Grindr is a weird, sleazy place in the cyber-sphere. It’s an iPhone app where guys go to find sex, showing you all the “gay, bi and curious” men online in your vicinity so you can message them and maybe meet up to do whatever weird stuff you like to do. In other words, it’s like everyone’s a senator in one giant airport bathroom free-for-all.
Some of my friends said it was gross (NOLZ) and some of my friends said it’s a great way to get laid (LOLZ). So despite all of the poverty, hunger, war, and suffering in the world, I was compelled to launch a #relevant journalistic investigation in order to resolve the eternal question, Grindr: Lolz or Nolz?
To truly immerse myself in Grindr’s world, I knew I would have to go undercover. I fired up the iPad, downloaded the app and assembled my fake profile. I googled “Gay Asian”, and decided on a photo of a shirtless twink with very visible abs. Next wrote a caption that I thought would solicit the weirdest, most perverted messages. I settled on “Nasty twink looking for kinky experiences. Daddy issues, into everything. EASY HMU.” Having created a irresistibly alluring decoy, I went to bed anticipating the avalanche of messages that would assuredly await me.
I woke the next morning, and the first thing I did was eagerly tap open Grindr. No notifications! I was bewildered. I thought I had done everything right. I had a sleazy bio, a slutty photo of a barely legal Asian boy, and a lot of enthusiasm. But there were NO DAMN MESSAGES. Needless to say, I was heartbroken. Crushed. I guess they call it Grindr for a reason— I felt… grounded? Just kidding, Grindr might be the most straightforward app name ever. But remembering my journalistic duty, I continued my investigation and started talking to people with weird profiles.
The first guy that caught my eye looked like he was about 80. He peaked my interest because it looked like having sex with him would maybe give him a heart attack. So I messaged him, “How old ru? U look really old.” No response. I think he might have also blocked me. RUDE. Like sorry Barney Frank, I was genuinely curious.
Then I saw this other guy whose profile picture was just a Christmas Tree, so I asked him the obvious question; “Ru a Christmas tree?” He also gave me no response. It was a valid question, how was I supposed to know if he was a tree or a person?
Having been so pitifully unsuccessful, I gave up for the morning. I resolved to return that night and continue my adventures. When I did reopen the app at around 8 PM— behold! I had four new messages! Three of them were from thirty-year-old men with profile pictures just of their lean torsos and bios that were some variation of “Masc chill 4same. 420+.” The fourth one was from this guy whose default was of some sort of anime character. I choose to talk to anime guy.
I’ll spare you the play-by-play of our conversation and just say this— after I was done talking to this guy, I was done with Grindr. I deleted the app and tried to move on with my life. I mean maybe I deserved this icky feeling. Typical me, I didn’t talk to the three hot guys, I went for the weirdo instead.
Because I chickened out at the first mention of someone licking my feet, I left Grindr being more confused than when I came there. I guess it’s a place where you put yourself out there and see if anyone is as weird as you are. If you’re a lonely gay Christmas tree or a Japanese cartoon living in Downtown Manhattan, why not look for someone to potentially sex you up? You only live once. Especially if you’re a tree.
So it for that reason, that I give Grindr a very halfhearted LOLZ.