I need help with gay dating

…sort of.

The back story: I’m 27 years old and I suppose I’ve known that I’m bisexual my entire life, even if I didn’t put it into words until I was 14 or so. Anyway, while I’ve shared a couple of casual kisses with guys, it’s never gone farther than that, mainly because I’ve spent 8 of the last 10½ years in two long-term relationships with women. The first one left me a wreck for a couple of years, so trying to find a partner, male or otherwise, wasn’t even on my radar during that period, and the last one ended a little over a week ago.

Coming out of that last one I found myself feeling much better than I should. No real anger or sorrow. We’re still good friends. I don’t want another relationship, but I do feel like trying out the neglected side of my sexuality. I’ve never really dated, also mainly due to those two relationships, and those two women are the only people I’ve ever had sex with, so I was a bit hesitant and nervous.

Just to try it out, I became a member of a Swedish gay online community dating meat market thingie a few days ago. OK, now I’m scared. The gay guys all have their profiles filled with porn pictures, all they have to say to you is “wanna fuck?” (or, at best, “howya doin’?”), and their presentations say stuff like “I fuck hard and long” or “don’t bother to write me if you want anything more than sex”. Apparently I can get sex whenever I want, but this wasn’t… quite… what I was looking for.

This is very new to me, both the dating thing and the sex-with-guys thing. I was hoping I’d find someone whom I can talk to, you know? Kind of get to know, see where it leads sort of thing.

I know there are a whole bunch of gay guys here who have been at this game a hell of a lot longer than I have. Are my experiences so far par for the course? Is it the same relentless meat market at gay clubs and the like? Could you recommend any kind of place where I’d have a better chance of finding what I’m looking for?

Yes.

Yes.

No.

Welcome to gay.

Me? Cynical? Naaaaaaw!

There’s your problem. Those online things are for sex, which is fine; but if you want something else, you will naturally have to look somewhere else.

You might want to scout around and see what’s going on in your local gay community. There may be support groups, social groups (sometimes specifically promoted as “an alternative to the bar scene”), clubs (sports, literature, etc.), or organizations that need volunteers. If there’s a local university or college, they might have a gay and lesbian group with open social events.

You might also want to try different chat rooms, some of which are for the purpose of meeting friends rather than sex.

If there’s a selection of gay bars in town, there might be ones that are less cruisy and more for socializing.

Finally, hell – you might want to throw your hands up in the air at some point and give the sex thing a try. That’s fine too (always presuming that you’re using protection and some common sense). Tonight, I’m going to dinner with an old friend I first met years ago at a sauna. It happens…!

This one doesn’t advertise itself as being for sex, but it has apparently turned into precisely that. At least for the men, the women seem to have a hell of a time finding friends and socializing.

Lesbians have all the fun.

Well, I’m a bit scared. I was scared the first time with Pricegal I, I was scared the first time with Pricegal II, and I fully expect to be scared the first time with whomever it turns out to be. I’d prefer it if that person is not someone that a) I don’t know and b) could kick my ass, which most men can. Call me a coward if you will.

Thanks for your advice. I’ll look around.

Every gay relationship I have been in has been the result of meeting someone through mutual friends. I don’t mean setups, I mean I meeting someone at a party or who just happened to be at a mutual friend’s house and stuff like that. My longest relationship of 16 years (may he rot in hell) happened that way. My current relationship happened that way.

I have also met people at bars and through chatrooms that I liked. One person I met in a bar turned into a kind of relationship and I’ve developed friends through chatrooms.

Priceguy, best advice I can give is, it’s gonna happen. It might take a while but eventually it does.

FWIW, here’s where I met my past repeated dates and/or boyfriends:

Ahmad: at a gay youth group.
Tom of Cleveland: over an online email list for gay youth (hi, andygirl!)
Éric: while sitting at a bus stop because the gay youth group we both attended was closed.
Miguel: in a bar (we recognized each other from having met previously).
Chrissie: at a dance.
Peter: he emailed me after seeing my metro website.
Potter: I emailed him after seeing him right here.

Now that I’m single again, I completely forget how to do the meet-boys thing, and it sucks (though I’ve got one or two prospects, we’ll have to see how they pan out).

>Lesbians have all the fun.

Hahaha snort, sigh…

I’m a member of lesbian tribe, but I belong to a ton of mixed organizations and a pretty high number of my close friends are gay men.

If I have any advice, it’s to diversify your cyberworld a little more, join some other gay male groups, see if there are any GLBT organizations in your area you’d like to volunteer for, or are into hobbies or sports you’re into, blah blah blah.

Of all my gay male couple friends, the longest (12 years together) met through a personals ad, one set met in a bar, several met through the GLBT band here, one met his partner at the local sex club(!) and a couple have met at bars. I’d say just keep your options open.

And believe me, there is nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned safe sex in the meantime.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Wow, that’s the best thing I’ve heard all day.

So you’re saying you don’t have all the fun? Well, at least you can try and find somebody without having a bunch of men showing you pictures of their genitalia, can’t you?

Wait. Backspace and overstrike. Sorry. Don’t know what came over me.

I’m definitely no veteran or anything, but I can say that your experiences sound awfully familiar. The only rule I gathered from online “dating” is that at least with the guys who post nude pictures, you can immediately see their dicks.

(That was supposed a pun, but I just realized it doesn’t work as well as text.)

A lot of the people on those things are just looking for sex, to the point that they see anything more as an inconvenience. So you have to wade through a mire of gonads for weeks just to find one person who’s not a total jackass, is actually looking for more than just a one-night stand, and then is maybe attracted to you and vice versa. I can’t count all the times I wished I were just a little bit bisexual, so I could just drop the whole gay thing and get down to the nightmare of “normal” dating.

The plus side of the online thing is that it lets you filter out what you don’t want a lot more easily and quickly than you’d be able to in a bar. And it’s actually safer, I think, because you can retain a little anonymity. And, you can occasionally meet someone interesting on there – I never had luck with actual dating, but I did meet a couple of people I’d still consider friends. You may want to try one of the larger sites, if only because the volume of people means you’d have better odds of finding someone who’s not deeply disturbed, impossibly horny, or both. Just get used to reading the dumb-ass “I don’t bite… unless you want me to! LOL!” joke about a million damn times.

Personally, I’m in a very happy place right now, but I’m not sure if the process is reproducible. It goes something like:

  1. Develop a stupid unrequited crush. Spend months being all moony and thinking that he might change his mind.
  2. Go to a DopeFest and meet an awesome guy. Ignore him, like an idiot.
  3. Go on several creepy and humiliating dates.
  4. Give up on dating entirely. Become celibate. Abandon worldly posessions (optional).
  5. When least expecting it, start hanging out with awesome guy from step (2).
  6. Work up the stones to ask him out.
  7. Profit.

So I’m dumb to try? I should happily settle down with being straight?

On a re-read, that came out completely wrong. It was meant as a half-serious joke.

Somehow I’m missing out on the Gay Mafia gossip. I need details on a couple of items

Who is this? Was there an announcement I missed?

and most shocking

Wha!!?? I thought the ocean was being moved to make that happen. Did immigration get in the way? When did that happen? I thought y’all were picking out china patterns with the Evils.

You know I don’t have the “Gossip Welcome Here” keychain fob for nuthin’ folks.

As to the OP:
Gay or straight it don’t make no difference when it comes to what makes dating so difficult. It takes the self-confidence to you put yourself out there and meet people. If you’re in a city it’s easier because there’ll be more opportunities, like gay-owned bookstores or cafes. Another way is to get involved with a local political group. I’ve met (no, that’s not a euphemism) lots of men by joining the gay bowling league here in town.

Thank you, Homebrew for asking the questions that needed to be asked. Good grief, don’t people realize we need to be kept abreast of these things? Sheesh, didn’t they read the fine print in the registration agreement? We’re all about fighting ignorance here, people.
:smiley:

The bowling shoes are especially f-aaaaaa-bu-lous! :smiley:

I’m with Homebrew–what up, dawgs? (Damn, I watch too much American Idol).

I’m happy for Sol Grundy–he’s a swell guy with a big heart (even though we argue, I can’t help loving him). So who’s the lucky Doper?

And what happened with Potter and Matt_Mcl? I was looking forawrd to a second gay Canadian wedding.

As for the gya dating thing for the OP–yes, online guys are almost (but not quite)always looking for Mr. Right Now. Just don’t date as though you were auditioning guys for the role of The Husband. Take easy, relax.

Do you have a gay community in your area? Here in DC we have a plethora of activities and groups to get involved in, so maybe you might want to see if there;s a gay group that shares one of your interests.

And remember, you are loved and you are lovable.

I agree with what the others have said, and the whole point of those websites is to hook up for sex fast…but then again, it is not just a “Gay” thing, I think there might be one or two…or maybe 150 million of those sites for heteros as well.

If you want to take it slow, there are lots of groups in urban areas…Gay bowling teams, or writers groups, or hikers, or…whatever. Call the closest Gay community center, or pick up a local Gay magazine and check under organizations.

I personally met my lover of 24 years (this February 28th) at a Gay bar. Of course, prior to that I had met 1000’s of guys at Gay bars who, uh…auditioned for the part.

Relax, and have fun.

That’d be me. And “lucky” is absolutely the right word. We’ve been dating since late November, and he’s just about the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.

So, my own non-reproducible steps went something like this:

  1. Abandon all hope of ever dating anyone of either gender ever.
  2. Develop huge crush on some guy you met on the internet.
  3. Meet him in person at a DopeFest, but (and this is key) avoid him as much as you can for the entire evening.
  4. Wait a couple months.
  5. Ask him via e-mail if he wants to “hang out” some time.
  6. Hang out all day without doing anything that could remotely be considered "date-like. At the end of the day, shake hands and go home. It’s important that this be the only physical contact the two of you have all day.
  7. Arrange to meet him again, still without explicitly asking him out on a date.
  8. Wait for him to ask, “So, is this a dating-type situation?”
  9. Don’t frighten the horses.

Basically, my advise is to act like a total coward. In my experience, just 'cause a guy claims he’s gay doesn’t mean he won’t fall for a big pussy.

My shoes look like the one on the bottom, except they don’t have the silver stripe.

Sorry, folks. It was actually last March, but I didn’t feel comfortable saying anything on the Dope until now. It ended up not being possible, I’m afraid. :frowning: I’d rather not go into too many details, except to say that, although we were both deeply grieved to find it wouldn’t work, the breakup wasn’t acrimonious. Thanks for your support.