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3 August 2011, 4:00 pm 9 Comments

Commentary: The Five Kinds Of People You Will Meet On Grindr

Crossposted with permission from Thought Catalog’s Zach Stafford.

I spend a lot of time on Grindr – not for recreational uses, but for more scholarly pursuits. Through my research online in many gay digital spaces, I have noticed trends in the ways that gay men are presenting themselves online and how their online identities are operating through many mediums, Grindr being my favorite. Though there will of course be people that do not fit into the 5 boxes listed below, I am sure if you open up your Grindr, you will be able to spot the Five People You Will Meet. Think of this like a crossword puzzle, but more interactive.

Mr. Abdomen

Mr. Abdomen is the Abercrombie and Fitch of the digital world that is Grindr. His body is chiseled and he is usually found taking pictures of himself after:

  1. Showering
  2. Working Out
  3. Showering after working out

Mr. Abdomen will not show you a face pic initially – that takes time, time that is filled with lots of vapid two-worded conversations like “hey bud” and through sharing pics of one another’s genitals, or assumed genitals (Tip: To help figure out if your Mr. Abdomen is showing you his “real” genitals do a comparison of belly-buttons, that usually can help you figure out if this is actually Mr. Abdomen’s genitals or not.) His About Me area is most commonly filled with a desire for “masc” men who are fit, but wait until 3am when Mr. Abdomen is coming home from his chosen late night entertainment…that will change and you too will have your chance with the faceless Adonis who will be “bored” or “chilling” in bed. But remember, there may be reasons beyond discretion that Mr. Abdomen doesn’t show his face – be cautious.

The Traveler

The Traveler just so happens to always be visiting that day and is in dire need of meeting up because he’s lonely or needs someone to show him the city, (sidenote: lonely is another code word for “let’s get naked.”) His About Me section will always say “Visiting from (insert major city in which I’m probably not from here)” and his profile picture will be of him doing something very exciting like boating, cooking, or standing on a beach, in order to prove his transitory problems. The Traveler, due to being a digital gypsy of sorts, has a high probability of being closeted and married with children. Be advised that The Traveler is many of the times the most persistent in communication and will walk the line of cyber-stalker and friendly very uncomfortably until you press that red-X button named block. Press it… you will forget about Mr. Visiting from Springfield soon enough.

The Bust

Arguably the most popular Grindr person you will meet is The Bust. He gets his name from using head and shoulder focused pictures as his profile picture. The Bust makes up a few different personality types: The Liar Bust, The Flasher Bust (penis pic on first message), The LTR Bust, The Stalker Bust, and The Bust in Sunglasses. The Bust is the person that doesn’t feel comfortable showing his full body on the first glance of his profile, and instead uses his facial features to draw you in to start a conversation filled with various salutations ranging from: “hi, hey, sup?” and “looking?” The Bust is the most flexible of the people you will meet on Grindr, and will sometimes change personas in regards to time of day, location, and levels of sexual frustration, maybe even changing into Mr. Abdomen for a few hours late at night.

The No Face

The No Face is comparable to the creepy Homeless Man that is always hassling you to buy some obscure object while he stares at your body as if you are a piece of meat. The No Face will usually start his messages with a compliment that feels like you were just cast in the upcoming production Showgirls 2, and his messages calling you “hot”, “sexy”, or just flat out saying “dayum” bounce off of you and for some reason make you feel worse about yourself. The No Face will never ever, ever, ever send you a pic due to various reasons such as: he has an iTouch, doesn’t have camera accessibility, camera is broken, or he needs to be very discreet. The No Face will also rarely have any information listed and don’t be surprised if he opens his first message to you with the intersection in which he is located and a dollar amount, which we can all assume is how much he will pay for “hanging out”.

Your Boss

Yes…that’s him, stop pulling up your works Photo Directory and comparing this Grindr picture of him shirtless to the picture of him in a suit on your companies website. Take a breath…take a screenshot…then decide whether to send a friendly “hello” his way or block and pray to God he didn’t see your profile picture with you shirtless in the office bathroom. Your Boss is one of those Grindr profiles that gets you incredibly excited as if you just hit the lotto, or terribly scared, because now he can favorite you and see if you are cruising Grindr during business hours, which will lead to a very uncomfortable meeting in his office.

Be careful, be cautious, and make sure you don’t circulate that photo on an office computer – you could get fired for looking at “pornographic” images while on the clock.

***Note: Boss can be co-worker, it works both ways.


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  • Josh said:

    You forgot one category:

    Annoying author
    Douchebag who feels the need to begin blog post revealing his extensive Grindr experience with the following disclaimer: “I spend a lot of time on Grindr, not for recreational uses, but for more scholarly pursuits.”

  • Geo said:

    I agree with Josh.

  • Zach Stafford said:

    Thanks for your comment! I did that disclaimer because I actually do “academic” research within the field of geography and cyber-cultural studies. This little list was born out of my thesis, thus I put that little disclaimer not so much to promote some sort of shame you are accusing me of having, but instead to promote the new field of cyber-cultural ethonographic research. So, yes – if I am a douchebag, I thank you for the compliment

  • Duke said:

    I have to speak up for The Bust. Given that teeny little space for your photo, I always felt like you have to zoom in on the face in order to tell if the person is attractive or not. I’m not gonna hurl compliments at someone 50 feet away in a bar before I get a closer look at them, so why would I talk to a body whose head is about 2 milimeters high on my screen?

  • James said:

    Fuck Josh, this was cool and funny.

  • brad said:

    another bust here. I personally am into the face, if the body is hot and face is not, well then I’m not interested. so i show my face first, usually a mid chest up. If a person asks i send a waist up/full body, and a few face pics if we continue talking.

    you also forgot the “Glamor shot” the person who has one pic up, or sends a few but all from the same angle and all in similar lighting. This is the same guy who’s friends say “oh you look great in that pic” to so they use those. only to not look anything like that in person.

    also the “here for chat/friends” but never respond to a message guy. This person says he is looking for friends, clicked the box. But in reality is only looking to fuck, but feels the need to click the friends box to dull the whore/slut vibe if others see him online. He could also be the “not into hookups(unless youre hot)” guy.

  • Dave said:

    my fav is a combo of the bust + mr. abdomen :P
    I mean, if you’ve got a rocking adonis body to share with the world, why not show your face too? you’d do the same thing at the pool or beach anyways… and believe me, we all appreciate you for it!

    then again, if your strong suit comes from your other attributes, by all means you should lead with those too..

  • 26 tweets | Joe Perez - Blogging Awareness said:

    [...] hasn’t used #Grindr, but the New Gay tells me what to expect when I some day check it out.bit.ly/qEwlq7 18 hours [...]

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