There’s nothing worse than when a co-worker/professor/boss writes you on Grindr, especially when they’re ugly/not your type. Look, you already know what you’re attracted to, and things on Grindr only get awkward when the person writing you is not that thing. If they were hottttttt and you already wanted to get it in, well, you’re an office bathroom away from making that happen! But if they don’t respond to your flirtations around the office microwave, do you think that there’s something intoxicating about a virtual sexual space that’s going to brainwash them into finally giving up the goodies?
Unless you’re performing intricate sociological research, Grindr is for hookups. You don’t really want to imagine your boss, who you hate, or your students, who you’re teaching, as people who are late to class/the department meeting because they were busy getting their D’s S’d. But when these people hit you up and you ignore them, well now you both know that they wrote you on Grindr and it’s about to get embarrassing. When you run into them in the elevator or at the office pizza party, you can’t say, “Oh, hey. Sorry I didn’t write you back on Grindr the other day. It’s just… I’m not attracted to you in any way, whatsoever, so…”
I just started a new job teaching at a fancy liberal arts college and this professor (old, not hot) in another department hit me up on Grindr, even though I’m only using the thing for intricate sociological research. I didn’t recognize him because I’m new here; I wasn’t planning to respond. But the first, super creepy thing in his message was, “You’re the new professor in the pop culture department, right?” And I’m like, “Um, yikes!!” I do not respond.
A few days later he writes me again, “Hi.” I do not respond.
Listen, people: if somebody doesn’t respond to your first or second request, take the hint! A few days later the horny professor writes me yet again, this time apologizing profusely for writing me on Grindr in the first place. He’s telling me how inappropriate it was. I felt bad because it’s true that a lot of gay men, myself included, use Grindr to make friends, or not to meet anybody but just because it’s a fascinating piece of technology.
“Hey! Sorry, I never got your messages until now.” I’m lying.
The next day I run into him on campus. F! Now I have to make small talk because we both know we saw each other on Grindr. I also know via his profile that he’s a “total top” who’s into “chocolate.” Also? It’s not chocolate. It’s African-American, TYVM. I execute the small talk and get the hell out of the situation as quickly as possible.
Fast forward to late last Friday night. I get a message from Professor Wanna Get It In, and then I’m like, OK, blocked. I know I’m a delicious piece of “chocolate” and everything, but this is not appropriate and I’m not interested! So now I avoid that part of campus.
But it’s a double standard, really. Only when the attraction is non-mutual do you resort to blocking, avoiding, and not responding. Because if somebody hits you up and you’re into it and you’ve been dying to get under and/or on top of them but you just didn’t know how to bring that up in casual converation, Grindr gives you the secret, nobody-else-will-ever-know-about-this wink.
The real issue about a co-worker hitting you up on Grindr, aside from the awkwardness that will inevitably result, is when does a simple text message or unsolicited D pic become sexual harassment? When you start a job at a new place, wherever it is, you’re told how seriously the company takes sexual harassment. No awkward glances, touches, or penis jokes! But when it’s all virtual, does that make the harassment any less serious?