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Grindr Dating Site & App Review (2023)

Probably the Most Popular Gay and Curious Dating App

Maggie O'Brien-Pappalardo

In a Nutshell

Grindr is the largest dating app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, and has millions of daily users from all over the world. As a location-based app, it has a reputation for being purely for hookups, but it also offers options to look for friendships, dates, and relationships. That said, those looking for their Prince Charming will likely find more success on other dating apps.

pros

  • Great free membership option with lots of features
  • Ability to browse anonymously
  • A wide variety of communication options

cons

  • Not as many users looking for long-term relationships
  • Only available on smartphones—no website option

Grindr Grindr Visit Site

Grindr at a Glance

Best For

Queer hookups and casual dating

Number of Members

6 Million+

Favorite Features

  • “Viewed Me”

  • Unsend Messages

  • Grindr for Equality

Video Chat

Yes

Recommended age

18+

How Much Does Grindr Cost?

Grindr prides itself on offering a great free membership option, which includes full access to profiles, filter options, and unlimited messages. It also offers two different paid memberships, which both offer one-, three-, or 12-month renewal options and unlock special features. 

Membership Type

Duration

Cost

Unlimited Photos

Unlimited Messaging

See who’s viewed you

Enhanced Search

View detailed profiles

Video chat

Boost profile

Gifts

Free

N/A

N/A

N

Y

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

XTRA

1-, 3-, or 12-month packages

$19.99 - $99.99

N

Y

N

Y

Y

Y

N

N

Unlimited

1-, 3-, or 12-month packages

$39.99 - $239.99

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

Grindr offers its memberships for purchase in packages, as opposed to billing per month. Grindr XTRA costs $19.99 for one month, $39.99 for three months, and $99.99 for one year, while Grindr Unlimited costs $39.99 for one month, $79.99 for three months, and $239.99 for one year. It falls in a similar price range as competitors like Zoosk, with options for both short-term commitment and long-term savings. 

What Can You Do with Grindr for Free?

Grindr’s free option includes a ton of features and makes it extremely easy to connect with other members. Not only can you view up to 100 profiles and favorite as many of them as you want, but you can also send unlimited messages and share up to five private photos at a time. 

Other free features include the option to share your location, enabling you to meet up with other members nearby, one minute of video calls a day, and the ability to send up to ten video messages a day. 

When browsing other profiles, free filters include age, what a user is looking for, and what tribe they identify with.

Whether you opt to pay or not, Grindr makes it possible for all its members to connect with and get dates with other users.

Grindr also offers free resources for members of the LGBTQ community through the mission section of its website: “Grindr for Equality.” These resources include sexual health and gender identity resource centers, holistic security guides, and sexual health blueprints. 

Premium Features and Upgrades on Grindr

Grindr has two tiers of paid subscriptions: XTRA and Unlimited. 

Grindr XTRA’s features include the ability to view up to 600 profiles at once, the ability to only view users who are “online now” or have a profile picture, the option to send multiple photos at once, and no third-party ads. It also grants access to advanced filters, which include weight, height, relationship status, body type, and more. 

Grindr Unlimited includes all of the above features and unlocks access to unlimited profiles and its premium features.

These features include “Viewed Me”, which allows you to see which interested users are checking out your profile, and “Incognito”, which allows you to check out other users without letting them know. There are also special messaging features that allow you to undo sent messages and see when other users are typing a message to you. 

How Grindr Works

Grindr’s mission is to create a safe space for queer people and help them easily connect to the community around them. Their location-based technology and variety of communication options promises quick access to users from all over the world.

How to Sign Up for Grindr

Grindr has a variety of signup options, all of which make the process fast and simple. You can choose to sign up with an email and password, or through your Facebook, Google, or Apple account. 

Should you opt to set up an account with your email, the steps are as follows:

  1. Create a password

  2. Confirm your birthday

  3. Prove you’re not a robot

  4. Verify your phone number

Once those steps are completed, you can move on to creating a profile!

Grindr Review How to Sign Up

Setting Up Your Profile on Grindr

Once you’ve signed up you’ll be offered the chance to personalize your profile with pictures, a display name, an “About me” section, and up to eight “Tags”. These allow you to add keywords to describe yourself. They include sexual preferences, interests, and personality traits, and help you get found more easily by compatible users. 

You can add up to five photos, and you also have the option to link to your Instagram, Spotify, Twitter, and Facebook. You aren’t required to add photos, though it’s encouraged. If you do, it typically takes about 20-45 minutes for the photo to be reviewed to ensure it meets community guidelines. 

The Stats section of your profile allows you to input the following (all are optional):

  • Age (and whether you want it to be shown or not)

  • Height

  • Weight

  • Body Type

  • Position

  • Ethnicity

  • Relationship Status

  • My Tribes (sub-communities based on appearance)

Once you’ve personalized your profile, it’s time to find matches!

How to Find Matches on Grindr

Grindr has a variety of different preferences you can set in the “Expectations” section to let other users know what you’re looking for and what types of connections you’re open to. This section includes three fields: I’m Looking For, Meet At, and Accepts NSFW Pics.

“I’m Looking For” allows you to highlight what types of relationships you’re open to. You can select as many as you’d like. The options include Chat, Dates, Friends, Networking, Relationship, and Right Now.

“Meet At” allows you to specify where you’d be comfortable meeting other users, whether that be at your place, their place, or a public place. 

“Accepts NSFW Pics” refers to whether or not you’d feel comfortable receiving a “not safe for work” photo (I’m sure you can imagine what that means!), and you can clarify whether you’d rather not receive them at first or simply not at all.

Once you’ve finished setting your preferences, you can begin browsing profiles. Before browsing, you’ll have the option to set basic filters like age and tribe, or more advanced filters like who’s currently online, who has face photos, or where they’re open to meeting, based on your membership tier.

The browse page has three different views: Nearby, Fresh, and Explore.

“Nearby” shows you users who are—you guessed it—nearby! “Explore” is a fun feature that allows you to view profiles from all over the world. The “Fresh” view shows you the most recently updated profiles near you, and your profile will be featured there for other users every time you switch up your profile picture.

Once you find a profile that catches your eye, you have a variety of communication options to choose from. The app supports text chats, photo messages, video messages, video calls, and voice notes. It also offers some extra features to make messaging more flirty and fun, including group chats, LGBTQ-themed stickers, and a GIF library.

Grindr places importance on making communication playful and accessible, but equally cares about making sure all users feel safe and respected. 

Safety & Security

Grindr recognizes the importance of privacy, especially in the LGBTQ community. Its help center provides plenty of safety tips and suggestions on how to be aware of potential scammers. 

Photos are verified before they appear on all profiles, and Grindr employs a moderation team that is responsible for blocking inappropriate content and responding promptly to reports and flags from members.

Grindr may collect personal data such as address, signature, or phone numbers as a way to verify account information upon creating a profile. Any other personal information added upon completion of your profile may also be collected. Grindr may share data to third party advertising companies, service providers, and analytic partners to provide customized ad experiences and quality assurance. 

Grindr App

Grindr is only available through its app—it does not offer a desktop version at this time. It is available for download on the App Store or Google Play and is straightforward to use. The app makes it easy to make in-app purchases and upgrade to XTRA or Unlimited at any time. However, the app can occasionally be glitchy and shut down unexpectedly.

Grindr Review App

Grindr Customer Service

Grindr has a help center that offers information about all aspects of the app, answers FAQs,  and shares community resources. It also has a section where users can suggest features, share tips, or request improvements on elements on the app. 

Its website also hosts a blog that covers a variety of topics, a section for Covid information and dating guidelines, and additional reading through its mission page “Grindr for Equality.”

The only way to contact customer support is through the Submit A Request page found on their help center. There is no indication given of how long it will take for someone to get back to you.

Refunds are processed on a case-by-case basis and typically are only offered in the case of a serious bug issue or if payment has been used without permission. Refund requests can be submitted through the Submit A Request page. 

How to Cancel or Pause a Grindr Subscription

Subscriptions auto-renew but can be canceled at any time through the App Store or Google Play Store. If you cancel your subscription before the end of your current billing period, you won’t be refunded for unused time. You will continue to have access to your premium features until the end of the period. 

How Grindr Compares to Other Dating Sites and Apps


Grindr

Gaystryst

Zoosk

Benaughty

Best for

Hookups

Gay relationships

Long-term relationships

Casual dating

Free app

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No. of members

 6 million+

100,000+

40 million

700,000+

Price

$19.99-$239.99

$0.71-$72.00

$12.49-$149.88

$4.47-$17.49

Grindr vs Gaystryst

Grindr and Gaystryst are both popular among the LGBTQ community, though Grindr markets to gay, bi, trans, and queer people while Gaystryst advertises specifically to gay men. Both apps offer advanced filters to narrow down matches, many different messaging options, and a large membership base, but Gaystryst is a better option if you’re a gay man looking for a more serious relationship.

Grindr vs Zoosk

Zoosk is a more mainstream dating app that also offers solid options for LGBTQ users, while Grindr is solely centered around the LGBTQ community. While Grindr’s filters and preferences are based on identity, appearance, and hookups, Zoosk uses behavioral matchmaking services that promise compatibility of communication styles and personality types. 

Grindr vs Benaughty

As opposed to Grindr, which is geared towards men, Benaughty aims to provide an accessible dating experience for women of all sexual orientations. Women are offered a free membership, while men are required to pay a monthly fee if they want full access to the site. Both Grindr and Benaughty are recommended for casual dating. 

Does Grindr Work?

If you are a member of the gay, bi, trans, or queer community and are looking for connections with other members in your immediate area, Grindr is your best option. While the app has more recently expanded its identity options to include trans women and women, it is still most popular among gay men looking for fun and casual interactions.

While its limited customer service may frustrate some users, Grindr’s free membership provides just as much value as paid memberships offered by competitors.

The ability to browse with a display name, only share photos of your face with matches, and filters for appearance and sexual preferences, will encourage you to explore your sexuality, expand your community, and have a fun queer dating experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Is Grindr XTRA worth it?
-
+
If you're a regular Grindr user, Grindr Xtra may be worth it. The premium upgrade increases the number of people you can view, offers quick-send options, has more tribes, and lets you view the app without banners or interstitial ads.
Can you use Grindr for free?
-
+
Yes, you can use Grindr for no charge at all. Only the premium upgrades cost a fee.
Is Grindr safe?
-
+
Grindr takes safety seriously and has instituted several measures to ensure best practices and the safety of all of its users. Users can verify their identities by linking to social media profiles, report and block abusive users, and read up on the many safety guides and resources offered on the site.
Maggie is a Certified Relationship Coach and professional matchmaker with years of experience writing on dating and relationships. She currently serves as a relationship coach. Her dating advice has been featured in articles, podcasts, video courses and e-books on Hack Spirit, Love Connection and more.