Gay Dating App Etiquette – My Observations

I believe I’ve managed to crack the secret code of profiles on gay dating apps. It’s taken years of research, but here are my observations:

What Your Profile Says VS What It Actually Means

Butch – “I have three chest hairs and my squeaky voice is only audible to dogs.”

Discreet – “I’m a hypocritical liar intent on spreading self-shame and reinforcing negative stereotypes.”

Discrete – “I can’t spell for shit.” (Normally I’d point out that a dumb fuck is a good fuck, but closeted guys are too shy and reserved to be any good in bed)

Bi-curious – “I touched a boob once.”

Top – “My heels are filled with helium. Can you top me first? No? Let’s scissor, then.”

Masculine – “My micro penis is often mistaken for a clitoris.”

Friends only – “I’d bang you faster than a Trump supporter can light a tiki torch.”

No fats/fems/asians/blacks – “I’m a naturally thin boy living a privileged life, who has no idea how hurtful it is to be marginalised as a group. I’ve never suffered discrimination in my life, not even for being gay.”

No profile picture – “I’m uglier than your average Trump twitter storm.” OR “I’m so far in the closet I couldn’t find my way out with a torch and a GPS unit.”

Easygoing – “I’m more anxious than a caffeinated chihuahua.”

Boy next door – “I’m literally in the bushes next door, watching your every move.”

Toned – “I’ve never done a sit-up in my life… I just don’t eat.”

Open relationship – “My partner has no idea I’m a horny slut behind his back.”

Single – refer to ‘Open relationship’

Monogamous – “I have a greater chance of taking home an STI because my partner and I don’t use condoms.”

Dominant – “I’m a starfish in bed. Bring a cattle prod if you expect me to move.”

Hung – “I get confused between inches and centimetres. 8 cm = 8 inches, right?”

Obviously there are genuine exceptions to each of these characterisations. My profiles always say ‘friends only’ and ‘monogamous’, and I actually mean what I say. I also claim to have a swimmer’s build… because whales swim, right?

Just trust your gut. The first few exchanges in a chat reveal far more about a guy than his profile ever will. Monosyllabic, one-way conversation? Kick him to the digital kerb.

Apps such as Grindr and Scruff exist mostly for hooking up, but it’s possible to meet interesting people amongst the forest of torsos if you’re just looking for mates. Keep parsing through the idiots. Occasionally you will click with someone. Keep an eye out for these keywords in profiles, as they indicate honest guys in touch with reality:

  • Chub
  • Fem
  • Slutty
  • Unemployed

So What Should I Avoid In My Profile?

Avoid Negativity

Does your profile say ‘no pic no chat‘? Well thank you, Captain Obvious. It’s a turn-off. You should delete that bit, unless you actually intend to come across as an impatient douchebag. Having a rule like that is fine – I have the same rule – but keep it internal. If someone messages you without a pic, just block or ignore them. ‘No pic no chat’ never made anybody stop and think about their actions before sending you a boring ‘hi’.

Now let’s expand on the ‘no fats/fems/asians/blacks’ theme we talked about earlier. Having preferences is perfectly fine. Nobody is forcing you to have sex with somebody you aren’t attracted to. However, you need to judge each person on their merits because there will be exceptions to your preferences who surprise you. If you eliminate entire groups based on race, it’s racism. If you publicly express your view, don’t be surprised if you’re called a racist.

Also, don’t be a hypocrite. So many guys out there don’t have photos, but insist you have a photo before you message them. Get over yourself. You aren’t Channing Tatum. And even if you were, you’d still be blocked.

Don’t Lie About Your Age

Are you one of those losers who lies about their age and uses a photo which was taken ten years ago? This will come back to bite you on the arse, and not in a fun ‘oh my god do they want to be paid for this?’ kind of way. You will get caught. You will be laughed at (but probably behind your back, because the other guy respects his elders).

Imagine this: you claim to be 38 years old and are actually 48. You meet a guy and there’s no spark, so he leaves without putting out. You can probably justify it in any number of ways: China’s fault, Obama’s fault, etc. But deep down, you know what happened. You know what he was thinking. “That guy was in terrible shape for his age! Poor old bastard. I’d give him a sympathy fuck, but I’m worried it would be too much for his heart and kill him.”

Don’t Be A Self-Hating Homophobe

Guys on gay dating apps are generally there for a root (Aussie slang for a fuck/shag/etc) and maybe a chat or a laugh. They aren’t there to hold your hand throughout the self-acceptance part of your coming out process.

Closeted guys are a scourge on gay dating apps. The vast majority of men avoid closeted guys, because they’re needy and lousy lovers. Which makes sense, I guess: if you’ve repressed your sexuality, you must also be repressed sexually.

So if you’re ‘discreet/discrete/closeted/on the downlow‘ or if you have no profile pic, you should be seeing a therapist… not other men. Talk to your best friend, or find a counsellor. If your best friend doesn’t accept you, they were never your friend. Acceptance can only come from within, not from the validation of horny guys on gay dating apps.

You will have a much more pleasurable experience with the apps after you cast off your shame. Confidence is sexy.

What Should I Do With My Profile, Then?

Have A Face Pic

A face pic shows that you’re comfortable, confident, and unashamed. It also helps prevent awkward moments, like that time your uncle was in town and propositioned you on Grindr because he liked your torso pic.

Be Honest

If you find your life or personality to be so distasteful that you must lie about it, you really should be working on the issue instead of deceiving people about it. Be honest with yourself and have a firm grip on reality. Now that’s hot.

Be Positive

Positivity and negativity are like mirrors: whatever you put out, you will get back. So avoid negative words like ‘no’ and ‘don’t’. List your likes instead of your dislikes. Tell us what makes you happy.

And Finally…

If you happen to run into me on a gay dating app, say hi! Why not introduce yourself with a few photos? A speedos pic would definitely grab my attention 😉 Be prepared to have a decent two-way chat.

Remember: your profile is your first impression. You want to draw people in, not repel them.

Imagine a guy in a bar with a hood over his head, holding up a sign which reads ‘No fats/fems/asians/blacks. I hate myself. No chat if you’re also wearing a hood’. Would you approach him? If the answer is yes, you’re a fucked up unit who doesn’t know a red flag when he sees one.

How is your dating/sex life working out for you?

Water Wings

I can’t pinpoint the moment I realised our daughter was different, but I know exactly when I accepted her difference as fact. This moment right here, right now. There were signs along the way – some subtle, others not-so-much – which offered hints, slowly preparing my husband and I for this beautiful reality. Despite these glimpses, we were still woefully unprepared for the truth.

Since neither of us has a womb, we chose to adopt rather than use a surrogate. Why create a life when there are so many languishing in orphanages, for want of a loving home? With love and patience, we knew we could overcome any challenge offered by an unknown heritage and gene pool. And since the hypocrisy of the church had infected our government, we were forced to adopt overseas. That’s how we ended up in Thailand.

As my husband and I wandered through the cribs of the orphanage, I heard Sebastian’s heart break as clearly as I felt my own. I gripped Seb’s hand tightly, borrowing his strength so I could endure the onslaught of misery and despair. So many tears, so many pleading faces, so many sad stories. All these children, ranging from newborns to toddlers, knew they faced lives of hardship and we were a potential escape. I wanted to choose all of them. Then we saw her; the calm amongst the storm.

She was beautiful. She was tiny. She radiated cleanliness and tranquility, despite her filthy sheets and nappy, despite the loud misery which surrounded her. She had beautiful Thai features with luminous skin, a knowing expression, and smiling eyes. Her eyes, however, were a piercing blue. We asked about her background, unable to take our eyes off her.

“We think she’s six weeks old,” we were told. “She was discovered by a fisherman last week, floating in a bed of seaweed just offshore.” The orphanage administrator pointed out to sea as Seb and I exchanged surprised looks. No gut-wrenching backstory with this child. Her story was almost a fairy tale. “We’ve been calling her Ariel but you can change her name if you adopt her, obviously.”

And adopt her, we did. She kept the name Ariel; it just felt right. My family loved her immediately, as did everyone who met her. Everyone except my dear mother-in-law.

“What an ugly baby,” the racist old crone screeched. “Does it have Down’s Syndrome? You know, everyone always said I was beautiful, even as a baby.”

“Do you know how lucky you are?” My mother frequently asked this question. “Ariel never cries. You cried relentlessly when you were a baby.”

Seb and I knew exactly how lucky we were. Not only did Ariel never cry, she also took the bottle without any difficulty and slept through the night, every night. “Easy babies become difficult teenagers,” Seb said frequently, preparing us for a wilful child later on in life.

As the weeks became months and the months turned into years, we just accepted the ease of Ariel’s childhood. At first, we suspected she may be challenged on a developmental level. She showed no interest in learning to crawl or walk, never made any noises trying to emulate our speech. She just lay there, her intense blue eyes absorbing everything.

“What would you like for breakfast?” I asked Ariel one morning as I slid her into the high chair.

“Apple puree, please Daddy James.”

The response, so clear and flawless, stunned me. I looked around, certain my mother was playing a joke on me somewhere.

“Would you like it warmed up?” I asked, watching Ariel intently.

“Yes please.” Her lips matched the sounds. She was speaking, fluently. She noticed my surprise. “Is everything OK?”

I just nodded and prepared our breakfast. Seb was stunned into momentary silence when he returned home from work that evening.

“What a joy!” he eventually exclaimed. “I guess she just didn’t want to say anything until she had it right.”

Unfortunately Ariel’s leap into language wasn’t welcomed by everyone. Seb’s mother, who was never going to win grandmother of the year, stopped visiting completely because of her punishing schedule of ‘painting lessons and tennis’.

My mother expressed her unease and scaled back her visits, as well. “It’s not normal,” she said, on more than one occasion.

We became a close knit family, a self-contained unit which never needed anybody else. Our daughter was special and didn’t deserve to be shunned. So we made sure we never needed a babysitter, never scared another person with Ariel’s mastery of the language at such a young age. She didn’t have the emotional skills to understand the negative, fearful reactions.

Then one evening, as Seb arrived home from work and closed the door, Ariel leapt to her feet and ran over to give him a hug. “Hello Daddy Seb” she said, giggling her delightful laugh. He swung her around, delighted with the greeting. Seb and I exchanged surprised looks over Ariel’s shoulder.

“No baby steps for her, obviously.” Seb had just kissed Ariel goodnight and joined me for a glass of wine on the back porch. “No crawling, no unsteady steps.”

“Hopefully, by the time she starts school, she won’t be so advanced for her age.” We clinked glasses and snuggled against the chill of the autumn air.

Eventually, when Ariel was at an age appropriate for her to be talking and running as she did, we started introducing her to other people. She spent a few hours at daycare most days, and then kindergarten. She went to birthday parties and had play dates. The uncommon bursts of her early development no longer mattered; she was an ordinary girl, now. Then I had the bright idea of teaching her how to swim.

She’d aways loved bath time. She’d splash and giggle. She loved showers and sitting in the blow-up kiddy pool. So off we went to the indoor council pool.

At first, Ariel made no effort. She didn’t try to kick, didn’t splash her arms. She just lay in my arms, lolling about like a stuffed toy. I had assumed that eventually, she would just kick off and swim like an olympic medal winner. However, after three visits to the pool, I realised she wasn’t going to have another leap in development. So I bought some water wings for our next swimming lesson.

And that brings us to now, the moment I finally accepted our daughter’s difference. She is Different, with a capital D. We’ve just entered the water for our fourth swimming lesson.

“Let’s get these water wings on,” I said, reaching for the little plastic inflatable tubes.

“I don’t need those, Daddy James,” Ariel giggled. She wriggled from my grip and showed me her hands. I gasped; I couldn’t help myself. Her fingers had webbing between them, growing thicker and stronger before my eyes. Then I noticed her legs. They fused together and formed a tail, her feet becoming fins. Blue scales spread over her tail, reflecting light on the roof of the pool complex.

Ariel flicked her tail and swam on her own. She giggled as she swam circles around me, relishing her freedom of movement in the water. She was completely unaware of the gasps and screams her transformation had provoked in the people around. She only had eyes for me. She only wanted her Daddy’s approval.

“Way to go, Ariel!” I applauded, so proud of my little girl. “Wait until Daddy Seb sees this!”

Microfiction for Scifantor
Theme: Water

You Stole My Light

I’m hitting the footpath, looking for you
The sky is blue, matching my mood
You stole my light when you left

The sun is shining, yet my thoughts are dark
I’m the only sad soul in this vibrant park
You stole my light when you left

My brain tried to warn me of this terrible fate
A sadistic streak with a beautiful face
You stole my light when you left

Your infectious laugh powered my smile
Yet thoughts of you now induce bitter bile
You stole my heart when you left

Still I’m hitting the footpath, looking for you
I need my light, even after the truth
You stole my light when you left

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

GG woke with a start, and her first sensation was heat. Intense, broiling heat. Panic flared as she struggled for breath, afraid to open her eyes.

“Sshhh, just relax.” The voice was soothing, pleasant. “Take your time, there’s no rush. We have an eternity.”

GG fought to control her breathing as she slowly opened her eyes. Standing before her was a demon; an actual demon with horns, red skin, and yellow eyes. She gasped, then swallowed back her hysteria.

“That’s better,” the demon said. “My name is Davrett. We’re going to play a game.” Continue reading “Liar Liar Pants On Fire”

The Klinger

Known as ‘The Klinger’ by his colleagues, Detective Kennedy Kling of the Queensland Police Service has a reputation for tenacity. The Klinger solves cases from Brisbane’s dark side, where motives are murky and the crimes are disturbing.

The first psychological thriller from this series, Tumble, is coming soon.


Known as ‘The Klinger’ by his colleagues, Detective Kennedy Kling of the Queensland Police Service has a reputation for tenacity. The Klinger solves cases from Brisbane’s dark side, where motives are murky and the crimes are disturbing.

When the body of a young woman is found – poorly staged to look like suicide – a pattern emerges which points to a sadistic serial killer. The Klinger must find the killer before they can kill again. As Detective Kling investigates the case, a colleague’s son goes missing and a disturbing link is uncovered. The investigation becomes a desperate race against time and a mind driven insane with grief.

Can The Klinger solve the mystery? His steely focus is the missing youth’s best chance for survival.

Backcover blurb for ‘Tumble’, the first Klinger novel.


“Tell me a bedtime story, George.” Amy, seven years old, tucked herself into bed as she pleaded with her companion.

“It’s a little late, isn’t it?” George questioned, his voice stern.

“Pleeeease?” Amy smiled, exposing the gaps where her front teeth had fallen out.

“OK, fine.” George relented with a sigh. Amy squealed with delight and snuggled under her covers.

“Do you know your Earth history?” George asked.

“It’s the home of humanity.” Amy was keen to show off her knowledge.

“That’s right,” George continued, “and if Earth were still around, today would have been a solstice day. Do you know what a solstice is?” Continue reading “Amy”


The inhabitants of the planet Fele referred to themselves as ‘feisty’ and ‘passionate’; however, other member races of the United Planets called them bloodthirsty, belligerent, vain, and a little fragrant.
Through civil wars, blood feuds, and family disagreements, the planet Fele was an arid wasteland. Only after its inhabitants ran out of resources for their war machines did they finally band together to seek a solution.

Their answer? Invasion. A hostile takeover of another planet. Scientists were seconded from research into war machines and moved into the search for intelligent life outside the United Planets. The Fele could have moved on another planet within the UP, however no other known species had developed a brain which could host their intelligence. Continue reading “Fele”


Dayko, test pilot and youngest son of the Phan royal family, sat in quiet contemplation with his head resting on his knees. His perch at the peak of the palace afforded him views across the landscape in every direction. His  next test flight – possibly his last test flight – was due to take place shortly, and Dayko took a deep, trembling breath. He raised his horned head and looked outside, reminding himself of the stakes involved.

Lightning flashed constantly across the sky of dark turbulent clouds, reflected in Dayko’s sad, red eyes. He noted the acid rains had ceased, for now, replaced by falling ash. Neither rain nor ash doused the burning oceans, however. In a desperate twist of fate, those plains of burning pollution, along with the constant flashes of lightning, provided the only light in a world where all forms of energy and industry had failed. Continue reading “Dayko”