Meet Grindr: A Gaydar in Every Pocket

Friday, April 12, 2013


Grindr is a phone app that allows gay men to find other users based on their proximity. Brooke speaks with Jaime Woo, author of Meet Grindr: How One App changed the Way We Connect about the app's effect on our understanding of privacy.

Comments [12]

Paul from Florida

It's a shame that there in yet another way for gay men to have anonymous with the aid of a mobil device.
This allows it so easy to "hook up" and have sex with someone you don't know. I believe that the internet and technology keep making it possible for addiction to flourish and gay men to continually have one night stands, in spite of the consequences.

May. 04 2013 06:25 PM
Joese from Allover

Interesting story. Not everybody uses social media (or wants or needs to). The story was very informative for non-users. The interview with the guy in the park, in the related story, was extremely well done. We could understand how the app works, and the interviewee was intelligent and humorous.

It is not necessary for the reporter to use value judgments to slant reporting on sexual behavior. There is nothing wrong with reporting and informing us on something new that is used by 6 million people. Just because it is related to casual sex does not mean it is not an important subject. Sex is an important part of life to most people.

Apr. 28 2013 11:10 PM
Todd from Arkansas

Speaking as a gay man who has been "out" for more than 25 years, but this device really doesn't change a thing.

It is still the same old quick hook up without any emotional attachment that gay men have been doing for decades. Whether it's bars, parks, bathroom stalls, the internet, or this new device, it's the same old thing. And it saddens me a bit.

I come from a generation and location where gay men had only the options I listed above. We did not have a "community." If we were to meet other people, we had to do it in negative environments, where you either ran the risk of getting arrested or alcohol and drugs dominated the activities. Yet the young people today have opportunities for socialization and the creation of a community where sex, drugs, and alcohol are not a predominating force.

As a young gay man I entered a world of which I did not want to be a part. But my choice was either to do this or to meet no one. But now we have a reached a stage in our development as a community that we can develop institutions that give meaning to our lives rather than robbing us of our lives.

And no, I am not a puritan. As another person wrote, I am a survivor. I survived my period in hell, and now I still hope for the one thing that I wanted from the beginning--some one to share my life with. From experience, I know where I will not find him. It is sad that others choose to fall into this same trap.

Apr. 25 2013 10:33 AM
Joe from DC

I have to agree with "Ariana from Missouri" - What could have been a segment about the way we interact using current smartphone technology turned into a tutorial/advertisement for the app itself.

Are there apps which utilize Apple's GPS software for activities OTHER than casual encounters? I was waiting for that portion of the segment to materialize, but instead we got step-by-step instructions on how to use Grindr.

Apr. 17 2013 02:22 PM
Zachary Hayes LMAO

Apr. 15 2013 12:54 PM
Ariana MIller from Missouri

What I took away from this story is that Grindr is an app that is used primarily for casual sex hookups between gay men. The creator of the app acknowledged it, the man Doug Anderson met in the park acknowledged it, and the comments above acknowledge it (and the Babes of NPR retweet acknowledged it). The mere fact that it relates to the gay community (an LGBT interest story) doesn't somehow make this story relevant to a public radio audience interested in issues of significance to society on the whole. When the creator was asked how the app impacted gay culture (an attempt by the interviewer to bring some depth to the story), he said that it meant that gay men didn't have to go to bars to meet one another. He was thrown a line and dropped it--because there's little more to the app than that.

In fact, the real-time meetup with a man Doug Anderson met on Grindr seemed more to serve the purpose of a tutorial on how to use the service/an advertisement to would-be users than a way to provide insight into the app's relevance beyond seeking casual liasons. While it was mentioned that the app could be used for more platonic ends, the sexual double entendres only seemed to further confirm what has been said multiple times over--this app is for people looking for random sex. Somehow I can't imagine a similar story on the M4W section of Craigslist, no matter how many incisive questions one might think to ask about it. The subject matter is simply tasteless.

Apr. 15 2013 12:04 PM

I did not like this segment. I thought it was too long and was uncritical of casual sex (gay or otherwise). I found no wider audience interest or journalistic value in either Grindr or the reporting on it.

Apr. 15 2013 11:33 AM
g562 from CA

The average age of a Grindr user is mid 20's... guys older than 30 are rare to find. It's not a 'dating' app... it's an app for quick hookups for sex, period. Many glitches, issues, their only 'best' attribute is Marketing.

There are other similar apps out there that allow more information, more pictures, and a more inclusive group of users.

Apr. 14 2013 07:47 PM
Ramesh from NY

Thanks for asking Grindr owner about AIDS.

Apr. 14 2013 11:54 AM
Mark from Memphis

I discovered Grindr while visiting a friend in New York City two summers ago. I lived in New York in the early 1980s, Moved to Europe and returned in 1990s-early 2000s. I come from the Manhunt, m4m4sex internet times when crystal meth and sex parties were de rigueur. It almost killed me. Seven years ago I gave up the drugs, those sites, porn (well...) most importantly I have abstained from sex determining that as a young man in my thirties into my forties I had lost complete and total understanding of who I was and how I could find love and connection I became what I thought was going to get me what I wanted-people who wanted me. A metropolis full of many men whom filled with doubt or self loathing find other men full of doubt and self loathing. The underbelly of that time in Gay New York is for many a lost time. I'm lucky. Grindr reminds that yeah its cool easy, hook up, get her done and be on your way. But every hook up there's a little power taken away for someone-the not telling your friends, your partner, hiding-its exciting but it also aligns itself with our more baser instincts. Yeah its fun! I'm young and single and I loves to mingle...Yeah yeah...but to what purpose under heaven?

Many will say it's not that complicated but-I came out in 1979-I'm 51-I'm in the prime of my life-I've tried Grindr and Growlr and even a dating site-while I've sought connection with men to feel empowered I lost the single most important aspect of my being human which was direct human interaction. Men in New York and other Gothams across America and everywhere else indulge-in casual sex-That's a fact but what would interest me more is to hear a story about middle aged men, like myself-who've survived the AIDS epidemic, the crystal epidemic, the Grindr epidemic and still long for that age old thing called "connection." After hearing StudMuffin's interview I thought "Thirty! wow"
In a committed relationship no less-what does that mean today? Committed to what? I can say one thing-I have been committed to having sex again when it is based on love and deep trust and respect. I, like StudMuffin, skipped the light across the globe and in the West Village-lived in Chelsea for 10 years, I have come away with one thing that Mr. Muffin hasn't-After all the banging, and partying, and hooking up-I still know what "committed relationship" means. The age of Gaydar in the pocket is upon us. May the end of our civilization be quick and painless as a hook up on Grindr appears to be.

Apr. 14 2013 10:43 AM
Bobby from West Village

Thank God for this! It's always been so difficult for gay men to meet each other---especially in NYC.

Apr. 14 2013 10:41 AM
Spence Halperin from NYC

Exceptional segment on GRINDr. Noteworthy for it's deep, matter-of-fact reporting of a subject that lends itself to judgement. "You member dollars at work!"

Apr. 13 2013 10:31 AM

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