GPS apps like Grindr and Scruff are popular among gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men.
These apps provide a fast, easy way for men to meet for sex, dating and relationships.
Whatever you’re using apps for, it’s worth thinking about how you want to come across to other people and what you’re looking for.
Your Profile Picture: If you’re going to use a profile picture, make sure it’s a good, clear picture of yourself. Some guys might choose to use an image of nice scenery but that's unlikely to get you many messages!
There are plenty of good reasons why someone might not want to use a photo – maybe they aren’t out or don’t want people to know they’re on apps. Some guys like to have a little small talk first and only send pictures when they feel more comfortable. Don’t write him off, he might be the man of your dreams.
Some men will remain faceless but are still looking for ‘right now’. It’s your call but think about safety.
Profile Content: Your profile is your opportunity to get across to other guys what you’re looking for – from ‘right now’ to Mr. Right.
If you’re new to apps, you’ll get a good idea of how it works from looking at other guys' profiles.
Be as creative as you want to make your profile stand out and attract the type of guy you’re looking for - try to be clear about what you’re looking for.
I’m Just Not That Into You: We all have different tastes in men and sometimes, there just isn't any kind of attraction. If you don’t hear back from someone, maybe he’s just not into you. Try not to take it personally. If the shoe is on the other foot and you’re not interested, try sending a message back. A quick "thanks but you’re not the type of guy I would go for" will ease his disappointment gently and, it’s nice to be nice!
Sharing Pictures: Lots of men like to send pictures to potential hookups. You should never feel pressured into it - it’s always your choice. Guys often share cock pictures so it's worth considering what images you put out there, and whether you want people to know it's you.
In Scotland, there is a relatively small scene in most cities so it's possible you're chatting to someone who might know you in some form. Unfortunately, not everyone is discreet about their app meets and will share information and images with their friends in the pub. This can be illegal so bear that in mind when you're sending pictures.
Negotiating The Sex You Want: It’s easy to get caught up in sex chat when you’re on apps and often one thing will lead to another.
Chatting online is a great opportunity to talk about consensual and pleasurable sex. You can tell people about what you’re into and what you’re looking for while making clear what you’re not comfortable with. You should mention if you are only interested in safe fun, by saying you "will only fuck with condoms". Don’t be shy! Always have condoms and lube to hand.
If you have the hangover horn, a come down from substances or feeling a little down, you might be tempted to hook up with guys you wouldn’t usually be interested in. Think about it - is it worth just having a wank and waiting until you feel more 'with it'?
Negotiating sex is about the whole hook up. Chat about what you want to do when you get together - are you going to have a drink and a chat first or is it straight to bed? Some guys like to chat first to help relax, while others might answer the door feeling ready to go.
Work out who’s going where and make sure you feel comfortable and confident that the person is who he says he is. Don’t be afraid to ask for more pictures until you're satisfied he’s your type. If they have the app it's likely that their smartphone has a camera – so there is no excuse for not sending a selfie or two.
It can be nerve-racking going to someone else’s home to meet up and vice versa so bear in mind he’s probably feeling the same. The important thing is you feel safe, and someone knows where you are. If you’ve been drinking or using any substances, don’t drive. You can get a taxi or arrange for him to come to you.
Remember, it's never too late to say no. If you arrive at the door and he’s not the guy you thought he was, you can just walk away or say "sorry you’re not my type".
Never feel pressured into having sex, there are plenty more fish in the app!
Most apps now have an option to display to other users how you self-identify in terms of your gender and this usually includes identities like cisgender, transgender, and non-binary.
This is an optional addition to your profile, and can be left out, although many men find it useful to help them select partners.
Guys might not use it for a number of reasons. Maybe they:
Whatever the reason, it’s always your decision whether or not to display your gender identity.
If you decide to disclose on your profile, you might find that some guys will ask you questions about your gender and your body. While this might present a chance for you to talk about sexual preferences and what turns you on, it can sometimes feel intimidating or inappropriate.
Remember you can always report or block someone if they make you uncomfortable, or if they are inappropriate towards you.
Apps are a great way for many trans men to chat, find dates and meet up with guys for sex.
However, it can be a frustrating experience going on apps to hook up and then ending up being an information hub about your experiences.
When you identify as a trans man on your profile you may find that guys have a lot of questions.
Remember, it’s always your decision whether or not to display your gender identity on your profile.