“Face pic or no reply”—This is something that I’ve read all too often when perusing for man candy. Yes, us gays have finally emerged from our black hole of not ever knowing how to find another queer man to canoodle with; now, it’s as simple as tapping that little orange app with a skull on it, and before you know it, almost every gay schlong within a 50-mile radius is at your fingertips. Finding a hookup, date, or even a husband is as easy as opening Grindr and chatting up that stud with cute eyes that describes himself as “outgoing and charismatic”—and is evidently only 2354 feet away. It’s every gay man’s dream, right?
Believe it or not, the Grindr life isn’t all that perfect. Yes, it’s possible to find some random guy to have sex with. And yes, sex with someone at least moderately attractive can be very fun. But I’ve come to a point where I’m nearly exhausted with Grindr and its blatantly shallow undertones. A typical Grindr day starts out with checking your new messages: usually a couple of spambots (impossibly hot guys that are apparently 1034 miles away), an extremely pervy older man, and if you’re lucky, someone who you think might be slightly sex-able. You get a closer look at the pic (whoa, he didn’t look like he had that many chins a second ago??), delete the convo he oh-so-ambitiously tried to begin, and then you move onto the home page. Here, you can see a basic lineup of the 50 gays physically closest to you. Sounds overwhelming, right? Yeah, very wrong. You’ve probably already tried to chat most of them up, only to find no reply, or they have tried to speak to you, with your better judgment telling you to delete that conversation (which you do, thank God).
And finally, glistening on the horizon, you find a beautiful specimen: A boy both semi-attractive AND your age. You have to message him something that you know won’t seem overbearing, or even too clever; you don’t want him to think you’re too ambitious or intelligent, because apparently, other gays hate that. “Hey” is the standard greeting of a Grindr conversation. Rousing, ain’t it? Usually, the guy will follow up with an equally entertaining…drumroll…“hey.” And from there, things really get spicy! “What’s up?” you say. “Nothin much. What about you?” “Same.” Wow. Intense.
Now, why am I forcing you through this almost painful, yet typical, Grindr conversation? (Or lack thereof, really.) Honestly, it’s because I am so completely and utterly mentally done with Grindr. It distorts your reality of actually meeting people, making you think that love is just a click away. But really, it isn’t—when you’re on a website where the primary goal is to hook up, you’re not going to find someone you want to be dating. And that’s what I finally realize I want, I guess; I want to be dating someone; I want the intimacy to actually mean something—to actually be intimate. And I’m sure a lot of you feel that way.
Recently, I finally deleted the Grindr app—and I’ve never been happier. It's been pushing me to put myself out into the world more and more ach day, and actually try to meet and socialize with human beings. So, here’s my challenge to my fellow Grindr-loving gays: try deleting Grindr for a week. Try to meet some new people. You’d be surprised what kind of great guys could be right in front of you.