Dear Gays: Your Best Lady Friend Has Something To Say About Your Grindr Addiction

"While you look and look for someone to host a hungry bottom, let me remind you that I am currently doing so."

Surprise! It’s me. Your female friend. The one whose hair and left ear are in your profile photo. The one sitting right across from you. You’re here in my apartment, remember? We’re about to eat chicken parm?

I created this account so that I could actually talk to you, rather than simply stare at your uplit brow as you tap away at the shirtless torsos of people who aren’t here.

Derek Rippe

The meal that I spent the last hour preparing for you is on the table. Could you please shift your focus to the steamy piece of analog meat in front of you?

Look, I know it isn’t easy. You’re .41 miles away from your usual location, and therefore in an entirely new microclimate of ass—the cheesybeefs and chunkydumpsters and cumgobbler23s popping up around you like new species of turtle, pinging and woofing and looking, always looking—and you feel a compulsion, nay, an obligation, to discover, to conquer, to anchor your vessel, and to chart my little corner of this grimy, noisy archipelago.

But listen, this is getting to be kind of a drag. I stopped going to the bars with you because I respect the sacred space of the cruise, and didn’t like feeling like an old pleather hobo bag that you had nowhere to stash. And this was fine, because the spaces were separate. We’d hang out at my place, smoke a bowl, watch those hateful harridan Housewives, gossip and chat and laugh and eat Smartfood™ and stick our cold feet under each other’s butts and cry and cuddle, then, in the gloaming, you’d tuck me in, saunter on down to ye olde saloon, and lasso in the night’s varmint.

Now, everywhere is a gay bar. My apartment is a gay bar. The restaurant. The coffee shop. The grocery store. The park. The toilet. Instagram. Instagram on the toilet. Your face.

And now, half of the real, brick-and-jizz bars are closed. Everyone’s on the apps, tapping away, looking for people because there are no people where there used to be people. And look, I have like half a gimpy leg to stand on here—I just complained about St. Mark’s Bookshop closing whilst ordering Seamless and unpacking my Amazon Prime delivery, and if StreetEasy had an app, I’d probably be tapping and swiping too, for I am also constantly looking for a big, clean unit with low maintenance—but I miss the bars. And the bookstores. And the piers. And the people. Ugh, StreetEasy probably does have an app, but I don’t want to know about it.

And, if I’m being honest, when you finally meet a guy on that thing who’s like an actual human non-pixelated person with a head and legs, and you like him, and you bring him to dinner, and we talk, and we laugh, and I like him, and then I really like him, and then it doesn’t work out because he’s just one nice person whose face isn’t constantly pouting in front of a shower curtain and who isn’t a nasty, filthy, gape-fetish asshole pig top, I’m *single tear emoji*. And when you cry to me that you miss him, and I gently suggest that perhaps the constant digital chase is an addiction, and that you might want to address it if a relationship is indeed what you want, and you accuse me of being “sex neg” and shut me out and disappear even further into your phone and away from what you say you really want in life, well, I’m *scowling red-faced emoji*.

Oh, and you’re actually checking out yourself here—my profile photo is a picture of your own headless torso, which you may recall me taking at the swimming hole in Woodstock last summer. Or not, because you were buried in your phone then, too—chatting up some closeted mechanic who pinged you at the Price Chopper while we bought tall boys, and with whom, like the seven other weird upstate randos you spent the day vacuum-packed to your phone chatting with, you never even met up.

I know this sounds naggy, and I know that these apps have their season and their time, and I do appreciate their role in outing anti-gay pastors and Republican senators. But I don’t like what they’re doing to us. It’s no coincidence that the word analog means both “the opposite of digital” and “compatriot.” And while I suppose it’s inevitable that chosen families eventually settle into traditional roles, please, I do not want to be the mom. (If I wanted to be a mom, I’d be one. And then I’d be one of those breeder assholes who’s on the hook for shutting down the other half of the gay bars. And we’d really never see each other.)

But while you look and look for someone to host a hungry bottom, let me remind you that I am currently doing so and if you don’t put down your fucking phone, make eye contact with me, and eat your goddamn dinner, I will text you a picture of my own actual naked torso. And you do not want that. Trust.

Oh, and thanks a lot for inspiring Tinder. Now your mom won’t even look up from her phone while I’m fucking her.

See? I’m funny! Don’t you miss me? Let’s begin our Great Work. Look up.

Amanda Duarte is a writer-performer, co-creator of “Pussy Grabs Back,” current recapper of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for the New York Times, and the host of Dead Darlings in NYC.
@duarteamanda