groups and organisations in Germany, Austria, and 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 practice safer sex or if the issue is up for discussion.

In addition to the health information available on the site, in February 2007 PlanetRomeo launched a live and online health advice 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 inquiries 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.


Personal profiles

To access PlanetRomeo users create an individual profile which typically includes a simple physical description and one or more photographs of themselves.[10][11] Sexual preferences, cultural interests and hobbies can be added optionally. PlanetRomeo is a community where people of all sexes and sexual orientations are respected and equal.[12]

Clubs and guide entries

Aside from personal messaging, PlanetRomeo 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 and clubs for men who use drugs such as crystal methamphetamine.[13] 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.

Community information

Reflecting its community ethos PlanetRomeo also includes a lot of information regarding safer sex,[14] coming out, health support as well as links to gay magazines and other community organizations. All these functions are free on PlanetRomeo.

PlanetRomeo Foundation

PlanetRomeo Foundation was established by PlanetRomeo BV in the Netherlands in 2009, to contribute to the fight for equal rights and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. PlanetRomeo Foundation envisions a world without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; a world in which LGBTI people have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else; a world which values and respects differences in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The Foundation supports projects that aim to improve the position of LGBTI people all over the world, with emphasis on the most disadvantaged communities and locations.[15] Projects focus on three priority themes: Safety & Shelter, Education and Sports & Culture. In its funding policy the Foundation has a preference for small-scale, emerging, grassroots projects 'for the community, by the community', which aim to involve, mobilize and activate that same community. Also, priority is given to organizations or initiatives with little or no access to mainstream sources of funding. The minimum grant that can be applied for is €500, the maximum grant is €5,000. The Foundation is an independent, registered non-profit with both a Management Board and Supervisory Board. The website of PlanetRomeo Foundation can be found at .


  1. "Delhi gay parties need to stop being transphobic". 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  2. "The compelling story of Faustine, a person living with HIV - The Standard". 2015-08-08. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  3. Kushner, Jacob. "The Secret Life of Gay Ugandan Refugees in Nairobi". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  4. Corcoran, Kieran (2015-04-11). "Hungarian gay sex slave ringleader convicted of luring gay Eastern Europeans to NYC | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  5. GayRomeo Statistics
  6. Gayromeo Statement concerning the German Youth Protection Law
  7. Article of Austrian magazine "Gayboy" (in German) Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Die Tageszeitung - Gefährlich hoher Datingfaktor (in German)
  9. Caspar Thomson Published: 02 December 2015 (2015-12-02). "HIV & AIDS Information :: Thousands of people visit the European HIV Test Finder". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  10. "Aussie priest, who fled to Malaysia, reportedly seeking 'young Asian men' , AsiaOne Malaysia News". 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  11. Thackray, Lucy (2016-02-11). "Australian priest Peter Grasby accused of sexually abusing a boy fled to Malaysia | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  12. "PlanetRomeo Foundation". PlanetRomeo Foundation. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  13. Thanki, D.; Frederick, B. (2016). "Social media and drug markets, The Internet and drug markets (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: Insights 21)" (PDF). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. pp. 115–124.
  14. "Stigma, Aura and Pera: The HIV Connection | Opinion | GMA News Online". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  15. Emma Cueto (2015-05-27). "Gay Men Are Happiest In Northern Europe, New Study Finds, and There's A Very Obvious Reason For It". Retrieved 2016-11-23.

External links

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