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Grindrphiles: Griffo!

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Grindr Team

The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Outrage DC.

“Bounce,” Kelis demands as I step into the elevator. The doors start to close as the beat drops, and I break out into a full-on dance party. I whip my hair a couple of times before I realize the elevator hasn’t moved. I turn around and see a woman staring at me, mouth open. Crap. My face promptly turns scarlet-red as I repeatedly hit the ground-floor button.

This week’s interview, Griffo! (yes, exclamation point included) gets to our appointed meetup spot, Public Bar, right on time, but I’m already two beers deep. We order another round and chit-chat for a bit to break the ice. Our beers arrive and we delve straight into the interview.

Alexander: Alright, let’s start on a somewhat somber note. Upon your death, what would you like to be most remembered for?

Griffo!: Oh, this is easy. I want to write a book. I want to write a great feminist novel, actually, that talks about gender and race really commingled. I kind of have the idea for it already. I want the book to make a statement about how difficult it is to be a young woman transitioning into college age. That’s really what I want to be remembered for, being a big advocate for women and people of different races.

Alexander: Noble. I like that! Now, onto lesser aspirations. What song are you embarrassed to admit that you love?

Griffo!: “Government Hooker” by Lady Gaga. It’s dirty as sin, but I just love it. One time I was singing it in my office, and right at the part where she says, “Put your hands on me, J.F. Kennedy,” the cleaning lady totally caught me in the act. She gasped with a shocked face. I love telling that story.

Alexander: Funny, I just did the same thing today, except on an elevator. If you were drunk, who’s choreography would you emulate?

Griffo!: [Laughs] Oh, Lord. I guess there’s a lot of head movement, so I would have to say Willow Smith. [Starts blushing and laughing even more] That’s not a good question for me. It’s just the first thing that came to my mind, and it’s true.

Alexander: That’s kind of amazing. I would love to see you do the “Willow Smith.” What about dates? What’s a non-obvious end to a first date?

Griffo!: A guy actually taking notice of some really great traits about you that he’s picked up but you haven’t necessarily told him -- just through things you’ve inferred or things that they’ve learned about you and have just put the pieces together. Things that they’ve really thought through, and they deliver you that great line at the end. I think that’s great. That tells me so much more about someone than any fact finder that we might be on in the middle of the date.

Alexander: What if you’re actually attracted to the guy? What is something you can't live without?

Griffo!: They have to be intellectually curious or passionate about something. It could even be a hobby or simple curiosity. If you don’t have any kind of spark that leads you in a direction of some sort, I can’t take you seriously.

Alexander: What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said about you?

Griffo!: My best friend, Cassandra, and I were on a phone call after a couple glasses of wine, and I’ll never forget what she said. She said, “You really care about bettering educational opportunities for people. A lot of people choose fundraising as a career move, but you’re actually trying to provide opportunities because you almost didn’t have the opportunity to go to school at all.”  (My parents stopped supporting me after I came out.)  That’s definitely one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me because it’s the truth, and it’s nice to be recognized for it every once in awhile.

Alexander: What about the worst thing anyone ever said about you?

Griffo!: The worst thing that was ever said to me was in Rehoboth (Delaware) on Memorial Day this year. It’s not truly the worst thing anybody has ever said to me, but it is the one that’s fresh on my mind right now. A friend of mine and I were fighting over a guy. My friend is sort of buff, and I told him that this particular guy seemed more into twinks. My friend shot back, “You don’t even qualify as a twink. Hit the gym so you can stop looking like you have the body of a 12-year-old girl.” I took my 20-ounce tumbler and told him to cool off as I dumped it on his head. True story. And he’ll probably read this.

Alexander: Now, with the interview coming to a close, is there anything you’ve been dying to confess?

Griffo!: I’m a really nice person, but I’m not interested in being a really nice person to everybody. I have people I immediately warm to, but I don’t necessarily believe that I have to be that person to everyone. When you meet me out in public and I’m being a bit of a c*nt, it’s because sometimes people rub me the wrong way, and I think that that’s OK. I just can’t be nice to everyone.

Alexander: That’s pretty much exactly what your Grindr profile said. Perfect.

***

We finish our beers and I throw myself onto the Metro. I walk into the lobby of my apartment building and think, “Damn, someone’s having a rager tonight!” No sooner than I turn the key in the lock do I realize that actually we are having a party. Upon my entrance into the living room, I'm greeted by a gaggle of gays. Guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Outrage DC.


Seven Free Xtra Days

Posted on July 27, 2012 by Grindr Team

A special message to our Grindr Xtra guys: We really appreciate your business, and we want to keep you guys happy. We also want you to know how sorry we are about the service delays that took place last week.

So for the last week, our tech team has been working diligently to appropriately compensate you for the inconvenience. We're pleased to announce that we've now officially added an additional seven free days to your current Xtra subscription.

If you want to double-check our work, you can go into your account and see the extension. Within Grindr Xtra, tap "Menu," then "Settings," then "Grindr Xtra Store."

Thanks for being the best users ever, and keep grindin'!


Sorry About That…

Posted on July 19, 2012 by Joel

Hey, guys.

I want to take a minute to personally apologize for the service disruptions that you experienced during the past few days. I know it was frustrating; I was frustrated myself. Just like many of you, I rely on Grindr in my day-to-day personal life, and not having access to it made me feel disconnected.

One of my No. 1 priorities as Grindr's CEO is to make sure that the app remains stable and -- quite simply -- that it's working. So when we discovered that wasn't the case, we immediately set to work fixing the screw-up. The service disruption was a challenging thing to address, but our tech team worked around the clock to solve the problems and to whip Grindr back into shape.

We're confident that we got the problem under control, and we put additional measures in place to prevent this kind of disruption from happening again. And in order to bring the app to a higher level of stability and quality, we look forward to releasing the new Grindr later this summer. It'll be a revolutionary new improvement in every way, and we're really excited about it.

And to all of you, our users: Thank you for your loyalty. Also, to try to make it up to our paid users, we'll be offering all our Grindr Xtra subscribers an additional seven days of service, an extension that will appear within the next several days.

Thanks for being part of the Grindr community!

Yours truly,

Joel Simkhai


London Pride 2012: Grindr Meetup Spots

Posted on July 3, 2012 by Grindr Team

Grindr will be making a big appearance at WorldPride 2012, London's Pride fest, this weekend. Our Grindr boys will be out on the streets of Soho on Saturday cheering everyone on and giving away goodies and cool Grindr promotional items. Stop by, say hi, and get 'em while supplies last.

Additionally, we'll be around to help you meet your lost friends, new acquaintences, and all the Pride party people at our designated Grindr Meetup Spots. Just look for the banners at the following brilliant local businesses:

Circa
62 Frith Street, London W1D 3JN

Fire (Meetup Spot is in the garden)
South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RT

The Yard
57 Rupert Street, London W1D 7PL

The Edge
11 Soho Square, London W1D 3QE

Ku Bar
30 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BA and 25 Frith Street, London W1D 5LB

Village
81 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QD

Admiral Duncan
54 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4UB

Duke of Wellington
77 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QA

Rupert Street
50 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DR

Plan to meet at a Grindr Meetup Spot, and always know where to find your old mates -- and your new ones. And why not grab a drink or a bite to eat while you're at it?

Happy Pride, London!


Grindrphiles: K

Posted on July 2, 2012 by Grindr Team

The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Outrage DC.

I plant a big kiss on each of my girlfriends’ cheeks and head out the door.

“Don’t forget to call us after the interview, we’ll be having margaritas!”

I make a quick pit stop at home, change clothes, and glaze my hair with another coat of hairspray. As I walk out the door on my way to Starbucks, I realize that I’m actually going to be on time; surprising, I know -- most of all to me. Drink of choice on a hot summer day: A venti iced coffee with three packets of Splenda -- refreshing and slightly cancer-inducing, just as I like it.

While in line, I spot this week’s Grindrphile, K, and plop myself right down at his table.

“Hey! So nice to finally meet you, K!”

Before he even makes a sound, his face speaks volumes. F*ck. This is not K. I quickly mumble something I can’t even understand and move as far away as possible. By the time Real K shows up, Random has made his awkward exit, and I am feeling incredibly relieved. We chit-chat for a couple minutes and then dive right into the interview.

***

Alexander: Imagine you’re driving an expensive, fast car. What song would be playing?

K: The song that I’m rocking out to for the summer is by Icona Pop. It’s called “I Love It.” It’s a stupid pop song, but it’s really really fun. The lyrics go, “I crashed my car into a bridge/ I don’t care.”  Not that I want to do that or anything! It’s the song of the summer and nobody knows it yet.

Alexander: I think Carly Rae has claimed that one, unfortunately. Let’s move to the dance floor. If you were drunk, whose choreography would you emulate?

K: Well, I’m a real intense dancer, for sure. I can dance for hours, even without drinking. I don’t know that I’m influenced by any choreographer in particular, but I have to say my nickname amongst some of my friends is Goldfish because of the way that I dance.

Alexander: Goldfish?

K: They say my dancing is inspired by a goldfish. You know, kind of like flailing as if it’s out of the water and about to die.

Alexander: [Spits coffee, laughing] Goldish aside, let’s talk the mens. What’s a non-obvious end to the perfect date?

K: To preface this, I am actually a closeted lesbian. I’m definitely a “second date is a U-Haul” kind of person, so the non-obvious end to a perfect date is simply that it doesn’t end. Like, it’s a year and a half later and we still haven’t left each other's side! [laughing]

Alexander: Wow! You are a lesbian!

K: I know, it’s serious. I’m working on it.

Alexander: Moving from the best to the worst... Describe your most awkward first date in detail.

K: I left [D.C. bar] Green Lantern with a friend, and as we turn to walk out of the alley onto Massachusetts Ave., there was a girl that ended up being right behind us. For whatever reason, she flipped out! It’s a 3 a.m. type of moment, and she’s screaming things at us like, “Why would you walk in front of me? Oh, and now you’re walking all slow!” It got way more homophobic and awkward. Eventually she walked away.

Less than a week later, I went on a first date at Raku, where the tables are super close together. We’re seated, and not five minutes later, guess who sits down right next to me? Sidewalk girl! Also obviously on an awkward first date, by the way. She definitely recognized me, and we exchanged "the look." It’s impossible not to hear the conversation of people sitting next to you, so we ended up listening to each other’s painfully awkward first dates. It was tragic.

Alexander: You’ve just been elected president. Which state most deserves to be sold?

K: [without hesitation] I am going to go with Wyoming because first of all, it’s where Dick Cheney is from. Second of all, it’s a super-homophobic state. Let’s not forget Matthew Shepard. Third of all, they have less people than Washington, D.C., and they get two senators, and that pisses me off! Over it! Sold to Canada.

Alexander: If you could read anyone, how would you read them?

K: Reading someone, as in “Reading is fundamental”?

Alexander: Exactly.

K: I don’t know because I don’t actually like reading people like that. I guess I would do it in a really subtle way, like, disguised as a compliment.

Alexander: So five minutes after you said it, it would sneak up and hit them.

K: Yes, exactly! I’m really opposed to open confrontation.  I’m into the subtle read.

Alexander: If you were internationally famous, what would you be known for?

K: This is going to sound weird, but if I were going to be internationally famous, I would want it to be because something had happened to me. Something that had resulted in a court case which had gone in front of some international human rights court and that resulted in some sort of better standing for the LGBT community.

Alexander: So you’d want to be the victim of a hate crime?!

K: Well, if I had to be known for something, that’s what I’d want it to be. I’d want to be known for standing up for myself in that specific context. In my job, I actually work in international development, and part of my focus is on LGBT issues. It’s something I’m really passionate about, so that would have to be my answer.

Alexander: Impressive. Now, earlier you told me you couldn’t think of the nicest thing that anyone had ever said about you, so can you tell me the meanest?

K: Incoming downer, but I had a really traumatically bad experience in undergrad with an online stalker who ruined my life for almost two years. They sent terribly explicit emails to friends of mine and even my professors, saying that I had done horrible things -- none of which were true. They were so extreme that no one believed them, but it was still really traumatic. I also never found out who it was.

Alexander: Did it just stop by itself?

K: Yeah. Much of what was said was very sexual but also surprisingly anti-gay, and it all happened before I came out of the closet. Then it stopped after I came out. I can’t tell what prompted it to start or stop. The internet can be a terrible place. Like I said, a downer story.

Alexander: Not at all -- I’m glad you you went there. Onto what might be a lighter topic, who do you most regret sleeping with?

K: In undergrad to make extra money, I was as a model for artists -- that’s nude modeling. I even did it a bit here in D.C. when I first moved here. Most artists are looking for female models, except for, of course, gay artists. There was one artist here in D.C. who was obviously interested from the second I walked in. Artists usually pose you in positions, but he was totally touching me in particular places as he did it.  I didn’t really care, because he politely asked what my limits were and what I was comfortable with. It went well, and he also happened to pay incredibly well, though the rate had been negotiated before any of this. He wasn’t particularly unattractive, and in the sensuality of the moment, we ended up sleeping together. But I regret it a little. You feel like a bit of a prostitute when there’s money involved, I guess. He paid so well, though, and now I can’t go back there!

Alexander: You know, I wanted to tell you we’ve all been there, but…

K: No, no, we’ve not all been there. [laughs] At least I would hope!

***

The following question I ask is, “What is the one thing you’ve been wanting to confess?”, but I realize he already has. We finish the interview, and he scurries off to get ready for a party. Somewhere not too far away, there’s a table of girls drinking pitchers of margaritas, and I can’t wait to drink and dish.

Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Outrage DC.