I Tried Grindr

What Women Really Think
Feb. 2 2010 2:21 PM

I Tried Grindr

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A confession: Last March, a few weeks after the Grindr app launched, I downloaded it to my iPhone and joined the Grindrs, sans photo. This was an odd thing for a heterosexual thirtysomething woman to do. Very odd. As Lauren explained , Grindr is for gay, bi, and curious men only. I was at a dinner party hosted by a gay couple who happened to be friends with the app’s inventor, Joel Simkhai, and we were talking about the genius of Grindr, the sheer efficiency of it all. I was curious about how Grindr would feel to a woman. Was Grindr the next frontier of heterosexual dating or friendships? (Friendships, too, are cultivated by proximity.)

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Within seconds, headshots of fellow Grindrs began appearing on my screen, in order of proximity, and … I screamed "Oh my God, there's a man right here!" There was a man, "at home alone," according to his blurb, located a mere five feet away from our dinner table. Was he next door? Should we text him and invite him over for a martini? It was exciting, titillatingly easy. It also didn't feel dangerous; it felt innocuous and neighborly, since the men listed first are, in fact, your neighbors.

About a week after joining, I came to the conclusion that I would probably never feel comfortable "grinding." I haven't even attempted online dating (not even the innocuous JDate-sorry, bubby). I have yet to post or even responded to a Craigslist ad. But I might be persuaded to join a hetero Grindr if there were levels of intent, perhaps ranging from "just coffee(for now)" to "come over and do X to me." It's really fun.

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