The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…like, say, going on Grindr until your thumbs are sore. I haven’t loathed something so deeply since the movie Burlesque, but just like Pavlov’s Dog I’m on Grindr for days at time, searching, hoping and wanting to be wanted. I love travelling with Grindr, popping up as the fresh face in a new city and watching my inbox light up like a Christmas tree.
That pic at the top is from a trip to Ottawa. 24 messages in less than an hour (and that number climbed threefold by the next morning), every one of them from a man that seemed to be tinged with racism or deep in the throes of addiction or painfully socially awkward or waaaay too horny for his own good. Now obviously, mine own horniness was also a factor, but call me old-fashioned: a “hello” before I see your open asshole goes a long way with me.
I know the sensible question is “Why stay on Grindr if it’s a negative experience? If the people are scaring you, find another app!” So I stepped on over to another app, where this happened:
Lather, rinse, repeat, across several platforms. Across several years. At what point do you admit to yourself that what you are doing is the definition of insanity? Or at least terribly, terribly unhealthy?
Last year, I danced in lemontree Creations’ powerful show msm [men seeking men] as the physical embodiment of the online dating rituals so familiar to every gay, and the end result of going though my anger, annoyance, frustration every night on stage ended with me deleting the dating apps on my phone, swearing them off for good. That lasted for less than a month before I caved and caved hard…in one day, I added back Grindr, Scruff, Jack’d, Hornet, Tinder, along with the mobile versions of Adam4Adam, Manhunt, and Dudesnude. My phone was never out of my hand, and I was profoundly disappointed when it buzzed in my hand, only to bring me work-related information or a facebook like.
I desperately wanted a boyfriend or a casual date or a hook up or frankly anything at all that would make me wanted. That intense need to matter to someone, even if it was just for the length of an orgasm was eventually what snapped me out of the pattern.
Worse than being un-attractive, worse than being out of vogue, worse than any other sin one could have on these apps is neediness. The whiff (or in some people’s cases, stench) of desperation repels faster than anything else in the world; just like the guys I ran screaming from before, I was now the one who wanted something so much it was scary.
The apps no longer run my life, but I still like them, to be honest. They’re like reading the newspaper on sunday morning…fun and light comics on page 6, then you stumble upon charred smoky wreckage when you turn the page.