How do gay men navigate the endless choice of Grindr, Hornet, Tinder, Scruff and other online dating apps? How do we avoiding turn into mindless shagging zombies? This blog is designed to start a conversation to begin to look at how we can change the app culture and build relationships that are fulfilling and create a sense of community.
As you’re getting ready to leave his house, you don’t say
much. You just put your clothes on and collect your belongings.He hasn’t suggested meeting again, so you
don’t either – why risk getting rejected?As he closes the door behind you, you walk away feeling slightly
dejected.In theory, you won.The Grindr gods smiled on you. You just
hooked up with a hot guy, but as you walk away alone, that ache in your heart
begins to resurface.
You ask yourself “What was that about? Why did I do that?”
The endorphins that were running through your veins moments ago are quickly
dissipating; they’re replaced by an ever-growing gnawing feeling of
emptiness.Small voices of anxiety
become a din, as you realize you’re no better off than an hour ago.
You try to argue with the voices “I just got a super hot
notch on my belt.”But the empty feeling
is still there; you can’t rationalize it away as you walk alone down the street
in the middle of the night.
You open your phone, hoping it provides you with a
distraction.The guy hasn’t texted, and
you’re too afraid to text him, because it would make you look desperate.And then you see it – the app that got you
there in the first place.That yellow
mask with the black background – or is it a skull? Should you open it?“If the guy sees me online, he’ll think I’m a
slut,” you tell yourself. But then you realize that if he’s not interested in
seeing you again, you might as well find someone who is.You press the button and log on, this time,
hoping that someone who can help you make the incessant void feeling go away –
maybe a hot guy who can appreciate your heart as well as your junk.
No such prince charming has presented himself, but someone
did send you a cock pic.“Hey, at least
it’s a big distraction,” you say to
If the above passage resonates with you, you may be a
mindless shag zombie and not even know it.A mindless shag zombie is the type of guy who just roams the app-sphere
looking for new flesh to consume.They’re
not open to a committed relationship – or they’re certainly not willing to
expend any effort or take any risks.At
one point, this zombie was alive and in love, but he got hurt.Terribly.And so he vowed to do anything and everything to avoid getting hurt
again, but all he did was just make himself hopelessly cynical and emotionally
unavailable.This is what I call the
vicious cycle of sluttiness and cynicism, which leads to an emotional death of
In constantly trying to stay safe, all that’s left is
chasing after the hottest photo you can obtain with minimal effort.But each time you hook up, your feeling of
validation feels less of an achievement and more of simply going through the
motions – literally.And after a while,
that’s all you have: empty motions, which now serve to exacerbate your negative
Now I’m not saying that you can’t be sexually
liberated.Sex is a natural part of
life. But all too often, these apps create a structure whereby our community
only caters to its basest instincts with no emotional connection or personal
growth. Some people want relationships;
others don’t, but everyone feels trapped.And that’s why I wrote Grindr
Survivr: How to Find Happiness in the Age of Hookup Apps.
It’s easy to point the finger at the mean, nasty gays on
these apps, but if we’re truly going to make these apps safer spaces for our
community, you’ve got to start with yourself first. Yes, I’m aware that numerous
gay guys have wronged you in the past, but you’re ultimately responsible for
not becoming an emotional zombie.The
fact is, several amazing guys probably presented themselves, but you were too
emotionally incognizant to appreciate them.
While you can’t control every hot asshole out in cyber
space, you can do some soul searching and stop lying to yourself (and to
others) when it comes to identifying what you’re committed to having in your
life (whether it’s a relationship or not).You can get new insights into how you might be sabotaging your love
life, and you can live by a higher moral code than what you’ve been doing
previously, not to be self-righteous, but because it’s far more empowering than
doing the same empty motions again and again.You’ve done that ad nauseam, so it’s time to deal with the empty
feelings rather than just distract them.As Michelle Visage always says
“Getting filled and being fulfilled are two totally different things.”
Andrew Londyn is a lawyer, PR Consultant, and author of Grindr Surivr:
How to Find Happiness in the Age of Hookup Apps.He can be reached at @grindrsurvivr
So my book Grindr Survivr: How to Find Happiness in the Age of Hookup Apps is now available on paperback. It's available in North America and Europe. A lot of people told me that they just don't have a Kindle e-reader and they don't want to read a book like this on an iPhone or iPad, which is understandable. So hopefully, this edition will help reach a much wider audience.
It looks good on a coffee table, if I do say so myself. It's certainly a neat conversation starter. But hopefully, it's a fun, easy read that will help empower you while navigate the world of online dating on Grindr and Tinder.
It's available on Amazon in the US and throughout Europe. The links are the same as before:
(Sorry... Australia, but I have no idea on how to get physical books down there. One Ozzie said he ordered it off of eBay for $25 AUD. My book is great, and I think it will definitely provide more than $25 worth of value, but that is a lot of money for the book, so I discounted the eBook in Australia for the next month or two.)
So I wrote this blog post, urging RuPaul Charles to run for the US Senate in California next year. I never dreamed that anyone would want it: it's alternative, gay and many might view it as absurd. But Noah Michelson, Editor of Huffington Post's Queer Voices, liked the post and very graciously allowed me to become a Huffington Post Contributor. I'm so incredibly grateful for Mr. Michelson for giving me this amazing opportunity.
This book is an amalgamation of my 10 Grindr Commandments, and it also includes a detailed analysis of how Grindr is impacting and transforming the gay community and app users. It also includes tips and recommendations for first dates.
For the life of me, I don't know why Amazon has classified this book under "fitness and dieting"... I'm trying to tweak the description and the settings to get it placed into the dating/romance category, but there are always bumps in the road.
To celebrate the book's release, I'm selling the book for $2.99 (£2.49), which is the lowest price Amazon will allow you to sell an eBook. The price will be going up to $4.99 in a few weeks, and then $6.99 a few weeks after that, so feel free to buy the book now. Grindr Survivr is 235 pages, so it's a real book! Maybe that's even a tad long, but don't worry, there are photos. I really wanted to delve into the issues of what's stopping Grindr users from finding relationships or making meaningful connections. And I didn't want readers saying "Good book, but he didn't tell me how to get [fill in the blank]."
I am actively exploring getting a paperback version published, but that will take another 3-5 weeks. But given the realities of self-publishing and printing, I'm estimating that the physical book will be around $14.95. So the ebook is definitely cheaper.
The book description is here:
What would Grindr be like if it wasn’t populated with jerks who weren’t completely motivated by base instincts? Would that be worth reading a book for? This book sets out to do just that. For far too long, gay men moan and complain about Grindr and other gay dating apps, and yet they feel powerless to do anything about it. Grindr and "app culture" have radically transformed how members of the gay community interact with each other, and while finding “dates” has become easier, it seems as if finding anything of substance has become near impossible.
Well, it’s time to stop complaining and do something about it. Grindr Survivr is designed to give readers a guide on how to find happiness in the new age of dating apps. This book gives readers a thorough understanding of how Grindr is changing the gay scene, and by extension, how such apps have changed each of us as individuals. Often, we aren’t even aware of how deeply we’ve been changed by these apps, but we can’t expect a different result until we look at ourselves, our community, our behavior patterns and resolve to transform all of them. Grindr Survivr is divided into three parts. The first part discusses exactly why and how Grindr has changed the gay community, and how such apps make us both super picky and very cynical.
The second part, which is probably the most important, discusses the “Gay Commandments” that every gay man should live by if he wants to find relationships of substance (or even merely stop suffering and worrying about what happens online). The Gay Commandments aren’t preachy at all, but rather they are a call to interject a moral baseline into online behavior – but all the while the author gives honest and humorous anecdotes from his own personal dating experience. He’s not afraid to reveal his own failings in order to help readers learn from his mistakes. The Gay Commandments also include numerous “action points” that are designed to empower you to take new and different actions that will give you new results (rather than just stating an overwhelming problem and not giving you anything to do about it). Readers will laugh and see themselves in the author’s unique and wry perspectives on gay dating.
The final part of the book contains basic tips, guidelines and recommendations for online behavior and first dates. It contains help in spotting fake profiles and contains a veritable list of do’s and don’t’s for early dating. It’s what you might expect in a regular dating book, but in Grindr Survivr, it’s merely the third part of three.
Whether people want to admit it or not, dating apps are here to stay. They are changing everyone who uses them, so it’s time for a group of committed individuals band together and decide to push for new conversations and ways of behaving that will dramatically alter how the gay men interact with each other. There aren’t enough thought leaders out there pushing to transform how people treat each other on apps, and so this book is designed to help users start a dialog to change this, while empowering them to take new actions that make them more content and satisfied with their online dating experiences.
So for some time, I had wondered whether my blog postings might form the basis of a book. I have no idea if people were enjoying my blog posts or whether they were making a difference. But nevertheless, I want to do more writing, so I took the plunge, and I carved out a significant amount of time to expand on all of my posts, and I've completed a rough draft of my book on Grindr and online dating.
I added a lot of new insights in the hopes that people really see where I'm coming from and that people will see themselves more in my own writings and experiences. I also added a lot of techniques and exercises for readers to do at home. That way people can actually grow from the book rather than just read it, agree with it, and then put it down and have nothing change for their lives. I want all of my readers to get value out of the book, but that requires saying things that prompt readers to try new things.
I hope to have the eBook on Amazon by the end of March or the beginning of April. I'm still undecided about whether to pay to get the book printed in paper back. So I may wait to see how the eBook fares before paying to get the book printed. But it's all happening. I'm even working on a cover...
The sub-title may change somewhat, but the main title will probably stay the same. Also, since I want to keep some of my key insights and advice exclusive to the book, I've taken down about half of my posts on here. I've left enough for outsiders can get a sample of my writing style, and they can see what's in the book. But I promise that I will keep the book reasonably priced and affordable. I appreciate everyone who's supported me in this endeavor.