Grindr and My Tales of Technosexual Love

Love and Sex

Grindr and My Tales of Technosexual Love

Illustration: Akshita Monga

3 a.m.
My phone chirps. It is more effective than an alarm. A ping on Grindr! I check my notifications, ignoring WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram – who needs friends right now? Six Grindr messages. Damn, I’m sexy. I scroll: Ugly, Ugly, Average, Hideous, Cute, Ugly. Why do I always attract these freaks? I look at the cutie’s profile: tall, boyishly handsome, winking at me. I send him a, “Hello there, beautiful” in response and a shirtless pic for good measure. Gotta show off them guns.

I open Tinder. Four new matches, all rather dateable (doable). I rattle off a volley of heys and hellos: They will respond. Imma play it cool. I finish my pressing business and fall asleep.

7 a.m.
I’m in the shower, trying to figure out my hairstyle for the day. I grab my phone and take a selfie – smouldering eyes, towel-clad. This would look great on Tinder! I upload it with three filters masking my smile lines, acne, and dark skin. Guys are def gonna fall for this one. My late-night Tinder matches have messaged back. Meh, they all seem boring now that I’m awake. Pass. I swipe about fifty profiles left and right. New meat for a new day! My Grindr boy has still not logged in. Catfish? :O

12 p.m.
Finally matched with a sexy guy on Tinder. My luck is turning! I send him a message: “Hey gorgeous, new to Mumbai? Wanna catch up?” Bold of me to directly ask him out but hey he’s only here for a few days. Tinder burps: “Hey man, sure let’s meet at Theobroma in Colaba at 7 p.m.?” Pastries on a first date; what is he, 12? I reserve my judgement: “Sure, sounds good.”

12:30 p.m.
Grindr boy has finally responded with an unsavoury pic of his junk. If this had been 3 a.m., I’d have been out of bed and outside his door in an hour. I ignore his message. He sends a few more “You theres?” before giving up and blocking me. Some nerve, who does he think he is, Ranveer Singh? I waste a few minutes checking out Ranveer Singh.

4 p.m.
I’ve spent my afternoon stalking my Tinder date for tonight. His Insta was linked on his profile, I feel like a hacker lol. I rifle through his photos looking for reasons to find him unattractive: a bad angle, no filters, anything! This guy has his bases covered. Stunning pics of him surfing, dancing, travelling, he even looks adorable reading a book! I look at his Facebook: well-spoken, loves pets, everything I need in a man (especially those interesting fabric contours in his pool selfies). Can’t wait!

6 p.m.
My Uber just called. I look myself over in the mirror, take a couple of selfies cos why not and head out. On the way to Theobroma, I check my Grindr and Tinder again. New messages, new matches. I sift and separate: Two more potential dates or FWBs. I decide not to set up any meets tonight; I have a handsome man waiting for me after all! I close all my apps and send him a WhatsApp: “omw, see you in a bit :*”

Instead of seeking validation from a few people, we desire it from everyone.

9 p.m.
He’s in my bed.

10 p.m.
He’s putting his pants on. I’m torn between feelings of loss and contentment. Maybe all I needed was release? He definitely didn’t seem interested in more. I hear that familiar chirp come from his pocket. He pulls out his phone, dashes out a quick text, and tells me he has to leave. You slut. I rush him out the door and slam it angrily. Is this all men want?!

11 p.m.
Post-shower, I’m cuddled up in bed. Is this really the way I want to find a partner? Handsome strangers, one-time dates, and kiss kiss bang bang? The forlorn hope that one day this will turn into something meaningful?

Why are we so wound up in our technology – sharing our bodies with our gadgets, physically and figuratively? Staring at my silent phone, I realise that for technosexuals like us, the potential we see in digital, photoshopped lovers is more pleasurable than actually interacting with them. I collect matches on Tinder, you know? I travel to various cities faking my GPS and swipe away. I have over 3,000 matches. Three men want to pound my brains out. I respond to none of them: They are merely decorative badges of accomplishment.

Instead of seeking validation from a few people, we desire it from everyone. Please, internet stranger, like my new pictures on Instagram, I made it just so you could smile/laugh/be horny! But even without Tinder, haven’t we always been this way? Whores for universal adoration?

Now it’s just easier. I have sext buddies on Kik and Snapchat and Skype whom I discover online and enchant into my fap sessions. They send me pictures of their cocks and asses and bodies in positions I choose and they demand in kind. But we ensure our faces are never seen. We tell each other it’s just to be safe and it’s true; I have had unflattering pics of me plastered on Tumblr in some shady Indian Dudes & Nudes blog.

But to be honest, we do it so it doesn’t get personal. I don’t want to see you as a person, and I don’t have time to ask about your education or job or mother. Just give me the dick pic and let me cum! Instant gratification FTW.

We don’t want or need steady partners. All our brute urges are satisfied by the internet. All we need is a competent AI sex doll. Romance is dead, Hallmark is out of business. The machines are rising.

12 a.m.
My phone chirps.