Given that Grindr disclosed they have 13,000,000+ monthly users, chances are that if you’re in the LGBTQ2S+ community, you are either already a user or considering it. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to find mischievous queer connections without it. Lucky you. 😒
The tips in this article aren’t for the gays that just DM strangers on Instagram & schedule dates/hookups within the same day. 😤
I’m speaking to those deep in the Grindr trenches, navigating an onslaught of unsolicited dick pics, sugar daddy bots, & blank profiles who expect you to send pictures of everything they won’t.
I don’t claim to be anything close to an expert, but here are some learnings that I’ve picked up during my time on Grindr. I hope they help you find 🍆 and happiness as much as they helped me. 😌
1. Update Your Photos To Stay ‘Fresh’
Do you feel like your Grindr profile views have been rather low lately? If you’re like me, I want all eyes on me 24/7. Especially from hotties who are looking to meet up. 🥵
How, then, do you increase your Grindr views besides engaging with more profiles yourself?
A neat trick that I learned is to update your profile with a new picture. By doing this, Grindr moves you to their “Fresh” section, which is a special curation of profiles based on who’s new to the area & who has recently uploaded new pics.
Simply upload a picture you haven’t used on Grindr before & you’ll be moved to the “Fresh” section once it’s approved.
Staying fresh without new pics
Don’t have any new pics to update your profile with? No worries. You can still be featured on the “Fresh” page without taking new pictures. Here’s how:
- Click on “Edit Profile” on Grindr.
- Go to your profile pictures.
- Click on the + sign if you have less than four pictures on your profile, or delete one if all the slots are full.
- You’ll see the option to either add a new picture or pick from past uploads. Delete the image you’re planning on re-uploading by clicking on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the image.
- Re-upload the picture you just deleted by browsing through your gallery, and voila, Grindr now registers that as a brand new photo. They’ll now feature you in the Fresh section for around 24 hours as soon as it’s approved.
From personal experience, this has helped me 3X my profile views every time I've done it (as of April 2022)! Test it out for yourself.
2. Google Reverse Image Search
If someone sends you a pic of a famous celebrity, you’re probably going to know it’s a fake. Unless your Grindr pics really have turned Tom Holland gay, which we know doesn’t happen. 👀
But how about the smarter catfishers & pic collectors? Images they’re using are probably either from:
- Other people from Grindr
- Pics of people they’ve found on the internet
At least for the latter, you can include a quick step in your verification process; it’s called reverse image search.
Reverse image searching is a process where you upload photos to cross-reference with publicly available photos from platforms like Google Image. These images can either come from their Grindr profile or pictures they’ve sent. Remember that face pics are more likely to be flagged online than nudes.
Personally, I still don’t understand Google’s non-intuitive process for this, so I usually use www.tineye.com to do the work for me. Platforms like TinyEye take your uploaded image & automate the reverse image search on Google for you instead. All you need to do is the following:
- Screenshot their photo & crop out any distracting additions from the Grindr app.
- Upload the picture to a reverse image search tool like tinyeye.com.
- Check to see if there are any matches online.
- Report & block if you notice any matches on Pinterest boards, stock photo sites, news articles, or anything else that would be a red flag.
Reverse image search is just one method for verifying that someone is real on Grindr. Other tactics include:
- Asking for photos with specific gestures/hand-signs
- Moving the conversation to photo-based apps like Snapchat
- Requesting a video call before meeting in person
Don’t give catfishers the opportunity to waste your time or collect your pictures with malicious intent. Tactics like these can reduce the risk of both.
3. BYOL & BYOC
Yes, we just made these acronyms up. But we stand by them.
BYOL: Bring Your Own Lube
BYOC: Bring Your Own Condoms
When meeting up with a Grindr hookup, it’s always best to be over-prepared rather than under-prepared.
You never know if the other person you’re meeting for the first time keeps their condoms, lube, or any other sexual supplies in stock. There are many potential hiccups that under-preparing can cause regarding lube & condoms.
Bring Your Own Lube
Every hole & dick is different. When meeting with a Grindr hookup for the first time, you can’t expect them to know yours well enough yet (that part is coming up 😇). Ensure you’re prepared to accommodate larger penises, sensitive holes, and accidental lube waste.
Potential lube issues include:
- The lube not being slippery enough
- Running out of lube
- Oil-based lubes causing condom breakage
- Synthetic lubes cause stains that are hard to get out
Anal sex without lube (spit's not going to cut it 🤨) can increase the risk of tearing in your bussy during sex, increasing your risk of contracting HIV and other STIs. So it's always best to be prepared!
Bring Your Own Condoms
It’s not uncommon for someone who says they have condoms to suddenly “misplace” them once you meet up so they can pressure you into condomless sex. By bringing your own condoms, you can have more autonomy in your decision to use one or not rather than feeling pressured.
Potential condom issues include:
- Not having condoms that fit
- Running out of condoms during multiple rounds of sex
- Expired condoms
Condom-based issues can be pretty serious, as they’re usually one of the first lines of protection at your disposal against sexually transmitted infections like HIV.
4. No Face, No Case
Now that you and the Grindr profile have exchanged pics highlighting your cheesy smiles, shirtless adventures, & dirty bathroom mirror selfies, the horniness kicks in: “Want to exchange nudes? 😈”
You do have a few options:
- Decline to send nudes: You’re not obligated to send anyone your naughty pics if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. While this may cause some Grindr profiles to not want to meet up, you can still successfully find people to talk to & meet up with on Grindr without sending any nudes. Your comfort and boundaries come first, always.
- Send expiring nudes: Grindr allows users to send a couple of expiring pics per day. These pictures expire within a few seconds after opening and are blocked from being screenshot. Though unless you’re paying out the money for Grindr premium, you’ll quickly run out of these, so you should make sure to ration them accordingly.
- Send non-expiring nudes: This is the most popular way to send nudes on Grindr. Unlike expiring pics, these images can be screenshot and saved by anyone you send them to.
- Send nudes external to Grindr: There are multiple ways to show off your body to other people outside of Grindr. Whether it’s giving your potential hookup a bodily tour via FaceTime, sending expiring pics on Snapchat, or faxing your sugar daddy hole pics, Grindr isn’t your only option. Keep in mind that asking someone to move to another app won’t always be met with a ‘yes’ as people can be lazy or feel more comfortable only chatting via Grindr.
For those of you that choose to send nudes, remember ‘no face, no case.’ If you’d like to reduce the likelihood of nudes you send being tied back to you, refrain from including identifying features like your face, tattoos, and scars. This way, you can always deny that the photos are actually of you and not of someone with a similar body type.
However, it is 2022. Who hasn’t sent a nude by now? There’s no shame attached to your beautiful naked body or the embracing of your sexuality. If you want to include your face despite the risk of the nudes being leaked, nobody is going to stop you. Who knows, this could be your Kim K moment of stepping into fame.
5. Take Advantage of Group Messaging
If you’ve ever tried to convince one of your Grindr candidates into having a threesome or participating in group play, you’ve probably been hit with the notoriously standard question: “Can I see pics of them?”
Sending pics from other profiles to gauge the potential interest of others is tedious work. On top of sending your own pics, you now have to screenshot, crop, upload, and send pics (5 at most at a time) of others as well. Instead, simply initiate a group conversation to outsource nude sharing.
Group messaging also minimizes miscommunication around picture sharing. If everyone is responsible for sharing their own nudes, this tactic maximizes consent since the original owner of the pics is now the one that also sends them.
You can start a group chat by:
- Favouriting your potential group participants
- Hitting the group message button next to the filter button on the top right of your messages section
- Picking your invitees & hitting the “Invite” button in the top-right corner
- Waiting for them to accept and start sending their pics themselves
Prepping for a hookup is already complicated enough, especially if it involves more than two people at once. Work smart, not hard.
6. Prepare for App Difficulties
Anyone that has used the Grindr app before can probably attest: It’s not the best experience from a product standpoint. Besides the app freezing all the time, you’ll run into issues like:
Mass message deletion
Similar to those preparing to bottom by douching, Grindr sometimes likes to empty itself out on our phones as well. We’re not entirely sure why this happens, but it can sure be a pain in the ass when you’re trying to juggle hookups with 20 different Grindr profiles simultaneously.
Let’s please observe a moment of silence for all the “Lost Chats” Grindr profiles out there right now. We see you and are sending thoughts and prayers for your recovery.
Unwarranted account bans
Grindr can be somewhat arbitrary in how it determines which accounts to ban. Since it is a private platform, your horny conversations are very much in the hands of the Grindr moderators.
Even minor offences like including a joke in your bio about not liking to get killed on the first date (first-hand experience) can cause Grindr to ban your account. 😳
Here are some actions you can take to prepare for these unfortunate situations:
Save your pictures
If you’re taking fresh nudes 24/7, this advice probably won’t apply to you. But for the rest of us that like to re-use our favourite timeless naughty pics, it’s helpful to remember that Grindr shouldn’t be relied on as a photo library for the long-term.
Luckily iPhone, Android, and Samsung phones all have the functionality to hide or archive photos, so they’re less likely to be discovered by others. If you are interested in additional layers of privacy, there are also apps available for discreet private photo storage.
Add your Grindr favourites on external apps
The worst feeling is to undergo days/weeks of horny conversation & have your account disabled by the almighty Grindr moderators or lose conversations due to an app glitch before you meet-up.
Fortunately, Grindr can remain the place you meet people but doesn’t necessarily have to be the place where you maintain your conversations with them. You can consider adding these individuals on other apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, or any other app that accommodates your need for discretion and staying in touch. Just in case.
Invest in a mobile VPN
For those that do come across an unjustified Grindr ban, the app may also try to stop you from making a new account by deactivating any account you try using on the same phone.
Lucky for you, the process to get around this isn’t as complicated as it would be on a platform like Tinder, which would require you to link an entirely different phone number.
All you need is a virtual private network (VPN). With a simple Google search, you’re sure to find some free mobile apps that offer you the ability to hide identifying information from Grindr and re-create an account in peace. The only drawback is that you’d need to have this turned on whenever you log in until they give up on trying to keep you out.
7. Protect Yourself From HIV With PrEP
For those of you who’ve used Grindr before, you’ve probably noticed the profile biography category “HIV Status.”
It’s estimated that 14% of those living with HIV in Canada are unaware of their HIV status.
That means that even if you ask everyone you have sex with about their HIV status, this doesn’t guarantee your ability to screen for those currently able to transmit HIV (you can be HIV positive & still not transmit if you’re on medication). This is called undetectable = untransmittable, or U=U for short, meaning those who are HIV positive on effective treatment cannot pass it to their sexual partners.
If you’re sexually active, the three best tactics to take to reduce the transmission risk for HIV & other sexually transmitted infections are to:
- Use condoms consistently and correctly
- Get tested regularly (every 3 months) along with your sexual partners
- Consider taking PrEP for additional HIV prevention
What is PrEP?
PrEP is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is a once-per-day HIV prevention pill that reduces the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99% when taken correctly.
PrEP stops HIV in your bloodstream from replicating, eliminating the virus from your body by killing off the original exposure amount. Basically, PrEP makes sure HIV cannot replicate in your body, helping you remain HIV negative.
Only between 1-10% of patients on PrEP experience any short-term side effects. For those who do experience side effects, they usually go away within 1-2 weeks.
If you’re interested in learning more about PrEP, book a free PrEP consultation with our LGBTQ2S+ inclusive medical team. Over 90% of Canadian patients get their online PrEP prescription + discreet delivery for free with Freddie.
While this article may not be able to offer remedies for all of the (many) issues that can plague you during your Grindr prowling, we hope that your time on the app is made at least a fraction better because of it.
At the end of the day, remember that you and everyone you meet on the app (sugar daddy bots excluded) are human beings just trying to fill some sort of need (among other things).
Remember to be kind, treat everyone you meet with dignity, and stay safe out there. Good luck!