10 things I hate about Grindr (and maybe also you)

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I’m a hateful person. Maybe I should write about things I love. But where’s the schadenfreude in that? Also I hit 16 before I could stop, and I’m not changing the title now.

1. Robots

Their profiles usually have some random washboard abs dude, and whereas most washboard abs dudes have profiles that don’t say much except that their interests are “chilling” and “working out,” it’s instead a long, rambling monologue about how love is more important than hooking up (well, that’s if you’re on Jack’d, on Grindr they’re just 8,000 miles away).

And they message back instantaneously with the same preset series of messages, terminating in one that links you to a pay-site where you can supposedly watch them jerk off.

It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re talking to a robot, because aside from the instantaneous response time, they will carry on the conversation unabated even if your own messages are meaningless gibberish. For example:

Me: “ehghahglekahl;djfasl;fjsa;dlfjjg.”

Them: “Hey dude,, that’s cool, I really like your profile pics!! we should chat more.”

Me: “Sometimes, I like to imagine making love to a watermelon, which I’ve drawn a face on and call “Henry James.” Sometimes I have a second watermelon named Willa Cather and it turns into a three-way. Message me back if you’re into that too.”

Them: “I’ve been working out a lot and it makes me really horny lol what about u????”

Me: “Dating makes me wish I was dead.”

Them: “That’s really interesting bro, we should talk on my cam and then you can see me live!”

The problem with robots isn’t that they waste your time; if that was enough to make you miserable on Grindr, you’d commit suicide within an hour of installing it. The real existential kick in the groin is that most Grindr/Jack'd conversations are so rote/mundane that it’s not necessary for the script writers for these things to give it some kind of artificial intelligence reminiscent of Ask Eliza, because they can literally guess that half of the time the same series of responses will appear to be an actual conversation for the people talking to it.

This makes me think that humanity is doomed.

On the bright side, it makes me feel slightly better about the fact that people tell me I talk about weird things, because if the bots are enough to pass the average shmuck’s Turing test, I’d rather be weird.

2. Not into [insert race here]

I couldn’t figure out what to do with this statement until I read about John Waters’ method of punishing people who don’t read:

“If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't fuck 'em!”

Thus, when people write to me with some blah blah blah about only being into white people, I just respond, “I’m sorry, I don’t have sex with racists. No offense, just a preference.” Then they go batshit crazy and go into some weird begging or defensive drama spiral.

For people who expect an awful lot of respect for their own dating preferences, they don’t seem to take rejection well.

If Paula Deen has taught the world anything about American Racism, it’s that if you’re gonna be a racist, you don’t drag it out into the world for all to see. You keep it on the golf course. If you have to bring it somewhere else, it’s on you. Expect to pay the baggage handling fee, since you’re making someone else carry it.

We should all do our part to usher out racism in the online dating community: Take a moment to respond by saying, “I’m sorry, I would have fucked you, but now I just can’t. Cause of the race thing.”

Maybe the single most salient problem with it is that people are confined in their profiles to just a few words, and of all the crap filters one could specify, even if you wanted to plumb the lowest depths of shallow, when you could save that space for anything ranging from “trustworthy” to “eight inches or more please!” all your pea sized brain can come up with to screen the zillions of people out there happens to align with the worst institutional scourge in America. I may not be willing to settle for anything less than eight inches (circumference) but I DON’T GO AND TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IT NOW DO I? Well maybe I just did. But rules don’t apply to me, I’m a writer.

I would tell everyone to do one better than hiding their racism and actually, say, get over it. But I imagine that would go as well as when I told everyone to stop being alcoholics.

3. People who want more than three pictures

Yes, I get that everyone has a glamour shot and you can’t rely on just one picture, but in the age of Facebook, where you can friend someone and see literally thousands of pictures of someone’s face, why are you still asking me for pictures?

Is there some angle of my face that you need to see that isn’t captured among the 10 pictures you’ve already seen, the 50 public Facebook pictures, the 800 private ones after you add me? Do you want me to stick a camera up my ass and take photos of my colon? Because as far as I can tell, that’s the only thing you haven’t seen already.

4. lol wut

If you use the phrase “lol wut,” you are what’s wrong with everything.

Why? It’s because you’re an idiot. And not just any idiot. You’re the worst kind of idiot. The kind of idiot who does not know, in fact denies, that they are an idiot. The kind that responds to that which they do not understand by simultaneously dismissing it and placing responsibility for their idiocy on others, and this is all wrapped up succinctly in the phrase, “lol wut.”

I hate you.

5. Aviators

Nothing says “I’m hiding an ugly face behind these aviators” like aviators.

6. Non-athletes with lots of muscles, distorted notions about being attractive

We’re hard-wired, like sex-crazed deer turned on by big antlers, to be attracted to muscles. The fact that you can do an end-run around thousands of years of evolutionary psychology by doing 200 crunches a day is, and only is, merely an end-run around thousands of years of evolutionary psychology.

That you can short-circuit someone’s romantic feelings in this way is marvelous in its simplicity, but also banal. The line between recognizing the exploit as banal, like the video game equivalent of using cheat codes when dating, rather than believing it to be some significant contribution to your character, is the difference between being charming and loathsome. (I know you “worked hard,” but so do the guys who clean out porta-potties, and nobody’s lining up to fuck them. Unless they work out a lot.)

The earmark of these guys is the sense of confusion or even embarrassment when they find themselves attracted to someone who isn’t as shredded as they are. They don’t understand that even as sex crazed deer, our 1-10 scale still involves more (also arguably shallow) traits than muscle definition, which (irony!) drops them five points. Nobody wants their offspring to be an idiot.

I certainly don’t want to suggest that muscle queens stop going to the gym. Without the steady stream of muscle queens to have sex with, I wouldn’t have much to do between my conversations with the robots.

7. Fat people

As a corollary to No. 6, the fact that you can now do an end-run around thousands of years of evolutionary psychology just by hitting the gym occasionally and not drinking like a fish kind of makes me suspect you’re an idiot if you’re not doing it.

8. Bald people who only send photos with hats

Nobody cares. We’re all men and therefore facing the same cranial path of destruction. The only thing I want is someone who’s confident in who they are and what they look like, because this is a proxy for determining whether they’re confident in their ability to bring me to new heights (lows?) during sexy sex time. Sending photos with hats does not make you seem like someone who will be confidently navigating my body during sexy sex time, but rather, someone making sure the lights are off before getting naked, which is a total boner killer.

9. People who get weird about me having sex with their friends

This is Atlanta. Statistically speaking, I have had sex with one of your friends. Once you’ve had sex with five people in Atlanta, you have had sex with everyone’s friend. Stop being weird about it.

10. There’s no 'Ask Julio' feature

This should, at minimum, be a paid feature. Grindr'ing without my friend Julio the hair stylist is like driving without a GPS.

Me: “How bout this guy?”

Julio: “Bottom.”

Me: “This one?”

Julio: “Bottom.”

Me: “That one.”

Julio: “He has sex for meth.”

Me: “Does this one have sex for meth?”

Julio: “No, just money.”

Me: “Well, I’m assuming since he messaged first he won’t charge me.”

Julio: “Also, he’s a bottom.”

Me: “DATING MAKES ME WISH I WAS DEAD.”

11. Not enough young guys seeking daddies

With the number of lonely daddies apparently willing to give any twink an all expenses paid trip through life, it’s clear to me that Atlanta must have escaped the economic collapse. This has put the city, and particularly its daddies, into crisis. I’m thinking of starting a charity for lonely daddies. They need a safe place where they won’t fall victim to those who might abuse them, like Grindr robots. They never show an interest in me when I tell them I'm a lawyer, I suppose under the false assumption that this means I can afford my own drinks. Isn’t there someone out there who can pay for my office expenses?

Julio: “The daddies are all bottoms.”

Me: “I WISH I WAS DEAD.”

12. No one is kinky

For a group of people that are willing to have sexy sex time with strangers, it’s the most vanilla group of people imaginable. How do you keep things interesting when screwing an unending stream of ridiculously good looking men?

I would try the fetish sites, but everyone on there insists on calling sex “play,” which I find to be a total boner killer.

13. Uppity bottoms whose source of charm is their ego

I have enough trouble finding dates without competition from you assholes.

14. Dates of STD test results and/or 'no drama!!!'

I put these together because they both share a similar irony. A long tangent about how you’re over the drama, and all the guys you date have been drama, does not make anyone think you’re an emotionally stable person. The obvious conclusion is that your life is filled with emotional train wrecks because you are an emotional train wreck, and the indignant proclamations assigning blame/responsibility to others makes you the worst kind of idiot (see “lol wut” above).

Also, guys who are the most concerned with proclaiming their own STD test results seem to be the most oblivious to sexual health, particularly when I ask them what they mean when they say they’ve been tested for “everything.” Ballpark guess, there’s less than a 1 in 20 chance you’ll make it from childhood through college without picking up the virus that causes cold sores (Herpes 1) or one of the 51 strains of HPV that are known to infect your private bits. Believing that your standard STD panel even bothered to check for these, or is even medically capable of testing men for all of them (none exists! surprise!) does not make me think you’re educated enough to trust you with my sexual health, which is the ultimate boner killer.

15. Couples that only send pictures of the cute one

If you’re advertising “couple” and the profile picture is just you, there’s a nine out of 10 chance that you’re the only one in the relationship with a libido. Who wants to be in caught in the middle of that? If you want someone Inside The Perimeter to message you, change the picture to include both and the headline to say “two tops without enough bottoms to go round” and wait 10 minutes for your phone to explode.

Conclusion

If the beauty and irreducible complexity of the mountains and the stars are enough to pull you toward a belief in God, then Grindr’s absurdity should be sufficient to push you over the brink of nihilism. That’s number 16, in case you were counting.

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