If you’re a gay man and you own any technology device better than a flip phone, chances are high that you’ve downloaded the SCRUFF app and used it to meet other guys. We, on the other hand, are completely app-obsessed and prefer the improved features of SCRUFF Pro for the occasional late-night “chat only.”
Recently, we woofed at Johnny Skandros (a.k.a. Johnny Scruff), founder of the company. Little did we know our intent to set up a little naked role play with him would instead turn into an epic conversation about all things SCRUFF.
Gay List Daily: So, is owning a gay dating app the best thing ever for a single man?
Johnny Scruff: This question makes me chuckle. I would hope that a single gay man finds the joy in GPS dating technology. The beauty of SCRUFF is you can utilize it for various reasons, whether it be to meet new friends, dating, or just chatting. I want to help break the notion that gay dating apps are for hookups only. In fact, we conducted an in-app survey and over 50% of our members used SCRUFF for either chat or dates only.
GLD: Have you actually met guys on Scruff and met up? What was your most memorable date/hookup?
JS: My mood determines how I’ll use SCRUFF, which I think applies to most gays. If it’s late and I’m coming home from the bar on a Saturday, I’ll probably hop on SCRUFF and see what people are up to, maybe spark a conversation. Sometimes members chat me up to say “thank you” and I try to give them a “woof” or a chat back. Sometimes guys will even send an X photo as a thank you (yes a dick pic) or will unlock their private album. I’m not complaining about that one single bit!
One of the most memorable dates I had was with this cute British ginger guy visiting from London. We met on SCRUFF, which eventually led to a great first date. To this day we are still in contact. I call him “Spunky,” which is the nickname I gave him. Shout out to Spunky!
GLD: Do any of them ever realize who you are or recognize you?
JS: Yes, yes and yes 99% of the time. This is sometimes a problem because people think I’m impersonating “Johnny Scruff.” Sometimes guys even become intimidated and stop chatting with me all together. It kind of sucks because I’m just a regular guy who wants to meet other cool people too; however, I’m not looking for any sympathy here. At the end of the day, I feel really fortunate about my position in life and the success SCRUFF has given me. I’m a confident person with a strong personality, so if you want to catch me you’re going to have to be strong as well!
GLD: What do you think of users who don’t use proper dating app etiquette? Like the ones who feature a profile picture of a scenic landscape then demand that anyone who contacts them has a face pic showing? So annoying.
JS: I agree, it is as annoying as blue balls and they need to get it together! I can understand how someone in the closet might not want to display their photo. Copyrighted photos and impersonation is not allowed on SCRUFF. Our full list of Profile Guidelines can be found here.
GLD: What do you have to say to the people out there who create fake profiles?
JS: Talk about some serious SHADE! We don’t tolerate impersonation on SCRUFF. If you are caught you will be permanently kicked off. End Scene!
GLD: We love getting woofed at by people 5,000 miles away, but the likelihood of ever meeting is slim. Do you have an explanation for why so many guys love the long-distance woof?
JS: So, I will have to disagree with you. People (especially us gays) travel more often than you think for business and pleasure. Making a connection with someone across seas may certainly lead to a face to face encounter. I can’t tell you how many couples have married…yes married….from initially woofing at each other 5,000 miles away. WOOF!
GLD: Good to know. We’ll start paying more attention! Are you seeing a lot more non-scruffy guys using Scruff?
JS: Yes, and it makes me really happy. SCRUFF, at its core, is about connecting guys of different types to each other and to the global gay community. Whether you’re a jock, bear, twink, daddy chaser, drag queen, or even transgender, we want you to feel welcome on SCRUFF. Our community filtering allows members to find the kinds of guys they are into much faster. So, if you’re into daddy chasers, you can filter guys who like daddy chasers, and so on…
GLD: What did you think about the Queen making Prince Harry shave his beard?
JS: Someone needs to get a memo to the Queen that SCRUFF is in. Harry knows how to “werk” that ginger SCRUFF proper.
GLD: Congrats on the new pad in NYC! Saw it on your Facebook page and it looks great… Great for hosting!
JS: Haha thanks! It’s certainly a step up from the sixth floor walkup I lived in six years ago where the bathroom was so small that I had to sit sideways on the toilet!
I’ll never forget the night that the vision of SCRUFF and the name popped into my head. I had been at a bar in New York City that evening called Bartini, and I kept thinking about how “scruffy” and handsome the crowd was. Once I pitched the idea to Eric, my business partner, it was game on!
I’d like to point out that SCRUFF’s success is because of the hard work of our entire team. Eric Silverberg, Co-Founder, is a brilliant developer as well as businessman. He’s taken on all of the technology efforts as well running the business, while my efforts have been primarily in the marketing, social, and brand side of SCRUFF. Jason Marchant, Founding Partner and Chief Product Officer, has been with us since the beginning and is one of the most articulate and knowledgeable people I know. Lastly, we have the best support team in the gay dating space. Headed by Joey Dube, we’ve maintained a 24 hour SLA with our members. Overall, I truly believe we have the best team in the world and I’m so grateful to have them in my day-to-day life.
GLD: We’ve read that you’ve gotten accused of ruining a guy’s relationship. What other stories do you have from users and their Scruff experiences?
JS: There are certainly downsides to my job. This guy working airport security at McCarran airport in Las Vegas, NV recognized me as I was walking through the scanning machine. He said “Oh I hate SCRUFF….you’re the one responsible for my boyfriend cheating on me.” I was a bit stunned for obvious reasons. He might as well blame Karl Benz for inventing the automobile.
I truly believe that the majority of my success is attributed to focusing on the positive side of things and remaining optimistic. Even though this was an unfriendly experience, I understand that some people are irrational when it comes to matters of the heart. Even though it’s easier to remember the negative, most of the interactions I’ve had in person and the SCRUFF stories I’ve received are positive ones.
GLD: We love the gay slang dictionary you’ve created. We find it quite odd that the Germans don’t have a word for kink. (But they do love their schnuckels!) Any other surprises when the list was created?
JS: Thanks! The gay slang dictionary is something we hope people find useful whether it be in their travels or just for fun. I’m proud to say that SCRUFF is translated in 14 different languages, which make us the most translated gay social app on the market. Since many of these slang words were already translated, we decided to utilize them by building this dictionary. I think the dictionary reaffirms that the gay community is vast and global.
GLD: What’s next for Scruff?
JS: 2014 is going to be an amazing year for SCRUFF and I’m so excited! Our first big SCRUFF event will be at TOWN in Washington DC at the end of February. We are also in the process of developing a program where we donate geographically targeted banner advertisements to charitable organizations that positively impact the gay community. Lastly, I can reveal that you might be seeing some SCRUFF on TV! Let’s just say that RuPaul’s Drag Race is going to be extra SCRUFFy this season.
GLD: And what’s next for Johnny Scruff?
JS: Johnny Scruff is going to be a bit kinder to himself this year. First, I’m going to take some well-earned time off. I went on a gay cruise a few months ago, which was my first vacation in over three years. I’d also like to try and find a legit boyfriend or maybe even husband. Now that I have a really cool apartment, I need a man to share it with! Know anyone?
GLD: Unlocking our private photo album for you now. Just give us a call.