I found myself in the throes of a sexual drought several months back. A friend said, “Alan, get on Grindr. Everyone else is doing it. You'll fit right in."
“No,” I said. “It's stupid and shallow.”
Besides, the most successful flings I've had have always been the ones that initiated organically: bumping into a stranger on the street, drinking at the bar or dancing at the club.
“Just shut the hell up and try it,” he said. So I did.
And by the end of the week, guess what? I got laid!
Plot twist: It wasn't with anyone I met on Grindr.
It was with an old fling of mine (as sweet as honey and hotter than hell), who invited me to “crash” at his place Halloween night.
I rest my case.
Not that I haven't had my own share of dalliances through Grindr, but that's neither here nor there. Grindr is what it is: I don't even need to tell you what it is, but you know. You don't live under a rock, do you?
There are 11 distinctions on this list.
Eleven because it's a palindrome, it doesn't take more than a few tries to understand Grindr and because if you're not careful, you'll fall into a never ending loop of conversations with anons and not even a nut to show for it.
1. The "Hey, What's Up?" Guy:
You know this guy.
His MO is so basic, even creatures which once inhabited our planet's primordial ooze find his existence appalling.
He will say, "Hey," not "Hey!" because to say "Hey!" would imply he has some sort of a personality.
He says what he says and then you respond, because hey, he looks rather cute.
But ... he doesn't respond.
You know he's online! He might even be a few hundred feet away! The app tells you so!
But your response just lingers there, like a dejected present or something.
What a time waster. Like I said, he's basic.
2. The "Keeps Bothering You Well After The Fact" Guy:
You're not really feeling it, but why not? You want to see how this goes.
You try to make conversation, but even that fails to incite your interest.
He might even be really pushy about getting into bed with you.
So, no questions asked and no answers given, you just delete the entire convo and figure that's that.
But it's not! He'll respond with "Are you there?" Or, "Don't you want my [insert creepy reference to phallus here]?" After which, you'll be forced to block him entirely before hurrying to take a hot shower.
3. The "Goldfish Memory" Guy:
He messages you. You may not be feeling it. You may not even care. You take a look at his profile anyway. Doesn't matter.
The point is: You delete his message.
Three weeks later, he messages you again, asking you, "Hey, what's up?"
You look at the profile.
Haven't you seen this before? Of course you have. If you're like me (and remember the history of everything), you'll laugh to yourself and think, what's his deal?
But don't be so hard on the guy.
He probably doesn't even remember what he had for breakfast this morning.
Actually, I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning (or if I even had breakfast), but trust me, I won't be messaging you again if you just flat out did not respond.
4. The "One Line" Response Guy:
"Hi," he says. "Hi," you say. "How are you?" he says. You reply with "Long day at work, but I'm hanging in there!" He replies with, "Good."
This may go on for another minute or two.
But the dude's not a big believer in stimuli. And if he, with his one-line replies, comes off more boringly than watching paint dry, how in the hell do you know that sleeping with him (perish the thought!) will not be dissimilar to getting prodded like you're a piece of steak hanging on a hook?
5. The "Headless Torso" Guy:
Gaze upon his nicely defined body and feel woefully inadequate.
Gaze into his eyes...wait. What eyes? He doesn't have eyes! HE DOESN'T HAVE A HEAD!
But you're not talking to anyone cool: This is not The Headless Horseman, or Nearly Headless Nick or even Billy Butcherson.
This is typically a "discreet" guy, who doesn't want to share his face pic because he's either deeply in the closet, suffering from terrible self-loathing, afraid of being possibly outed to his own family, or (this is the best one yet) has a wife.
Not that what Mr. Headless Torso may (or may not) be experiencing isn't valid.
I've written extensively on such issues in the past, but Grindr isn't the place.
He could have the greatest body in the world but have a face that looks like the rear end of a Diesel truck (or he could be a complete Adonis!) but you'll forever remain none the wiser.
6. The "Blank Profile" Guy:
He doesn't have a pic. He doesn't have any info: Height, weight, not even a little "about me."
He messages you first — he will ALWAYS have to message you first — but he doesn't provide a picture to go with his meaningless intro (if you can call it one).
He exists in a realm of space time as of yet uncharted by your fellow man.
He's worse than Mr. Headless Torso.
At least Mr. Headless Torso is expressing himself in a way he knows how. Blank Profile Guy is too far up his own ass to do even that.
7. The "No Info" Guy:
He's a different breed, though he and Blank Profile Guy probably went to school together (and wore burlap sacks over their heads).
But this guy actually has a pic. His pic actually strikes your fancy.
But when you try to find out a bit more about him, it's like hitting a wall.
Tapping the bottom third of the screen where you list your kooky screen-name of the moment and your sexual preferences in coy little arrows and emojis, should bring up info like height and weight, even a cute little introduction complete with likes and dislikes.
Think of it as a little window into the soul of the dude you're considering bending over for (or bending over).
But when you hit that wall, it's an instant mood killer, boner killer and every other kind of killer in between.
8. The "Really Specific" Guy:
Mr. Really Specific doesn't want fat people or short people.
He doesn't want feminine people; he wants masculine people. He wants you to have a big dick and a perfect, supple ass.
He wants you to be ready to jump into every position he suggests at the drop of a hat.
Mr. Really Specific wants you to have a job -- not just any job, but a good job -- one that makes a very specific amount of money.
He wants you to be funny, and not just "lol" funny, but actually laugh-out-loud funny.
Mr. Really Specific cares about the sorts of things you probably wouldn't spend so much time thinking about if you were only looking for an easy lay.
But you should probably be Mr. Really Discerning, and not interact with him anyway.
9. The "Sexy Pictures" Guy:
His idea of initiating conversation with you is to send you pictures of his erect dick right off the bat. No ifs. No ands. No buts. Not even a pretense.
You would admire his honesty if he wasn't such a tool, following up his phallic flesh parade with two little words—and those "words" are "X pic?"
But hey, that might work for you.
I would never deny that this approach could work for some people.
I, however, am not so easily persuaded. To the trash bin his message will go.
10. The Muscular Bot:
He's not a guy, he's a bot. He's also society's idea of perfect. He's typically white. A bit of a jock. He probably plays football. You know, very All-American.
His profile pic is a rather flirtatious How do you do? with him standing in front of a mirror in the bathroom of his frat bro walk-up and flashing a set of washboard of abs.
But when he says, "Hey, what's up?" and you respond (and it doesn't matter how you respond), he'll say something along the lines of, "I was just working out and got really horny, how about you?"
And all your hopes and expectations will crumble into ashes.
The bot will invite you to watch him jerk off on webcam, and urge you to log in via a link that would probably give your phone a vile case of gonorrhea the moment you click on it.
Any fool worth his weight in gold knows not to click on something like that, so why would you? Dead giveaway: He has no other info on his profile aside from his height, which is listed at a very diminutive 2'4.''
11. The Sizzler, The Fizzler:
There are guys out there who meet through Grindr and actually end up dating.
I've met a few. This is not out of the ordinary.
Believe it or not, this almost happened to me.
I'd been using the app for little more than two weeks when I was contacted by a dude who was, in my eyes, drop dead gorgeous.
We clicked and exchanged numbers. Something told me that he was different, I guess. I was even able to leave work earlier than usual and went to meet him.
There was an almost instantaneous attraction. We had dinner and went to bed, but didn't go all the way. I want to see you again, he said, and for the next two weeks, we did.
We saw quite a lot of each other. We had dinners. We attended a cool little music seminar together. We made out like teenagers. We shared ice cream sundaes. We impressed a barista at Starbucks — "You two are ridiculously cute, the way you're holding hands!" — and she insisted on only charging us for one hot chocolate.
Then the bombshell came: He had only recently come out and needed time to figure himself out.
It had nothing to do with me, he said.
He was right; It didn't. But it stung in the way a deflated hope can sting you.
When I left him that night, my eyes blank, I knew I would not see or hear from him again.
I was right; I didn't. And I have decided to save this type of guy, number 11, for last because he is the one we would love to meet, but dread meeting.
When you're gay, your dating pool is so much smaller than if you were heterosexual.
It is in these moments that a sense of loneliness and futility hits you like a tidal wave. You sizzled with him one moment, but things fizzled out and he was gone the next.
Grindr: That dirty little secret.
It's been a fun little experiment, if not really my cup of tea.
As with any experience, you learn something, like how I learned I don't have the time or energy to be Mr. Really Specific.
But I also learned to take the app with a grain of salt and have fun with it all.
A special thank you to every single guy who inspired me to reserve a spot for them in this article.
Chances are, you know where you belong and if you don't know, you'll figure it out eventually.