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Learn the Lingo: What Does NPNC Mean on Grindr?

With all its niche terms, navigating Grindr can feel like learning a new language. What does NPNC mean on Grindr? We’ll define this term and more.
Editorial team
January 24, 2024
June 19, 2024
min. read
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The internet has an entirely separate language. Acronyms are everywhere, especially when you’re navigating NSFW communities where everyone is DTF.

Enter Grindr, where the communication is tailored to quickly convey intel about gay men and their sexual proclivities. These aren’t layman’s terms; they’re terms to help you become a laid man. Here are some examples you’ll commonly find in a Grindr bio:

  • Anon: Short for anonymous. You won’t be learning much about each other, and they want to keep it that way.
  • Discreet: Wants to keep the whole affair under wraps. He probably doesn’t have a face pic and probably does have a wife.
  • Masc4Masc: A calling card for someone with daddy issues. He’s rugged and tough and looking for other dudes that could be described like a Chevy Silverado. This term usually accompanies a laundry list of his surface-level deal-breakers. 

A lot of Grindr’s gay vernacular is insular and doesn’t see much play outside of the kind of play you get on the app. But some of these words are so helpful that they find their way into pop culture and — to your surprise — the mouth of your straight co-worker who assumes you know what they mean.

Will you be ready to answer the nosy straight person’s question (again) as the card-carrying office queer? It’s time to talk about Grindr sexual slang with some details about the kind of vocabulary you should expect to see when using the app.

Dating definitions: What does NPNC mean on Grindr?

Dying to know what NPNC means on Grindr? What about NSA and DDF? Lucky for you, class is officially in session! You’ll be graduating Magnum Cum Load in no time! Here are some common terms you might see on Grindr and what they mean in specific contexts:

What is NPNC?

NPNC’s meaning is pretty straightforward: No pic? No chat. You won’t get anywhere with these people if you don’t have a profile picture. This slang term is one of the most widely adopted by straights and normies, finding its way onto virtually every other social media platform and dating app.

Even if you don’t see the NPNC flag in someone’s profile, it’s rough getting attention without a pic. That said, everyone is on their own unique journey and should respect each other’s boundaries — saying NPNC on Grindr is just a way for people to communicate theirs.

Where you’ll find it: NPNC will usually show up in profiles. However, if you don’t have a pic and reach out to someone, they might reply with it to say they’re not going any further until they know what you look like. You’ll probably find it on everything from Grindr to Tinder, used by straight people and everyone across the LGBTQ spectrum.

What is GEN?

It’s the kind of man Natalie Merchant loves to sing praises about. GEN’s meaning is short for “generous.” As a self-descriptor, it leaves a lot up to interpretation. So, what does GEN mean on Grindr, specifically?

It could mean they’re a sugar daddy looking to spoil someone. Or maybe they’re just willing to cover the bill on your date. Either way, it’s kind of a win if you come across one on the Grindr app — provided he can put his money where his mouth is.

It’s also possible the connection has nothing to do with sex. Many people use dating apps for companionship; sometimes, they’re willing to offer something in return for your time.

Where you’ll find it: GEN will most likely be in someone’s profile on a dating app to let people know they’re willing to exchange money for taking you out. 


What is a side?

We’re not talking about waffle fries here, but your neighborhood gay side can be just as delicious. Side is actually a sexual preference. Whereas bottoms prefer receiving a penis and tops prefer providing said penis, self-proclaimed sides often aren’t interested in anal intercourse at all.

Sides will still engage in plenty of other fun activities. Honestly, you can expect a pretty rockin’ blowie from any gay men who identify as sides since they’re masters of the craft. So, if you see one out in the wild on the Grindr app, maybe say hi and see if they’re willing to give you a hands-on lesson.

Sides might occasionally be interested in anal penetration. Much like topping and bottoming, there are no hard and fast rules; sometimes, they’re soft and slow! But seriously, so much of it is vibe-oriented, and a sexual preference is often just that: a preference. Just don’t get your hopes up (or push any established boundaries).

Where you’ll find it: Sides will usually self-identify, much like when you see verse, top, or bottom. Others might clarify, saying they’re primarily a side but will engage in anal for the right person or some other caveat.

What is NSA?

NSA is an acronym for “no strings attached.” This is another term widely used both in and outside Grindr circles. It’s basically the opposite of an LTR (long-term relationship). This person doesn’t want something serious; they’d rather have some fun and hook up.

“Fun” is pretty vague; it could either mean a habitual fuck buddy situation with no commitments or a quick one-night stand where you never see each other again. Either way, no wedding bells here. So, if you’re someone who gets easily attached, you might want to steer clear of this one on any gay dating app.

NSA’s meaning on Grindr could also imply closeted; they don’t want anything more than a hookup because they’re still figuring out their sexual preferences. People in open relationships may also put NSA in their profile because they don’t want feelings to complicate their primary relationship.

Where you’ll find it: NSA often appears in someone’s profile header to immediately let you know what they’re about. “NSA Fun” or something similar is common, but you might also see it in the profile.

What is DDF?

You might have someone slip into your DMs and ask if you’re “DDF.” This slang abbreviation is checking whether you’re “drug- and disease-free.” It’s a way to ask how hard you party and if you have any STIs they should know about before you hook up.

Some use the term to soften the blow of an intense line of questioning they find very important. However, the term paints in broad strokes that often incite controversy.

We all have different definitions of “drug” and “disease.” Does weed count as a drug? Alcohol? And what if you’ve got undetectable HIV? The simplicity of this phrase often raises more questions than it answers, so you might be better off just having that tough conversation.

Where you’ll find it: DDF will probably only show up in a profile as someone either saying they’re DDF or requiring their partner to be. However, someone might ask you in a message if you’re DDF while making arrangements.

Ready for the real deal?

Now that your first lesson in Grindr chat is complete, it’s time for some homework! Go forth into the real world and see how many of these terminologies you recognize in the dating app — and how many you resonate with. 

Download the Grindr app now and get started!

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