Before our smart phones took over and we started swiping right for Mr Right, meeting gay men was as difficult as trying to fit into your five-year-old denims — it required a trip to gay bar nights or connecting via dubious chat rooms on now-forgotten chat portals. Do you want the complete gist? You probably skipped the introductory class of Queer Culture 101.
But, technology has now allowed us to come together and spread our glorious wings (and sometimes, even our legs) wide. If you can order a cab through your phone, why can’t you go cruising too?
The gay dating app is thus, every homosexual man’s paradise: a one-way ticket to companionship, without the hassles of getting your friends or family involved. While there might be multiple dating apps that let you find your potential soul mate based on your picks and your preferences (and sometimes, even fetishes), I’ve decided to start off this new series with Grindr, because it’s the one most gay men would swipe right on, no puns intended (also I am lazy with research).
Don’t know what Grindr is?
I’m here to help. Just keep your notifications on.
What it is: Grindr, in its unfiltered GPS-based glory, presents a wide spectrum of gay culture. Here you can find every type of man; there is every shape, size, colour, and age represented within its Cartesian geo-limits. It’s like an online Pride parade, without the police permissions (unless you are into that) and the long speeches (or into that).
See, the thing with Grindr is that there are smart men, there are witty men, there are hot men, but most importantly there are men who want to meet other men, no strings attached.
How it works: With Grindr, it’s all there already — your facts and figures presented like a supermodel’s vital statistics — men are measured in d*ck pics and distances. There are no surprises here, except the ones you are lying about.
Kartik, a 28-year-old copywriter, met a handsome guy on the app just three months ago — an investment banker, with a plush two-bedroom sea-facing apartment in downtown Mumbai, and a face that could have been on a billboard. The man was gorgeous, had dimples that were deeper than the Mariana trench, and cheekbones so high, they could be on meth — rightly said, he was 30 going on 16 — and everything a guy could ever want to be with (or be). They sent each other flames and devils and whatnots, and literally ‘tapped’ at each other through the night.
The only glitch in the plan?
The banker was only five feet tall — a detail they had both overlooked (the banker forgot to mention it on his profile, Kartik forgot to ask). My copywriter friend never saw him again, and his digits were forever lost in Kartik’s sea of deleted phone numbers, along with all thoughts of moving into his picturesque bachelor pad.
Shallow friends aside, we can’t deny that Grindr demands supreme body confidence — row upon row of glistening torsos (some with heads attached, others cut off just above the Adam’s apple) for your perusal. If a guy doesn’t have a profile picture, it means one of two things — there’s probably nothing worth seeing or your subject is shy. Here, abs after abs dance before your tired, jaded eyes — the bodies melding into one mass of skin-coloured blot, and charisma is squeezed into a short bio, 150 characters or less.
So how do you differentiate between the torsos on ‘the Internet’s most popular gay dating app’? How can you tell whether the six-pack of your choice belongs to your potential Prince Charming or the pervert that everyone rain checks on?
You take your chances, and go meet him. What happens if it doesn’t work out?
When do you use it: While there’s no right time to be on Grindr, it’s advisable that you keep your phones away at bedtime, (only) if you are hoping to find the One — because any man who pings you post-midnight, wanting to ‘get to know you a little bit better’, is only interested in getting to know your sexual fetishes.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something on the side, here’s when to reach out to all the Romeos in your neighborhood:
6 am to 9 am:
Looking for someone to work out with? Hit him up when his morning motivation is up and flaring, and he’s ready to hit the bench press (or the sheets, if you are looking for a different type of cardio) all morning long.
Noon to 3 pm:
Interested in a quickie? The afternoon blues are perfect for an after-lunch liaison — this is when your will to work is at an all-time low, and your need to find a distraction is at an all-time high. Plus, you’ve got to work off those greasy rotis from lunch, don’t you?
5 pm to 8 pm:
Are you thirsty for a quick drink at the local pub? Ring up a boy for a spontaneous date in the evening, because it always beats going back home to an empty apartment.
And if things go well, you won’t.
11 pm and beyond:
Four words. No strings attached sex.
What do I like about it: Finding instant gratification is as easy as making instant noodles.
What I don’t like about it: Finding instant gratification is also as unhealthy as making instant noodles.
Who is it for: Everyone’s favourite dating app is perfect, if you are looking for something beyond companionship and compatibility, unless it’s the sort of compatibility you seek in bed. Do you want a one-night stand that you can potentially network with in the future?
Say hello to Grindr.
It’s buzzing. Someone’s probably sent you a devil emoji.