It was a revelation: "I could In June 2008, when Apple unveiled the i Phone 3G, it blew the mind of every techie in this country.The app store meant that there was suddenly a new industry out there—a thousand new industries." (I spelled it all out, eschewing the "R U," because, you know, being said!—would often die in a quick and merciful way, but many Chats ended with an agreed-to meeting place, which was unusually convenient for both of us since, by the very nature of this whole game, we lived within a block of each other.To be a grinder, unlike with or e Harmony or Ok Cupid or any of the other doddering old i Date sites, you need register no name, no password—not even a screen name.Those other sites are proud of asking for massive detail.My deep misunderstanding of Chat was that it was meant to be witty, an actual conversation. Over the months, I learned the mysteries of this strange realm: its customs, its argot, and its social hierarchies.
I knew to expect only one thing when our dot and pushpin met: that the guy wouldn't look much like his tiny picture. But the Grindr team, in September, was launching a new app, Blendr—which was not just for gay guys but for Everybody.
Another took the time to text just one remark: "My bf will beat the shit out of me if he knows I'm talking to you." Which I found refreshingly concise, if vaguely unnecessary.
Others offered interviews in exchange for a quaint variety of carnal favors, which I graciously declined, as far as you know.
I was honest, yet some men still treated me like a trespasser.
One guy spent a pleasant half hour at a restaurant regaling me with stories—then, learning I wasn't gay, very politely stood, silently folded his cloth napkin, and exited the building.
Together the sex-crazed and lonely hearts and the rest were building a digital neighborhood on top of their physical one.