This started as a list of suggestions and improvements I wish Growlr would implement. I started out with:
1. Sort locals guys by most recent active status. So, for example, the people most recently logged in and were active would appear at the top and the people away for 6 hours would be on the bottom.
2. The ability to select multiple messages/conversations to delete at once. Right now you can delete everything at once or go one by one. I want deleting more like most common email apps. Sometimes I have a lot of messages to get ride of but there are still a couple conversations that I want to keep.
3. Get rid of Work as a profile question. This is just useless.
4. Mark out of town visitors with a special color or icon. Who doesn’t love an out-of-towner in a hotel?
Then I got to
From number 5 on, filters started to emerge as a general theme. I even asked a round and got similar feedback about wanting to filter guys by race, age, weight, height etc. I was on board until a friend gave some terrific insight. He said he was against the filter idea because he felt he would always be filtered out. In a split second my opinion changed. I realized I probably wouldn’t fit into many people’s wish list either. While filters seem like a good idea in theory, you’ve got to ask yourself: Would make the cut? Are you hairy enough? Old enough? Young enough? Big enough? Ethnic enough? The more filters you give people the more chances you give them to avoid making a connection.
With that said, the one filter that I am in favor of is a filter for relationship status. It would allow single guys to view only other single guys. To be clear, I’m not saying anyone should be banned from use I’m just suggesting a different viewing option. Being single is hard and I applaud any service that helps men find love. Some guys in relationships get overly butthurt when single people complain about the lack of other singles on any Growlr type app. You’ll hear them say something akin to “It’s a hook up app not a dating service.” Whenever I hear that I automatically realize that person met his partner long before Growlr was invented and he’s obviously out of touch with dating in 2014. Where are they supposed to meet someone if they are looking to date? As someone with a boyfriend, I don’t get why others in my position care so much either way? If you want someone to respect that you’re only into bears you have to respect their desire to only chat with other single guys. Personally I owe Growlr a big Thank You for helping my boyfriend and I make contact. While we first saw each other in person at the Round Up, our first conversation was in fact on Growlr. (I didn’t have the courage to do it in person)
One last point about filters. The theory is inciting in the beginning because we all have a fantasy of finally finding that needle in a hay stack gay. You can finally find that tall hairy dom total top Asian bubba cub who loves his ass licked by his miniature black power lifting boyfriend. But the truth of the matter is that regardless of the filter used, Growlr can only show you men that are already around you. If he’s not already there, no filter is going to bring him closer. (that includes you single bears looking for love) Even in the depths of New York and LA you’re still going to see many of the same faces on day after day. The bear world just isn’t that big. Plus even if you do finally find your fantasy Asian bubba cub you’ll get a dose of reality when you realize he’s only into mixed race transgender grad students.
P.S. With all kidding aside, bears complain about Growlr a lot but we are really spoiled. When’s the last time you looked at Grindr? It literally has had almost no major changes or updates since the iPhone 3. So while Growlr might not be totally perfect, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the creators did a pretty kick ass job and it’s a hell of a lot better than all the other choices.
Seriously, download Grinder for a flashback to 2009.
Dedicated to Ollie 🙂