I appreciate your point of view, but it does strike me as being a bit condescending and judgmental. And you seem to have made a lot of inaccurate assumptions about me. I am 49 years old (which is pretty clear to those who read the article and do the math), so I am well aware of what gay life was like before “modern” technology. Also, I have never suggested a coffee date on Grindr or anywhere else. I don’t even drink coffee!

And Grindr is NOT just a hook-up app. It’s whatever you want it to be. I have many friends who have met their partners on Grindr, and I have met many lovely guys on Grindr who are not interested purely in sex, and even if they are, they pursue it respectfully.

Do you think this stuff only happens on Grindr anyway? Do you think that if I never again use Grindr or any other app that the shaming would suddenly stop — or that it began with Grindr? Do you think “Top or bottom?” only matters to guys on Grindr, or that guys off Grindr will be totally cool with “No anal”? Unfortunately, I’ve been shamed by guys I’ve met online AND off, and it happened well before Grindr even existed. The guys I refer to in the second paragraph are not guys with whom I’m having virtual sex — we are face to face, body to body — and they’re not all guys I meet online. The guy I refer to in the third paragraph was a guy I met offline in 1991!

I use Grindr examples because they tend to be more colorful (as you astutely pointed out, guys do tend to write things there they would never necessarily say in person — though what they write on Grindr reflects who they are just as much as what they don’t say in person), but just like racism and fat shaming and age shaming and shaming because someone isn’t masculine enough, it happens with guys you meet everywhere. This stuff did not begin with apps, but the apps make it easier to pinpoint and call out.

Grindr is a fact of gay life now, and this is how many, if not most, gay men meet these days. What’s wrong with that? You can still lead a full life off Grindr while meeting guys almost exclusively on it. It’s like telling someone who writes an article about social media bullying to get off social media then. It’s like telling a woman who complains about being harassed by guys in bars to stay home. Well, yes, that’s an obvious solution, but not really a practical one. And it won’t protect me or anyone else from assholes and shaming. Just because I use Grindr examples when writing about my experiences doesn’t mean I don’t have experiences outside of Grindr.

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting, even if I don’t agree with everything you’ve said.

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Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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