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Top To Bottom: 5 Ways Grindr Lost Its Grip On The Hookup-App Crown

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When Grindr first launched in 2009, it filled a hole — many, in fact — but particularly the void we never knew we had: finding casual sex in the palm of your hand. There was, indeed, an app for that. But over the years, the market has become increasingly crowded with stiff competition from Scruff, Jack’d, Hornet, Mister and others we so lovingly refer to as hook-up apps. While still boasting more users than the competition, numerous bugs and criticisms have eroded its popularity.

Here are 5 ways Grindr proved itself versatile by moving from the bottom to the top in the hook-up app hierarchy.

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By:          Editors
On:           Sep 2, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Jake357

      I don’t see how you can blame the app for what you term racism.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Corydon76

      @Jake357: They actively censor quasi-sexual terms in headers and descriptions; why can’t they censor racism, as well? Or just allow everything?

      Sep 2, 2013 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SewperDewper

      Why does it say “Here are 5 ways Grindr proved itself versatile by moving from the bottom to the top in the hook-up app hierarchy” right before the jump on page “1”?

      That’s the exact opposite from the title of the article.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake357

      They can sensor words, but they can’t sensor actions. What offends more: someone saying no blacks or asians in a profile or telling you to your face (so to speak) once you’ve bothered to converse with them. At least if they’re up front about it, you can just move on down the line and find someone else to hit up without wasting your time.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan

      @Jake357: They could easily mod the accounts of people who are overtly mean in their exclusionary practices. However, not being attracted to a minority is different than outward racism, unless you assume all members of a race look exactly the same or behave in the same ways and that makes you exclude the group as a whole… that is racism. There are lots of hot well rounded men from every group (even minority ones).

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn

      Why do I get the feeling Scruff “and other apps” will be hooking up with Queerty soon for a mutually beneficial business relationship?

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan

      The real reason Scruff is winning this war is it caters to men who need hook up aps. Scruff is filled with imperfect, somewhat insecure, shy guys. Grinder is filled with 10s looking for 11s. If you want a meat market, and you belong there, then you do not need an ap, just go to one of the 90 percent of clubs in your area that cater to you.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IzzyLuna

      You forgot another huge reason: Grindr crops your photos if you show a bit too much of your lower stomach, “sexy V”, or a tiny bit of buttcrack. They claim it’s “Apple rules” not theirs, which is a complete fib.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice

      There’s nothing wrong with preference but how you communicate it reflects on your character big time. Instead of writing “no fats, no fems, no _______” just communicate what you are looking for. Otherwise it comes off as douchy and pathetically fearful. And Grindr can set a standard for that like the Mister app does.

      Also, seems like there’s way more faceless profiles. Why not have a separate app for that or allow people to automatically filter out faceless pics.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackhoffsky

      @Jake357: I think the issue is disproportionate irregular regulation. You can’t use the word “penis” but you can make a racist comment and be fine. I mean, “is there a block all black button” is (as Jeff mentioned) douchy… and beyond. In fact, it’s just mean. WAY different than ‘I’m into/not into ______’ – which you are not allowed to write.

      Also not on the list… The ease in which one person can pretend to be another person by switching the member ID# on jailbroken/rooted phones.

      Also not on the list… The ease in which someone can track a member’s location even with the member’s location not activated.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi

      many preferences are prejudices – and people don’t want to accept that. oh well. more intelligent and discerning minds will see your prejudicial preferences for what they are, and avoid you in kind. as it should be.

      that’s racism

      that’s self-hating internalized homophobia

      here’s how we address culturally-learned prejudices.

      as for the App Wars – Scruff gives you the space to actually fill out a profile. kinda helpful, kinda useful, kinda awesome.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi

      here’s the deal – if you’re such a complete f***ing loser that you can’t say “thanks, but not looking” to someone that you’re not into, and you pathetically need to write “no fats fems asians or blacks” in your profile, under the guise of “saving people time” – you deserve every ounce of anti-gay discrimination you likely will continue to receive in life.

      for real.

      oh no! an ASIAN or a BLACK or a FEM messaged you? oh DARN! this is going to set your whole day back! how about “thanks, but no”? or how about “block”? or how about “ignore”?

      every time a guy gives an excuse for why he writes that “no fats fems asians or blacks” nonsense it’s just sad. congrats, you boys are about as hip and sexually liberated as a 1950s pro-Segregation housewife.

      and as morally sound as Jim Crow defenders.

      the only upside i can see to someone posting “no fats fems asians or blacks” is that they let app users know how pathetic they are.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TinoTurner

      I’d never post my face on an app like this, I’ve had a legit stalker issue so I know that it happens. Also, I personally don’t see anything wrong with saying “Not interested in fat, femme, asian, etc”
      Do you mean that fats, femmes, blacks don’t have their own preferences or will they accept anything with a heartbeat? What I find most disturbing about all of this is the fact that close to 50% of black people on the apps classify themselves as either Native American or mixed which is complete bullshit, they’re black! We’ve also all seen ads by black guys that say “no blacks!”

      Sep 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi

      no, Tino – it means that they, and many other people, have preferences that aren’t racist in nature, or indicative of internalized homophobia.

      if you’re not into a person because of their ethnicity, you have an unaddressed or perhaps subconscious learned issue with that ethnicity.

      because you dont see A PERSON. you see AN ASIAN. you see A BLACK.

      your strawman argument proves me right, and proves your side wrong – you seem to think that without “no blacks or asians” it means someone is into everyone and everything. hilariously, inept.

      it means that they’re, frankly, more enlightened individuals – who see people as individuals. you may not be into a guy because of others reasons: personality, energy, chemistry, lack of similar interests, etc.

      but when what you’re not into about a person is that they’re “of ______ ethnicity” there’s no way to dance around the reality that what turns you off IS THEIR ETHNICITY.


      Sep 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport

      Good god. Grindr is a sobering reminder of what a mean, unfeeling group of people we can be. Little-Kiwi is right: would it kill us to simply say, “Hey there, not really interested, but thanks.” It takes two seconds, and it would help turn a cold cesspool of self-loathing (but no less comely) frat bros into an oasis of civility.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi

      also: if you can’t show your face, you can’t call yourself “masc”

      sorry. but it’s true.


      Sep 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect

      Grindr is lame.

      I love the guys with all the ridiculous lists too. So many guys say ‘no this, no that, no this’ as if that perfect person that meets this insane criteria is on there, and they want them. Its really funny and tragic how some of these people see themselves!

      Sep 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hmmm303

      @TinoTurner: So anyone who is mixed with black has to classify themselves as black? Is that seriously your thought process. Let me break this down for you, since obviously you need some education into the matter

      I, for example, am Puerto Rican and Black. In other words, I am mixed. When you are mixed, you get the best of both worlds and you don’t have to try and side with one or the other. Just because I am mixed with black, doesn’t mean I am black. Nor does it mean I have all the characteristics of a black man. Because, once again, I am mixed. I shouldn’t have to choose to be one or the other. So, for you to sit here and think that just because someone is mixed with black, that they are black speaks volumes about your own personal issues with other nationalities. If someone is mixed, they are mixed. It would be ridiculous for you to sit there and make them choose one side and ignore the other.

      Now, here is another example. I’ve had a profile before with no picture and put that I was black and would chat with guys who in return, would tell me they’re not interested. Without even knowing what I look like. Then, I would message them on another profile and say I am Puerto Rican mixed and the same guys who said “not interested” would chat with me, see my pic and find me to be attractive. So yeah, someone saying “no fats fems asians or blacks” to you might not be a big deal. But to us who have to deal with this kind of discrimination, it’s a big deal.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      Seriously? – there are STILL white boys who say “no blacks”? I guess some people would rather be rac!st than have great sex.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz

      No one goes on these apps looking for a person. Your looking for a pole or a hole. Or some drugs. Or some combo of those three.

      And they are stupidly dangerous. In a world filled with bashers and hate crimes, putting your info out there and a tracking device in your pocket is idiocy.

      I don’t have trouble hooking up when I want to. A bar, the gym, Peets… someplace where I can assess someone is my preference.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles175

      Sometimes I just don’t understand people. I love interacting with sociable people irrelevant of color, race or sex. I examine the heart and spirit of the person. On the other hand, there is the aspect of physical attraction and sexual arousal. My experience is that from about the age of 11 and onward through the years, people around me during these times, these people were very much predominantly black. As this time was my primary environment of socializing and interacting during my early years, this is what I got used to. So with this familiarity, I became sexually attracted to those around me. On the other hand, Asian people are very nice people but I have never been exposed enough to these people or their cultures to really bond with them. I enjoy their company. I also enjoy sharing conversation and being around them but I just don’t have much sexual heat towards them. Now in the black communities there is this division based on skin complexion. Light-skinned versus dark skin etc. This part I never really fully understood myself. I don’t care if a person is fryingpan black or up to as light as me (I’m white but part Native American). Good is good and bad is bad irrelevant of outward appearance. I have spiritual love in my heart that reaches out to anyone willing to understand and accept it. There are females around me that I show my spiritual love to but I have no sexual heat for them. Does this mean that my heart has prejudices within it? No, at least I don’t think so. It’s just that I cannot be sexually aroused by them.

      Sep 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Icebloo

      How much did Grndr pay Queerty for this free publicity ? There is absolutely NO story here so there was no need to report this on what I consider to be a gay news site. NO STORY AT ALL !

      Sep 3, 2013 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damon459

      @Icebloo: I agree, not to mention the other hookup apps are also having many of the same issues including bots, racism, and eaten messages. I swear this isn’t a new site at all, it’s the gay national enquirer.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 4:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • krystalkleer

      it’s all a snoreville game…you can practically hear crickets on Grindr these days

      enjoy a real story :) http://getoffmydress.blogspot.com/2013/09/neurotica.html

      Sep 3, 2013 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tookietookie123

      I barely turned 18 and decided to get the app only for some guy to try to blackmail me into having sex with him.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tookietookie123

      Then he decided it was appropriate to stalk me, not on one account, but on multiple accounts so I can’t block the threatening messages.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TinoTurner

      @hmmm303: I’m a first generation American, both my parents are from two wildly different continents, so don’t think I’m a white-bred cracker from Connecticut. I’ve been out with hispanic, middle eastern and yes, even black guys.
      You know EXACTLY what I mean when I say black guys say they’re mixed when theyre not. I’ve met black guys on Grindr that say they’re mixed and when I ask them to clarify, they say “I’m Haitian and Jamaican.” Hmmmm…..isn’t that black?? How many guys say “oh I’m part Cherokee and black” yet theyre totally in denial. I worked with a VERY HOT mixed guy…we were in the process of getting to know each other when I asked about him background. He says “Oh I’m Italian, German, French….some Russian….a little Icelandic……oh and some black” Really??? Icelandic and Russian BEFORE just saying “I’m black and white?”
      Its the self loathing and denial that creeps me out.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      Unfortunately this article shows complete ignorance of the way things are outside of the large U.S. urban centers. I know this can be hard to believe, but not everyone lives in L.A. or NYC. As if we are going to find more than a dozen people on any of the other apps in Providence, R.I…. We are forced to use Grindr.

      @IzzyLuna, you are correct regarding the ridiculous censorship of pictures. Do they actually outsource the cropping to sweatshops in Pakistan or some other repressive country? Not that I am a fan of Apple’s repressive regime on the internet. Apple is he original sinner and should be taken down.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hmmm303

      @TinoTurner: You are still missing the point! Who are you to tell someone that they can’t call themselves mixed? If, for example, someone is mixed with Filipino and Chinese and call themselves mixed then guess what, they’re mixed! You have no right to tell someone how they choose to describe themselves. Not to mention, some people associate being “black” as being African-American. Being called “black” is an American thing that came from slavery and ignorance. And I didn’t assume you were anything but ignorant. Which, judging form your response, you obviously are. Bottom line, you have no right to tell someone how to describe themselves nor criticize them for doing so. Unless you walked a mile in their shoes, you are on the outside looking in and will never understand.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • asby

      if i can tell you are a douche bag with out even talking to u on grindr because of what u write…..that is sad…..just because someone hits u up there that u are not into ..does not mean u have to sleep with them or move in together…just ignore them …..say …”thanks but not looking” or some other lie……i think grindr will become like gay.com ….i remember when gay.com was way popular and packed with guys…..now…no one uses it…..someone will come up with a better less crappy gliched up app that cost 12 bucks a month…i could just go to a bath house and stand and model and be ignored too

      Sep 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic

      What’s hilarious is how many shirtless torso profiles there are on Grindr — and then you read in their profile where they angrily rant against “all those guys who are on here just to get laid”. The intelligence level of the user base is falling quickly.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommysole

      I use Growlr.
      I meet guys on that app left and right, lots are too far for a meet, and many of them just want wank fodder, but the ones I meet in my area are always willing to donate some dna to my ass.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DB

      Anyone who is so pathetic that he needs a smartphone application to meet someone has no life.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW

      @Tommysole: If by “donate some dna to my ass” you mean you are bareback bottoming for complete strangers, then you are taking “donations” of a lot of other stuff. Getting HIV still totally sucks, even if it’s not immediately fatal. Hepatitis C is no picnic either. Use condoms, for God’s sake, they won’t kill you.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      @DB, people don’t try to or expect to meet people in real life any more, at least not outside large cities with large concentrations of gay people. (And even there I suspect people go out more to drink with friends nowadays than to actually meet new people like they used to.) It is just not the done thing any more – not that it was ever easy in smaller cities even when people did meet that way. So unfortunately we are reduced to using online and hookup apps even if we have a life.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      @viveutvivas: hmm… I live not far from where you live (Providence, RI) and I’m a pretty withdrawn guy, and you seem to have experienced an entirely different city than I’ve experienced. Maybe the problem is you.

      Anyway, if you dislike the technology so much – and I can’t say I blame you – why try to be a spokesman for it at the same time? Cognitive dissonance.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DrakeScott

      @jeff4justice: You’re definitely not wrong in your observation that the number of faceless profiles has skyrocketed. However,the reason probably isn’t what you think. Like many apps, Grindr has always displayed a blatant bias in favor of iOS, which has resulted in an Android version that is fatally flawed. Many Android devices (including the wildly-hyped Samsung Galaxy S4) are unable to upload photos at all. The worst part is that Grindr has known about this bug for many months and chooses to ignore it.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WayDifferent

      Grindr is quite racially biased. A little too wrapped up in PC and “liberalism”.

      From a Chicago viewpoint, I get tired of screen names such as “Latin Lover”, “Puerto Rican”, “Latins Rule”, etc. while grouping themselves all under “Hispanic”. Wave your flags elsewhere.

      To be fair and up to speed, Grindr needs a category for Western Europeans other than “White”. I’ll bet if I created a screen name such as “Germans Rule”, I’d be banned. And was. Just a test.

      “Mixed”? You’re f’in black! Prince and Obama are black when convenient too. It’s really disgusting this new version of diversity.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WayDifferent

      @hmmm303: I’m “mixed” too. German/Polish/French. But ya’ll still call me “White” on Grindr. “Whitey” or “Cracka” on the streets of Chicago.

      Bottom line is, when blacks or Asians are hitting up on “White” men, they are suddenly “Mixed”. I will hand it to the Mexicans for at least cornering themselves as “Hispanic” on Grindr. Stand up and have pride. Be yourself. Take that mask off.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz

      If you are using something as dehumanizing as Grinder, then you’ve no
      right to complain about people on it acting non-PC and humanistic.
      If you are shopping for poles, you are allowed to say what color you like.
      It’s not like it’s PEOPLE or something.

      Sep 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hmmm303

      @WayDifferent: It’s one thing for someone to say they’re mixed just to get attention. It’s another to say they’re mixed because, they’re mixed. And WTH are you talking about Prince and Obama being black when convenient? Please enlighten me on a moment where Obama or Prince used the “black” card to get their way. And if you bring up the election, GTFOH with that

      Sep 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JennyFromdabloc

      @hmmm303: No one is morally obligated to sleep with anyone. Preference is preference. But so is tact and guys could be a lot nicer and show some class.

      Having that said, do you find more luck with other “mixed,” black, Asian or Latin guys? Or do you predominately seek out white guys. If white men are your preference, do you see anything wrong with that? If not, do you see anything wrong with white guys preferring to be with another white guy?

      Sep 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebizzar

      @Little-Kiwi: This!

      Sep 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles

      @Little-Kiwi: You’re being needlessly dramtic, it does save time. Is it not fair not to make what you’er looking for not known?

      It does save time. I have personally saved time from messaging guy when I see “no blacks” I accept they aren’t attracted to me and move on.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles


      “if you’re not into a person because of their ethnicity, you have an unaddressed or perhaps subconscious learned issue with that ethnicity.”

      Wrong or at least partly, you don’t know every person wit ha racial preference so it’s presumptuous on your part to say that.

      “because you dont see A PERSON. you see AN ASIAN. you see A BLACK.”

      But an asian or a black is a type of person, what about you a gay man, who discriminates against women? You just see a woman according to your logic no?

      “but when what you’re not into about a person is that they’re “of ______ ethnicity” there’s no way to dance around the reality that what turns you off IS THEIR ETHNICITY”

      Did you ever think about the implications one’s race has on their appearance? It’s appearance ground for non attraction too?

      Apr 23, 2014 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles

      @jwrappaport: You say 2 seconds as if it will only happen once and that would be it. I think it makes much more sense to say what you don’t want instead of having to repatedly reject someone over and over.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andre1969

      Okay people, we’re on here applying for jobs, loans, looking for a place to rent, etc. We’re here to hook up, with people who we are attracted to.

      There’s nothing wrong with saying what you are or aren’t attracted to, whether it’s certain races, age ranges, height, etc in a profile. It saves time…both yours and that of those who come across your profile. If I run across a profile and it says “no whites” or “black only” or specifies an age range that I don’t fall into, it saves me from wasting time even contacting that person.

      Now in my case, I really don’t have a preference, so I don’t list anything like that. I just take it on a case by case basis. There are Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, younger guys, older guys, etc, that I’m attracted to, and there are some that I’m not. Just depends on the person.

      FWIW, most sites such as Recon, Manhunt, etc, have filters set up anyway, where you can filter by race, age, body type, and so on. Grindr does too, if you pay extra for it.

      Sep 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DefiantOne

      @Andre1969: I disagree, I think there’s still a place for tact in human interaction. I think it looks trashy and sketchy for a community which screams for inclusiveness and equality to advertise itself in way that resembles the 1940s Jim Crow South. To ignore the historical context of shouting NO BLACKS and ASIANS KEEP OUT from the rooftops is shallow and naive. How hard is it to simply decline or ignore invitations from those to whom you are unattracted? Is it so much of a burden that gays would rather display openly attitudes about race that even straights rendered publicly unaccepted seventy years ago? I should hope we had a little more class than that, but I’m not sure.

      Sep 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlogShag

      @Little-Kiwi: I agree…

      And because I don’t want to have sex with some oily, fat, smelly disgusting pig (obese person) , that qualifies as prejudice??? Then I’m happy to be prejudicial. I also happen to have better taste and decorum than people would fuck that

      Apr 21, 2015 at 12:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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