Gay hook-up and dating app Grindr is just now a decade old with almost 4 million users worldwide.
Its own sort of sexual revolution, Grindr’s had a huge impact on gay sex and culture. Some of you probably grew up with it using it to first experience gay sex. You can find the nz sex apps here.
Grindr’s founder, Joel Simkhai, 40, said that his “isolation” as a child motivated him to create it and make him VERY RICH. He sold the company to the Chinese-based Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. for over $152 million for the remainder of the company (after an initial investment of $93 million). He stayed on until Scott Chen took over as the new CEO.
The app has many good things going for it, but people often say things on Grindr that they’d never say in person. According to Vice interviews, user experiences can vary greatly, enabling bullying and sometimes aggressive behaviour, including racist and femmephobic slurs.
Last year, Grindr launched Kindr Grindr, a campaign to promote,
“diversity and inclusion” over “racism, bullying or other forms of toxic behaviour”.
Grindr for Equality was launched in 2012,
an “ever-evolving mission to help LGBTQ people around the globe”, encouraging users to “mobilise, inform and empower”.
But leave it to Saturday Night Live to celebrate the milestone with a joke embedded with truth,
“This week marks the 10th anniversary of the same הכרויות לסקס app, Grindr which has all but replaced the old way of finding discreet gay hook-up –church camp.” –Weekend Update
Vice talked to these 10 users about their experiences;
“A lot of guys seem to have this entirely made up contract in their head, that if you are on Grindr then you owe them something. Like, ‘Want to fuck? If you say no or don’t reply straight away, I’m going to call you a cunt.’ Lots of guys are just there for hookups, but it’s also full of men who are ‘sick of this app’ and ‘just want to meet someone sane’, and somehow think they’re going to meet their future ‘Mr Heteronormative’ in between a twink pig bottom and a couple looking for a three-way. It’s a strange platform for human behaviour.” – Phillip, 31
“Having been happily partnered, then married, for 25 years, downloading Grindr after a separation was a new experience. It’s a million miles away from the courting of my youth. I remember asking one of my younger gay friends: “Why are many young men calling me ‘daddy’?!” It was fun while it lasted, but often people just wasted time and got me really excited with chat before going cold and disappearing.” –James, 57
“I fell in love with a guy on Grindr while I was still in the closet, because I was so bowled over by how much he had his life together and how true to himself he was. He’d come out, and the idea of doing that was so alien to me at the time. We’re still really great friends now, but he basically schooled me in being gay while I was still ashamed of it, which was so sweet.” –Douglas, 24
“I was on a work trip in Paris and had a day off to myself, so decided to check out the Parisian talent. It was considerable! In the end I opted for a businessman with a cheeky smile. He had a stunning flat in the 7th arrondissement, the entire top floor of an apartment building – sumptuous decor, marble floors, urns, the works. He was stunning as well: beautiful bone structure and penis. We drank champagne out on his balcony and started to get down to business just as a summer thunderstorm hit – torrential rain, rumbling thunder, the whole thing was so sultry. I have a vivid memory of cumming as I watched lighting fork over the Eiffel Tower. It was a mood.” –Dylan, 27
“I was in Romania, and after checking into my hotel I fired up Grindr. I began speaking to this handsome man, before going out to a gay bar. I was surprised when I arrived to see the same man at the bar. We ended up going back to my hotel room and having the best sex I have ever had in my entire life.
Afterwards, as he got dressed, he asked me for £300 as payment. I laughed it off, thinking it was a joke, but he became insistent, telling me he’s a male escort – which he had not told me previously. He began to start smashing up my room and shouting, until I reached for the phone to call reception. Then he bolted out of my room, clearing my minibar into his bag in the process.” –Craig*, 36
“I used to write for Grindr’s online magazine, INTO. I viewed them as two separate entities, because I thought the app was trash and still do. As a freelancer, it sometimes feels like a large part of my job is being ignored or kept waiting, so I learned to steer clear of Grindr because that was my experience of using the app, too. It often made me feel invisible.” –Alim, 27
“My Grindr profile used to be a picture of me in a pink crop-top. During that time, I had a bunch of exchanges with guys who would basically tell me they weren’t interested because I didn’t look ‘masc’ enough, or assumed I was a sub bottom. After a while I got really tired of it, so I ended up changing my profile to a shirtless selfie – and I haven’t had any of those comments again.” –Jeff, 27
“Once, I was very drunk and horny after a night out. I saw this hot guy on Grindr who was very close by. I started speaking to him, while drifting in and out of drunken sleep. In the morning I realised I’d been trying to hook up with myself on Grindr.” – Peter, 33
“I’m married to a woman, but I think I’m bisexual. I’m one of the faceless torso profiles everyone wants to avoid. Everyone in my life thinks I’m straight, so Grindr is the only way I’ve been able to speak to men who like men. I haven’t met anyone off it, but the chat has helped me explore. I keep it hidden on my phone and I feel guilty every time I use it. It’s not ideal, but works for me.” –John*, 37
“It was my 21st birthday. I was sat in my room alone on Grindr and saw his beautiful face. I messaged him, expecting to be ignored. We chatted and scheduled a date for the following Friday. When he arrived, he introduced himself with a handshake, which I still make fun of him for. The date was unlike any first date I’ve ever had. I made out with him in my car, then drove him home.
That was the Friday. We ended up going out again on the Saturday. And the Sunday. And the Monday. And the Tuesday. We moved in together eight months later, and six years in we’re just about to move into a flat we bought together.” –Ross, 27
“It was after a party and I was wasted. A guy sent me his address so I stumbled to roughly the correct location. There was a guy outside a house who seemed to be waiting for someone. He motioned me inside – we had sex, it was great. As I was on my way back to the party I got a message from the guy I’d been messaging saying: “Where are you?” I’d had sex with a completely different person!” –Jack*, 29
*Names have been changed.
What’s your best/worst Grindr story? Tell us on Facebook.
(Keep in PG, please.)
(Photo, Grindr; via Vice)