The 5 Kinds Of People You Will Meet On Grindr

I spend a lot of time on Grindr, not for recreational uses, but for more scholarly pursuits. Through my research online in many gay digital spaces, I have noticed trends in the ways that gay men are presenting themselves online and how their online identities are operating through many mediums…Grindr being my favorite. Though there will of course be people that do not fit into the 5 boxes listed below, I am sure if you open up your Grindr, you will be able to spot the 5 People You Will Meet. Think of this like a crossword puzzle, but more interactive.

Mr. Abdomen

Mr. Abdomen is the Abercrombie and Fitch of the digital world that is Grindr. His body is chiseled and he is usually found taking pictures of himself after:

  1. Showering
  2. Working Out
  3. Showering after working out

Mr. Abdomen will not show you a face pic initially – that takes time, time that is filled with lots of vapid two-worded conversations like “hey bud” and through sharing pics of one another’s genitals, or assumed genitals (Tip: To help figure out if your Mr. Abdomen is showing you his “real” genitals do a comparison of belly-buttons, that usually can help you figure out if this is actually Mr. Abdomen’s genitals or not.) His About Me area is most commonly filled with a desire for “masc” men who are fit, but wait until 3am when Mr. Abdomen is coming home from his chosen late night entertainment…that will change and you too will have your chance with the faceless Adonis who will be “bored” or “chilling” in bed. But remember, there may be reasons beyond discretion that Mr. Abdomen doesn’t show his face – be cautious.

The Traveler

The Traveler just so happens to always be visiting that day and is in dire need of meeting up because he’s lonely or needs someone to show him the city, (sidenote: lonely is another code word for “lets get naked.”) His About Me section will always say “Visiting from (insert major city in which I’m probably not from here)” and his profile picture will be of him doing something very exciting like boating, cooking, or standing on a beach, in order to prove his transitory problems. The Traveler, due to being a digital gypsy of sorts, has a high probability of being closeted and married with children. Be advised that The Traveler is many of the times the most persistent in communication and will walk the line of cyber-stalker and friendly very uncomfortably until you press that red-X button named block. Press it… you will forget about Mr. Visiting from Springfield soon enough.

The Bust

Arguably the most popular Grindr person you will meet is The Bust. He gets his name from using head and shoulder focused pictures as his profile picture. The Bust makes up a few different personality types: The Liar Bust, The Flasher Bust (penis pic on first message), The LTR Bust, The Stalker Bust, and The Bust in Sunglasses. The Bust is the person that doesn’t feel comfortable showing his full body on the first glance of his profile, and instead uses his facial features to draw you in to start a conversation filled with various salutations ranging from: hi, hey, sup?, and looking? The Bust is the most flexible of the people you will meet on Grindr, and will sometimes change personas in regards to time of day, location, and levels of sexual frustration, maybe even changing into Mr. Abdomen for a few hours late at night.

The No Face

The No Face is comparable to the creepy Homeless Man that is always hassling you to buy some obscure object while he stares at your body as if you are a piece of meat. The No Face will usually start his messages with a compliment that feels like you were just cast in the upcoming production Showgirls 2, and his messages calling you “hot”, “sexy”, or just flat out saying “dayum” bounce off of you and for some reason make you feel worse about yourself. The No Face will never ever, ever, ever send you a pic due to various reasons such as: he has an iTouch, doesn’t have camera accessibility, camera is broken, or he needs to be very discreet. The No Face will also rarely have any information listed and don’t be surprised if he opens his first message to you with the intersection in which he is located and a dollar amount, which we can all assume is how much he will pay for “hanging out”.

Your Boss

Yes…that’s him, stop pulling up your works Photo Directory and comparing this Grindr picture of him shirtless to the picture of him in a suit on your companies website. Take a breath…take a screenshot…then decide whether to send a friendly “hello” his way or block and pray to God he didn’t see your profile picture with you shirtless in the office bathroom. Your Boss is one of those Grindr profiles that gets you incredibly excited as if you just hit the lotto, or terribly scared, because now he can favorite you and see if you are cruising Grindr during business hours, which will lead to a very uncomfortable meeting in his office.

Be careful, be cautious, and make sure you don’t circulate that photo on an office computer – you could get fired for looking at “pornographic” images while on the clock.

***Note: Boss can be co-worker, it works both ways. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • Put it all on meh

    I remember seeing my professor on Grindr once… 

  • Jade Mitchell

    What scholarly pursuits are you using Grindr for? 

    • Zach Stafford

      I do research -around how gay men are negotiating their space and identity online, how that compares to physicals spaces, and more importantly what does this mean for a gay or queer futurity of sorts. Grindr is super interesting because we are able to see a really strong connection between physical/digital space and physical/digital constructions of self…sorry for my tiny rant, tweet me @ZachStafford:twitter  or email me if you want to talk more about this! 

  • David Trahan

    <3 u 

  • David Trahan

    <3 u 

  • Christopher Equality Dilley

    That was genius and exactly what goes through my mind every time I log on…

  • Luckyboy

    I heard the author has a big dick…

    • Mauricio


      • Zach Stafford

        this is #dark – I don’t know who luckyboy is but thanks for the compliment…I guess? 

      • Zach Stafford

        this is #dark – I don’t know who luckyboy is but thanks for the compliment…I guess? 

  • Tuftyfeets

    You forgot one category:

    Annoying author
    Douchebag who feels the need to begin blog post revealing his extensive Grindr experience with the following disclaimer: “I spend a lot of time on Grindr, not for recreational uses, but for more scholarly pursuits.”

    • Zach Stafford

      Thanks for your comment! I did that disclaimer because I actually do “academic” research within the field of geography and cyber-cultural studies. This little list was born out of my thesis, thus I put that little disclaimer not so much to promote some sort of shame you are accusing me of having, but instead to promote the new field of cyber-cultural ethonographic research. So, yes – if I am a douchebag, I thank you for the compliment. 

  • Darren

    hi i’m Darren from taipei,Taiwan,I’m doing some research on Grindr too :D really excited to see ur post here, can we talk more via email?  

     sorry im not using Twitter :(

  • Haolesurfah

    in the same way some heteros are curtailing use of social media, a very very small faction of gay men are opting out of online hookup technology – not because they are anti-sex or not ‘looking’ on occasion, but because the orchestration of sex that happens in the world of grinder is patently unsexy for us.  i use an old flip phone and find men to meet up with other ways. when we get together we figure out ‘sup?’ the old fashioned way.

  • Dave Silverstone

    Alas, I think you missed some real opportunities here.  The names/descriptions of two categories are somewhat overlapping/redundant (“Mr Abdomen”, “The No Face”), and one is far too broad, general, and poorly defined (“The Bust” — which could describe almost everyone on Grindr who isn’t Mr. Abdomen/No Face and you happen to not like).  Plus, you missed the ever popular “Here’s a picture of a pretty sunset, and no, I don’t have any profile data entered!  Want to hook up?”.

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  • Jake M.

    This looks very interesting as I’m very interested in psychology especially in social psychology and the cyber-psychology. What University is your proposed thesis from? And do you have any other journal articles on this subject matter? Thank you!

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