40, Love: Hello, Meat Grindr

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul comes clean about his latest sex-tech obsession, and reveals how he met Juan Pablo.  Viewer Discretion Advised.

While on jury duty recently, I discovered a complication with my latest sex/tech-obsession.  To pass the time, I logged onto one of my favorite iPhone apps—Grindr, a GPS based service that locates other guys nearby who are ready and willing, and serves up their pictures with a note indicating their distance from you.  With Grindr, you cannot only find Mr. Right Now, but Mr. Right Next Door.  And chat with him real time!  The problem for me that day was that as I logged on, up popped Juror #17, who on my little screen was displaying his well-defined pecs and this description: “29, Latino, Lookin’ for NSA fun, 0 feet away.”  Literally.  He was sitting directly behind me.  Yikes.  What if we ended up on a jury together?  Was that hot?  Or awkward?

Grindr-Cascade-Main-View-screenshot-1.0.5-with-iPhone

Grindr Screenshot - I'm not here...

Since I met my partner Chef Juan Pablo on Gay.com over nine years ago, I’m generally a forceful advocate for technology’s power as a matchmaker.  And as much as I marvel at Grindr’s name and niche—connecting horny boys with nearby potentials—I wonder if I would have ever met my boyfriend using it.  On Grindr, he would have never been offered to me as a potential.  Only after I agreed to go out with Juan Pablo (mostly because we had the same name), did I find out he lived down on Wall Street, a wasteland located across my personal DMZ of Canal Street.  Boy, I’m glad I overcame my geographic snobbery.  (CLICK HERE TO READ EXCERPT ABOUT OUR MEETING FROM ALPHABET CITY).

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy Grindr’s potential enormously, and it has become my go-to “conversation starter” app.  I love to share the overt silly/sexiness of the program.  When I pulled it out and passed it around at a party recently in Alphabet City, someone identified one of the hot guys as the owner of the nearby Eastern Bloc bar.  We went on a field trip so that I could salivate in person.  Later, PageSix reported the bar owner’s been cavorting around India with Anderson Cooper.  Thanks to Grindr, I saw the hottie in person and am fitfully jealous of Anderson!

Sometimes I Grindr with my friend Susan.  She gets a kick out of seeing what horny travelers (or workers) are logged in when we pass through Newark Airport.  Often I challenge Juan Pablo to a Grindr duel—we sit across from each other and see who has hotter guys located closer (there’s some weird quirk in the GPS that doesn’t duplicate the same guys).

Because I grind so much, I’ve learned some important lessons.  It doesn’t make sense to Grindr in cruisy bars like The Eagle—everyone’s there to hook-up anyway; it’s like a live-action Grindr video game.  “Didn’t I see you on Grindr?” is a perfectly acceptable opening line at Washington Heights’ gay bar No Parking.  Neighborhood with most options? Chelsea, no surprise.  Log on location for fastest hook-up?  Hotel lobby bars.  Favorite non-NYC Grindr city?  Montreal, where I became a “Grindr-Stalkr” blurting out “oh my god, hi!” to a hot guy from South Africa I’d been cruising onscreen and ran into at a club.

Grinding so frequently does have a downside.  You smile at people you have a vague recollection of, but can’t quite place.  That guy at the gym who keeps looking at me—do I know him?  Oh, right, we’re both on Grindr.

At jury duty, I quickly shut off my phone and stashed it into my backpack, but not before I stole a glance at Juror #17.  He was even cuter in person than onscreen, looked up from his iPhone and smiled.

“Crazy app, right?” he said.

Turns out, I got picked for the jury and he didn’t.  On my way out of the building after opening arguments of my trial, I passed an attorney leaving another courtroom.  Gee, he looked familiar.  I smiled, but he didn’t notice.  He was too busy looking at his iPhone.

3 Comments

Filed under 40 Love

3 responses to “40, Love: Hello, Meat Grindr

  1. bearhunterfl

    too funny! I am also addicted to using Grindr just about anytime that I have some minutes to kill in a free wifi area. I have Itouch, so not able to get the full use of the app like Iphone users. Unfortunately, when you live in the South like I do, sometimes it ends up pulling guys that are an hour or more distant from you. I have no doubt that this app is significantly more fun in a megalopolis like NYC. I do have 3 pet peeves about this app: 1. Guys who pester you as if by persistence they would overcome the fact that you are not attracted to them (thank God for the “Block” feature) 2. Overzealous censoring of profile pics and comments (I guess this is more Apple’s fault than the App authors) 3. Guys who says they are only here to make new friends or chat (right, that’s really believable, you only said that in case your boyfriend catches you using it!).

  2. bearhunterfl

    really enjoyed this post. I too find myself using Grindr all the time, especially when I have minutes to kill in a wifi area (I have Itouch, so can’t use it anywhere like you lucky Iphone peeps). I have no doubt that this is significantly more fun in a megalopolis like NYC. I live in the South, so unfortunately here it can pull up guys that are an hour away from you. I do have 3 pet peeves about Grindr: 1. Lurkers who pester you as if by persistence they would be able to overcome the fact that you are not attracted to them (Thank God for the “Block” feature). 2. Overzealous censoring of the profile pics and comments (not really so much the App authors fault as Apple). 3. Guys who claim only to be using the app for finding new friends and chatting (yeah, right, you just put that in there in case your boyfriend catches you using it!).

  3. RICK

    I met my significant other after downloading Grindr, . We have been together 7 months but recently caught him On Grindr of course putting the lame only looking for friends!! Right !! so I made a profile and no pic, of course he took the bait when I said he was cute and if he was single. Of course responded by saying yes he was and was always looking for the right individual. So to my avail I kinda hate The Grindr app. but

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