By Bobby Box
Hack may be a strong word, but there are ways to set up your Grindr or Scruff profiles to make real connections. Though they wouldn’t define themselves as such, apps like Grindr and Scruff – the former defines itself as “The world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people” – are very much sex apps. A misidentification courtesy of both its user base and the app itself.
For starters, the criteria used to search for users includes a specific list of sexual “positions”. Not to mention, the “tribes” selection has become recognized as a more sexual way to define yourself within the community, especially when used as a mode of search. As a result, many users showcase their physiques and choose to operate their profiles in a more sexual manner. This increases the sexual temperature when compared to other apps like OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder and so on. Additionally, many Grindr users have partners and/or are in open relationships, who are often looking for sex as opposed to an emotional connection. All of which begs the question: is anyone using Grindr or Scruff to date?
Looking For Mr. Right’s Grindr/Scruff Profile
“I believe not everyone uses their Grindr or Scruff profiles solely for sex,” Scott Tsui, relationship coach, gay man, and author of The Gay Men Relationship Blueprint, tells RIDE. “There’s a spectrum. Some just want sex, others are looking for casual dates to occupy time, some seek friends with benefits and others are actively searching for something meaningful. It’s a numbers game.” When you consider the app hosts nearly four million users each day, even if a meager five percent of them are seeking relationships, that would amount to 200,000 individuals. Which, by any stretch, is not too shabby.
Tsui suggests there are more users seeking a lasting romance than you might suspect. He notes that many who are looking for something serious tend to mark multiple “looking for” boxes, which objectively makes romance seem like it’s not all that important. “The thinking is that before Mr. Right shows up, they can still enjoy their sex adventures and have their fun,” Tsui says. “What they are not aware of is that they can easily get distracted even when Mr. Right shows up, especially when someone sexier approaches before an intimate connection has been established with the prior partner.”
“My partner, James, and I met on Grindr. Truthfully, it was supposed to be a one-time hook-up kind of thing. Five years later and we have built a beautiful life and strong relationship together. True love from an app like Grindr or Scruff is possible and sometimes you find “the one” when you are least expecting it.”
–Erik Vasquez, RIDE BodyWorx Marketing Director
Companionship Is Possible On Hookup Apps
Connecting with sexy men is a habit that, for many, is tough to break. And perhaps it’s the reason why more than three-quarters of men who use Grindr feel regret when they log off. “Relating to someone emotionally on a deeper level requires investing time and emotions,” Tsui asserts. “Users need to learn how to differentiate physical and emotional intimacy.”
I repeat, do not – let these shitty one-offs (like the douche who ghosted you, or the liar in the relationship told you he’s single) make you believe apps are a waste of time.Relationship coach, Scott Tsui
When looking for something more serious on Grindr, Tsui suggests you first adjust your perspective.
Listen, everybody’s had bad experiences on the apps. So do not – I repeat, do not – let these shitty one-offs (like the douche who ghosted you, or the liar in the relationship told you he’s single) make you believe apps are a waste of time. “All of these past experiences can easily discourage you,” Tsui shares. “You can only find someone if you believe it could happen. Don’t rule out the possibility.” Basically, you’re going to have to lower your expectations a tad, but project positivity: put that shit into the universe. That way you’re pleasantly surprised when the right guy does come around. Because he will.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re the victim, or otherwise believing something is wrong with you. This is natural if you’re experiencing a heavy rejection period. But it’s terrible; people will pick up on that energy real quick and it’s not cute. “Believe it’s just a matter of time. He’ll show up if you know how to use the app strategically,” Tsui mentions. “Be optimistic and stay happy. No one wants to date somebody who’s bitter and doesn’t know how to smile, laugh and have fun.”
Also damning: the idea that there’s always someone better out there. Let me tell you something: If you find a man who can connect with you emotionally, treat him special and foster what you have. Don’t let him get away under this illusion that something better is out there. If he’s great – great!
How To Set Up Your Grindr/Scruff Profile
Now, in terms of profile, you’re going to want to project a less sexual visage. “Have better quality photos that show your character instead of going bare-chested,” Tsui suggests. “Put some nice clothes on like a polo or collared shirt and, please, don’t use selfies. Instead, get your friends to take some good quality photos for you from a better angle.” And you know, show your face. People who don’t are often hiding much more than just their appearance.
If you’re looking for a boyfriend, you should be putting more effort into creating an appealing and detailed profile. That way, when a guy messages you asking something that’s already answered in your profile, you know he didn’t even bother to read it and probably isn’t looking for love. “Write about who you are and what you want. It’s ok to a be a little bit vulnerable and say ‘I am looking for something more special,’” Tsui advises. “It doesn’t make you sound desperate and will attract men who want the same thing.”
Another good idea is to share some major interests in your profile that may steer initial conversation (i.e. “I love board games” or “I’m all about sci-fi”). Finding someone with common interests and being able to speak to that topic will naturally veer into more amiable, less sexually charged territory. Plus, if they take the time to address your interests they’re putting in a lot more effort than sending a picture of an erection.
Don’t try to turn tricks into boyfriends.RELATIONSHIP COACH, SCOTT TSUI
Take Your Time To Find Meaningful Connections
As is traditional in dating, don’t give too much right away – physically. With an app like Grindr, you can usually gauge what they’re after by the way they talk or how they approach the conversation – “top or bottom?”, “free tonight” or a sudden image of his dick next to a Red Bull is usually evidence of someone who just wants sex.
Somebody who invests time into getting to know a person through text or, hell, sets up a date (even if it’s just a pre-sex activity) is far more promising. “The sex could be out of this world, but there’ll be a time you still need to get to know the person and that requires social and interpersonal skills to establish an emotional connection,” Tsui says. “Spend time to learn how to develop that special connection.”
Another thing: If a guy establishes that he doesn’t want a relationship, don’t try changing his mind. As Tsui puts it, “Don’t try to turn tricks into boyfriends.” It’s emotionally taxing and a complete waste of time. Similarly, if you’re looking for a relationship, don’t leave one trick for another trick. “Don’t get addicted to hookups just because it’s easy,” Tsui adds. “It’s a habit that is hard to break after you pair up with someone unless both of you have an open relationship.”
Hack Your Location On Grindr/Scruff Profile
Lastly, if you’re having no luck finding love on Grindr, it might simply be a matter of proximity, which Grindr and similar apps operate on. If you live in a city or town with few gay people, distance will definitely play a factor in whether or not you or the other person is capable or willing to relocate to be together. Moving to a more progressive city might not be the worst idea – though it’ll probably be super expensive.
Hacking your Grindr or Scruff profile to find love might seem like a long shot, but it happens! I know many married couples who met on the app. At the very least, look at it this way: the app gives you instant access to nearly every available gay man in the area; you have better chances at finding love if you’re on it than if you’re not.