What is Grindr? Everything you need to know

Grindr has transformed the dating scene for queer men since it launched in 2009, and has become the most popular gay dating app in the world.

Grindr enables men to meet other men and boasts a relatively straightforward premise. If you’ve never used the app before, here’s everything you need to know.

Rather than the culture of dating and swiping promoted by Tinder, Grindr is traditionally more suited to sexual encounters and hook ups.

To say that is all Grindr is for, especially nine years in, is an oversimplification. In fact, Grindr’s own top boss says he found love on the dating app, so it is fair to say the app’s use is increasingly more diverse.

But for first-timers, here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Grindr.

Related: Grindr starts sending HIV test reminders to users

Downloading and using it

Grindr is a geo-located hook-up app for men to meet men, based on who’s closest to them.

When you’ve created an account, you can add one photo and a small bio about yourself – though this is typically saved for sexual preferences rather than information on your hobbies or your interests.

When looking at the app’s interface, you’ll see guys listed in order of proximity – you can turn off your location, but most guys leave theirs on.

It means it isn’t unusual for someone to be logged on within 100 metres of you, and often there’ll be tens of guys using the app within a few hundred metres.

The app entirely destigmatises the casual hook up. Almost all guys will cut to the chase, asking you what you’re into sexually straight away, rather than: “How was your weekend?”

Then users can share images and arrange to meet, should they both feel comfortable – it’s really important to meet in a public space first, to check the other guy presents in person the same way he presents online.

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