Last week Vanity Fair published a scathing article that predicts our generation will be at the dawn of the “dating apocalypse??? due to our crazed reliance on dating apps for instant sexual gratification. The one aspect of modern hookup culture that the article didn’t discuss is the app only for gay men, Grindr. As those who use it know, Grindr is a lens to view the out-of-sight world of gay hookups. If you use it for long enough, you start to notice a pattern:
1. The Basic
This is just your run of the mill message. The guy has a pretty clear photo and he starts the convo with, “Hey, how’s it going???? It’s fine, it’s simple, but most importantly it’s harmless. Good on you, basic format users!
2. The Discreet
He messages you without any photos, just saying that he is “discreet??? (still in the closet) but wants to meet up. I don’t know about the rest of you, but engaging with someone who is discreet seems like a sure way to get discreetly serial killed.
3. The Flatterer
A tea bottle cap once told me, “Beware of the flatterer for he feeds you with an empty spoon.??? Whoever said this definitely figured it out on Grindr. “The Flatterer??? kicks off the conversation by saying something like, “Hey Handsome???, “Cute???, “Sexy???, etc. His end goal is to pump your ego up so much you can’t help but meet him ASAP. Unfortunately for “the Flatterer,??? his master plan only works as far as his looks can take him.
4. Instagram to My Heart
It’s possible to link your instagram account to your profile on dating apps, and Grindr is no exception. His strategy is to compliment your instagram skills. Things like, “Awesome photos!??? or “You have the best instagram???. These declarations of approval are succeeded by a follow, a handful of likes on random photos, or a combination of both. It’s a cheap trick because he knows well that likes on Instagram stroke your subconscious self-worth.
5. The Inquisitive
People come to Grindr for all sorts of different reasons – all of them sexual. “The Inquisitive??? weeds out potential suitors by asking them what they are looking for: no strings attached sex, semi-attached strings, sex, drinks, dates, massages, etc. In this way, neither party has to waste time on someone who isn’t after what they’re after.
6. Sexually Blunt
He knows exactly what he wants from Grindr, and he’s quick on the draw. In the first message he sends you he’ll say things like, “Want to fuck???? or “Top or Bottom???? or “Want a blowjob???? These questions are almost always followed with a slew of photos. Some extra shots of the face, some of the body, always one of the d*ck.
He follows the same trend as “The Sexually Blunt.??? But instead of referencing the sex act he wants, all he will say is “close.??? What he means is that you two are geographically very close and that you should meet immediately. While he might have the same goal as “The Sexually Blunt,??? the “Close??? comes off as infinitely more creepy and stalkerish.
8. D*ck Salutation
He won’t even grace with you a catchy come on, let alone any words. All the “D*ck Salutation??? will do is send pictures of his d*ck. As if his d*ck was single-handedly crafted by God and is so beautiful that no man could resist. He’s also the reason that chivalry is dead on Grindr.
9. Feet Fetish
Some men head straight for you feet. He makes it very explicit early on that all he wants to do is either have photos of your feet, or he pleads with you to let him lick your feet. It’s always pitiful begging, making it clear that if he doesn’t get your big toe in his mouth ASAP he will explode.
10. Just a Massage
He’s an interesting one for sure. “Just a Massage??? will tell you that he sees that you’re tall and handsome, and that he’s wondering if you like getting massages at all. No expectation sexually, it’s just that he really loves giving another man a massage. Does anyone ever believe him? I’m sure that he would love to give you a massage, but the whole nothing sexual expected? This is Grindr, not massage therapy school.
11. Sugar Daddy
He will start off using another format, but then immediately lets you know that “he is a generous man.??? As in generous with his money. You can expect nice dinners, and other benefits. All in exchange for your sexual compliance, of course.
He is the archetype of the part of the Grindr world that needs anger management counseling. He too starts off with another strategy, but if you don’t respond, he’ll just keep going. Like when you don’t respond to his “hey,??? he will continue to send you messages… as he makes a slow transition from confused to angry. It usually ends with him telling you what a horrible human you are, and instructing you to learn some manners. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t aware that your “D*ck Salutation??? warranted consideration on my part.