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Butts Can Be Profile Pics on Grindr, But Not Everyone’s Hungry for Cake

You’d think people would be thrilled to see a sea of asses flooding their grids, but the gays of Grindr are not impressed

Grindr has long had a reputation as one of the horniest apps on the hookup market, but the platform has only just started to allow caked-up users to post their ass shots as profile pictures.

According to an official blog post, it’s all part of an ongoing mission to “allow the Grindr community to express themselves more freely,” and to address complaints that marginalized users are being censored more often. By loosening up the profile pic rules, Grindr has theoretically made it harder to get banned. Don’t start dusting off your best hole pics just yet, though — there are still rules around just how raunchy your butt shot can be. 

Guidelines state that straight-up porn isn’t allowed, but “expressing sexuality joyfully” and “some images of buttocks” which are “non-graphic and without an overly sexual context” both get the green light. Acknowledging the ambiguity of these rules, the post lays out a few more guidelines: The poses can’t be “sexually suggestive,” excessive focus on genitals’ isn’t allowed and context needs to be taken into account. Apparently, the picture shouldn’t say “fuck me right now in this exact position” — it should say, “I want you to think I’m attractive enough to maybe have sex with sometime.”

Spread cheeks in a jockstrap could get you banned, but a tasteful shower nude might make the cut. So, ass shots in some contexts are allowed, but who’s actually posting them? And is that what people really want to see?

A quick scour of my local grid shows they’re still pretty few and far between, with only five users out of 100 posting butt pics; these are mainly thirsty, self-described bottoms with their back arched in tiny thongs. There’s one rimming enthusiast that posts bare ass, but there’s no hole on show — so presumably fine by Grindr’s standards. Finally, a trans woman known only as a “blow job queen” wears a sheer dress with her ass visible underneath, but it’s still pretty tasteful — in fact, it looks like a Vogue outtake.

There are obviously some exceptions, but it seems these rule changes haven’t turned the app into some kind of kinky, naked free-for-all. Despite this — and the fact that filters can be used to cleanse your grid of cheeks — it seems not everyone is happy with the new rules.

On Reddit, there’s been a handful of complaints about “flat white asses” on the grid; another said it was “not pleasant” to see “a sea of giant, bare asses,” and others even advocated complaining about Grindr in the hopes of getting it banned from the App Store. To add to this, a trans woman said the change hadn’t stopped censorship discrimination — “multiple literal dick pics and spread cheeks are on the grid within a few miles of where I go in California, but on the other hand, as a trans person, I show my belly button in a crop top and the pics get rejected for nudity.”

For an app known for being so goddamn horny, it’s perhaps surprising that so many guys are up in arms over the sight of bare cheeks.

Still, Birmingham, U.K.-based Bill (a pseudonym) says he sees a handful of new ass shots per day, though he isn’t necessarily complaining. “At first I felt a bit shocked — they felt a little like unsolicited dick pics,” he explains. “Now I’m okay with them; they’re never too graphic and everyone is over 18.” He’s surprised by the rule change, however. “It moves the app into a more sexualized direction. Like yes, Grindr is sexual, but it’s also an app for queer people to meet each other. Allowing more suggestive pictures leans into it being a hookup app on paper as well as in reality, if that makes sense.”

Twenty-six-year-old Chad Teixeira is less enthused at the allowance of ass, as he primarily uses the app to “make connections and friends.” Also, it’s worth pointing out that not all queer sex is ass-centric — some users simply want to suck dick or cuddle — and there are plenty of people who use the app to meet like-minded, potential pals, especially in countries otherwise hostile to queer communities. In Teixeira’s eyes, the rule change indicates a heightened focus on sex; as a result, he’s now less likely to use it.

In fact, it’s hard to find even one person who openly endorses the new rules, let alone anyone actually posting ass shots. If anything, there’s enough pearl-clutching to suggest the app’s open embrace of sex-positivity is turning users off. Yet Grindr has never shied away from its boned-up reputation; as a result, it’s fair to say any user should download it with the base expectation that they’ll see plenty of bare flesh on the grid.

As one Reddit commenter succinctly concluded: “It’s Grindr, not Christian Mingle. If you don’t want to see dick and ass, then I suggest a different platform!”

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