The Gays Of Grindr

WARNING – this post contains explicit topics. For further background on why I’m writing this, please see my previous post.

I shouldn’t give Grindr so much credit in the title, but they were the first app that introduced me to the world of social “dating” apps. As per my previous post, this was something I was a little unsure about getting into, but I did feel that if I was going to do it I really should do it now. Time waits for no man…

I have found it extremely difficult to put myself into the marketplace. If you’d read my previous post (I know you haven’t, but you should), you’d know that I am a somewhat reluctant bisexual. I don’t like all of the stereotypes that attach to being gay. I don’t wish for people to think of me differently because I tell them that I am gay. I would rather live a lie – a lie that hurts no one and has no effect on me personally – than to have to suffer people’s outdated prejudices, or stupid cultural associations. No, I don’t like Shirley Bassey.

But into the marketplace I went anyway. I’ve had some interesting experiences, despite never actually meeting anyone, and may never do so.

For archive purposes, and maybe because someone somewhere might find this amusing, here follows a non-exhaustive list of the categories of guys you might meet on social apps…

The “Straight” Guy

Despite all available evidence, insists on being straight, but just so happens to like you. Usually youngish, aged 18-29, spends most of their time trying to get you to send your most private pictures, and sending very few of their own. Very unlikely to actually commit to any form of meeting. Probably actually a 50 year old. Usually disappears after they’ve got your pictures.

The Cheating “Bi” Guy

The guy who is married or in some form of relationship with a woman and wants to “explore”. Pleads that you should ignore their questionable morality, but usually moved quickly to aggression if continually challenged. Can be quite aggressive in wanting to meet, and will attack relentlessly if you deny them. Will send dozens of pictures freely and willingly.

The “Straight Acting” Guy

Guys aged 20-40 who are aggressively anti-gay, despite being gay themselves. Will often come out with outrageously vitriolic or bigoted statements if backed into a corner. Won’t meet unless you can also confirm your non-gay gayness by behaving in a macho/butch fashion, whatever that is. Into muscles, roughness, the gym, usually tattooed, probably wants you to do drugs with them.

The Picture Curating Guy

Can be any age, but never into any form of meeting ever. Goes straight in with the picture chat, and adds them to his personal conquest collection. May actually block the minute the deed is done. Possibly a 14 year old searching for pictures, more likely a 60 year old getting their rocks off.

The Not Out Guy

May be bi, “straight” or curious, will only show you their face reluctantly, and will often ask questions and be very frank with you regarding their feelings. Often unwilling to meet.

The Surly Young Guy

Aged 18-21 and won’t even countenance a conversation with anyone 22 or older; assumes everyone beyond this age is a paedophile. Forgets that age will hit them too. Extraordinarily arrogant and cocksure, will block or ignore you if you attempt to speak with them. Has presumably blocked so many people that their “marketplace” is empty bar three other profiles.

The Shy Young Guy

Incredibly socially awkward, unable to hold any conversation or reciprocate small talk in any way. Is a step up from the surly young guy because at least they have an open mind, but they will not show any interest in meeting in any form. Immature.

The Arrogant/Rude Guy

Curt and impolite, doesn’t do small talk and gets straight to the point. Thinks they are God’s gift to men but actually aren’t particularly physically attractive, and have very few mental attractive qualities. Will usually block or ignore you if you don’t meet their standards.

The Incredibly Attractive Guy

Like the Arrogant guy, but actually is undescribably attractive and looking for same. Blocks the minute you talk to them if your face does not meet their ludicrously high standards. Socially inadequate.

The Fake Picture Guy

Pretends to be young, attractive and looking for same. Is using the pictures of a young, attractive guy, but is actually old and unattractive. May be a sexual deviant. Looking to speak to young guys and enter into their confidence. Pathological liar. Hard to spot until you realise they refuse any meetings, and never send any live pictures.

The Uncommunicative Guy

He spends all of his time surfing through pictures and never responds. May occasionally send an xD or similar if you try to flirt with them, but appears to show no interest in ever taking things any further. Possibly underage. Possibly with Asperger’s Syndrome or somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

The Intellectually Impaired Guy

I hate to say this one, but there are some guys out there who are looking but may never be bought. Unable to hold any sort of conversation, may often come out with non-sequiturs or seek continuous reassurance as to their attractiveness.

The Lurking Guy

Just looking, as they say. Never does anything more than that. Never replies. Never starts conversations. Presumably nervous and anxious, or not 100% confident in their sexuality.

The Unavailable Guy

You spend a whole day talking to them and you both seem to like each other, and yet there just never is quite a window in the diary for you both to meet. Presumably either a workaholic, with an active social life, or a liar. Don’t waste your time, give up now.

The Flashing Guy

Prefers to open conversations with a picture of their equipment. Can be an effective tool in getting straight to the point, but usually results in ignorance or blocking. Many of these people can actually be surprisingly normal if you give them a chance.

The Fun Guy

Aged 20-40, just wants to meet for “fun” and nothing else. Surprisingly difficult to pin down to an actual date and time. Issues such as travelling and accomodation are usually the stumbling blocks, but may resort to suggesting “going for a drive” or “outdoors”. Sitting in a car at the side of the A1 is hardly the most romantic locale.

The Fanboy Guy

Seems to like you, and you seem to get on with them, but in reality you don’t want to meet them, though they want to meet you. You feel awkward about letting them down, but let them down you must, or they will keep begging you. One step away from stalking.

The Stalking Guy

Makes creepy comments about how close they are. Usually doesn’t actually do anything, but if they take a shine to you can try to track you down. Some variants of this guy will actually spot you in public if you’re in a busy area like a train station. Then they’ll message you to say “I’m behind you!”. Beware.

The Horny Old Guy

Guys 50+ who are into younger guys, but don’t realise how desperately unattractive they are to them. Can be very good pen pals if they’re into that kind of thing, but usually want to meet for “fun”. It might be fun for them but not for the other guy. Are usually very polite.

The Freaky Fetish Guy

Into chains, whips, leather, but usually worse, probably involving bodily evacuations. Will plead with you to join in but often won’t take the hint. Sometimes into wearing adult nappies. A real eye-opener. (PS: that’s probably another fetish they like)

The Aggressively Out Guy

Won’t talk to anyone who is bi, is as camp as Christmas, and wonders why every other guy can’t be the same. Fundamentalist. Blocks relentlessly if you don’t meet their criteria.

The Rentboy

You chat them up and they appear to reciprocate. You get excited about just how well the relationship is developing. They appear to be extremely open to the idea of meeting. Suddenly money comes into the equation. Blocked.

The Normal Guy

Believe it or not, they actually exist. In my experience, out of hundreds of conversations, I can honestly say that I have found someone normal once. By normal I mean they exhibited no signs of deviancy, utter social or intellectual inadequacy, or were extremely blessed in the physical goods department. Just normal and sane.



After all the time I’ve spent on these apps, I start to wonder why I even bother. I have resorted to not even starting conversations any more and seeing what happens.

Some guys exhibit characteristics of multiple categories, of course. And it’s even possible to exhibit different categories to different people. It’s the beauty of the internet. Reinvent yourself every time.

I think that, ultimately, is the reason why they can be so addictive. And to guys who are used to having difficulty even identifying who is gay and who is not, they are a real breath of fresh air. Suddenly everyone is a victim, erm, I mean target.

All I can say, having the benefit of my experience, is that I wish people were nicer and more polite. Manners cost nothing. Honesty is always the best policy. If someone is not attractive to you, just say – “Sorry mate, not my type”. Don’t just ignore them or block them. You can’t do that in real life. You have to actually speak to people. We know it will happen all the time, so be confident that you can say “sorry” and they will move on.

But don’t just say sorry and get rid of them without giving them a chance. In fact, sometimes, you can find people who will be friends, even if they are not attractive to you. Friends don’t have to be attractive, remember? I think some guys forget that.

If you are looking for fun or chat or mates or whatever, just say it. No one should be offended, and if they are they are prissy idiots not actually worthy of your effort.

We’re all in the same boat. We’re all looking for something. It’s better to be really clear about it, and save everyone time.

There are nice people out there, and there are nasty ones. The only way you can tell them apart is by talking to them.

Have fun out there.

The Complicated Feelings

I’ve never directly addressed anything like this on this journal before – in 10 years! – but I feel like this is a good moment to do so.

When I was in school I used to fantasise about girls. They were definitely the object of my desires. I have numerous distinct memories of being attracted to girls in my class, and girls in the school. This made me happy, because boys are cruel. It was very difficult for anyone who had any sort of camp/effeminate nature. I used to feel sorry for those who were, and in fact I counted a couple of the ones who were constantly accused of being “gay” amongst my friends.

So I was just normal, and so I kept under the radar. I was pleased. I don’t think I’d have survived any type of bullying or victimisation. I put up with the most moderate stuff, and that was bad enough for me, because I’m so sensitive. I take everything to heart and over-analyse it.

The complicated step was around the age of 16, when I also started to develop attractions to boys as well. As you can imagine, this totally confused me. I had a rather strange phase just before my 16th birthday when I very definitely went through a phase of being gay. It was weird. I accepted the feelings because I felt they were clearly just passing. I’d heard of getting confused by hormones and other tales of teenage woe, so I just went with it. I felt they would go away again, and I’d return to being heterosexual.

They never did.

But neither did the other feelings.

Being teenaged and hormone-filled, it didn’t really feel bad to me. It just felt like I was being horny regarding both sexes. But I did worry. I did worry about being gay, because a) I had no desire to go through such a stressful period with family and friends explaining it; and b) I was most definitely not someone who acted or behaved gay. I have my camp moments, as, in fact, all men do – because we sometimes do it very well for comic effect – but, in the main, I am pretty much just an ordinary guy. The thought of being gay and being associated with all the negative stereotypes worried me greatly.

My life path has wound forward some years since then. Since early dalliances in my teens, I have never “done anything” regarding my homosexuality. I have repressed it to some degree. I have always looked at (some) guys and thought “yeah, he’s nice” – but I have never thought “I should ask him on a date”. I have thought “he’s cute” but never “I’d like to…” – fill in the blank. It’s never appealed to me. Perhaps it’s repression, but I think it’s also that I just don’t feel 100% that I’d like to be intimate with a man.

On the other hand, I feel completely comfortable with being intimate with women. Not that it happens very often (I don’t write about everything on here) but I am happy speaking to women and getting to erm know them better. It is tragically all too rare, especially since Uni days are over, but that aspect of me feels normal.

So I’ve always thought that I’m pretty much a heterosexual, because the homosexual side of me just doesn’t feel all that comfortable with existing. I am certain, though, that it’s part of my unintentional repression. But if I became an exclusive heterosexual, then it wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t feel like I’m missing anything.

In the last year or so, however, I’ve began to accept that I’m actually a bisexual. Of course, this was obvious from day one, and I should have thought about this when I was 16 ish. I like both. Not equally. And not in the same way. I’m genuinely uncertain that I’d ever actually enjoy a long-term relationship with a man.

My new accepting mindset was an attempt to try and smoke out whether that too was a repression. And after the last few months of testing out my feelings quite extensively (utilising social apps…) I am reasonably confident that it’s not. Gay guys are incredibly difficult for me to get along with. They are extra fussy, they are a little untrustworthy (but that may just be the nature of the people on social apps) and they are almost universally not my type – i.e. they are too effeminate/camp.

But it’s been an interesting experience. The crap chat and rubbish banter, and the incredibly dismissive, arrogant and downright rudeness is enough to tell me I may be onto a loser here. I think I’m an ordinary, normal person, who shows genuine interest in others, and as such am really easy to get along with. But none of it was reciprocated.

I’ll write more extensively about my experience in the future. I just wanted to set a benchmark here that it may be a future topic…