The man’s thumbnail photo had that granular quality that led me to believe it had been taken 15 years ago.
Sure enough, he looked far older in person than he did on his profile, where his jaw was still chiseled, his hairline His apartment was ridiculously lush, a lower Fifth Avenue penthouse teeming with money and power and plastered in fancy art.
We pass around a joint, conversing every few minutes about a message we’ve received (“this guy’s hot”; “come look at this fairy”; “this fucking asshole just stopped responding”), either from a handsome prospect who lives a few floors down or the silver fox who’s 836 feet away, but the night ends as it started, with four single, fledgling gay millennials, supine and slightlystoned.
In places like New York City, sex, or the prospect of it, is laughably easy to procure thanks to Grindr, which launched in 2009, when my friends and I were closeted 14-year-olds, going to high school in provincial suburban towns, watching our straight classmates dip their toes into the world of promiscuity as we hunkered down and studied, sexless.
It’s a bit like Seamless — rendering a hookup, or, if you’re looking for them, drugs, as readily available as a carton of General Tso’s and as stringently transactional, too.
I downloaded the app a few weeks into my freshman year in New York City, and it became — as it has for many gay millennial men — my first introduction to sex, a digitized But it’s certainly a far cry from what I was expecting.
Even my height, which is really five-foot-seven, is listed as five-foot-nine.
In Grindr’s marriage of the high tech and the primordial, its relentless focus on ease, it can seem almost too transactional, too watered down.
“I wonder if this makes me some sort of monster, but I think many people use Grindr that way, to scratch a passingitch.” But Ethan, on some level, is a romantic.
“I’m always complaining about how hard it is to meet people — in the Grindr era, we are far less likely to have a nice, little meet-cute like in the movies,” Ethan tells me.
bed, each of us on our i Phones, silently scrolling through Grindr and assessing the abs and buttocks of Union Square’s proximal gay men.
Having come of age in a swipe-right-or-swipe-left culture in which a willing-and-able hookup seems like it’s always just steps away (if your location services are turned on) — maybe as close as the dorm room a few floors down, or the co-op across the street, or in line for Quiznos in the dining hall — my generation, the smartphone cognoscenti, has this technology down to a T.