by Dan Savage
I’m a middle-aged homo trying to figure out Grindr. Is it impolite to go on Grindr if you’re not looking for an immediate hookup? My preferred form of sexual relationship is the friend-with-benefits situation. I go on Grindr looking to make friends who could, at least potentially, be sex partners, but I like to do the friend thing before the sex. I’ve had guys call me an asshole because I exchanged messages with them for 20 minutes and then didn’t come right over and fuck them. Do they have a point? Does logging into a hookup app like Grindr imply openness to an immediate sexual encounter? — Talking Online Repulses Some Others
Always be up front about your intentions, TORSO. The best way to do that is by creating a profile — on Grindr or elsewhere — that clearly describes what you want and what you’re up for. Because good partners (sexual or otherwise) communicate their wants clearly. Adding something like this to your profile should do it: “My preferred form of sexual relationship is the friend-with-benefits situation. I go on Grindr looking to make friends who could, at least potentially, be sex partners, but I like to do the friend thing before the sex.”
Grindr is an app designed and marketed to facilitate hookups, but some people have found friends, lovers, and husbands on the app (usually after hooking up first). So being on a hookup app doesn’t automatically mean you’re looking for “right now,” and it certainly doesn’t obligate you to fuck every guy you swap messages with. But if you’re not clear in your profile or very first message about what you’re doing there, TORSO, guys looking for a hookup on that hookup app will be rightly annoyed with you. (The time and energy he sunk into you could have been sunk into someone looking for right now.) If you are clear, guys seeking instacock have only themselves to blame for wasting their time on you.
Your timing could also have something to do with guys calling you an asshole. Are you exchanging messages at two in the morning for 20 minutes? Because most guys on Grindr at that hour are seeking immediate sexual encounters. If you’re just chatting in the middle of the night, then you’re probably wasting someone’s time — if, again, you’re not being absolutely clear about what you’re doing there. Also, TORSO, Grindr is location-based, which means you’re going to get a different experience based on where you’re using it. Some neighborhoods seem to be filled with messy guys looking for chemsex, bless their hearts. In others, you’ll find unwoke twinks who are on Grindr to swap (highly problematic) GIFs of black women pulling faces. And if you’re in a rural area, it’s likely you’ll message your full cast of Grindr torsos within a few days.
Think of Grindr as a giant gay bar — most guys are there to hook up, a few just want to hang out and chat, some dudes are really messed up (avoid them), and no one is at their best around closing time.