We at NYU Local kind of love Grindr. We ‘ve interviewed Grindr men in the past and we thought it was worth it to take another look at The State Of The Grindr Union. Play safe y’all.
A certain stigma surrounds Grindr, the mobile app that tracks local gay men and allows them to chat, hook up, fall in love, get married, and have beautiful, progressive-minded babies. But maybe the stigma is warranted, since so many men just use the app purely for the dirty stranger sex. Still, based on interviews conducted through the app itself, I gather it deserves a bit more credit, as there were plenty of classy NYU students to be found, many of whom claimed to use it with a certain hope for romantic interaction.
I began my journalistic journey through the supposed bowels of online dating by double-tapping the face of a young blonde boy identified as Meowchael, who was eager to describe his experience. Meowchal is an NYU student who uses the app “seeking relief from boredom, most frequently at work but also sometimes at school.” He described a very familiar loneliness that arises from going to school in New York City and explained that the app can serve as a sort of shield between you and your distant beloved.
He says it can be hard to meet gay males at NYU, since “a lot of us are so catty and we just glare bitchily, yet longingly at each other from a distance. I think it can be hard to meet people if you don’t already have an in.” I told him I felt similarly, since New York City can be so cold, to which he replied, “Like even today someone had the audacity to sit next to me and then ask for the name of the class. I was appalled at his failure to uphold the unspoken rules of social interactions at NYU.”
To be fair, Mewochael’s cynicism is probably warranted. He has been solicited for prostitution via Grindr, and claimed to have received messages that read, “I’m gonna use this GPS to find you,” and “I’m gonna beat fuck that body.” But he’s endured the horrors of scary gay men reinforcing their own worst stereotypes to find two boyfriends and more than enough dates to keep any boy busy.
While knee-deep in these gory Grindr details, my phone continued to beep seductively, alerting me of local gay men eager to grind. A faceless picture labeled BigBalls seemed promising until he responded to my first question with “BJ in Bobst lowerlevel b-room?” He probably misunderstood me, so I decided to leave him alone.
I moved on to the curiously-named Youngcouple, a pair of NYU undergrads who were so happy to meet via Grindr that they continued their use of the app, but together. They explained, “We really love each other and we owe it to Grindr so as long as we use it together and meet guys for 3somes we feel like it’s still a really positive thing.” When asked if they ever feel jealous of each other, they replied, “We love each other so it doesn’t matter.”
I talked with quite a few Grindr users in “open relationships” who replied similarly. PrinceCharm said that he and his boyfriend love to exchange ridiculous Grindr screenshots. I asked if messages ever scare him, and he explained, “It’s like being at a club and if you don’t wanna talk to somebody you just walk away, but if you do you make out it’s cool.”
As the grind requests rolled in, I felt slightly insecure around the NYU students at Bobst who were surely looking over my shoulder and judging me for seeking anonymous sex in a place of study. But my job as an investigative reporter for NYU Local was far from over, so I dimmed my phone and continued my grind for the rest of the afternoon.
Conversations with Looking4Fun and CumAtMe weren’t as fruitful as I would’ve hoped, but HAVEMANNERS, JoefromLA, and NOTLOOKING divulged some juicy and sometimes touching success stories ripe for an E-Harmony commercial. “it doesn’t really matter where I met my boyfriend cuz I love him,” JoefromLA explained. “grindr let us talk and we got close by talking so who cares.”