fake outs

A Psychological Explanation For Why Grindr Guys Are Using Fake Photos While Cruising

When someone is knowingly using outright fake images and still planning on meeting, this is usually motivated by strong emotional needs for love, relief from loneliness, desire for a relationship or interaction with another person, and needs for validation. These strong needs and emotions can feed thinking patterns like rationalization, denial, and false hope. The person may tell themselves that an in-person meeting will result in a chemistry so strong that the false photos won’t matter or some other hope-based fantasy.

—Dr. Joseph Cilona, a Manhattan psychologist, answers the question I’ve so often wondered: Why do guys use fake pictures on services like Manhunt, Adam4Adam, and Grindr, when it’s going to be painfully obvious after first meeting that you are definitely not the six-packed adonis you had me believing you were. (Ahem, faux George Michael.) [Edge; photo via]

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  • Ken S

    The worst offenders are the guys who post as their own pictures of hot guys that every internet-connected homo and his dog would recognize from their fap folder. Who do they think they’re fooling? Do they assume that everyone else is *so* stupid that they’ll fall for their little bait ‘n switch attempt? I’ve seen pics of Steve Sandvoss (known and adored by everyone who’s seen Latter Days), pics of Scott Herman (who’s only got how many gay male subscribers on YouTube), and on and on. Frankly it’s kind of insulting that they think they can get away with it.

  • D J

    I have a best friend who does this. But instead of using other’s pics, he uses his own. He contacts guys on sites like A4A with no intention of actually meeting them. He slipped up one day and told me that he tries to hook up with guys he has no intention of hooking up with because he’s lonely. And the part that I don’t understand is that he’s been in a deeply committed relationship for many many years and when around them, it’s VERY clear that they really love each other.

  • Vince

    No, the worst is when someone uses fake pictures on RentBoy. That’s not trying to find validation and friendship. That is lying and deceiving to con someone out of money. My pictures have been used a handful of times by other people on RentBoy.

  • Bill

    What is sad is that someone who has gone to school to be a psychologist is answering these questions. Pathetic.

  • DNK

    I still haven’t put a pic or really contacted anyone cause I’m not thrilled about locals knowing my orientation, but whatev I guess.

  • John

    Equally bad is when you’re on the flip side of the coin and somebody else is using your pictures. I live in Austin, and some creep in El Paso stole one of my photos, only one, but made it the only one visible, and said I was a HIV+ bottom Latino into bareback sex… yeah… wrong on all four counts. His private pictures, I found out later when I confronted him, were actually of him. It eventually got around all over Texas that that’s what I was into… I became “that guy from El Paso.” A friend eventually saw his profile and I was able to remedy the situation… after six months of bullshit.

  • Guy

    I invited somebody from gaydar around to my place and when he showed up he was at least 20 years older and substantially heavier than his pic. Not exactly the same because it was his own photos, but still delibrately misleading. I asked him to leave. Now before you accuse me of being superficial my reasoning wasn’t just his looks (in fact my preference is usually towards older guys and I don’t mind a bit of a bear). I didn’t go forward because if he would be dishonest about things that were plainly obvious, how do I know he was being honest about things I couldn’t see like HIV or relationship status?

  • alan brickman

    using fake pics is also a way to rob people…be careful!!!

  • Martino

    so true, I am guilty. Glad I read this! Motivation to not only use a real picture, or face that facts that it is probably time to come out! The psychology behind that is so fact.

  • Jayson

    This is why I miss/prefer good old fashioned face-to-face cruising; you always knew what you were getting.

  • Mark

    @Bill: LOL i agree Bill. Is this even a story? Of course if someone’s using fake pictures they’ve got some issues. Is this a surprise to everyone?

  • Franky

    I’ve seen someone use pics of Zac Efron before. It was pretty damn funny. I sent the guy a message and about 10 minutes later his profile disappeared.

  • Max

    This is an interesting article, but there’s still no solution in sight. In the meantime there’s this site a friend sent me and i can’t stop looking at: http://asseenongrindr.tumblr.com/

  • Anthony

    I have met a guy who set up a fake profile and went through actually meeting and hoping that his personality would be enough to keep me interested. Unfortunately he forgot that he misled me into a false sense of reality and security. I hate liars!!

    Today I also went to an address for the first time ever which wasn’t legit and when I tried to contact the guy I realized he was a phoney. Very annoying and a complete waste of time and invasion of privacy.

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