UNCA students share experiences on Grindr

Addison Greene, [email protected], Arts & Features Writer

Students from UNC Asheville share their experiences and advice about the gay hookup/dating app Grindr. 

“Grindr is purely a hookup app for LGBTQ+ men. There are some women on there, but typically  men,” said D Thompson, a senior painting major at UNCA. 

Thompson said Tinder and Grindr have many similarities with only a small number of people looking for relationships. 

“I look for general conversation or a hookup every now and then, but I feel like most people  generally only look for sex,” he said.  

Thompson said he doesn’t use the app much nor do his friends, but it’s fun to check every  now and then. 

“Easy anonymity with the ability to text anyone on the app makes it easier for random hookups,” he said. 

Thompson said he hasn’t met anyone that is committed, but with easy accessibility on the app he  has seen those who are. 

“I have seen married men on the app. It is painfully common. I have seen people who are in  committed relationships or even married on the app who do not say they are open,” Thompson  said. 

Thompson said he advises people to be safe when using the app, to act cautiously and if you’re going to meet someone, meet them in public spaces. 

“People very easily go after a person who is visibly trans, or a straight person could go on there  as anonymous and meet up with someone, which could end badly,” Thompson said. 

“Grindr is a cesspool of toxic gay masculinity,” said Kelly Biers, assistant professor of French  and women, gender, and sexuality studies. 

Biers said toxic masculinity is prevalent on the app and there are many red flags to look out for. 

“Gay men are not immune from replicating hegemonic masculinity, they’re just often doing it in  queer ways. You have a lot of issues with respecting diversity of issues with masculinity. For  example, the ubiquitous ‘masc for masc’ types of accounts on the app,” Biers said.

Biers advises students who use the app to use precaution and take safety measures for their own  physical and emotional well being and reminds students that it is OK to block people. 

“It should be a venue where all sorts of masculinities can find each other,” Biers said. 

Kayne Green, a UNCA biology major said he used to use Grindr as a platform to talk to people online easier. 

“A lot of the profiles tended to be older men desperate for sex. Many of my interactions were  memorable for how bizarre they were,” Green said. 

Green said his experience on Grindr did improve his social skills and confidence in talking to  men. 

“It’s scary meeting with total strangers, especially for younger queer people, so please always  share your location with a friend and anything you know about the person you’re meeting to let  them know you’re safe,” Green said. 

Green said he no longer uses the app because of the large number of short term relationships on  the app as well as the stigma behind using it.