Look, it’s 2019. I know that 95% of you reading this have at least one dating or hookup app on your phone, and if you don’t, it’s probably because you’re already in a relationship. Most of us aren’t rookies in the dating app game, but it can still be a pain to navigate. Regular dating apps have plenty of struggles already, but the gay culture of hookup apps (Grindr, Scruff, etc.) takes things to another level. No matter what you’re looking for on these apps, it’s important to use your best detective skills to weed out the murderers and stalkers. Isn’t this fun?! Here are the biggest dating app red flags to look out, especially on the gay-focused apps.
Of course, everyone should come out when they’re ready, and it’s fine that not everyone wants their identity widely known. That being said, if you’re searching for a boyfriend you can post on your Instagram stories 17 times a day, first of all, reevaluate your social media usage, but you probably also shouldn’t be talking to guys who won’t even send you a face picture. Everyone is on their own journey, and this is not the guy who will go to Disney World and wear rainbow Mickey ears with you, sorry.
When it comes to discreet guys, there are levels on all of these apps. If someone is a little shy, or has a sensitive job, it’s understandable that they might not want a face picture on their public profile. Whatever makes you comfortable. But if you message me and we’re 30 minutes into a conversation, I’m going to need to see your face. Especially if the other person messages first, there’s nothing wrong with requesting a few clear face pictures. Whether you’re looking for dates or sex, pictures are an absolute must.
Like it or not, there are a lot of drugs in the gay community. I’m not here to be a narc or anything, but you should always know what you’re getting yourself into. If a guy has random references to partying in his profile, capitalizes the letter “T” randomly, or uses the term “chemsex,” it’s very likely that he does meth, or other hard drugs that would deeply disappoint your fifth grade DARE counselor. No matter how cute he is, if that’s not your scene, you should probably cut your losses.
One of the biggest issues facing the gay community in 2019: who can host?? I’m sort of joking, but it can be tricky arranging a hookup. People can’t host for all sorts of reasons, but if a guy seems shady about his living situation, you might need to consider the possibility that he could be married. Like, to a woman, or at least to a partner who doesn’t know that he’s looking for dick on Grindr. Open relationships are cool (more on that in a minute), but I’m usually not in the mood to be a home wrecker.
Like I said, open relationships are great, and they’re more common than ever, especially in the queer community. I’ve had great experiences (both sexual and social) with couples, and getting in the middle can be a really fun chance to try some new things. But if that’s not what you’re looking for, try to recognize that before you get involved. Whether it’s just casual fun or there’s potential for something more to develop, everyone should be on the same page.
If I’m just meeting a guy for coffee, I don’t need to know his entire sexual history. But if I’m coming to your apartment for a dick appointment, you should be at least somewhat open about your sexual habits. If a guy isn’t willing to tell you when he last got tested, or if he usually uses protection, be wary. Sometimes people are just weird when talking about sex, but do what you need to feel safe and comfortable.
For reasons I will never understand, Grindr is littered with fake profiles. Some of them are just annoying spam, but there are also bots out there that will try to steal your identity or hack your phone. If someone who looks like an underwear model suddenly starts bombarding you with messages saying how beautiful you are, it might be too good to be true. If you suspect that a profile might be fake, try asking specific questions that won’t work with generic, auto-generated responses. Or just block and move on.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)