After moving back home to Indonesia and living here for a while now, I have experienced the ups and, mostly, downs of being an avid Grindr user. Before I continue, let me preface this by saying that people can use the social networking app however they want to. And on a few tremendously rare occasions, I had actually built genuine connections with kind and intellectually-stimulating men I met on this app.
But oftentimes, shit goes bonkers on Grindr.
Some of the things I write below might apply universally to all dating apps worldwide, especially to those unfortunate souls out there who have to deal with men. The following piece is merely a collection of observations on the questionable behavior of Indonesian gays on Grindr. And if you’re offended by what I have to say, well… #SorryNotSorry.
It is scientifically proven that the gays understand the value of efficiency and directness. For instance, we walk faster than our straight counterparts — a direct result from our lord and savior (Lady Gaga) teaching us the importance of hustling, moving from buses to countless clubs under no sleep.
Out of all the things one might wonder about someone else, the Indonesian gays seem to be obsessed with the whereabouts of the men they’re talking to. You can be the most beautiful man out there with a meticulously curated Grindr profile containing many interesting talking points. You pour your heart and soul on your profile, hoping it accurately portrays who you are as a person, your aspirations in life,
your acute obsession with being tickled, and what you’re looking for in a partner.
Yet after all of those thoughtful processes you go through, an 18-year-old catfish posing as a famous Instagram model will still hit you up with:
(An Indonesian equivalent of “wru?”)
While I understand the logic behind asking such a question, I feel demoralized every time I receive an opening message like this. Don’t you care if this complete stranger is married with two kids? What if he’s a closeted racist with extremely troubling political views? Or worse… what if he wears Crocs?!
A simple “hi” or “hello” with no exclamation point and in all lowercase, albeit flavorless, is exponentially better than directly asking the current location of someone. Like…I know we’re all horny and have things to do, but we can still get dicks while maintaining to be decent human beings.
Besides, it’s creepy as fuck. Please stop doing that.
2. “Simple/Ordinary/No Ribet”
Being gay is often synonymous with feeding on drama to thrive in the world. We’re like the Tinkerbell — we need attentions to survive. Besides, what is life without a tequila-induced screaming battle between two egotistic twinks?
All jokes aside, there are a few reasons why Indonesian gays really pride themselves on being “ordinary” or “simple”. If you don’t believe me, check all the dating apps out there and count how many Indonesian men wrote the word “ordinary” or “simple” on their profiles. It’s astonishing.
Being over-the-top dramatic is viewed as a feminine trait, and God forbid, how ashamed a gay man would be if they were perceived as too feminine. Saying that you’re a “simple” man is a discreet way of saying that you’re not fem, and that is problematic as fuck. Because apparently, gay men here think a little drama is what makes them feminine, not the dicks in their mouth.
More importantly, claiming that you’re “simple” is an effort to give yourself an imaginary pass to excuse all of your toxic behavior. I’ve seen many gays (and girls) being gaslit into thinking they’re a dramatic ass bitch, when in reality, they’re just trying to point out all the shitty things their lovers did to them. Imagine if you’re trying to educate your friend about how the snarky comment he made on a mutual friend is problematic, and he got back to you with: “Calm down, that was a joke. Stop being so dramatic.”
Besides, marketing yourself as “average” is probably the worst marketing strategy I’ve heard. Like, imagine if a car dealer tries to sell a car and brands the car as an “extraordinarily average car.” Nobody would wanna buy that shit.
In conclusion, please stop over-glorifying the word “simple.” Let us all be a dramatic ass bitch.
I, for one, have no problem with anyone trying to make money, as long they’re not kidnapping innocent babies or blackmailing a corrupt politician with a photoshopped dick pic. In fact, I appreciate the hustle, especially during these trying times filled with economic uncertainty. And who doesn’t love a fucking great massage?!
That said, the absurd amount of Indonesian men offering “massages” on Grindr is puzzling. And the amount of people looking for such services is even more baffling. There was one time when a guy mistook me as an MB (money boys), and I thought, “wow, do people really think I’m confident enough in my appeal to think my body is sellable? I’m super flattered!”
Maybe I’m just bitter because I was once banned on Grindr for promoting my thoughtfully-crafted, laugh-out-loud sex blog. And I did it all for free— I haven’t charged none of you bitches a single penny for my brilliant comedic talent!
I only dislike people offering services on Grindr the same way I hate how Instagram has turned into a resource for capitalistic firms to make money. Every time I strike a conversation with someone on Grindr, I have to figure out if he’s genuinely into me or he’s just a savvy businessman trying to sell poppers. Once filled with hopeful gays looking for
love physical connections, my favorite networking has now lost its charm. It’s now populated with men trying to make money selling whatever they can sell, and it’s making me sad.
And to this day, I still don’t know whether “MB” stands for money boys or massage boys. Can someone please enlighten me in the comment section down below?
4. A Catalog of Editorial, GQ-esque Photos
This section might apply to Tinder more, as most Indonesian gays on Grindr still opt for a well-lit, headless gym selfie. The gays all know the universal law of Grindr: “the more nudity thou show, thou shall receive more unsolicited dick pics.” And isn’t that what truly matters in life? Validation from a complete stranger in the form of an unflattering dick pic?
Let me start by saying that you can put anything you want on Grindr, as long they’re not hurting anyone in any capacity. However, I believe that a dating profile should’ve been a selection of pictures and strings of words that most accurately represent who you are as a person. Whether you’re into hardcore BDSM or looking for someone to trade Pokemon with on Pokemon Go, own that part of you and be honest and upfront about it. Because everyone values honesty and authenticity, right? (wink wink)
But sweethearts, Grindr isn’t your personal Vogue catalog. Ain’t nobody got time for you to pose the house down in every single photo you post.
Seriously, Indonesian gays need to take a chill pill and take themselves less seriously on Grindr. Smile more. Show me a little bit more about your personality. Share with me your aspirations in life. Tell me what else you’re into, other than the same printed short-sleeved shirt and a pair of cheap H&M sunglasses every gay seems to wear to a beach club in Bali. If all of your photos are of you working out in a gym, I might think you either own or live in a gym. And if that’s all there is to you, I might be better off dating a dumbbell instead.
Unless you’re a model and the only photos you have are from your work repertoire, you have no reason to serve Naomi Campbell realness in every single picture you post. And if you are, indeed, a model, please DM me your unsolicited dick pics. Those dick pics are totally solicited in my inbox.
And please stop it with the tongue-out selfies. Just don’t.