Dating apps. In these busy times they’ve become a necessary evil. And we do mean evil. Sometimes it feels like they bring more grief than good into our lives. Yet we keep going back, even after we swear we’ve sworn them off for real this time.
We asked five queer men of various ages and backgrounds for their opinions on the apps, including thoughts on popular conversation starters, pet peeves, scandalous photos, and whether true love can really be found online at two o’clock in the morning.
Here’s what they had to say…
Which is/are your preferred hookup, er, dating app(s)?
Alfredo (age 43): Scruff is the best to talk and meet guys from all around the world, and Grindr is for more immediate local gratification. Honestly, I prefer Scruff since I really don’t hook up any and I can chat. (Yes. I’m one of those.)
George (age 37): I’m a Scruff guy myself. I tried Jack’d for a while but got sick of dudes always asking if I was “generous.” And the guys on Grindr are too basic for me.
Ali (age 29): Grindr and Scruff.
Josh (age 23): I have a serious boyfriend right now, so I’m not on the apps anymore, thank god! It’s too exhausting. But when I was on them, I preferred Grindr. It’s the only one I really ever used. I met my last two serious boyfriends on there, so it’s not a total bust.
Clayton (56): You can find me on Grindr and Scruff.
What is your #1 biggest dating app pet peeve?
Alfredo: No Pic. No chat. No excuses! We all have cameras on our phones. If you’re scared that you’ll be outed by your pastor, maybe you should ask why he’s online with the screen name c*mpig69.
George: Guys from out of town asking for bar and restaurant recommendations. I’m here to get laid, not be your tour guide. That and guys who ask if you want trade pics and then tell you to go first. If you don’t wanna go first, why’d you bring it up?
Ali: I don’t like the pay wall for full functionality on a lot of the apps. Otherwise, they’re great networking tools for sex, friends, and otherwise.
Josh: Having to carry an entire f*cking conversation! It still amazes me how people don’t know how to have carry a conversation, whether in-person or on apps. Like, it’s not rocket science. If you want to increase your chances of getting laid (or a second date), ask QUESTIONS. Even if it seems scary or not worth asking, questions show you are at least partially interested.
Clayton: The marketing. I mean, I didn’t join Grindr to become a Toon Blast expert. I’m a 56-year-old man, honey. I really do find it hard to believe that the demographic is a correct match there.
You meet a guy who you think you might be into. In what order do the following things happen: Exchange names, exchange pics, exchange fluids.
Alfredo: Pics, fluids, names.
George: Pics first. Then names. Then fluids. Sometimes names before pics, but usually not.
Ali: It depends. If it’s for sex, I ask for pics, give my pics, and if there is mutual interest, then I ask for the address and head over. I’m not really concerned about their names. But, if it’s non-sexual, then probably we’d have a nice conversation and we’d introduce ourselves and hopefully we’d keep in touch.
Josh: I know it’s superficial, but I HAVE to see face pictures before any fluids are exchanged. We all know what we are looking for on apps, and I am a firm believer that there needs to be some level of physical attraction. I’m not on apps to hook up with a torso or a ghost with no photo!
Clayton: While I prefer pics to always lead in the order, names and fluids can be interchangeable. TBH names can be made up, and then there are those moments that you know deep down will never be repeated or revisited, leaving the order flexible.
How do you feel about guys who kick off a conversation by saying, “Looking?”
Alfredo: It cheapens the experience. We all know what we are there for, but there’s a courteous gentleho code that should be followed with a small sample of chit chat. “You’re cute, what’s your sign, do you like sushi?, how big is your d*ck?”
George: I’m all about efficiency, but it’s a definite turn off for me. I just imagine some rando in his underwear scrolling through the grid and waiting for the first dude to respond. At least pretend to be interested in me for, like, five minutes.
Ali: I’m indifferent. If I’m attracted to the person, I’m not against them asking me if I’m “looking.” Some people are on there for sex (like I am, at times) so I don’t feel like it’s my place to judge anyone who might open their conversations that way.
Josh: Boo, boring! I wouldn’t be on an app if I wasn’t looking. And anyone who says they’re on there looking for “friends” is bullsh*t. That’s what Facebook is for!
Clayton: No problem with it. It’s straight forward and honest. There are many guys who go so far as to write into their profiles not to open with “looking,” which I can also appreciate. I think it comes down to communication. I like clarity from online interactions.
What are your thoughts on unsolicited D pics?
Alfredo: Love them, but what do you say when it isn’t up to par? Guess Mama was right. If you have nothing nice to say end the conversation, but the end of the day its all in the dealers choice.
George: I don’t have a strong opinion, but it’s probably not the best way to get my attention. It’s also probably not the worst.
Ali: I don’t have preferences against that, especially if I’m attracted to the person. I think it moves things along and saves time.
Josh: They are hilarious, and also kind of unnecessary. If I am into someone, and I feel like we are vibing, I don’t really care what their D looks like, or how big it is. Photos don’t get me going like the real thing.
Clayton: Love unsolicited D pics! I appreciate a guy who unlocks automatically or sends a DM pic. It saves me the effort of having to ask. D pics, like faces pic, speak to me. I will either want to or not want to engage based on what I see. I’m visual that way, I suppose.
Let’s take it one step further… What are your thoughts on hole pics?
Alfredo: A little pageantry and romantic notions are always nice topics. That said, nobody loves a big succulent booty more then me, and photos are very much appreciated. Just make sure your pic is well lit and clear of any dingleberries and dust bunnies.
George: Sometimes it’s better if you don’t see everything that’s for dinner beforehand.
Ali: Again, I don’t have preferences against that, especially if I’m attracted to the person. Although “action pics” raise my interest more effectively.
Josh: LOL oh god, I have never sent one, nor do I need to see one. Much like a slice of pizza, I would rather eat one than look at a photo of it. Holes are too scary, and often look like a goddamn alien.
Clayton: I prefer no surprises, so yes I welcome hole pics. I have received some that make me aware of great amounts of extraordinary use and abuse. No judgement, of course, but it helps me know we might not be a match.
Lastly, a simple yes-or-no question: Do you believe it’s possible to find true love on a dating app?
George: Yes. I know plenty of couples who met on the apps, fell in love, and eventually got married. So, yes. 100%.
Josh: YES! I’ve been in two serious relationships in my entire little life, and have met them both on a dating app.
Clayton: Yes, I do. The odds may be low, but I believe there are no restrictions to locations for true love encounters.