I Am Done With Gay Dating Apps

Unless I am trapped in some god forsaken town without a gay bar, I’m done with online dating/hook-up apps. I hereby swear them off for good.

I’m done with Grindr and Okcupid and Squirt and Scruff and Tinder and Thrinder and JDate and Feeld and Bro and Match.com, and I would be done with eHarmony too if they didn’t think my sexual orientation was a choice.

I am done with profiles designed to show curated trappings of us at our self-selected best. People are messy, and I’m more attracted to the bumps on the seismographic of someone’s personality than the smooth first impressions they try to make.

These apps force me to boil down my wicked, joyful, mischievous self into a series of texts sent into an app with a masked orange demon as the icon. There is no way this can compare to the exchange of physical, emotional, sexual, and social information gleaned from conversation with a person at a bar or even just from dancing into their orbit at a club.

I want to encourage you to meet people in the real world. If you’re nervous to approach a stranger at a bar, please know: it is very easy to say hello to a stranger. There is no way to fuck it up, really. You can ask an intriguing person a question (any question), you can ask to bum a cigarette, you can compliment an attractive feature or an article of clothing. It doesn’t matter what you say — the point of first contact is just to test chemistry and ascertain: is there mutual attraction here? If so, then you’ve just cut straight through what would have cost you ten minutes of online chatter to get to something hot and real. You are seeing who this person really is and not the person they want you see from afar. And, if there’s no chemistry, no worries — don’t take it personally and move on to the next person you make eye contact with at the bar.

It is infinitely easier than sending texts into a virtual dead zone where people can turn off and ignore you at the first distraction. At least in the real world, you know pretty quickly when someone isn’t interested.

I love the feeling of zipping around bars, meeting fascinating people, and sharing my own fascinating life with them. I love hearing their stories and talking in complete sentences.

I hate messaging snapshots to show I have an interesting life. Look at all the fun I have! Look, it’s me surrounded by a racially diverse gaggle of friends all toasting to some scintillating social event I slotted into my very busy calendar! Look, it’s me posing on a rock on the beach, waves crashing in the background, aping Ariel’s look from The Little Mermaid. Look, here’s an outdated bro-y pic of me skiing on Colardo ski slopes from my college ski trip that I am still sharing at age 31! Look, it’s my half naked torso, shot at 45 degrees in the mirror, gut sucked in to minimize my stomach fat and maximize my body dysmorphia!

Compare that to the first time you make a new moment with a stranger. Your first dance with someone, matching their rhythms and molding your groove to theirs. The first time you buy someone you think is cute a drink, or when that happens to you. Seeing someone genuinely laugh for the first time at a quip or a joke.

I don’t know how many times I have obligatorily typed the word “lol” (while stony-faced) into some inane, unearned dialogue just to further the online conversation. Even worse: typing ROFL. Who decided “rolling on the floor laughing” was the best acronym for expressing your amusement, anyway?

I get no pleasure from messaging a million boys the word “Howdy” (“howdy being my more ‘unique’ way of greeting someone, as opposed to saying “hey”).

I hate beginning a conversation with my A/S/L.

I’m done with guys asking me to send a dick pic in order to meet in the flesh. Part of sexual attraction is about leaving a little to the imagination anyway, right? It feels sick to carry around digital proof of my anatomy. I try to make excuses to not send them in chats. I lie, “Oh, sorry, I’m messaging on a company phone and can’t store anything like that!” Despite the fact I’ve never worked a day in my life for any business that has enough working capital to provide company cell phones. The truth is: I don’t like measuring up via my member. My personality face-to-face is a millions times the size of my cock.

(Not to mention, a gay friend of mine recently gifted his iPhone to his daughter, and he didn’t wipe the contents properly. Now, he’s being sued by his ex-wife for the dick pics she found on it and for the crime of showing lewd content to a minor. Moral: Do not store dick pics, ever, on your phone…and for God’s sake, do a complete wipe before giving your phone to anyone!)

I am done with it all.

The only thing I will miss about using online apps is discovering insane profiles, which I screenshot for all time:

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The Man Who Got Away

Use these online apps by all means if you wish, but I’ll see you at the bar.

Performer, storyteller, teacher - living in NYC and traveling worldwide (www.philipmarkle.com). Artistic Director of The Brooklyn Comedy Collective.

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