Grindr Philippines: stories of love, lust, and loss
There is no doubt that dating is truly different now. Case in point: we’ve had stories that featured an online romance that ended in marriage, a report that Facebook is the ultimate wingman, how the harana has gone digital, and the curious case of Tinder. There are countless other apps and websites too, such as Peekawoo and Paktor.
For today though, we focus our eyes on stories from another app that is well and truly established: Grindr.
Grindr, in a nutshell, is perhaps the most popular gay dating app in the world. It’s search description reads, “Find gay, bi, curious guys near you…”
It’s Twitter tagline proudly states: “Serving up gentlemen to your mobile since 2009. You’re welcome.”
The app itself is incredibly straightforward, simply browse other people that are on the app and within your proximity. You can send a message to anyone — users don’t need to match with one another, and there’s no limit to the number of people you can message. What happens after that? Well it really depends on the person.
Some say only a fool would try to find love on the app, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. Read some of the stories Grindr users have shared with us. Names have been changed for obvious reasons.
Lucas, 22, Laguna
Do not shit where you eat, they always say, so I vowed never to chat up anybody who lived within 300 meters from our place. My lolo was the homeowners’ association president, and he was friendly with all the tanod and some barangay officials.
One boring night, however, I found myself chatting with this guy who lived just a few blocks away. There was no doubt he knew the area, and his opening salvo was actually to ask which street I was on. He invited me over. It was already past midnight but I was wide awake. Never mind that I actually had to go to work in the morning.
We met in a dark alley near the local Iglesia Ni Cristo. He was already wearing his sando and boxers. “Tara na,” he urged me deeper into the alley. I asked him if he lived alone, since he was okay with inviting strangers to his place.
“Kasama ko boyfriend ko,” he said. Oops — he seemed to have realized that he slipped, because we both stopped on our tracks at the same time. Apparently he wasn’t planning on revealing that he was partnered until I was inside the house. Not that I’m averse to threesomes, it’s just that I wasn’t ready that time.
I made to return to the main street, but before I knew it he was suddenly pinning me to the wall and eating my face, moaning “please, sige na” against my neck. I told him no and he said “dito na lang tayo!” He was strong, and for a while I was sandwiched between the rough, vandalized brick wall and him. He only let me go when two raucous drunkards approached, screaming cuss words at each other and threatening to wake up the whole neighborhood.
Toto, 21, Makati
I once met up with a guy in his late forties. He was actually too tall and pale for my taste, but he was smart and rich. He ran a popular fitness club in Makati and an ad agency. We drove around and exchanged stories. We checked in at this motel, but I wasn’t attracted to him, and he said he was just recovering from flu, so we only made out for a short while. He was getting all horny, so I decided to give him a massage on his legs and back instead. He dozed off and I had to wake him up to take my leave.
Lolito, 23, Parañaque
To avoid the rush hour traffic I usually hang out in the mall first to window shop or eat dinner. One dreary Wednesday night, with the bland value meal burger I ordered making me sadder with each bite, I decided to go online on Grindr.
It didn’t take long before messages came popping in. One particular guy said he was driving by where I was. We exchanged photos and soon I was out on the curb waiting for his black sedan.
He was tuned in to Jam 88.3, which was also my favorite radio station. It turned out he was actually friends with one of the DJs. We had a nice chat as we drove up to his condo.
When we got to his place, he put on Lana Del Rey and we started making out. Turned out he was a heavy smoker, and he didn’t even chew gum to cover the smell! It was so hard getting it on with such a horrid taste in my mouth. He was gentle, but his breath was so bad I felt like I was going to get lung cancer just by smelling it!
In the end I wouldn’t put out, so he just ended up stripping to show me his Brazilian wax. I was lip-synching to Lana Del Rey the whole time.
Marco, 22, Muntinlupa
I’ve been on Grindr since 2012. I only joined right after I graduated, because I didn’t want to be seen by anyone from college. Most people use it purely for hooking up. In fact, majority of the profiles don’t even include faces, it’s a collection of buff guys where all the pictures are cropped below the neck and above the waist (Grindr doesn’t allow completely nude photos).
I used to have that same mindset as well: “I’m not going to find love on Grindr.” But in the summer of 2013, there was one person that struck my eye. Let’s call him Mr. Architect. He was holding a record of the XX in his profile. And unlike all the other profiles, his actually had a face. He was one of the brave ones.
I messaged first, and found out he worked nearby. That same night, we decided to meet-up at the Starbucks along dela Rosa St. in Makati. Call me crazy, but we really clicked.
I know I said I wouldn’t try to find love on Grindr, but there’s also that saying that The One will always be the exception to the rule. There was just something about seeing him in person, this really outstanding and decent guy. I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s not THAT hopeless.”
We went out for two weeks. We met for breakfast, kept hanging out, and it was an incredibly fun time. I seriously liked the guy.
And then, just as quickly as it started, it was over. He wasn’t looking for anything serious, and we had different expectations. If that seems abrupt and sudden, well that’s Grindr for you. Nothing screams casual sex quite like Grinder. The lesson? If you’re looking for something more serious, use Tinder instead.
Michael, 25, Ortigas
He seemed too good to be true — tall, engaging, cute, and most of all, an ex-member of a popular collegiate cheering squad. He liked sci-fi movies too! I was out of job then, so the high point of my day would be our little chats and phone conversations. We met up and decided we didn’t want to just hook up, so we started dating.
When I found a job and got drunk at an office party, he agreed to meet me and helped me sober up, even if he had to go meet his friends for another party. He was nice and he would always check on me. We finally went on a weekend trip to Laguna, and booked a place in this hotel with a nice lakeside view. I was glad I finally met someone for keeps on Grindr.
One day he just stopped texting. I sent him a text asking why, and he said he was afraid he was becoming too attached to me. I never heard from him again.