Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Confessions of a Grindr-holic

As we approach a new year, and people start making resolutions, I have a confession to make: I’m a Grindr-holic.

There, I’ve said it. (I’ve already broken the first rule of Grindr: don’t talk about Grindr.)

There are several reasons why I’m a Grindr-holic, and not all of them have to do with sex.

First of all, it’s a boredom-killer. What better way to kill time while you’re waiting for the subway (or on line at Whole Foods) than to scroll through a bunch of naked pics. Just make sure nobody’s looking over your shoulder or they may catch you looking at (or sending) a dick pic. (It might even be yours!)

I’ve even incorporated Grindr into what I call my “15 minutes of bullshit time.” That’s where I look at my phone for 15 minutes when I wake up in the morning (Grindr, email, Facebook, etc.) in order to postpone the inevitable moment when I actually have to get out of bed.

Then there’s the endorphin rush endemic to all forms of social media (in which I’d include Grindr). Having someone “tap” your profile on Grindr is like having someone “like” your post on Facebook. And just as meaningless.

That’s because with eight million residents and 60 million tourists a year in New York City, the illusion is that there’s always someone better. I’ve dubbed this phenomenon “There’s Always Someone Better Syndrome.”

Sometimes you just want some physical intimacy (especially after two years of Covid) and Grindr is the only way you can get it.

And sometimes you’re just (all together now!) bored.

Which leads me to some other rules about Grindr.

Rule Number 2. If you don’t hook up with someone immediately, it’s not happening. (And forget about making a “date.”) That’s because most gay men (OK, most men) have the attention span of a gnat. If there’s the slightest hesitation on your part, you’ll be blocked. And that’s another thing about Grindr (and other social media). Guys will say (and do) things to you on Grindr that they’ll never say (or do) to you “in real life.” That’s why I try to avoid guys under 30 (hell, guys under 50!). Because most of them haven’t had much experience with, you know, “real life.”

Rule Number 3. It’s rare to have sex with someone more than once (see “There’s Always Someone Better Syndrome”). It’s not even worth using Grindr’s “favorites” feature, because as soon as your hookup (or you) is out the door, you’ll never see each other again. That’s why I sometimes refer to Grindr as “oneanddone.com.”

The good thing about Grindr (if there is a good thing) is that it’s location-based and its GPS is fairly accurate, unlike Adam4Adam, which seems to consist mostly of closet cases, hustlers and, best of all, fake profiles. (There’s an awful lot of gay men in Cheney, Kansas! And they’re all “100 feet away”!)

The bad thing about it being location-based is that I seem to have “used up” all the gay men in my neighborhood. Now if I want to get laid, I have to move!

Either that or spring for “Grindr Xtra” (600 profiles, starting at $19.99 per month).

But as a famous comedian (OK, me) once said, why should I pay $19.99 per month when I can get rejected for free?

Maybe in 2022.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Anything But Joyous

Covid. Climate change. Republicans.

I took a walk to Rockefeller Center on my lunch hour yesterday and, in spite of it being less crowded than usual, I almost started crying. Why? Because this is supposed to be a joyous time of year and I was feeling anything but joyous.

As I write this, a new Covid variant, Omicron, is starting to spread across the United States. Several Broadway shows have had to cancel performances (after having only recently restarted them) and the Radio City Christmas show has canceled their performances for the rest of the year. (I don’t even like the Radio City Christmas show, but still!)

And this is after we’ve been through almost two years of shutdowns, having to wear masks, and having to get vaccinated (to say nothing of the 800,000 Americans who have died).

It seems like every time we think we’re finally about to be done with Covid it comes roaring back even worse than before.

So, if you feel like you’re going crazy, you’re not alone. Along with the Covid epidemic, there’s been an epidemic of people dealing with mental health issues.

Just last week, the New York Times published an article about a website that instructs people how to commit suicide. Shocking, yes, surprising, no. (For the record, I don’t want to commit suicide, but the fact that I even think it’s necessary to say that shows how low we’ve sunk.)

Also last week, a tornado tore through several states in the Midwest, causing death and destruction. This was almost surely another example of the disastrous effects of climate change. Yet whenever Congress tries to pass a bill that deals with it, Republicans (and Democrat-in-name-only Joe Manchin) invariably vote against it. (President Biden’s infrastructure bill was a rare exception, but at this point it’s probably too little too late.)

Gun violence continues to wreak havoc on this country. In just the most recent example, two parents bought their child a gun for Christmas (who does that?!) and he then turned around and killed several of his classmates with it. And yet we can’t even pass a federal law that makes the parents of minors keep such weapons locked up, let alone renew the assault weapons ban.

Finally, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the Capitol Riot, Donald Trump and his allies seem likely to run out the clock (once again) and escape any accountability for trying to overturn the election results and promoting the Big Lie that the election was “stolen” (which the Associated Press just proved yet again has no basis in fact whatsoever).

Republicans have also been gerrymandering Congressional districts, restricting voting rights and installing political appointees to oversee elections in order to ensure Republican control of our government indefinitely, regardless of election results.

Democrats better start taking this threat to our democracy seriously RIGHT NOW or this will be the last Christmas we have one!

So forgive me if I’m feeling less than celebratory. But something tells me I have lots of company this year.