A No-Bullshit Guide to Using Grindr for the First Time


The Grindr witching hour is on Sunday morning at 6AM. Hey messages on ChillTop. He defines himself as “easy going” and “fit and slim” in his dating app profile. I don’t answer. He continues unperturbed, “Hi there, how are you. I have once more remained silent. Are you seeking a protracted hnh (high and horny) session?

Do you want to visit my apartment and spend the following 24 to 48 hours ultra-headily high on the chemsex holy trinity of drugs (G, mephedrone, and crystal meth) while fucking a conveyor belt of men? I don’t want to spend the following week second-guessing my life choices due to a major comedown that causes my head to collapse in on itself like an accordion bellow, so I’m not seeking for that specific blend of hedonism right now. Instead, I just want to fuck someone.

ChillTop sends me a few more messages before I choose to ban him. He then follows up with two sexy photos of his penis protruding from a pair of trousers and in full nude. Welcome to Grindr. It’s a lot to send someone in an hour and receive absolutely nothing in return. On this hook-up app, the pixellated torsos provide a plethora of possible mates. There are a lot of hot diamonds in the rough, but like any other dating app, some of them also differ in terms of desperation and oddity.


It can be intimidating and overwhelming to download and log into Grindr for the first time if you’ve only ever used “straighter” apps like Tinder or Hinge. It’s like starting high school, except everyone is divided into different cliques (bears, twinks, otters, etc.), and you’re not sure if you fit into any of them. So, here is a no-bullshit advice on how to use Grindr for anyone who is new, whether they are gay, bicurious, bisexual, pansexual, recently out, or just new to the app.

Be clear about what you want from Grindr and convey it.

Grindr is the modern-day counterpart of sauna or darkroom cruising. There’s little doubt that it would be at the top of the list if dating apps were ranked by how horny they make you feel. Most of the individuals on it are likely DTF right away, so you must clearly state your goals and determine what you want.

Use the app responsibly, advises Joe Beavan, a 25-year-old Swansea graduate student who first used it when he was 17 years old. “That entails understanding your motivation for using it and including it in your bio. Know your purpose, respect yourself, and avoid doing anything you don’t want to.


It’s so simple to talk to people and get that quick fix if you’re horny, he continues. It’s simply so immediately approachable, which is a pretty strange thing. Beavan, who used the app to meet queer platonic pals in his hometown, likewise disputes the idea that it’s just about sex. “I met my best friend on the app in 2017,” he claims.

It’s helpful that there are options to make it clear on your profile that you’re looking for a connection right now, as well as your preference for condoms and your HIV status. You can also indicate whether you are okay with receiving nudes, but using this feature isn’t much use as you’ll still have to avoid dick pictures regardless. I say this with the utmost kindness: Please don’t use Grindr if getting unsolicited dick images is going to have a negative impact on you in some way.

When utilizing Grindr, create a strategy.

Grindr is undoubtedly more about hooking up than dating. It essentially functions as a round-the-clock merry-go-round of nearby sex and uses geolocation to provide an approximation of the location of the closest people to present on the “Nearby” grid. There is also a “Fresh” grid that shows you the nearby individuals who have been online recently, have created their profiles recently (within the last 72 hours), or have uploaded a new photo recently (within the last 24 hours).


You’re at the perfect place if you’re looking to hook up; fill your boots. However, if you want to date, you’ll have to work for it by sifting through crowds of people who only want to fuck. To make this procedure simpler, explicitly state on your profile that you desire more than simply sex.

According to Beavan, how he approaches someone while contacting them for the first time depends on their profile. “Always accept each profile as it is. You can start a decent chat if they have a bio and there is anything to discuss in it. But it depends on what you’re searching for; if all you want is a quick hookup, all you need to say is “hello.” If I want to start a proper conversation, I must use something from their profile that I can relate to.

It’s challenging to resist looking at the dizzying array of dick pictures and questioning whether you’re on the right app if you really want to date. According to queer dating expert Brain Murphy, having a solid strategy and being open and honest about your desires are essential. He explains to me, “There’s nothing wrong with using it solely as a hookup app. “But if you’re texting people with no face photographs or shirtless torsos in their profiles, it’s going to be harder if you want more connection. You should include a picture of your face and photos of you engaging in activities to create a more complete profile.


Make clever use of your Grindr messages.

Finding people who share your objectives can be aided by your well crafted profile as well as the way you communicate in your direct messages (DMs). I tell my customers that asking questions is about more than just learning facts, adds Murphy. Additionally, “they’re about developing a connection and building trust.”

He continues, “It’s absolutely about the profile, but it’s also about how you behave in the communications.” So, how should the messages be written? You can ask more direct questions and deliver succinct replies if you’re only searching for a hookup, he advises. “But when you’re wanting to get to know someone, offering them answers that are longer than one or two words will give them something to say in return. Include details about your hobbies, activities, and daily activities. That will open the door for a connection and signal a different kind of focus.

Although Murphy claims that Grindr is largely a hookup app, he does know “a number of people” who have found their lovers on. Some of these people have even gone on to get married. People use Grindr in so many various ways that there isn’t just one societal norm, he claims. “A lot of it relies on what you put into it. If you have no profile picture or one that is topless, you’re going to get a hookup app. If you have images of you doing activities, a more detailed profile, and you exchange messages in a positive way, that lends itself to the dating side of things.”


Depending on your objectives, you can also optimize your login timings. Murphy says it’s crucial to pay attention to the time of day when using Grindr. “At 4AM you’re less likely to find more of a connection,” is a generalization.

On Grindr, be mindful of your own safety.

You must use caution when using any dating or hookup app. Dating applications like Hinge, Tinder, and Grindr have reportedly been used by sexual predators to find their prey. After meeting up with a Grindr hook-up, John, a homosexual male in his 30s who chose to remain anonymous out of concern for his safety, informed VICE that he had been given G in lube. It’s self-defence, he argues, so those using Grindr for the first time need to be aware of the warning signs. “Use your lubrication rather than their lube; you must be aware that you can be spiked anally while getting fingered or rimmed. Take your own beverages.


“Regardless of how knowledgeable, shrewd, or cautious you are when using apps, anyone can end as a victim. According to GALOP, an LGBT+ anti-abuse organization, it is not your responsibility. But it doesn’t mean we have to take the abuse perpetrated via applications lying down. Basic safety measures are suggested, such as meeting someone for a discussion in public before going to their residence, or, if you must go there right away, “snap a photo on your phone of the street (ideally the street name) and then the door you enter.”

“Grindr takes the privacy and safety of our users incredibly seriously,” a spokeswoman for the company told VICE, directing VICE to their Holistic Security Guide and Safety Tips. We advise users to exercise caution while interacting with strangers. We encourage our users to report inappropriate or unlawful behavior using the app or directly via email to [email protected], as well as to inform local authorities of any criminal claims. In these situations, we cooperate with law enforcement as necessary.

While it’s necessary to be aware of the hazards, it’s also important to be realistic: in addition to the small number of criminals lurking in the app’s shadows, there are countless other users who are likely to have similar interests and quirks to your own. So enjoy yourself and fire up that hot grid; before long, you’ll be translating those pixelated torsos into IRL blow jobs.


The post A No-Bullshit Guide to Using Grindr for the First Time appeared first on VICE.

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