My friend Dave uses Grindr pretty often — not for sex, but casual meet ups and hook ups. (For those of you who don’t know, Grindr is a social networking app that hooks up gay men based on their location. You can pick and message guys based on their pictures and profiles.)

We’ll be at a bar and Dave’s phone will start blowing up and I realize — we are surrounded by Grindr users. New York City has a huge Grindr population, and with the app, it’s mind-blowingly easy to find someone to hook up with. But I’m pretty sure that’s it. The guys I know realize that if they want an actual relationship, Grindr is probably not the place to look.

This weekend we were hanging out in my apartment and Dave let me take the reins with his Grindr profile. In my hand I held the key to hundreds of men, lots of them really sexy, who were messaging me in real time and fully aware, thanks to geolocation technology, that their messages were going to a phone a mere 300 feet away. “That guy is close enough to be in your building,” Dave said of one guy who messaged me “U R Close.” It was kind of like that urban legend where the murderer calls the babysitter and says “I’m in the bassssssement” except instead of killing me this guy wanted to hook up with me.

Well, not me. I was using Dave’s name, and photo, so they wanted to hook up with him. But I kind of forgot that as I crafted dirtier and dirtier messages to these guys. And I think that if we all exercised our Grindr muscles more regularly, we’d be better daters. Here’s why, and what I learned.


It’s okay and good and healthy and fun to have hook-ups without emotional ties or expectations of a relationship.

As long as you go in knowing that a relationship is off the table, and you are truly okay with that.


Be vocal with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

On Grindr, you have to say exactly what you want, because all you have is words (until you meet). But when you are physically with your boyfriend or girlfriend and able to show them what you want to do, don’t stop talking.


Be bold about what you’re being vocal about.

These boys weren’t being shy or conservative in talking to me, and it was awesome. And so I wasn’t either. Yes, you can say that (whatever “that” is for you). Get over yourself.


Put yourself out there.

On Grindr, nobody cares or takes it personally if they get rejected because there are just so many guys. There are plenty of fish in the sea. And trust me, there are more eligible dates for you out there than Grindr users within hookup proximity. Your chances are much better.


What “water sports” are.

When the first guy told me he was into water sports, I laughed. Okay what is this, Miami? But after the second time I heard it, I had to ask Dave what it really was. It really is “piss play,” actually. I feel like we should all know this — if only so that you don’t make a Miami joke like I did.


What “vers” means.

Not sure when this will come in handy (for me, at least). But vers means you can be a top or a bottom. FYI.


Start doing more crunches.

All of these guys had pictures, and since many of them didn’t want to show their faces, the picture would be of their abs. And Lord Baby Jesus they were some fine abs. I’m going to go do some ab exercises when I’m done writing this, and I suggest you do the same when you’re done reading. If Grindr boys’ twelve packs  are today’s ab standards, I have some working out to do.


Stop f*cking with guys on Grindr if you’re a straight woman with a boyfriend.

Seriously, it’s mean. But it was just this one time. At the same time…


If you are on Grindr, err on the side of suspicious when talking to someone new.

They could be a straight girl with a boyfriend.


Take lots of sexy pictures of your abs and keep them on your phone, just in case.

Just kidding. I am not there yet.

Let’s go do our crunches now.