Calum McSwiggan

Grinding Grindr

In Gay on April 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

You can find the nearest cruising homosexual with one of those?’

– Jeremy Clarkson on Grindr 

Grindr, if you’re unfamiliar, is a gay dating app for smartphones that uses GPS to show you the location of the nearest gay men. I’ve been using this app for over a year now, initially just out of curiosity whilst I was in a long-term relationship, and recently to search for potential suitors.

I recently wrote about the lack of support for equal rights for gay men, and I can’t help but think that the way certain gay men conduct themselves doesn’t really help our cause. I’m aware that grindr is used most commonly as a cruising app, Stephen Fry himself admits that, but some of the obscene and lewd messages I receive are just down-right worrying.

Sloppy hole. SLOPPY HOLE. Oh my god.

I mean, where are you supposed to go with that? How can you possibly reply to such perversity? I simply ignore these messages, and am often bombarded with why are you ignoring me?

Uhm, maybe because you just asked me to fist your sloppy hole without so much as a how d’ya do?

I’m not the only one who finds these messages both hilarious and repulsive, Douchebags of Grindr, pinpoints and satirises them on the daily. However, when a 62 year old man is sending you pictures of his penis and is only 35 metres away, it’s rather disconcerting and it can be hard to see the funny side.

I’d like to think that these people are just textrovert- through the internet they feel that they have a license to do and say things they wouldn’t in real life- but some of the behaviour I’ve witnessed in the local gay clubs isn’t much more civilised; I’ve had a middle aged man offer to rim me down an alleyway once. What happened to a simple Hi, can I buy you a drink?

It is inarguably a revolutionary piece of software though, and can be very addictive. It’s extremely difficult for gay men to date in the real world; we’re often confined to a clubbing scene that revolves around drugs and casual sex and to a promiscuous cyber reality- having the opportunity to see all the single gay men in your area is definititely a positive thing. With talk of similar apps opening up to the straight community, however, one journalist voices her worries that these technological advancements could be the end of monogamy.

It’s a difficult and fascinating argument, there is no denying that society has become far less monogomous over time, but this does not give us the right to act massively inappropriately in the realms of the internet.  As gay men, we have a responsibility to ourselves to not fulfil the sleazy stereotypes society has built for us. If you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and hand them a picture of your penis in real life, you probably shouldn’t do it on the internet.

  1. Great post, Calum! Glad to see you blogging again! xoxo

  2. Actually, there is some denying that society has become less monogamous over time. You see, when a heterosexual couple has a dalliance, there’s a small chance a piece of scientifically significant genetic material will be expelled from the female partner about nine months later. Scientists studying that genetic material have found that fidelity was not as common in the olden days as our romantic notions and nostalgia would suggest.
    As for asking for a rim job, before buying a drink, I think it’s more honest and direct. It reduces the risk that either party will waste time courting an incompatible partner. Unless you’re some sort of low rent whore who values the free drinks as much (or more) than the sexual encounter, I’m not quite sure what your objection is. I think that even holds for the fellow after platonic friendship or romantic partnership, who might otherwise waste his night pursuing men only interested in physical encounters. I suspect if your dream world existed, and men offered to buy a drink first, you’d be complaining about how they think a drink should lead to something physical, and the sleaziness of that, instead.

    • Thanks for the comment Mark! There’s a lot of truth in what you say and you do put forward a very concise and profound argument. I think you make a very good point about monogamy and society not being as black and white as I initially suggested but that isn’t really my issue with all of this. My problem is that in the way we sometimes behave as a minority group we are weaponising our ‘enemies’ who wish to persecute us. We are giving homophobes license to spout biblical verse at us and say that we are immoral.

      I’m not saying I’m an angel, or innocent, or even at all well behaved, I’m not at all, I just think everybody, including myself, should re-examine their behaviour every now and then.

      And as for the rimming and the rim job, that’s more about respect. I don’t want a drink out of somebody as payment, I just said that because its the social convention. Really I just want a conversation. I don’t think it’s right to assume every gay man wants casual sex, nor do I think it’s right to assume every gay man wants a relationship, but we should all treat each other with a degree of respect and at least have that conversation to determine what the other is looking for before jumping in with obscenity.

      You have to remember that there are young 18 year old boys going to gay clubs and using gay apps for the first time in their lives, some of them very scared and innocent and just looking for a place where they fit in, I don’t think it’s fair that they should be subjected to some vulgar pick up line that could potentially scare them away from ever reaching out again.

      I don’t want the world to look at gay men as a sleazy minority group anymore, we’re intelligent human beings with souls and with heart, and I think a disproportionate part of the world doesn’t even realise that.

      Thanks again for the comment, hope to see you back soon!

      Cal. X

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