It is 1:35 a.m. on Tuesday, and my heart is racing. I am sitting upright in bed, shorts down to my ankles, throbbing cock in my hands. For the last four hours, I have done nothing but stare at Grindr. Once again, I have purchased Grindr Extra, providing me with a curated view of every desirable torso in the city.
They want hole pics, cum videos, and detailed descriptions of how we would go at it all night. Then some of them want to meet.
I am a serial Grindr ghoster. I will share my most decadent sexual desires with you in the wee hours of the morning, only to disappear into the virtual abyss. There is no reason for me to be this way. I am a proud, openly gay man who lives a very gay life. I frequent gay bars and drag shows; Kygo is my most-listened to artist on Spotify.
I fuck in real life, and frankly, am not that picky. I can go home with the first guy who grabs my ass and offers to buy me an overpriced vodka soda in a small plastic cup.
So what gives?
I wasn’t always this way. Sure, I was a flaky fuck boy on Grindr—who isn’t?—but I never abruptly deleted my account. I mostly used it for passive chat, and the occasional late-night sext. I would meet somebody once in a while, though I preferred to do my galavanting in person. Then COVID hit, and my relationship with Grindr changed dramatically. Incapable of causal use, it started to become all-consuming.
I go on rampages, sending unfiltered ass shots and explicit messages to every faceless top in my zip code. I beg for their ownership; demand to be put in chastity. As the night progresses, my supposed sexual desires get increasingly ridiculous.
I am often one step from supplying Daddy with my social security number.
While I am a proud gay man, I am not particularly proud of my kinks. I have a public career, and once we start talking about, I don’t know, actual sexual slavery, I begin to hyperventilate at the thought of wearing an anal vibrator to an important interview. My friends know about my perverted proclivities—I joke about them all the time. But it’s one thing to talk about being leashed. It’s another thing to actually be in one, and walked around Commercial Street like a dog for all of my peers to see.
In the unaccountable world of Grindr, I can let it all go, and become the live-in houseboy I’ve always wanted to be. In the real world, I would eventually have to tell my mother.
But my inner kink-shaming has always been present. My marathon download-and-delete sessions are new. Currently bereft of outlets to pursue guys in-person, maybe I am trying to replicate that same thrill on Grindr.
I am definitely attracted to the fleeting nature of late-night dirty chat. I suffer from social anxiety, and it is a way for me to interact with others and not be held to standards. Reaching out to a friend can be petrifying, because there will be implications to whatever you say. On Grindr, everything can disappear with one click.
Most of all, my Grindr use is a cheap escape. I do not have a full-time job right now and I’ve never felt more professionally unsettled. Logging onto Grindr is an easy way out for me.
I am telling you this because I want you to keep this in mind next time we run into each other online. Feel free to curse me, but there’s no reason to be afraid. I’m on the other end, sitting in a pool of my own sweat and shame.