10 lessons I’ve learnt from hook-up apps

10 lessons I've learnt from hook-up apps

Like it or not, hook-up apps have changed the way we meet and date new people. Our gay pubs and clubs were once predominantly relied on for next rumble in the sack or potential ‘Mr Right’, but we’re now turning to our phones and a long list of hook-up possibilities are waiting for us in our pockets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With screens full of endless profiles, the world of hook-up apps can be shallow at best. We’d be kidding ourselves if we thought otherwise. Don’t like a profile? Simply move on to the next one in a long list of window shopping until someone tickles your fancy.

Just as there are endless supply of headless torsos, so are the endless trolls and dramas. If you can’t handle rejection well, the world of hook-up apps will definitely come with its fair share of struggles for you.

Don’t get me wrong, hook-up apps can be a lot of fun and we all know the positives, but they do also come with a few negatives as well. Don’t stake your self-worth on how many woofs, swipes right, matches and messages you might get. You are much more than a few pixels might suggest.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been on and off hook-up apps for some time now. I go through stages, often finding myself turning to them out of boredom. The amount of times I’ve actually met someone off them can still be counted in single digits, but wile there’s only been a few hook-ups, there’s been lots of lessons.

1. It’s amazing who’s on there.
From the guy that bullied me in high school to one of my female friend’s boyfriends – everyone seems to be using them. It does seem a lot cheaper than hitting up a club buying copious amounts of drinks while waiting to make that connection on the dance floor or from one end of the bar. It must be noted though, you can easily spend as about as much time on the app as you would being out and about trying to hook-up with someone. The question is just how much money and time do you have to burn? And how much time do you want to commit? Apps can be addictive, and the wait for replies back to your hopeful messages can be excruciating.

2. In person, people often don’t look like their profile pictures.
With so many photo apps, all you need is a filter and the right angle. Think of yourself as a product you’re trying to sell. You’re only going to upload the best photo to sell yourself right? Just try and be a bit more realistic rather than posting a photo from your gym days a few years ago. No one likes that look of pure disappointment when the door opens.

3. The ‘dick pic’ is the new “hello”.
In real life you’d never dream of flashing your family jewels at someone upon first meeting them, but on hook-up apps it seems like just another way of saying hi. I personally like to find out a little bit more about the person before I find out what’s in their pants. I’m sure there’s more to someone than their penis and if they don’t feel there is, well I guess you choose to treat them as the tool they want to be.

4. If someone has to say “nice guy here”, be careful because they’re probably not.
No one accused them of not being a nice guy, therefore there shouldn’t be this need to state it – or are we seeing a case of guilty conscience? From personal experience I have found that people who feel the need to say they’re a “nice guy” are usually very insecure about themselves and usually turn out to be repeat messengers who can’t take “NO” for an answer.

5. If someone starts their message with “I’ve been working out a lot and it makes me really turned on”, they’re usually just wanting you to sign up to their cam show.
Yes, while it’s flattering to have a profile of a ripped guy messaging you, don’t be fooled. Recently there’s been a dramatic increase in scammers simply flirting on hook-up apps to get unsuspecting guys to hand over their credit card details. Before they know it they’ve been signed up to multiple websites… and still no closer to seeing that ripped guy in person let alone on cam. Don’t be fooled. Trust me, your bank account will thank you later.

6. When a profile reads “not getting all messages” it usually means they’re not actually being sent any.
Yes, shock horror I know. I check my messages som times and haven’t received any new ones in days. This is usually because I’m just not online and sending messages regularly enough. I don’t jump to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with the app, it just means no one has sent me a message. Pretty straight forward really!

7. No one who says they’re looking for “just friends” is actually looking for just friends.
Do you go to the meat section at the local supermarket looking for fresh lettuce? So why would you turn to a hook-up app to find a friend? Let’s be honest, hook-up apps are predominantly there for one thing, hooking up. Do you really think that profile with the set of washboard abs without a head is really looking for a new best friend? If you’re thinking you’re going to meet your new BFF on a hookup app you’re going to be terribly mistaken not to mention you’re just kidding yourself.

8. Even attractive men with perfect bodies can be single and insecure too.
Often we will turn to blame our singleness on our appearance, but it’s refreshing to know that sometimes it’s got nothing to do with looks. You might be wishing for those perfect chiseled cheekbones and hair like a Disney prince, but after scrolling a few profiles, you realise it’s no greener on the other side and that even the really attractive guys are also struggling to find their perfect match.

9. There’s a lot of wired guys online.
One of the things you will quickly learn from hook-up apps is that a lot of guys online are “wired” and “looking for PnP” The first time someone asked if I was into “PnP” I had to look up the phrase online to learn that it meant “Party and Play” (or in short “let’s smoke a lot of meth and have sex”). I get that after a big night out after clubbing you might be still looking for someone on the same level as you to make one final dash with before chasing the sun, but when it’s a Wednesday and you’re being messaged for “wired fun” at 11am, you really have to ask what’s going on with someone getting high off their tits and looking for a humping on a hump day morning. Each to their own I guess.

10. Sometimes the hook-up apps work for you and sometimes they don’t – but that’s okay.
Despite all the hours wasted scrolling through profiles, the endless dick pics and the various characters you encounter, hook-up apps can be very valuable tools. They’re a fantastic way to meet new people and grab moments of passion. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they made you feel wanted and sometimes they make you feel rejected. Sometimes you’re getting loads of messages, sometimes you’re being ignored. But hook-up apps can be a world of endless possibilities. Don’t be shy about messaging the guys you like. Take breaks from the apps if you are realising they’re making your bad mood worse. And remember, dating and hooking up is only a part of your life, and it’s not the end of the world if you’ve been having some bad luck.

Lastly, these words have helped me in my own dating ventures and I personally find them also very relevant when journeying through the world of hook-up apps. Remember: “Your heart only gets hurt as much as you choose to let it.”

So have fun, but remember to always play safe! Look after your heart, your health, and treat others how you’d want to be treated.

[Originally posted on SameSame.com.au]

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