Casual sex is a fact of life for single people in the city, a place crowded with young, horny men reluctant to settle down — and all the more so when presented with this digital watering hole of sexual conquests.
But what does it mean that my friends and I are sitting together, silently perusing a grid of Mapplethorpian thumbnails of actual human beings instead of going out and enjoying the city, a sort of metropolitan refuge we yearned for just a few years “I just think it’s silly sometimes to give up so much to be in New York City just to sit on your phone in bed looking for the D,” says Hunter. I thought I’d bebar.” While the gay-bar scene is still bustling in Hell’s Kitchen, among other places, a scroll through Grindr is simply easier than staying out late drinking cocktails, hoping not to run out of cash before you get laid, and then figuring out how to get home.
It provides an alternative on a medium that’s second nature to us, a time-wasting tonic that we return to compulsively just as we do Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.
So it made sense when I later found out he was a famous visual artist, more prominent in the ’80s.
When he asked who my favorite artists were, I mortifyingly responded that I was particularly fond of “Cindy Sherman and, um, Chagall.” As I left his place, he shoved $200 in my back pocket, slapping my ass for good measure.
When people are reduced to not quite people, to sex objects, essentially, then you don’t have to behave quite like a person yourself, a fact that’s both freeing anddepressing.
In some ways, the app has blurred the line between “hookup” and hooker.
I once recall spending 45 minutes in a Zara changing room trying to perfect a “mirror pic,” only for the message to go unanswered.
But Grindr is not about being clever, nor is it about the profundity of your conversations; it’s about marketing yourself as a person to have sex with, rather than a person to get to know.
It raises a complicated question for me and many of the friends I’ve spoken to — all of whom are gay and in their early 20s, recent transplants from somewhere else of varying races and ethnicities: Is the technology becoming ever more tailored to our needs, or are we tailoring ourselves to match its unsentimentallogic?