I received about 50 responses (including propositions).It’s a small sample size, but enough to give us some clues about how Grindr is affecting gay men. The most common reason users gave for going on the app is that sex feels great and Grindr makes it accessible, right at your fingertips. With a few clicks, there’s a possibility of meeting a sexual partner within the hour.Today in Boston, two men can walk down the street holding hands without consequence.
I can filter them by body type, sexual position (top, bottom, or versatile), and HIV status.
Since there’s little published research on the men using Grindr, I decided to conduct an informal survey and ask men why they’re on the app so much and how it’s affecting their relationships and mental health.
I created a profile identifying myself as a medical writer looking to talk to men about their experiences.
The phrase “addiction” continues to be controversial when it comes to sex and technology, But as John Pachankis, an LGBTQ mental health expert at the Yale School of Public Health, described the impact of Grindr to me: “I don’t know if it’s an ‘addiction,’ but I know it causes a lot of distress.” For now, it’s hard to know just how many Grindr users feel their use of the app is problematic.
Early research on app use and health has focused only on sexually transmitted infections, for instance, rates of HIV among Grindr users, using Grindr to get people tested for STIs, etc.