I met my fellow grinders in restaurants, in bars, in coffee shops, and on park benches; we had drinks in sunshine, tea at night.
There were the bland guys; the guys who made endless plans, then stood me up; the guys who met up with me just to see if I really was a reporter, then stared as if I were a penguin at the Central Park Zoo.
(You know who you are.) The whole thing was confusing, mainly because one's brain isn't built to process hundreds of stories in a few months. He strolled into the lobby and swiveled his head twice quickly. In the realm of i Dating, he's a bit of a rock star.
I have to say, it is genuinely unnerving to wake up in a Los Angeles hotel room at 3 A. and read that a man calling himself "Bear 4 U" is eleven feet away from you right now, when even the The first time I met Joel Simkhai, the 35-year-old founder of Grindr and Blendr, he had kindly offered to pick me up at my L. This place had a perfectly fine restaurant—why move? "I like things that are Get this image out of your head: that Simkhai is some kind of tech-geek recluse, spurred to create software in order to find make-believe friends who loved _Star Trek _as much as he did. At the NYC Pride pier dance, everyone seemed to know him, and he strode through the crowd turning heads; Grindr T-shirts, in their instantly recognizable taxicab yellow, mingled all around him. Simkhai was an isolated boy in Mamaroneck, New York, still halfheartedly dating girls when he started using Compu Serve's lone gay channel.
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 was honest, yet some men still treated me like a trespasser.
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.
So a whole dumb show would ensue, in which we silently gestured at each other across the café or bar—first quizzically, then in some weird, fake recognition, as if, oh, how we went back, such memories, and things like that. It's a mad ambition, and I had no idea if Blendr would work.
Then I would get to the point and ask him what in the hell this app really was. Is this the way straight men and women—especially straight women—want to meet and mate?
As any grinder knows, someone who doesn't supply even a fake or a ridiculously old pic is to be shunned at all costs.
And whoever hooks up with a guy who spends his 120 profile characters praising his own hunky looks or demanding "Whites only" gets what he deserves.