Tips to be Less of a Dick on Grindr
Touching Tips - A Heartwarming Advice Column
Hey Auntie Gayle, I recently signed up for Grindr after my 3-year relationship ended. A guy called me out the other day for my “nasty” bio where I said that I was not into fats, fems or Asians and that I want clean fun. I consider myself an accepting and friendly person and did not think anything of it when I wrote it. I just thought this was a normal thing to do on Grindr as so many people write these sorts of things in their bios. Am I a bad person? - Glen
Glen, you’re not a nasty person. People know who they want to fuck and think getting right to the point is the best strategy to get the goods they want. The gay world can be a cruel mistress sometimes. But it shouldn’t be.
While your Auntie Gayle fits the desired toned and masculine features you're searching for, I won’t be hooking up with anyone with this nonsense in their bio. Even if they think that being hung will swing the odds in their favour.
One time I saw a profile that said, “You are handsome. You are charming. You are worthy. If I don’t reply then that’s my loss, not yours”. Now that is HOT! Needless to say that boy fucked your Auntie left, right, up and down that night.
As the opinionated camp-mother that I am, I’ve pulled together my hot tips on how to not look like a dick on Grindr:
1. Say what experience you want, not who you want
It’s 2020, gays. There’s nothing hot about a transphobic, femmephobic, racist, body-shaming bigot. So, open up Grindr right now and delete the part of your profile that says “no fems, fats or Asians”. I’ll wait here.
We suffer enough bigotry from outside the community, we do not need to be inflicting it on each other.
I guarantee that if your profile says what experience you’re looking for (i.e. “Looking for someone to throw me around and treat me like the dirty little pig that I am”) rather than who you don’t want to slide into your DMs, then you’ll get more of the throwing around part AND you won’t make entire communities of people (many of whom would do a great job throwing you around, by the way) feel like shit for no reason. Win-win.
If you’ve recently taken it off your profile, great! But, this is just step one - there’s a lot of work that we ALL need to do in examining our own beliefs and biases, so we can take more steps towards equality within our community.
“If you don’t put “No Asians” in your profile, that doesn’t mean you have to fuck Asians now. It just means I don’t have to see it.”
- Joel Kim Booster
2. “Clean” is for the shower, not for someone’s HIV status
Your Auntie knows a fair few people who are living with HIV. 1 in 15 of us gays** are in fact living with HIV. So, no doubt you know at least one person, too. Whether they have felt comfortable enough to tell you or not is a different story. Something that really upsets my poz friends is the use of the word “clean” to describe someone’s HIV status, and more recently STI status too.
You know that sound of scraping your fingernails down a blackboard? Well, putting “only clean fun” in your bio has that blackboard effect on people living with HIV and anyone who knows and cares about someone living with HIV.
Regardless of the science (but just as a reminder - almost all people who are on treatment these days achieve an Undetectable Viral Load, which means they cannot sexually transmit HIV to you even without condoms or PrEP in the mix). Using "clean" implies that someone living with HIV is dirty, thus enforcing negative beliefs towards HIV/AIDS. I for one would much rather get freaky with someone with an Undetectable Viral Load than someone who claims they’re “clean”, yet has had a lot of raw dick in them but hasn’t tested in over 6 months. HIV is most easily transmitted when someone is in the early stages of infection, and most dangerous when it’s undiagnosed - not when someone has tested positive and is on treatment.
Remember that time you were with a group of people all talking about that Netflix series they’d all seen, and you felt like you’d been living under a rock because you’d not even heard of it? This is what people who still say “clean” look like. So be that person who has seen the latest series, not the one awkwardly pretending they know who Moira is.
3. The pronouns field is not for showcasing your ‘comedic’ ability
I’ve seen all sorts of pronouns on profiles recently – from “fart monkey” to “#thiccboi” (true story), but what I see mostly are blank fields in the pronoun section, or lost opportunities. When cisgendered people (people who identify as the sex they were assigned at birth) share their gender pronouns, it makes it safer for trans, non-binary and gender-fluid people to share theirs. Stating in your profile that you like people to refer to you by he/him or she/her creates a safe environment for those who identify as they/them or with different pronouns than those they were assigned at birth to do the same.
I know most of the people reading this aren’t trying to be as ‘funny’ as those people think they are, but most of you have still left your pronouns fields blank. We’re all part of the LGBTQI+ community and respect of gender diversity as well as sexual diversity needs to be led from within our community. We’ve rioted and marched together for decades now. So, once you’re done reading this go and put your pronouns on your Grindr, your Tinder, Instagram, and email signature for that matter.
*Glen is not the person’s real name.
** In a recent Auckland study, 1 in 15 gay and bi guys were found to be living with HIV.