Guide to Grindr for straight people

Who? Why? How? What the Hell?

Statistically you’ve probably never used Grindr, and probably never will.

Grindr is the reserve of gay, bi, and curious men. To say it’s a merely a matchmaking tool or dating app would be hugely understating its brilliance.

It confuses and astounds a lot of people, but if you fancy giving it a spin here’s what you’ll encounter on the original Tinder.

Why is everyone shirtless?


The headline is: a lot of these guys want sex, and just sex. If you want in too, Grindr is probably for you.

Tinder can be a gradual process, a slow burner as you muster the tepid courage to meet up. On the whole, Grindr is a refreshing cut to the chase. I know what you want and you know what I want so let’s get down to it.

Average timescale from exchanging pleasantries to a “do you want to meet up” can be a matter of minutes, an antidote away from the marathon of Tinder.

Even if it’s just a casual flirt or a tasty ego boost is you’re after, Grindr can usually deliver.


Grindr fires up and displays a screen of 12 windows, each occupied by a fellow user and potential mate, ranked in order of distance. Just take your pick.

There’s not really any filtering beyond this point, and that’s what makes it so amusing and interesting. You can see a guy’s picture – often some washboard abs or a candid seaside snap made better with a healthy dosing of X-Pro II, or other filter faker, alongside their weight, height and a small bio about themselves.

Even Tinder doesn’t give you this much detail, but if someone claims to be over seven foot tall they’re probably lying.

Beyond that it’s just a case of saying a simple “hey”.

That didn’t take long


Who uses it?

Grindr is populated by a vast cross section of the LGBT community, but as with any group you have fleeting encounters with, some peacock and stand out in your mind more than others.

It would be wrong to say that all or even most of the users I’ve met were a little bit bizarre, but Grindr is a much darker realm than the Plenty of Fish or other bland location based dating apps.

Within a few minutes – when you’re as good looking as me – your inbox will be inundated with literally several messages from people looking to chat, but mostly to hook up.

The very first conversation went like this:
“Hey – fancy soft wrestling in underwear”. No hello. Nothing else, just straight to the rough and tumble – but at least there’s a bit of foreplay involved.

I corrected his punctuation, which killed the mood slightly. Sadly he didn’t reply. Looking back it was probably my fault.

From personal experience, the more “bizarre” populous of Grindr can be divided into three very distinct categories:

The Cheeky One

Definitely the most hilarious of the group, the kind of guy that doesn’t care what you think of him in the long run. Behind a smartphone screen he does what he wants.

Like a club promoter who spams every tedious freshers Facebook group or a fisherman stalking a catch, this man knows if he blanket messages everyone within the vicinity with a dirty little ditty he might just get a catch.

Mechanic fetish or genuine cry for help?


It stands for “Too Much Information” and you can identify whether you’re talking to a member of this group if you can follow every message they send you with “urm…thanks for that” or feel like you need to go and bathe in Holy water.

The “Oh, urm, you know what this app is for right?”

Normally identified with a very bizzare profile picture that in no way has any relevance to…basically anything.

Bonus points if you thought it was KFC at first too.

Dogs are cute, but do you really need them as your profile pic?

Pity the poor bloke who made a Grindr account just to make friends.

So there you have it, that’s Grindr. Now you understand. Basically the original Tinder (even the name screams copyright issues but that’s neither here nor there) but for LGBT males only.

My advice is if – and only if – you fit into its target demographic, get it, download it, live it.

If you don’t, stick to your Tinder or whatever else you think will get you laid. Bonus points if you try it on Yik Yak – but you’ll be left watching from the sidelines while Grindr does it properly.