The last 2 years I have had a very nonchalant attitude towards meeting anyone on Grindr and other hook up apps. However, as a hangover from the heady years when for me getting laid was like an Olympic sport and the body count equated to winning Olympic medals, I still find myself habitually going on them to browse and kill time.
I update my profile with prehistoric thirst traps pictures from a slim waistline and 20kg ago, thereby generating enough interest to establish a connection but when it comes to making it happen, I flake out and talk myself out of the hook up.
The barriers I put up for myself and end up finding something to watch on Netflix, can range from thinking about the stress of getting an Uber to get the hook up (if they offer to host), having to make my place presentable enough for receiving a visitor and changing the sheets after sex (if I am hosting), to suddenly not being remotely interested in their porn inspired fantasies (I am ok with good old fashioned vanilla sex).
I talked over this behaviour with a friend of mine, who has also developed a similar attitude as I have towards hook up apps. Rather than both of us agreeing that our attitude towards the apps is down to a loss of libido brought on by work commitments, COVID and age, we both put it down to growth.
It is this lackadaisical attitude towards Grindr – along with a pig-headed determination not to give any money to immigration officials at the airport – that I took with me on a trip to Lagos a few months ago.
It paid off.
But since 2019, things have worsened economically. Unemployment exacerbated by the global pandemic has increased, especially among the youth. With food price inflation, salary stagnation and keeping up with the myriad of aspirational social media posts which takes a lot of resources, people find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. This has led to an increase in various types of extortion crimes.
Members of the Nigerian Gay community already socially stigmatised and disenfranchised without any legal recourse due to the SSMPA act which has effectively legalised homophobia in the country, are low hanging fruit for blackmailers. They use Grindr to target unsuspecting gays, lure them to locations, beat them and extort them for cash, sometimes with near fatal outcomes. What’s even worse, the perpetrators are sometimes aided by other gay men.
One day while stuck in Lagos traffic sitting in the back of an Uber, I opened up Grindr and got chatting with a guy who was keen to meet up. But as expected and due to no fault of his, it wasn’t going to go anywhere. I still followed him on Twitter via the link on his Grindr profile – because one can never have enough followers.
A few days later he posted on Twitter that his horniness got the better of him and he was lured to a location by a potential Grindr hook up and was robbed by a gang. But after a few days of feeling sorry for himself and since he could not report the robbery to the Police, he decided to take matters into his hands. He got a friend to arrange a hook up with the Grindr assailant and at the appointed time he and the friend turned up at the arranged location with some military reinforcement to exact revenge.
This life imitating good triumphs over evil Nollywood movie, was gloriously chronicled in a series of short video clips on twitter. While it was a joy to see the preparators being manhandled by the soldiers and getting their comeuppance for once, I couldn’t help but wonder that the assailant who set him up could have also contacted me at the same time on Grindr and if not for my growth I could have been his horny victim.
This Nikki Minaj’s cousin’s friend-esque story, isn’t meant to put anyone off having sex with strangers in Lagos, but there are safer ways of going about it. Like referrals by way of having a trusted friend or friend of a friend introduce you to an already vetted guy. This may invariable become transactional in one form or another, but it carries less risk. Friends of mine who meet up with guys this way, say it’s useful to have “Money for Uber” or a “Thank you for
cumming coming” brown envelope handy for after matters are concluded.
And who’s to say Grindr sex can’t be transactional too, as shown below:
Message here is the gay streets of Lagos most times can be more perilous than believing anything that comes out of Prime minister Boris Johnson’s mouth. When visiting Lagos (or indeed other parts of Nigeria) and you start feeling frisky and want to arrange a hook up via Grindr, Scruff, etc…… DON’T FUCKING DO IT.
And if your gut tells you to then you have not been treating it right. Start taking some probiotics or change your current one, because your gut isn’t healthy and is giving you some really shitty advice.