12 Things I’ve Learned From Grindr


1. In person, people rarely look like their profile pictures — mostly for the worse ­­but sometimes for the better (those are always really pleasant surprises!).

2. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure people you’re gettin nasty with are clean. Ask. It is possible to prosecute by law if they lie, or you lie. Listen Grindr­lurker, you are not immune from STDs. Yes, you. Unless you are a superhuman homosexual incapable of contracting disease or sickness in any form, in which case, the world is your oyster.

3. If someone has to say “nice guy here” or “decent guy here”, they are probably not. No one accused them of not being one, therefore they shouldn’t need to explicitly state it or preface themselves. It would be like if Jeffrey Skilling yelled “I AM DEFINITELY NOT STEALING ANYONES MONEY” at a corporate meeting at Enron.

4. No one who says they’re looking for “just friends” is actually looking for just friends. If you were looking for friends, they’d attend a meetup on Reddit or attend some platonic social function. Especially if their profile is of a guy with Ken­doll abs with no face picture, or just a blank profile altogether then they are most definitely not looking for “just friends”. They are looking for indiscriminate sex. Do not be fooled.

5. If you someone says they are looking for “sane people only”, the chances are they are probably insane and/or only attract crazy people, by proxy making them somewhat insane.

6. If you encounter someone who, like those mentioned above, only has a picture of abs their your picture, there is a 93.5% chance they are overcompensating for something. There is so much more to hooking up than having chiseled abs and/or whose body resembles a lifeguard on Bay Watch or a chorus boy. What’s really important, at the end of the day, is how good they are in the sack.

7. It’s ok to have bad grindr experiences. Gay sex/hooking up is not always like it is on “Looking” or “Noah’s Ark”, or whatever gay show applies to you. It gets ugly, awkward and weird sometimes. These experiences will make for good stories, and there’s no better way to figure out what you want until you experience something really, really unpleasant. Even Carrie Bradshaw had mediocre sex. That being said, any form of unwanted pressurized sexual experiences aren’t remotely cool, and you should ALWAYS report it if that happens and/or block the attacker.

8. Avoid ambiguously ­older men who don’t put their age, guys that say they are MWM (married white male), guys who say they are hetero­flexible, “are looking experiment” or are “closeted” * and explicitly rule out other races (If I read one more profile that says no asians/no blacks I may saw my own foot off), guys that say MASCULINE GUYS ONLY/NO FEMS.

9. People whose profile says anything to the effect of: “Looking for a boyfriends only” or “Something real”, “Is romance dead?” or worst case scenario, “Husband = Material!” with a wedding ring emoji on Grindr are probably definitely serial daters, and are most CERTAINLY looking for love in a hopeless place. Besides, who wants to tell their future kids they met on Grindr. OkCupid? Match.com? Eharmony? An accredited internet dating site? Fine. It’s 2014, couples meet on dating sites. But a hookup app that couldn’t even be bothered to add the extra “e” in Grinder? No. Nyet. Nine. Shut it down.

10. You will never truly know when Grindr isn’t working and someone didn’t get your message, or if they’re ignoring you. Although, you can probably make assumptions that if you’ve messaged someone anymore than three­five times and they haven’t responded, statistically, they probably got at least one of them. There’s a difference between being persistent and harassment.

11. No matter how hard you try, you will always, always, ALWAYS manage to get messages from spam robots at the most unsuspecting times and unsuspecting places. It will always get your hopes up that it is an actual human trying to make contact. And you will know the difference, and it will always be annoying.

12. I still haven’t exactly figured out the protocol RE: talking to people on Grindr you know IRL (in real life) but I think it is this­­it all boils down to how well you know the person. Sometimes my close gay friends and I will jokingly message each other on Grindr it is clearly in jest (ex: I will say ‘Hey fag’ and they’ll be like, ‘Tryna fuq?’), but it gets extraordinarily complicated when you someone makes a new grindr profile that you know IRL but don’t actually know very well/or at all, but are nonetheless attracted to them. This is where you are veering into uncharted territory. Social awkwardness and/or embarrassment could ensue if not handled carefully. My advice, if you were asking for it, is do not message them right away. Just chill for a while in cyberspace (a while in this case, meaning a week or two, any more and you’ve missed the window of opportunity). Acknowledge each others virtual profiles without saying anything. If they do message you, there is a 68% chance they probably want something sexual­. Bbut proceed with caution — unless numbers and/or winky faces and/or sexually explicit messages/pictures are exchanged, then they are DEFINITELY tryna get their dick wet and there is no mistaking it. Congrats, you’ve been giving the go ahead (pun intended). However, if this is NOT the case this could be a really weird way of them saying they want to be ‘just friends’ with you. It’s weird as hell, but it’s happened. Also, please never do this if you see someone you know on Grindr IRL and you don’t really know right away and just want to get to know them better as “friends”. Please approach them in person, otherwise the recipient of your message is probably playing anxiety olympics in their head. Don’t do that shit, guys. Lastly, if you choose to be a brave soul (because messaging first is always dicey) and message them and they don’t respond, an acceptable way to get over this is to get a shovel out and promptly start digging a hole to put your head in the sand and never come out. Or alternatively, just get over it and move on.

*There was one time where I hooked up with a closeted guy and it was amazing. I tried to hookup with him later and he never messaged me back. Needless to say, it marginally lowered my self­-esteem. I’m fine now though, thanks for asking. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Sean Pollock

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