It’s depressing how often I’m asked if I’m down to “parTy” or “PnP” on Grindr and every other gay hookup app. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, within five minutes of being online, someone will inevitably invite me over to smoke meth and have sex. For those who are unfamiliar, the capital T in parTy stands for Tina, which is the street name for meth. PnP stands for ParTy and Play, another coded way of asking if you want to do meth and bone. While meth addiction may be depicted in the media as a poor, “white trash” disease, it’s actually very prevalent in the gay male community regardless of affluence or race.
But for every meth offer I receive on Grindr, I see at least four profiles that explicitly state “No drugs, only 4-20,” which puts a smile on my face. Let me clarify: I’m not against all drugs, besides cannabis. Anyone who knows me is well aware this is far from the case; however, I have seen meth ruin the lives of countless friends. I haven’t however, seen pot do that to well… anyone.
Grindr, over the years, has held multiple purposes. When I first came out, it was a way for me to explore sexually. It then became a way to actually meet men to date, but now, it’s how I connect with queer stoners in ways I didn’t think possible. I’ve also come to learn that other queer men use the app to connect with other gay or bi cannabis consumers, too.
For one, “Do you wanna smoke weed and cuddle?” is the best pickup line in the world, and has seldom failed me. Everyone just wants to get stoned, have sex, and cuddle.
But second, and more importantly, it’s a way to break bread with a stranger. On Grindr, you’re doing everything you were told not to do while growing up. Not only are you inviting a stranger into your home, you’re also going to have sex with him, after a mere couple-sentence exchange over Grindr's messaging platform. Sometimes, you may even leave the door unlocked, as you patiently wait blindfolded, ass up. You’re not even getting a look at him prior. (Lord knows I’ve done this, and yes, I’m well aware that the element of danger and anonymity is what makes it so hot.)
But when you see someone who mentions they’re down to “4-20” in their profile, it takes the edge off. Seeing a cannabis-friendly man makes you feel slightly less apprehensive about inviting a rando into your home.
“When someone indicates that they are into 4-20, I connect with them on a social level immediately — a lot more than top, bottom, or anything else,” explains Danny, 29, who's been using the Grindr app for a few years. When two strangers message each other about smoking weed, it implies that, while yes, they're looking to get down to business, they're also down to hang out with each other before and after, too.
“I’ve had plenty of guys start a convo saying they have bud, not because they’re looking to sell, but just as a conversation starter,” said Ryan, 25. It’s not just going to be a quickie where he’s in and out of the apartment (and you) within 12 minutes; it’s going to be a little hang session.
“I also tend to trust him more,” Ryan continued, noting that countless encounters (involving cannabis) have validated this trust. While Ryan, like anyone who consistently uses Grindr, has run into aggressive creeps or catfishers, cannabis consumers tend to be, for lack of a better word, chill. Sex, too, doesn’t seem to feel as obligatory with pot-smokers, as it does typically with other men on Grindr. The goal of smoking is often, “let's get high and see where this goes." Mostly it will still lead to sex, but many times, it may end up with simply cuddling and napping. And I know for me, that sounds 10 times better than a quickie.
“I’ve actually met many people off Grindr by smoking and chilling,” said Easies, 26. “I have actually made a lot of genuine friends from it.” But cannabis also makes for a better hookup, too. “It’s also turned into some great sex," he added. "I kinda appreciate how it allows guys to interact on a more comfortable level.”
This more comfortable level is a requirement for some men. Take Matthew, 27, who explained that “weed acts as a mechanism where I can connect with men beyond just walking in and f*cking. We get a real chance to engage.” It’s why he pretty much always smokes before a Grindr hookup and always offers his partner the opportunity to smoke, too.
Then, of course, Grindr is there when there’s a drought, and you have no dealer left to turn to. “I’ve actually bought weed from a stranger off Grindr when I was desperate. It was good, so I ended up buying from him a few more times,” says Danny.
Adam, 27, also has used Grindr and other apps to find 4-20-friendly folks while traveling to other cities where he doesn’t have his usual supplier. In his experience, it’s the best way to not only find bud, but also to make a new friend.
And then of course, there’s the most obvious perk of getting to smoke with a Grindr guy prior to have sex: The sex is going to be better. Research from earlier this year not only revealed that people prefer stoned sex to drunk sex, but marijuana enhances sex, according to most women.
We also know this anecdotally. I know I orgasm harder if I’ve consumed THC and am also more able to relax and get into the flow of having sex.
That's why I put on my profile “No drugs, just 4-20” and if you’re looking to connect with other queer stoners, either sexually or platonically, then I highly recommend you do the same.