Tag Archives: Tinder

The Guysexual’s Brutally Honest Review Of Tinder

Tinder_Guysexual_amraidua

 

Online dating will always be shunned and sniggered at, like the fat kid from school that no one spoke to. Dating apps are usually hidden, stacked between photo-editing apps and to-do lists, away from prying eyes, pudgy fingers and awkward questions.

Why so?

It’s simple. It’s completely against the idea of a textbook romance — meeting someone at a party or at the local bookshop, bumping into each other, and falling head-over-heels in love with each other at first sight.

But that’s where you are wrong.

If you think your next big love isn’t hidden behind a mesh of profiles on the dating app of your choice, there’s a very big chance he’s not waiting for you at the bar with free drinks (and if he is, there’s a chance he might give you chlamydia). Conventional ways of finding love are dying out and for good reason, because we just don’t have the time (or the hope to leave things to chance).

So as we traverse through the desert of online dating with pit stops over at GrindrScruff and Hinge, here’s presenting the oasis at the end of many (many) dating dust storms.

Say hi to Tinder. She’s swiping right on you already.

What it is: Tinder is the It-girl of dating apps, the one that all the others want to be like, and secretly hate. Like the nagging aunt, it shows you picture after picture of suitable men (and women) – because perfection doesn’t come easy, and here, it can come more than once. But what sets it apart from the nagging aunt in question?

Tinder has a strict ‘no-judgments-passed’ policy, which comes to play as you test-drive your way through the sea of suitable men. Well, no one said that finding a potential mate was easy. They aren’t all Planet Romeo.

How it works: You can swipe right to ‘Like’, or turn left to ‘Oh-I-don’t-think-so’. Tinder is a clearance sale of Facebook profile pictures. You collect the ones you love, and ignore the ones you don’t. But then, the pile keeps on growing, and you don’t know what to do. Unless someone collects you too.

Intellectually, can Tinder be considered as the online dating app for the people who have given up on online dating?

Truly so. Unless you are my friend, Kartik.

Last month, the 29-year-old copywriter came across Rajeev — he was handsome, gay (and not sexually fluid like the boys on Bro), ran his own start-up, and at 6’ 2” (Rajeev’s profile told him), he was a lot taller than Kartik was. Was he the light at the end of a tunnel of d*****bags and dimwits? More importantly, could their mutual love for Rihanna, Banksy and Humans Of New York account for total compatibility in the romance department? Probably not, but maybe Tinder could help them meet halfway there (not literally, like in the case of Happn).

Kartik (super) liked right and waited.

And waited. And waited. He waited for all of 23 days, seven hours and 42 minutes. Rajeev never matched back. Obsessing over a text message is a little crazy, but when you’re in an online relationship (or not), that’s really all you have. Are you allowed to feel heartbroken if you’ve never met someone in person?

If real-life relationships are taxing and nerve-wracking, the ones you find here are only better – every curve ball that life throws at you, Tinder throws two. The biggest of them all: How do you answer the classic – ‘How did you two meet?’ – milestone that every couple that meets through Tinder dreads.

It’s simple. You tell them you met each other at Starbucks.

What I like about it: Unlike most dating apps for queer men (and women), Tinder doesn’t allow immediate, unfiltered communication. No more message requests. No more unsolicited dick pics. No more ‘I-see-that-you-are-50-metres-away-wanna-hook-up?’

Chat (and ultimately cuddle up) with only people you match with – not that there’s a guarantee a man won’t turn out to be a d*****bag after 50 texts full of witty prose.

What I don’t like about it: Like most good things in life, finding true love on Tinder doesn’t come free. See, Tinder might be your best bet to meet your future plus one, But Tinder Plus (or Gold for the select few who can afford it) is where you strike gold, no puns intended.

Unlimited right swipes? Hell yes. Rewind the accidental ones? Obviously. That one-off (brilliant) chance to skip the queue? Definitely. 3X chances of finding a soul mate? That’s a third of the catfishes you have to wade through before you find your Prince Charming.

Now I was always good at math, but these numbers don’t make any sense at all.

Bonus feature: They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Tinder’s extensive library of GIFs and customised emojis can write a book. Cat got your tongue as you flirt your way with the hot travel photojournalist who you (super) liked? There’s an appropriate ‘wanderlust’ GIF in there somewhere.

Tips to follow: As a single gay man, do you still think that the quintessential dating app is the only speed bump on your journey towards finding a fulfilling NSA (no-stress at all) relationship?

Make an effort with your profile. Your vital stats and sexual preferences might get you sex in 30 minutes or less, but a soul mate? Not so much.

Stop using the app only after midnight – you are not fooling anyone when you want to meet for a date in the middle of the night. In your bedroom.

Stop tlking lyk dis 2 ppl online.

Be nice, be charming, be yourself – but most importantly, be kind, rewind.

Who is it for: Because the worst of us need a fairy tale to believe in.

For all the times you don’t find a Fairy Godmother to help you on your quest to seek true love, Tinder swipes right in and saves the day. She’d even give you a makeover if you have Tinder Gold.

But that’s another story.

Guysexual’s Grade-o-meter

Hookability: 8/10

Compatibility: 9/10

Usability: 8/10

Downloadability: 9/10

The Guysexual’s Guide To Decoding Dating Bios On Every App In The World

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As you might have realised, your dating profile is your window to the world. It’s your 4’ by 6’ advertisement in the personals section of the newspaper. So it’s only obvious that you’d spend more time on it: Being your witty, charming, and fun self – that’s where you get your right swipe, your woof and your clandestine tryst for Wednesday night.

But we don’t.

Instead, we look at every profile with an Instagram filter – there’s the computer analyst who’s mug shot is spruced up with Aden, the graphic designer from seven hundred metres away shining bright in the Maldives with Valencia and finally, the architect across the street, basking on the beach with a healthy dose of Amaro. While pictures gain priority, our bios get rehashed in different versions of the same fifteen or so things — all as pointless as trying to get the barista at Starbucks to spell your name correctly.

Here are a few template (but very real) dating bios, decoded just for you:

What he says: ‘Sane and sorted.’

What he means: ‘I will block you if you ask me something that offends me even slightly.’

 

What he says: ‘No hookups please.’

What he really means: ‘I am into hookups.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a reason to delete this app.’

What he really means: ‘I am waiting for my Prince Charming, but if I have to kiss a few dozen frogs on the way, I am not complaining. My flat mate is out this weekend.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a gym buddy.’

What he really means: ‘I have a boyfriend, but I don’t mind doing the dirty deed on the bench press. Lay out the yoga mat, will you?’

 

What he says: ‘I really don’t bite…unless you really want me to…’

What he really means: ‘I am really not that good in bed, but if you want, I’d moan out your name as we have mediocre sex. And then if I am really into it, I’ll even bite your nipples.’

 

What he says: ‘Only faces can start a conversation’

What he really means: ‘because I don’t want you to be as ugly as you sound on text.’

 

What he says: ‘Sapiosexual, looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘I like the word; it sounds really cool.  But hey, now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re place or mine?’

 

What he says: ‘Please don’t waste my time!’

What he really means: ‘I don’t want to waste my time text-flirting with you over a week. I am top, muscular and raring to go. How about calling me over right now?’

 

What he says: ‘No pic. No plc.’

What he really means: ‘don’t catfish me, please?’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for some NSA fun.’

What he really means: ‘I really am looking for some NSA fun.’

 

What he says: ‘I get HIGH on life.’

What he really means: ‘I am coming right over if you’d let me snort cocaine right off your ass cheeks.’

 

What he says: ‘I don’t really know what to say here. Haha.’

What he really means: ‘I really don’t know what to say when all they need are only 250 characters about myself. I try not to come across as boring, but I really am.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discreet and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and don’t mind something on the side, as long as you don’t take pictures and send them to my wife.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discrete and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and I also don’t know how to spell.’

 

What he says: ‘I prefer men over boys.’

What he really means: ‘Only tops, please.’

 

What he says: ‘Not into fats/femmes. Uncles and aunties please stay away!’

What he really means: ‘I am a douchebag, and I expect you to be one too.’

 

What he says: ‘Classy people only.’

What he really means: ‘I want to do dirty unimaginable things to you, but I will not pay you money for any of it.’

What Does Your Grindr Picture say About You?

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Have I told you that a display picture isn’t that important for your Grindr profile?

 Yes. I am a liar.

And I am also a hypocrite.

See, it’s simple – sometimes you won’t have time to read someone’s profile bio – and we all know that your picture is all you’ve got to get him to say hello. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the photo in question needs to be clear and recent (unless you still look like your charming 2010 self) – just make sure it’s not a mug shot or a scan of your passport picture, and you are ready to go.

Remember, the focus of the picture should always be on the star attraction: YOU. Because while a panoramic shot of the Eiffel tower or the Great Wall of China in the background can make for a great conversation starter, a selfie with a butt-plug on the shelf behind you can only lead to a lot of awkward questions.

They say that everything you need to know, you can learn from a person’s picture. Want to know more?

Here’s what different pictures say about you:

  1. Mr. No picture

Being discreet about your identity can seem enigmatic, but don’t complain when you can’t seem to earn any brownie points, in bed or otherwise. Unless you can charm your way into someone’s heart (or their pants) with some well-timed words, not having a picture up on your profile only leads to not having any game.

  1. Mr. Shirtless

Sure, you might say that you are ‘looking for your one true love’ but you don’t need to be shirtless on your path to romance. It’s really difficult to fall in love (or even be friends) with someone who doesn’t seem to have a face. When was the last time you made a new friend over how well proportioned your abs are?

Never.

Unfortunate as it may seem, it’s very difficult to be taken seriously when you think that the most endearing part of your personality is your sexy, sculpted chest.

  1. Mr. Smiling face

Smiles are sexy. You might want to come across as a brooding, yet beautiful ‘I-am-too-good-for-you’ rugged man, but smiles always gather the most attention (and hellos on Grindr). Plus, no gay man can ever resist a full set of pearly whites. It’s the easiest route to your ‘happily-ever-after.’

So smile away, boys – you won’t need a fairy godmother to find that fairy tale ending then.

  1. Mr. Blurry

It’s 2017, so the only reason you have an out-of-focus photo as your profile picture is because you used an artsy Instagram filter. Otherwise, you need to delete those scanned pictures back from 2007 from your phone as soon as possible.

  1. Mr. Gym selfie:

Yes, you care about fitness, love to exercise and spend about ten hours every week working on the various muscles of your lithe, supple body, but there’s a catch (and it’s got nothing to do with your warm-up at the beginning of your workout).

Generations of (less fitter, more sour) gay men have unanimously looked down at their gym-going counterparts in their quest for love, simply because they’d presume that the men in question would give precedence to HIIT over matters of the heart. Don’t want to turn a potential love interest away?

It’s sad to say that having a gym selfie as your profile picture will only give out the impression that you care more about your post-workout protein shake than the person you are talking to.

  1. Mr. Sunglasses

You might be gorgeous enough to grace the cover of GQ Magazine, but when you’ve got monster sunglasses that cover more than half of your pretty face, people will only assume that you are wearing them because you are ugly.

Yes, even if they are from Calvin Klein.

  1. Mr. beach bod

The shirtless, beach picture is the ultimate way to show off. How so?

It shows that you work out (your banana hammock leaves very little room for the imagination), are confident (because anybody with body issues would have a problem with being half-naked in public) and travel a lot (who else would be at a beach in the middle of the year?) Want to amp up those little red notifications of love on Grindr?

It’s time to find the nearest exotic beach and plonk yourself on a recliner.

  1. Mr. Suit

Maybe you are a professional. Maybe you are a model. Maybe you are a tycoon. Maybe you are an out-of-towner in the city for work, and looking for a friend to ‘show you around town’. Maybe you are none of the above, and just trying too hard.

Remember that this is Grindr, and not your LinkedIn profile. Stick to the basics; but just make sure you aren’t too basic.

 

Dear Gay Men, Here Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating.

 

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As a gay man, you spend as much time charting the dregs of a dating app as you spend deciding between a mimosa and a mojito for Sunday brunch — only in the case of the latter, there are no empty calories, just empty feelings (and no, there are no Happy Hours on online dating portals).

Online dating might look depressingly tough, but it’s really not.  Do you want to get away and get it on in real life?

Just follow these dos and swerve away from the don’ts, and you’ll never have to hit the bar to drown your loneliness ever again:

Do: Have a recent picture of yourself

Unless you still look like your gorgeous, toned self from 2007, have a photo that was taken in the past few months as your display picture. After all, no one wants to see that look of disappointment on their date’s face when they turn up and see you for the very first time.

PS: have more than one photo, as cameras can be pathological liars (and so can people).

Don’t: Lie on your profile

We know how exhilarating it can be to lie about your age, height, weight and the fact that you won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award back in 2010 on your profile, but do remember — you are only one Google search (or one date) away from never seeing the hypothetical boy of your dreams ever again.

Do: Take chances

Does your date seem slightly boring than he did on text? Is his nose off centre? Do you find him a bit pudgy around the waist? You can pass him off, and wait and wait and keep waiting, but perfection might never make it when you want it to.

While online dating can seem superficial — as you swipe right through profiles of gorgeous men with pectoral muscles and PHDs, you might need to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Who know? Maybe the grungy musician who lives with his parents is the one you’ll click with.

Don’t: Ask for a picture if you don’t have one

If you do, you are a certified A-level douchebag.

Do: Be well groomed

If you don’t expect your date to turn up with garlic breath and body odour, neither should you. No one expects you to look like you are walking the ramp for the next Autumn/Winter collection, but make an effort and dress up (more on that later).

Side note: Take a shower and spray some cologne; it always helps.

Don’t: Be a Yes man

Will you share my salad?

Want to come back to my place?

Why don’t you leave your wallet with me when you head off to the washroom?

I have a fetish for blood. Are you interested?

Don’t be a people pleaser; if someone asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, a succinct ‘no’ is all it takes. You don’t even need an excuse after.

Do: Be on time

There’s nothing more attractive than a man who is always on time. If you aren’t, keep an apology text ready to be sent at least ten minutes before your assigned meeting time.

Buy him a drink (or two) when you get there — alcohol always makes up for (and makes with) lost time.

Don’t: Get too drunk on the first date

Being drunk on a date is never sexy, especially if it involves you retching over his Italian loafers (halfway through the heartwarming story of how he lost his cat when he was twelve).

Side note: If you are feeling the first date sweats and are generally anxious, calm yourself with a drink, but stop at two (or when you feel the sudden urge to flirt with the bartender).

Do: Talk on the date

Contribute to the conversation like you would contribute to water cooler gossip — remember that a great conversation can help you go a long way, right up to ten-year anniversary pictures on the fridge.

Don’t: Be mean

No one likes to be told that their posture is wrong; their shoes are last season, their big dream won’t work or that they’ve got something stuck between their teeth.

Don’t like your date? Don’t take it out on him. Have a drink or two, and end the night early with a polite excuse, and a cheque that’s split two ways.

Is Online Dating The Serial Killer Of Romance?

Viraf, a thirty-something brand manager loves plaid, soy lattes and expensive single malt. Like most quintessential gay men that I know, Viraf is on the lookout for ‘shake-me-by-my-shoulders’ love – the one that you find in dog-eared romance novels and primetime soaps. To further his cause for finding romance, Viraf goes out on a new date every week (while sleeping with twice the number of people in the same time) – and falls in love every month. It’s a tough life, but he survives (and so does his wallet).

Serial Killer

Continue reading Is Online Dating The Serial Killer Of Romance?

What’s up, Bro: An honest review of the dating app for straight, sensible men

Men have always had it easy.

Gay or straight, the laws of online dating have always been balanced. Gay men have Grindr. Straight men have Tinder. But what about straight men looking to woo (or wingman with) other men, you ask?

 Say hello to Bro, the app that everyone is talking about.

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Launched in early 2016, (but like most other things, making its debut in India a year later) Bro promises that it ‘goes beyond using labels, and is for men that are interested in meeting other guys – it’s as simple as that.’ It doesn’t say it’s a sex app (in those many words) – it’s for men seeking friendships, men who want to date, men who want casual hookups and all the permutations and combinations in between – without the baggage of old labels and questions by older relatives.

 Straight, gay or bisexual – Bro is an all-accepting sausage fest, and makes no qualms about it. It’s online dating without typecasting itself as online dating. In fact, Bro advertises itself as the app that welcomes men who don’t feel welcome in the gay community. It finally lets people be what they shouldn’t be embarrassed of being – sexually fluid. Sexuality is a continuum and not a binary, and Bro recognizes that. But beneath the blue and white, straight man-friendly exterior, does it really offer anything that Grindr doesn’t?

 Yes, and no. There are less faceless torsos, more happy faces of people doing happy things. There’s always been a grey area between the boundaries of sex, relationships and friendship, and when an app asks you whether you are looking to find friendship, fun or ‘whatever’, Bro wins hands down in the grey department, all fifty shades of it. It’s for men who don’t want to commit – to labels, or a relationship – In fact, men can even ‘fist bump’ each other to show their sign of approval, so that they can be comfortable in their skin when they ultimately do ask each other for a blowjob (they are just one football jersey short of not really questioning their sexuality after using it.) This is my one grouse with the app; it puts heteronormativity on a pedestal.

 I am neither a bro, nor am I straight – so I break both the cardinal rules when I decide to try it out – I am not one to shy away from finding true love, even if it’s with a potentially straight man. How do I do as a bro?

 Not so well, but I’d let you be the judge of that with my six day gaycation on the app:

Day 1:

 I download the app with the vigour and hope that I usually reserve for the first day of a clearance sale. The app’s interface is bright, multi-racial and eye-catching, which is great – because that’s how I like my boys. After a quick sign up where it chides me for my stats, preferences and HIV status, Bro does what no other dating app does.

 It asks me to sort myself.

 Am I the beefy Jock Bro? A nerdy Brogrammer? A muscular G.I Bro? A preppy Bro? Casual Bro? Suited Bro? Lumber Bro, Hipster Bro or the ‘surprised-to-see-you-here’ fabulous Bro?

 I choose the casual Bro because no hipster would ever admit to being one.

 Once I am set, a grid of hopefuls show up –I am slightly disappointed. It’s a sea of men I’ve blocked on Grindr, long forgotten exes, a few friends and men I’ve always seen around but never spoken to.

I dive in.

 Day 2:

 I start my second day with a fresh fist bump. It’s Gautam, a video editor who I went on a date with a few months ago. I’ve swiped right on Gautam on Tinder; Woof’d at him on Scruff, and starred him as a favourite on Grindr. I do the only sensible thing left to be done. I send a fist bump back at him, in the awkward way I would in middle school. (Side note: I’ve never really been great at fist bumping – the last person I fist bumped was my three-year-old nephew.)

 ‘What are you doing here?’ he texts me.

‘I was going to ask you the same question,’ I text him back.

 ‘Just checking out the scene on the other side of the tracks, bro,’ he pings back. We both have a laugh over it, ending our abrupt conversation with a crisp LOL from each side. We make plans to meet soon, but we both know that we won’t.

 That’s the last I hear from him.

 Day 3:

 I strike up a conversation with a new face: 27-year-old Ankit’s profile says that he’s spontaneous, funny and charming with a hairy chest. He’s also straight, and inconspicuously (but not surprisingly) from New York.

 I say hello with a non-committal ‘Ssup?’ – could this be the start of a sitcom-level bromance (with six season and a movie) where we wingman each other at bars?

I wait for ten minutes. I wait for an hour. I wait for a whole day.

 He never replies, killing my sitcom dreams even before we can shoot a pilot.

 Day 4:

 Still reeling from the rebuttal, I open my bro with no new expectations. The app doesn’t disappoint – apart from two requests for my sexual preference, my message inbox is emptier than my heart. I switch off, vowing to never come back again.

I go back the next day.

 Day 5:

 I get fist bumped by a girl.

 She tells me she’s bisexual; I tell her I am surprised. The awkward silence resonates forever, but my relationship with Bro doesn’t.

 The Verdict:

 Breaking norms and reestablishing sexual fluidity aside, I realize I wouldn’t want to go find bros before my hos. It’s simply not my cup of tea. Instead, I’d pass it over for a keg of beer and a beautiful boy who wants me for a little more than ‘whatever, bro’.

 And for that, I’ve got Grindr and my wine shop on speed dial.

What we talk about when we talk about love.

What is love?

Is it a constant release of oxytocins or a woeful struggle to become the best version of yourself? Is it a cheaper substitute for cocaine? An attitude that lands you a starring role in every Bollywood blockbuster? Most importantly, is it the premise of every Beatles song?

Love is a lot of things.

valentines

 

To celebrate Valentine’s Day with my refrigerator full of wine, I spoke to six different LGBT couples about romance and its sweeping presence in their lives – as a day, as a feeling, or as a constant state of being that doesn’t make them want to kill their significant other. Through text, long distance phone calls and two really hot cups of coffee, here’s what we talked about when we talked about love:

Continue reading What we talk about when we talk about love.