Gay-GRINDR-Etiquette – Hopeless Romantic Seeks Something More
In my experience, Grindr is a hot mess. I don’t know what goes on in straight-pursuit, but we gays can be raunchy, overly forward, emotionless, classless, and sometimes straight out liars. I use Grindr because I am a man with interests. I like the occasional “boy you sexy” message, especially during the times when I wish I could go back to college and pick up my hairline (I seem to have left a portion of it back there). Grindr comes in handy when you want a date but don’t feel like going to a bar with a strainer to weed out all the creepers. But online pursuit is often too shallow for me, so I mostly just window shop.
It’s really hard to date guys on Grindr when it seems most of them don’t actually want to date! Instead, the app becomes a platform for the shallow, vulgar, and highly selective hoeing that gay men get accustomed to.
There is no other “community” besides desperate gays in which asking for a “dick pic” comes right after asking how old you are.
No, I do not want to see a photo of your hello-kitty while we are talking about our professions. Why is that so hard for men to understand? The personal photo requests these men make are like getting through airport security. It’s that feeling of, “Will you just let me through!” Give me a chance, get to know me, because I am about a lot more than the photo you see and what may or may not be beneath these clothes.
I know we all may prefer a “type” in some way but that does not mean it’s right to openly diss others. When does it cross the line? Guys on Grindr post type requirements such as: “black men with big ones only,” “straight-acting whites,” and “not Asians”–all borderline offensive in my opinion.
One can just ignore the messages from those you’re completely not interested in, instead of shaming them on your profile. Put yourself in their shoes; it would not feel so good to come across a profile of someone you’re interested in, then see, “not interested in black fems,” and have to ask yourself, “Is that me?” Like… “I am black, I guess I am a little feminine–but wait, I ran track!”
Then there are those who lie with their photos. I’d need two hands to count how many Grindr encounters I’ve had where I show up at the coffee shop looking the same as I do in the photos I post, and these dudes… DO NOT. They’ve aged ten years, doubled in weight, and/or just do not look like the man I selected. Now there’s nothing wrong with putting on a few pounds or aging, but just update your photo from that one amazing college pic–which we all have!
I have a lot of gay friends who hook up with so many guys, and I thought, after coming back from two years in Japan and its lack of gay culture, I would be active in that way too. But it just seems exhausting to go through men when you know you don’t want anything more from them. I find myself cancelling dates to catch up on my shows… OMG am I that girl!!? Living alone doesn’t help either.
I swear if I paint one more piece of furniture as a substitute for a decent date, I will open up a thrift shop.
I am an extrovert, and while I don’t think that in order to get along with me you must be one yourself, you do have to be willing to come out of your comfort zone… while keeping your clothes on! I have a rule that I’m no longer intimate for casual encounters. Been there, done that, and didn’t get the ring.
Now I often feel like a hopeless romantic. I have no problem having an hour-long conversation with anyone, but finding another guy who wants to do that right off the bat can be a little difficult. If you can’t engage me in a juicy conversation, then why do you think I would become intimate with you?
I feel like the gay-male dating community has sped past me. Guys are moving way faster than I ever intended. It hasn’t always been like this, but I think being in love and getting a small taste of all that I want for my life has put me in a place where being “hott” or having a big wallet (among other big things) is suddenly not important to me. I want to be worth more than just a hook-up, and I am willing to be alone until I find the one who thinks more greatly of himself and places me just as high. Nothing compares to that.
When it’s all said and done, though, I am still a man. Therefore, I have been fighting temptations to stay on track with my values since I got off the plane from Japan. I once fell in love in a small laundromat in rural Japan, so obviously I am accustomed to, and therefore hopeful for organic encounters–but they just don’t happen as often as I wish! Where do I need to place myself to meet the types of guys who actually DO their laundry?!
And so I still use Grindr, as hopeless as it sounds. I just cannot succeed in the quick-encounter culture that Grindr permits. I thrive on people’s energy and I want to pursue a relationship in the same way I pursue friendship. But I am constantly blind-sided by men who I think are interested in me, the whole me, and then just turn out to be so physically-driven.
Grindr and other dating apps suck you in because of their convenience, especially when you’re in a new city. They quench your curiosity and help you see who’s in your area that’s gay. But for me, it feels like Grindr inhibits the potential for organic relationships. No shade to anyone or to the game they practice, but just know we can all be a little more mindful not to be so shallow in our pursuit. Until then, I’ll be here, watching my shows and painting thrift store tables.
Hi, I'm Chaz. I'm a UofR alum and am originally from Connecticut. My life has been a variety of adversities and global experiences that have inspired me to write, work creativity, and mentor delicate populations on the power of telling your story. I love the arts because I believe it changes lives. I am a contributor in the book For Colored Boys, an LGBTQ anthology dedicated to young minority men, and my own online organization, IAMMYLIFE.org, a site dedicated to the use of personal experiences as a guide to embracing the entirety of your being, struggles and all.
He was beaten nonstop for an entire hour and suffered a bruised diaphragm as a result.March 4, 2016
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