In 2022, there’s no shortage of social networking apps you can use if you’re looking for a date, relationship, or hookup. Tinder, Bumble, Match.com, and OKCupid are dating app juggernauts.
While each of these platforms provides services for LGBTQ2S+ people, they’re not exclusively for LGBTQ2S+ people.
GROWLr, Scruff, Hornet, and Planet Romeo are all apps designed explicitly with LGBTQ2S+ communities in mind.
And then there’s Grindr. This is by far one of the most popular social networking apps for gay and trans men globally. It provides an easy-to-use interface and a premium option that, combined with its geolocation function, helps thousands of men across the world connect.
It’s a great app to find…ahem…a short-term physical relationship.
Grindr helps its users find like-minded people (predominately men) to explore their kinks, locate group sex parties, set up a coffee date, and even “network” (though it’s still a mystery as to how one networks on a hookup app).
And yes, there are users on the app looking for a date or a long-term relationship.
But what kind of people are you meeting on this app? Well, dear reader, we’ve broken it down for you in simple terms. Read on to learn about the Grindr profiles you’re most likely to meet.
But before that, some words of wisdom.
Things to Keep in Mind
We’re going to be cheeky and rattle off a robust list of the types of people you’ll meet on Grindr. While our tone may be sarcastic and satirical, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Most of the time—excluding the moments when you’re interacting with spambots—you’re going to be interacting with a living, breathing human being. Every person you chat with is actually a real person and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
It is possible to use the app for its intended purpose and treat others kindly.
Interested in reading more about the language of those that are disrespectful? Check out our article on the history of the f-slur & its reclamation.
Be Accepting of Different Identities
Playing games and disrespect in the form of racism, transphobia, homophobia, classism, ageism, femmephobia, fatphobia, and xenophobia are never acceptable. Follow the Diamond Rule (treat others how they wish you treat them), and you set yourself up to have a good experience. You will go through your fair share of morons (“No fats, no femmes”), but there’s no excuse for sinking to someone else’s level.
While you cannot dictate what or who you’re interested in, you can control how you share that information. A gentle decline or rebuff with an acknowledgement of flattery/appreciation and a wishing of good luck will earn you the respect of many. Will it get you some blocks? Absolutely, but that behaviour is on them, not you.
It’s 2022, and the world has changed quite a bit in the last few years—and decades. It may be a warm Friday night, and you’re in the mood for a quickie, but you should be honest with those who are potential sex partners. If you’ve had COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has it, a potential sex partner (or partners) has the right to know. You may very well hook up with someone who is immunocompromised, and while the sex may be great, getting COVID could be harmful—or deadly—for many people.
The same rules apply to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Your partner(s) deserve(s) to know the risk, so be honest. If you haven’t been tested or you’ve not taken your PrEP in a while, they should know. If you’ve been exposed to a particular infection, they also deserve to know. Will it shrink your pool of partners? Yes, but you’re also taking the moral high ground and being as responsible as you can.
Many of the people you’ll meet on Grindr will not fit into one single category. The categories are a mix of
- Physical attributes (muscular, jock, nerd, twink);
- Sexual preferences (kinks, top vs. bottom, “into”); and
- Behaviours (can’t take a hint, always responds to messages, never responds to messages, a serial ghoster).
For example, a Twink (physical) may also be a Sexy Nerd (physical) with a pee fetish (sexual preference) who is in an open relationship (behaviour). Another example: The Bear (physical) may also be a Daddy (physical) who loves to send unsolicited pics without permission (behaviour).
Grindr is just a metaphor for the many diverse types of people you’ll meet in this world!
Grindr profile types
1. The “Discreet” Profile
Exercise caution with this kind of profile. Discreet (not “discrete”) men typically won’t have a photo and will have little to no information about themselves outside of their stats (height, weight, ethnicity, top/bottom, etc.).
These profiles are like ghost towns; the user behind the profile does not want to overexpose himself. He could be straight, on the down-low, or just super cautious about putting any information out there about himself.
Users like this typically want the hookup to happen on their terms (engaging in the kind of sex they want only, meeting at your place, no exchanging names).
They are super hesitant to share photos, and if/when they do, they will be blurry or from a distance. If you hook up with this kind of Grindr user, don’t be surprised if he’s insanely nervous during the encounter and/or blocks you afterwards. Don’t take it personally and use your best judgement.
2. The Twink
Twinks are usually young men between the ages of 18 and 25. They are attractive, slim, and generally can have any man they want.
Twinks are not afraid to show off photos of themselves (they know what they have to offer).
They fall into conventional standards of beauty (white, thin, muscular, flawless skin, straight hair), but they are not better than any other body type.
3. The Gaymer
Yes, dear reader, you’re bound to get a nerd or two in your search results. These are men who may or may not wear glasses and like to play games like Dungeons & Dragons, Mario Kart, or Call of Duty.
They may or may not work in the tech, medical, or science industries.
These men have a tendency to be a bit shy, introverted, and may not make the first move. They can be charming and are generally reliable to meet up.
4. The “Direct” Guy
We’ve all met this person on Grindr. He’s the one who will send you an unsolicited pic of his genitals and start a conversation with “Looking?” He may flood you with a million photos of his junk, his bum, or him engaging in sex with other men. He’ll want to get down and dirty as quickly as possible.
Just remember, be respectful. Assert your boundaries and be kind if you decide to reject someone because you’re not interested or are turned off by their behaviour.
5. The “Can’t Take A Hint” Guy
Ever hear the wise adage, “No response is a response”? Well, this Grindr account has never heard of it. The “Can’t Take a Hint” guy will message you on July 1, July 3, July 17, August 3, September 7, December 13, and January 7 with the same exact text saying “Hello.” He thinks you’re cute and desperately wants to chat with you.
It’ll take a good seven or eight ignored messages before he gets the hint that you completely disregarded him after message number one.
6. The Scammer
Beware of the scammer. This profile has a charming photo, attractive stats, and a bit about wanting a “friendship” or “relationship,” but absolutely no sex.
This “person” will respond to pretty much everyone and will want to quickly take the conversation to WhatsApp or another social media site.
You'll discover that he works in the business field and has some great investments he thinks you should make. Run—don’t walk—away from this profile.
7. The Entrepreneur
You meet a gorgeous guy, and he’d love for you to follow his OnlyFans or xTube page, and once you do, he’ll go out or even hook up with you.
Or, he’ll want to offer “massage services” for you at a reasonable price.
Again, be respectful. If the “strings” attached to an interaction make you uncomfortable, follow your gut and move on.
8. The Bear
Bears are those handsome, typically older, butch men with healthy amounts of facial and body hair. They’re usually more relaxed, low-key, and much more friendly than other users. Bears are sweethearts and can have fewer hangups and demands than, say, twinks.
They’re gregarious, will share plenty of photos, and are incredibly disarming. While they may not fit into a cookie-cutter “look” like some other profiles, they are typically much easier to communicate with and get to know.
9. The Daddy
A daddy is an older man who typically dates younger. They have clear profile pictures and stats, are communicative and are financially stable. Some are actually on the down-low; they may even be married to a cisgender woman and have kids.
Or they may present themselves and identify as heterosexual while living a secret life. These ones are usually more likely to value the utmost discretion.
Daddies tend to look for “sons,” younger men interested in dating or hooking up with older men.
10. The Humble Hottie
Alas, we have the Humble Hottie. This is the beautiful person with an array of photos who never looks anything less than a perfect 10.
He could have a picture of himself eating out of a garbage dumpster with flies swarming around his head, and he’d look like he should be on the cover of a magazine.
But he’s modest. Flattery will get you somewhere with him, but he really doesn’t see himself as a “catch” or a 10 (maybe a 6 or 7). Besides attractive stats, he’ll share a bit about himself in his profile.
Maybe he’s a teacher who reads to seniors on weekends or a veterinarian who just loves horses. There will be something magnetic about him, his smile, and just how he presents himself in his profile. He’ll, in fact, be very disarming.
11. The Arrogant Hottie
Contrasting the Humble Hottie is the Arrogant Hottie. This is a man who knows he’s good-looking and can’t be told otherwise. He will have a great body, at least three photos of himself at the gym, and an attempt to be sarcastic in his profile text.
He’s similar to a twink but older, maybe in his late 20s or 30s. He rarely responds to messages unless, at minimum, he thinks you’re a 9. He may or may not be vegan (or vegetarian) and will love to do yoga and meditation.
12. The Confuser
This user doesn’t know what he wants. His profile will say he’s looking for “friends, relationships, chat, and networking,” but he asks for a dick pic when you message him.
Confusers have to be taken with a grain of salt; don’t invest too much time in them as they haven’t landed on what needs they’re trying to satisfy on Grindr. You’ve been warned.
13. The Objectifier
You’ll see a couple of these profiles on Grindr. The Objectifier does just that: objectifies.
He’ll want to hook up with “Blacks or Hispanics,” and if you dare to message him without fitting into whatever criteria he’s posted, he’ll ask you, “Um, did you read my profile?”
More than likely, they are looking to take advantage of some stereotype about a person based on their identity.
He may think that all Black men are well endowed, Latinx men are passionate in bed, Asian men are docile when having sex, or all bears are unattractive.
These stereotypes are rooted in racism and other forms of oppression and judgment and are wrong and offensive.
They are picky, judgemental, and will want you to fit into whatever narrow definition of attractive they deem fit. These men tend to be superficial, and relationships with them don’t last long.
14. Mr. Exclusive
Mr. Exclusive, similar to The Objectifier, will only date someone who meets certain criteria, but he makes it known by being exclusive (meaning, he will list off what he doesn’t want in a potential sex partner).
No fats, no femmes, no men with “darker” features, and no one over the age of 25. Their profiles may come off as defensive, and they may say things like, “Preferences aren’t racist. They’re just preferences.”
Let it be known, our tastes and preferences are deep reflections of the biased society where we live. Those “attractions” come from a deeply racist, femme-phobic, and transphobic upbringing; just don’t be a jerk.
15. The Sugar Daddy
Sugar Daddies are men who are extra generous with their money. They typically are older, well educated, and with high—and steady—incomes. They love to spoil younger men by paying for groceries, rent, utility bills, dinners out, movies, and even straight payments of cash through apps like PayPal or Venmo.
Is there sex involved? Usually, but it really depends on the relationship.
With so many struggling college students out there, Sugar Daddies are not going anywhere anytime soon. However, they are quite rare to find. This brings us to…
16. The Sugar Baby
The Sugar Baby is the one being spoiled. Typically, “babies” are younger, good-looking, and charismatic enough to wrap those with money around their fingers. They are amenable to dating older men with money and provide their (sometimes sexual) companionship in return.
Sugar babies are in it for the long haul. They’re not opposed to long-term relationships, and a casual (or even serious) ongoing arrangement is ideal for them.
17. The Kinkster
Do you get off on the idea of setting up an anonymous glory hole and servicing as many men as possible on a Friday night? How about dressing up in your girlfriend’s panties and cruising for hookups?
Do you like to smell farts, get fisted, or have a random stranger pee on you? Well, dear reader, you are a Kinkster. Maybe you like to leave your apartment door open, lay face down on your bed, and post your address on Grindr with an open invitation for any man to come use your tushy for as long as they want.
Regardless of your kink, Kinksters are people who simply want to indulge in a consensual fantasy with other men.
18. The Newbie
Okay, it’s time for an armchair psychology lesson.
The Newbie is someone who is looking for—or claims he’s looking for—his first time. Men like this can be any age, married or single. The thought of being with another man turns them on, and they’re looking to experiment.
Their profiles will not have photos, and their stats will be the bare minimum. They’ll be nervous to initiate contact but may scan your profile a couple of times if they like what they see.
Be prepared for a lot of back and forth as Newbies are nervous. They want to be discreet and don’t want their “job” or their wife or family to discover their secret.
Whereas the “Discreet Profile” is all about doing things on his own terms and knows what he wants, the Newbie is still figuring things out.
Profiles like this may require a lot of patience.
19. The “Gen” Seeker
Of course, there are men out there looking for men who are “gen” or generous. They are down on their luck and need some quick cash.
Very similar to a “Sugar Baby,” the “Gen” Seeker is not be looking for a short or long-term relationship, just someone who is looking to pay for sexual companionship.
The Seeker could be a college student, unemployed, underemployed, or just needing extra beer money.
Also, a “Gen” Seeker may be “straight,” meaning that he's amenable to being “gay for pay” or engaging in sex acts with other men for money. He may totally identify as straight but has sex with other men for money or as part of a hobby or pastime.
20. The Poly People
People who are polyamorous often get stereotyped as greedy. Polyamory essentially means that someone is open to loving and being in an intimate emotional and/or sexual relationship with more than one person.
Given that the world we live in conditions us to view relationships monogamously, many may turn down their nose at someone open to loving more than one person at a time.
There’s no need for judgement; we are all entitled to live our lives in ways that are healthy and consensual. If you meet a poly person on Grindr and it’s not your thing, be respectful and move on.
21. The Open Relationship Profile
Men in open relationships may also take some heat on Grindr. These are people in long-term relationships who can have sex and/or date others outside of their relationship. Potential spoken (or unspoken) rules that these relationships follow include:
- What kind of people you can or can’t sleep with (friends, acquaintances, etc.);
- What types of encounters you’re having (one night stands vs. repeat sessions);
- Where the hookup happens (hotel, motel, at the sexual partner’s house, etc.);
- What forms of protection will be used, if any; and
- Whether the encounter is discreet or the partners talk openly about the sex they’ve had
Of course, these are just a few considerations. Some people on Grindr thumb their noses at those in open relationships, accusing any person in one of being greedy or a cheater.
Again, no judgement is needed; if two consenting adults are in an open relationship, that’s their business. Respect their relationship and agreement, and know the boundaries if you choose to pursue a sexual encounter.
22. The “Don’t Take This Seriously” Profile
To top off our list, we have the “Don’t Take This Seriously” user. This Grindr user is horrible at checking his messages, even worse at responding to them, and usually only replies with monosyllabic words like, “yes,” “no,” “nope,” “sure,” “cool,” “later,” “nice,” “mmm,” or “fun.”
They’re not particularly invested in the app—none of us should be—and it’s more or less something that they have on in the background. They may or may not be open to meeting, but you can definitely tell that their interest is fickle. Proceed with caution.
There are probably other subtypes to these profiles; the online world is vast and diverse.
Regardless of who you’re chatting with or planning to sleep with, keep in mind that we’re all human. We make mistakes, flake out, tell small lies and use the app for our own purposes.
Despite what brings you to the app, remember that there’s a person on the other end of the phone, someone who has feelings, desires, hopes, goals, dreams, and faults just like you.
Grindr shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s not the app you go to if you want to affirm your personhood or build solid relationships. Have fun, be safe, and show respect for everyone.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking out the other articles in our Grindr series: