If you’re a gay man who’s fresh out of the closet, you should definitely be congratulated. Coming out is quite possibly one of the most difficult things any gay man has to do in his entire life, so it only makes sense that you’d have some pretty strong feelings right now. On the one hand, you no doubt feel like the world is your oyster from a dating standpoint, probably for the first time ever. On the other, you’re probably as terrified as you are excited and that’s also understandable.
It’s important not to sweat it too much though. Yes, dating as a fresh-out-of-the-closet gay man is challenging to say the least, but it’s also fun and thrilling. You’re about to start living your life on your terms and that life is going to be filled with amazing queer men, not to mention amazing experiences. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure you get the absolute most out of everything that comes your way.
1. There’s no right or wrong way to be gay.
If there’s one worry pretty much every newly out gay man has, it’s that he’s going to somehow screw up being gay. He’s scared of doing it wrong, so he’s really concerned with mastering the “right” way to be gay as soon as possible so he doesn’t make a laughing stock of himself. That’s why it’s so important to know that there’s no actual right or wrong way to be gay or queer.
The right way to be gay is to simply be yourself. You don’t have to care about theater or know all about fashion to qualify. You’ll probably definitely have gay friends poke fun at you, themselves, or other gay people for being “a bad gay”. Just keep in mind that it’s all in good fun and there’s actually no such thing.
2. Get used to sharp-edged humor.
Speaking of jokes about being a bad gay, you’ll definitely want to go into the gay dating scene with the understanding that cutting humor is a huge part of how many gays communicate. It’s also a bonding thing for many of us, so definitely don’t take it personally.
Lots of gay guys are pretty caustic. They have really dry wits and they like to call things (and people) as they see them. Sometimes that involves not only pointing out a perceived shortcoming in someone else publicly, but doing it right in front of them without so much as a hint of shame. Just know that among friends, it’s usually coming from a friendly place and roll with the punches if it ever happens to you.
3. The gay community is pretty diverse.
Remember when we said there’s absolutely not a right or wrong way to be gay? Well, there’s definitely a reason for that. The gay community is honestly as diverse and varied as the straight one is. It’s also filled with sub-communities. You may be somewhat aware of that, but you’ll definitely become even more aware once you start dating around.
There are bears and twinks. There are drag queens, hipster gays, and leather gays. There are bottoms, tops, and everything in between. Eventually, you may decide you want to be a member of one of those sub-communities or sub-categories. You’ll definitely develop your preferences as far as what types of gays you’re most attracted to, especially if you ever get really into online dating or app hookups. Just relax, let it happen, and enjoy the ride.
4. Easy sex is definitely a thing.
When you’re still in the closet, it only stands to reason that you’d feel pretty restricted as far as how you can handle your dating life. Exactly why you might be surprised at just how easy sex is to come by once you’re officially part of the gay community! In fact, a lot of newly out gay guys go on an absolute sexual safari at first and that’s totally understandable.
If you do feel like you need to go on a complete sexual rampage to celebrate being able to live your truth, we can assure you no one’s judging. Just be safe about it. Also, it’s a good idea to at least consider getting used to openly dating and sleeping with other men before you really go all out.
5. Think about safety sooner rather than later.
Speaking of easy gay sex and the urge you will feel to have plenty of it, we can’t stress the importance of safety strongly enough. No, you don’t have to worry about impregnating anyone anymore, but HIV is still a very real issue, especially for the gay community. One of the best decisions you could ever make as a gay man would be to take safety seriously.
That said, definitely keep a king-sized supply of condoms on hand at all times, especially if you really do plan on hooking up a lot or going crazy sexually. However, you should also seriously consider going on PrEP. PrEP is a pre-exposure prophylactic that you take daily. When taken as directed, it’s 99% effective at preventing HIV infection if you’re ever exposed. It’s not a substitute for condoms, but it’s definitely a wise safety measure that’s well worth adding to your sexual health regimen.
6. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
When you’re still learning what it means to be a fully out member of the gay community, it’s important to realize that some of the new gay friends you’ll make will have your best interests at heart and some of them won’t. Don’t assume that every gay man is a potential friend, confidante, or mentor. A lot of them will specifically be looking to take advantage of how naïve you’ll be at first.
In particular, don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking you have to do anything sexual you’re not into. Don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking gay men have to sleep with someone in order to earn their friendship either. It’s quite simply not true. In general, just use your judgment when deciding who to trust.
7. Understand that dating will still suck sometimes.
When you’re fresh out of the closet, it might be tempting to think that your dating woes are officially over. Why wouldn’t they be, right? Now that you can openly and freely date gay people you’re really truly attracted to, what could possibly go wrong? Actually, quite a lot.
The fact of the matter is dating is tough in general and it can really be a pain sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, or bi. Gay guys can be jerks and break hearts just as surely as anyone else can and you’ll probably learn that the hard way. Just don’t let it get you down. Just as there are dudes out there that make all of gay-kind look bad, you’ll meet a lot of really awesome guys that totally make it all worth it too.
8. Gay guys don’t have an equivalent to “bros before hos”.
You know how straight guys have a sort of unspoken bro code that says the exes of friends are totally off limits? Gay guys really don’t have anything like that going on. In fact, gay men are very much still men in that they’re quite competitive. Also, the gay dating pool tends to be pretty small, even in big cities like New York or San Francisco.
That said, most of your gay friends are going to consider your exes to be fair game, so be prepared for that. A lot does depend on the type of relationship you have with each individual friend, of course. Just don’t assume that another gay will lay off of your ex just because the two of you are tight friends.
9. Gays can be jerks in ways you won’t expect.
You’d think that because gay men know all too well what it’s like to deal with discrimination that they’d be really open-minded themselves, but that’s not always the case. For example, you’ll run into a lot of gay guys in your travels that are openly and unabashedly racist. You’ll also meet more than a few that are completely femme-phobic, meaning they ruthlessly discriminate against other gays that may look, act, or live in a manner traditionally considered feminine. That sort of open prejudice can definitely be shocking if you’re not prepared.
Just know that there are also an awful lot of gays out there that are completely awesome. Gay culture is rich and amazing. So many of the new friends you’ll make will be wise, fun, and fabulous in every way. So will some of the gay guys you’ll date! You’ll have lots of good time, plenty of awesome sex, and you’ll definitely be glad you came out of the closet after all is said and done. There’s just a little bit of a learning curve involved. Get out there and get started today!