Smartphones showed up kinda late for me. When I finally caved in and bought an iPhone 5, I promptly left it in a Dubai taxi about two months later.

So, when everyone was discovering Grindr several years ago, I was completely disconnected. My friends would show me the guys they were meeting through this new app and I was unsure whether to be disgusted or excited. It was like a whole new form of liberation for the homosexual community, especially in our region. And it essentially promised a whole new era of sex at your fingertips... or so it seemed.

Fast-forward to the arrival of my new iPhone and the sequential break-ups that followed about a year later, and I finally decided to download Grindr. Although several of my close friends had been using the app for years, I was a Grindr virgin about to enter a whole new realm of being single and sexually free.

But what I discovered is, discounting maybe three positive experiences I had, Grindr isn’t actually the most satisfying place to search for genuine companionship.

Over the last few months I have fallen into a constant routine of activating the app, becoming utterly disgusted with the Grindr community, and deleting the app a few hours or days later. From what I hear, a lot of people have had the same reaction to the other wildly popular dating app, Tinder. A lot of my friends find themselves in the same cycle I described and the complaints are all the same: gay/bi men in Lebanon only care about sex; some of them even try charging for it; and more often times than than not, they fail to even look like the pictures they present themselves in.

But to be honest, although the majority of my experience with the app has been in Beirut, you pretty much find the same thing happening in the US.

Do guys still hide their faces? Yes. Were most of the guys only interested in seeing dick pics within the first two minutes? Yes. Did the conversation play out in the same stereotypical fashion? You know it...

Guy: Hey [face pic included].

Me: Hi. Whats up?

Guy: Where from? Role?

Me: Ummm…

Guy: Top here [dick pic included].

Me: Thanks, me too. Good luck!

And yes, the conversation played out exactly like that.

I still let my friends complain and I don’t argue, I want them to hold onto hope that someday they will find their true love—or at least good sex—via Grindr.

I guess we all get lonely... or horny... or a combination of the two, and we convince ourselves that this time it’ll be different; that the guy visiting Beirut for the weekend from Paris or Dubai will swoop into our lives and we will live happily ever after. Or we think at the very least, this time the guy we meet in person will actually resemble the guy in the pictures.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. I still haven't figured out why I can’t just meet someone in a bar or through friends and fall in love without the Internet. Regardless, I’ve deleted Grindr... again. But this time I’m not going back, no matter how lonely or horny I get.

I’m going back to meeting people IRL at Bardo or Posh. Oh, I also downloaded Tinder. The people seem nicer over here.

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