As I clutched my shiny, new iPhone and felt the weight of new technology at my fingertips, I had one app in particular on my mind: Grindr. I had heard that Grindr, the gay hookup app, was the new frontier of flirtation, picking up where Queer as Folk had left off with chat rooms. As Grindr downloaded, images of sculpted men with eager willingness to converse filled my head, and I knew that this would be a turning point for me as I entered college, a freshman with wide and innocent eyes, untouched by some of the strange boldness that mobile anonymity provides. I told myself I would surely impress the males of cellular cyber space, uploading a picture and preparing for a barrage of compliments. I knew I would meet a whole new crop of men, a magic rainbow of interaction available at my fingertips.
I have now had Grindr for two years and here are a select few of the pretty slim number of messages I have received. Apparently I am not as photogenic as I had hoped.
1. “Do you have a rain poncho? YES OR NO MOTHERFUCKER”
This is my personal favorite Grindr message I have ever received. I do not own a rain poncho, and I never have, because I am not in a pontoon boat exploring the bottom of Niagara Falls, but I did appreciate the urgency of the caps lock. Upon further inspection, I was shocked to look out my window and see that there was not a drop of rain outside. I suppose I will never know what this man needed the rain poncho for, but I do know I was much too scared of his shouted aggression to ask.
2. “Let me shit on your face… You should be thankful for my shit, you nasty fat ass.”
I actually received this on Thanksgiving, so I’m assuming this writer’s usage of ‘thankful’ was for festive purposes. I do prefer turkey over human excrement, just as a personal preference. I could unleash into a bitter diatribe about the amount of fat shaming I receive being an overweight gay man, but I actually found this man’s forceful reasoning very persuasive.
3. “I’m bored stiff”
Attached to this wonderful greeting was a picture of user ‘BigOne’s’ not so big one. Much like herpes, confidence is contagious, so I replied with a pic of my smiling face, which he did not seem to appreciate. I did appreciate his attempt at a clever boner joke but I was not as impressed with his bio, which read, ‘NO chocolate, strictly vanilla here.’ I’m hoping he has since used his boredom to find a little racial tolerance or expand his horizons.
4. “You’re so hot you’re making my tongue hard… oh no it’s spreading.”
This was followed two hours later by a message asking if I had laughed. I suppose making my Grindr bio ‘be funny’ was an invitation for penis puns and genital jokes, however I think the joke’s execution was poor. How could a tongue become erect upon arousal? Isn’t this more of a sign of an Asthma attack? Should I have called an ambulance for OldNHorny69? My guilt at his potential fate was only overridden by my guilt for not even replying with a pity ‘lol.’
5. “Meet me in the bathroom of Steak N Shake at 1:45”
I found this especially forward but I was confused by the choice of restaurant. Whatever happened to a good old wine n dine? I decided to take a humorous route of escape saying, “I’m much too sober to eat at a Steak N Shake by choice.” “Speedway?” he replied with an earnest quickness. As much as I did need gas, a 99 cent pop, and a rimjob I decided to pass.
6. “NM, thinking my pubes need a trim.”
This particularly man had been making adequate conversation, asking me ‘hey what’s up?’ a much better alternative to the standard ‘u looking?’ After I told him I was relaxing and studying and inquired as to what was up with him, he only had this to say, a true charmer.
Maybe this user was confused as to what gay app he was on, because Grindr’s more bear-friendly alternative Scruff uses a ‘woof’ system of notifications to alert a user that another is interested, or maybe he thought this customary ‘you seem big and hairy’ mating call was a short but sweet indication of interest. Maybe he was a dog.
8. “How are you, furry youngster? I’ve never seen someone your age with such a nicely filled beard.”
A tip for any older men out there seeking a younger significant other… Calling anyone a ‘youngster’ is not how you are going to do it. I’m fine with being called a ‘youngster’ by a friendly older neighbor as I attempt retrieving a baseball from his yard, but I am certain this term of endearment will not acquire balls for sexual purposes. I did like being told my beard looked nice because I had been really trying to grow it out.
9. “You seem really interesting I’d like to see your butt also.”
Who isn’t a sucker for a good run on sentence? I found being called interesting very flattering, because I have always hoped to seem at least slightly interesting, but something about the second half of the sentence made the initial sentiment feel like a thinly veiled advance.
10. “Imma rub up on ur beard is that ok? ;)”
No. No it’s not. But I am thankful for my beard, which is apparently my most attractive physical feature.