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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 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.
" (I spelled it all out, eschewing the "R U," because, you know, being said!
—would often die in a quick and merciful way, but many Chats ended with an agreed-to meeting place, which was unusually convenient for both of us since, by the very nature of this whole game, we lived within a block of each other.
(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.
The Grindr users I knew and know had impeccable straight-dar.
Even in Chats, almost everyone eventually asked me if I was gay.
I was honest, yet some men still treated me like a trespasser.
One guy spent a pleasant half hour at a restaurant regaling me with stories—then, learning I wasn't gay, very politely stood, silently folded his cloth napkin, and exited the building.
To ensure that no user of Grindr ever felt hoodwinked, I took the name "GQ Magazine" and used as my icon a collage of covers, though I was slightly worried that grinders would think I was hawking subscriptions in some kind of seedy jailhouse telemarketing scheme. Though it is 96 percent inane, it's not all sexting and Weinering pics to people.
Many guys started a conversation with the aforementioned "Sup? " I admit, I looked down on them, as one would on "mole people" or Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino.
I met my fellow grinders in restaurants, in bars, in coffee shops, and on park benches; we had drinks in sunshine, tea at night.