Grindr is a wildly different app today than when we started in 2009. What began as a small hookup app for gay men has grown into an online community connecting the entire LGBTQ community: a place to chat, make friends, find dates, hook up, or… whatever! Over the years we’ve also evolved the design of the app, added a slate of new features, and become more inclusive. With all those changes over the course of 14 years, it’s no wonder that the culture of the app and how people use it have changed, too.
To help you navigate this ever-changing landscape and in honor of Singles Awareness Day, we asked Grindr employees to share advice, tips, and wisdom for how to get the most out of Grindr today. Not just practical stuff like “fill out your profile,” but also more nuanced aspects of Grindr culture that have changed over the years (things like “use peoples’ correct pronouns”). Think of it as a mini “State of The Union” for how the app and the community has evolved.
We hope this is a fun and informative guide for you, but also know there’s no definitive, one-size-fits-all rulebook on how to date in the year 2023. Take what’s useful to you and leave what isn’t. Except, of course, the rule to always be respectful. That's nonnegotiable. :)
1. Fill out your profile
Your profile is the easiest way for you to be found on Grindr. When people scroll through the grid, they’re more likely to hit the brakes on someone with a photo. When people filter, if you don’t specify you’re a bottom under “Position,” the top of your dreams might just pass you by. The more you share about yourself on your profile, the easier it‘ll be for people to find you and know if you’re a match.
2. Say what you’re looking for, not what you’re not looking for
No one is into everything. Some of us use Grindr to hook up, some folks are looking for dates, and some people log on just to make friends. There’s room for everyone. But the most annoying thing in the world is when someone lists all the things they’re not into on their profile. Instead of saying “no couples” or “no bottoms,” simply say “looking for single tops.”
3. Don’t wear a hat in your profile photo
Yes, your hat looks really cool and we can all tell that you live in Brooklyn, but unless you plan to leave it on during sex most people will want to see what’s underneath. Bald is beautiful too—who wouldn’t let Mr. Clean talk dirty to them? Nobody likes a surprise when meeting someone new, so you might as well show them what you’re working with up front. When it comes to hats and sunglasses, less is more.
4. Use a recent photo in your profile
We do not want to see any pre-pandemic photos. I don't care how good you looked three years ago. If your profile pic is two megapixels and was taken on a Motorola razor, it’s time for a photoshoot.
5. Don’t use “Read Profile” as your profile name
No one likes required reading. If you’re going to use “Read Profile” as your literal profile name, you better be writing the most fascinating story ever told. If you’re not explaining some freaky new kink I’ve never heard of, sharing prose that brings me to tears, or making me LOL, then please don’t demand that I read your “hung only” profile poem.
6. If you’re going to link to your IG please make sure it’s not blank
I’m going to assume something strange is going on. Same goes for private profiles—don't link it if you're gonna make me follow just to get a face pic.
7. Your profile pic should be just you
I shouldn’t have to guess who I’m messaging, or cross my fingers that the person I’m talking to is the one on the right. This does not apply to couples, although it’s always nice when the half of the couple you’re talking to lets you know which side of the photo they’re on.
8. Advertise yourself honestly
If your profile says you’re looking for “friends only” and the first message you send is “hung?”...that’s a major mixed message. If what you’re looking for changes (and it often does), update your profile accordingly so people know what you’re looking for at that particular moment.
9. If you see something, say something
Our Support & Moderation teams work super hard to keep the Grid free of rancid vibes, but you might still occasionally run into bad actors (not the Razzie kind) on the app. Hate, harassment, bullying, and violence are unacceptable on Grindr — if you see someone disrespecting this rule, don’t hesitate to report them to us. You’re doing everyone a solid by helping keep Grindr safe and cozy for all.
1. “Sup” is not an appropriate greeting unless it’s past 1am
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to greeting someone on Grindr, but it’s a good idea to give a little bit more than “sup.” In spite of its social media derision, “Hey handsome” works! “Hey, how’s it going” is totally acceptable. Reading “sup?” at 8 pm? No. You can send that to me after 1am when we’re both tipsy and have 15 minutes to decide who to hook up with before we fall asleep.
2. If you ask for more pics you better have some as well
It’s totally fair to ask to see more pictures when getting to know someone. You’re doing your due diligence to make sure they look like their profile picture and that you’re attracted to them. That’s fair. However, if you’re going to ask someone to send every single angle of their body, you better be prepared to send the same amount of (recent) pics as well.
3. Take a hint
Sometimes someone you think is super cute isn’t into you. It sucks, but it happens to every single person on earth—even the most beautiful people in the world get turned down every now and then. Take your licks with grace, know that you’re still someone else’s cup of tea, and don’t harass people because they’re not responding to you. And definitely don’t write “not interested?” If they were interested, they’d be responding to you.
4. Wait till you discuss sex to ask if someone is hung
Look, I know you wanna get to the point and time is of the essence, and certainly no shame to my size queens, but maybe go through a little bit of flirting before asking how hung someone is or isn’t.
5. Be respectful
Remember that there's a person behind every profile with real feelings. Being nice can go a long way.
6. Don’t ask me to use Snapchat
I wish you well but I am over 30 and will not be downloading that app. Private Albums have screenshot blocking anyway, why would I leave the app to do the same thing I can do here? And I’m sorry WHAT is kik??
7. You get what you give
Grindr is its own microcosm and it abides by the same rules that apply everywhere else in life: you get what you give. If you make an effort to initiate engaging conversations with people you'll have way more success than if you just log on and wait around.
8. Ghosting Happens
Look, sometimes people are busy and forget to respond. Other folks aren't comfortable turning people down and feel bad saying they're not interested, so they say nothing at all. Whatever the case, no response is a response, and it’s best to try to not take it personally and assume that the other person is well-intentioned but was either busy or not interested. All users should take care to be respectful of people’s time and feelings, but at the end of the day everyone has their own reasons for ghosting and it’s not a referendum on you or your worth—you’re still hot, ghosted or not.
9. Stop asking me if I’m ready
I’m an adult and I’ve just asked you to come over and have penetrative anal sex. Believe it or not, I know how to “get ready” for these experiences, and I don’t need your reminder. I know my body better than you do. You asking me if I’ve douched is a surefire way to kill the mood. Of course I’m ready, but more importantly, are YOU??
10. Use correct pronouns
It takes all of five seconds to check someone's profile to see what pronouns they use. Doing so will save you from embarrassment and will show the other person the respect that they deserve.
1. Use Boost when you’re traveling
Boost is still new so I don’t think everyone realizes how great it is when you’re traveling. I went to Miami and used Boost and immediately alerted the entire city that there was a new girl in town. I’m heading to Europe this summer and I will be Boosting along the entire Mediterranean coast.
2. Use Private Albums to protect your nudes
Private Albums have screenshot blocking so that you can protect your nudes from being used without your consent. You can also stop sharing your album at any time should you decide you no longer want someone to have access to that…side of you.
3. Taps are perfectly fine
If your profile reads “No taps,” I’m going to assume you’re fussy and you don’t enjoy a good time. What did a little fire emoji ever do to you? I find sometimes a tap is all you need to break the ice.
4. Use Viewed Me to see who keeps tabs on you
Viewed Me is great for many reasons, but one particular reason I think it’s great is that you can see who regularly checks in on your profile. This has helped me find FWB’s like you wouldn’t believe, especially since I don’t mind making the first move.
5. If you’re out in public and want to see if a cute guy is gay but you’re not trying to talk to anyone, use Incognito mode
Sometimes you need to use Grindr to do a little sleuthing, and that’s okay. When I’m just trying to get down to business without chatting anyone up I turn on Incognito—you still have all your usual capabilities like chat, but you won’t appear on the grid.
1. Don’t use Grindr while having an IRL conversation
I love you and I want you to get your life, but I am not going to wait to finish my story so you can send another angle of your ass to hungjock20.
2. If you’re in an open relationship make sure your partner is comfortable with you being on Grindr while you’re hanging with them
It’s one thing to be open—it’s another thing to be sending dick pics while you’re cuddling on the couch watching “The Last of Us.”
3. If you see someone cute eating near you, don’t take a pic of them eating and send it to them on Grindr and tell them that they’re cute
Can’t believe I have to even say this one.
4. Be wary of Grindr at the gym
The gym is a sacred space for many in our community. It’s our sanctuary where we go to unwind, de-stress, and yes, even work out. If you hook up with someone who also goes to your gym, you’re going to have to see them in your sacred space for the rest of eternity. Every single day. On and on. This also goes for apartment buildings and offices. Don’t f**k where you eat.
5. Be there when you say you will
Have you ever had someone say they’ll be over in 20 minutes and you’re waiting ass up 45 minutes later staring at your pillow and wondering if it would look better in blue? Yeah…me neither. Be clear on what your ETA is and update your hookup if something changes.
6. Treat your hookup like a guest
If you invite someone to your home you should treat them like any other guest: ask if they would like a glass of water, make some small talk about the weather (snow again!), and offer them a nice, fresh towel to clean up with afterwards. You never know when a hookup will become a FWB or even a partner so treat them as such.