A Reflection On Grindr

Conor Collins

Conor Collins is an expressionist painter, Opera singer, actor and former Southern England Irish Dance champion. He has recently completed his undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music and has had his art shortlisted for the Outside in National Art Prize as well as the Saatchi Showdown 2011 drawing prize. Follow @Conartworks

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It was ever since I received the message: ‘I’m looking for a cute top’ followed by my reply, ‘Have you tried H&M?’ that I knew Grindr and I would always have a rocky relationship.

I whole heartedly believe that sex between two men can be a beautiful thing, as well as an inspiration to watch. However, going onto Grindr and meeting up for sex can be an entirely empty experience, but as empty experiences go it’s pretty darn dandy. Sex and I go way back. It’s like money, only too much is enough. In fact for a long period I had Olympic sessions of sex, in the sense that it would be years between each one.

I wasn’t an early bloomer you see. I went to a Catholic school, so I was more familiar with Middle Eastern politics than I was my own body. As for my own experiences, well, I can’t say WHEN I lost my virginity, as I was too polite to ask what was happening. However, just because I was a late bloomer doesn’t mean I have since led a boring life. I have had a rich variety of… experiences; that’s probably the best thing to call them.

Anyway, the first thing we are faced with when we fire up Grindr is the array of profile pictures on display. There seems to only be 3 types of profile pictures in the weird world of Grindr: A face picture, (the best in my opinion) the torso picture, (not that I am against bare chests… or at least I am not against them anywhere near as much as I would like to be) and finally, inanimate object pictures. Mostly cars. Now seriously, if you insist on having a picture of a car as your profile picture I am going to just assume that you are a Transformer. Although I do understand the appeal of no-talking gooey satisfaction, I cannot help but feel this can be obtained just as
easily with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

There is also the tedious predictability of the names on any of these gay based apps. After 1 week of using Grindr, any user has read the words DudeManJockBroMascMuscStudTwinkBtmTop more in that short time than they would likely do in a Grindr free lifetime. Also, if I am 0 metres away from you please do not believe I am local. It is far more likely the Grindr server is down than that I am hiding in your bathroom. Though let’s not eliminate that possibility entirely.

Now please don’t think just because I have used Grindr and have had a bit of fun that I am now a ‘slag’. I can with 100% certainty count the amount of lovers I have had on one hand, providing that hand is also holding a scientific calculator. I don’t feel I am particularly built to be a sexual stallion. Run of the mill sexual positions just make me feel claustrophobic and exciting ones just end up giving me lock jaw.

Those who know me particularly well understand that my sex drive comes and goes like the tide. For a brief period last year I was considering nicknaming my bed the Dead Sea. During this period my close friends will recall that one side of my bed was genuinely dusty due to lack of movement (not a joke, quite seriously the case). Grindr answers this problem for men. When a man is hungry, if he can’t go to a Michelin star restaurant, he will still go to McDonald’s. If a man can’t date and meet a guy normally, he can still use Grindr.

I like to think that I’m skilled in the bedroom. Please dear reader, do not mistake that for a boast, I am saying it because in the past I wasn’t; I was awful at it in fact. I think I am the only person alive who has been capable of giving someone an ‘anti-climax’. Though lasting long is often associated with being a good lover, and so very often it really isn’t. I once had an ‘event’ with a guy in which if I wanted it to end, I would have had to set aside say, the month of August, and had food delivered.

I do admit I have ONCE met someone for naughtiness over Grindr. Just once. I think. My friends may correct me. But I did once. But let’s keep that between you and me please reader. And his pictures he sent to me were most certainly a LIE. They say the camera adds ten pounds, so my only explanation was that on his way to mine he must have eaten around 5 or 6 cameras. I changed my mind about naughtiness once he was actually in my bedroom, which he was not too pleased about. It took a while to get him off me, which at the time felt like a fully filled wardrobe with its key still in.

I have dated a few guys on Grindr mind you, one of which I feel for quite strongly. But I always seem to mess it up. Bedroom antics ended quickly with a German guy I was dating when I said in bed that I would pretend to be Poland and that he should invade me. Another said he wanted me to talk dirty and so I whispered ‘mud’ in his ear. There was also another guy I dated from Grindr yet I soon discovered that he was so indescribably easy that when he passes on they will surely need to bury him in a Y shaped coffin. I suppose it’s just that I need a REASON to have sex, where as many men on Grindr just need ‘accom’.

I do not mean to shock with this article. I personally believe that the sex life of anybody, revealed in print, would fascinate any member of the general public. Many of those who seem to be angels have in fact been on more laps than your average napkin. People can describe me after reading this article, or those around them, as a slut. However, I have always found that anyone branded a slut is quite simply someone who is having more sex than you.

So yes, believe it or not, I have deleted Grindr. And Bender. And Jack’d. Such subtle names aren’t they? Do I miss them? GOD YES. Will I download them again? No. Okay I might, I am tempted. Even as I write this I am holding back the urge to open up the app store and bring it back.

But no I do not want to re-download it. Because in this modern era there is still something immensely sexy when you see a cute guy in a bar, or pub, or library, or in the queue for some lecture and after chatting a bit you ask ‘Oh, do you have Grindr?’ and the guy replies

‘No.’

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