Gay Dating 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Hooking Up

If you’re a gay guy that really enjoys the occasional quick hookup once in a while, you naturally don’t need to be told that dating interfaces like Grindr and Scruff are absolute godsends. You get to feast your eyes on single, available, local hotties right from the comfort of your own home. Dating and hookup apps also ensure that your next hot date is literally only a quick search and a few taps away.

Convenient doesn’t necessarily mean effortless though. There’s still a fine art to doing things right and making sure you get the type of experience you’re actually looking for. The following are a few dos and don’ts that will definitely make the process of scoring satisfying, worthwhile hookups a lot simpler and easier.

1. DO know what you’re looking for.

You’d be surprised how many guys don’t really know what they’re even looking for when they put up a profile on a gay dating app. They’re not sure what their type is. They’re even Two gay men arguing in bedless sure what they really want sexually (or perhaps just reluctant to be 100% honest about their real desires). Figure out what you really want (as opposed to what you think you’re supposed to want) and then get proactive about using your favorite app’s filter function to find guys that make the grade. You’ll save yourself a fortune in time, energy, and frustration to say the least.

2. DON’T tell people you’re looking for something you’re not.

Not only is it 2018, but we’re not teenagers fresh out of the proverbial closet anymore either. There’s absolutely no reason not to be up front and honest with those we date or hook up with, especially if you’re used to chatting people up on your favorite apps. It’s perfectly OK if you’re only looking for casual sex or no-strings-attached relationships right now. Being honest about it is only going to make it easier to attract other guys that are looking for the same thing anyway. Plus, nobody likes a catfish!

3. DO use only recent photos.

Speaking of online gay dating with integrity, you’ll definitely want to make sure all of your photos are recent and up to date. Putting up an old photo because you think your face or body was hotter 10 years ago may seem like it makes sense, but it’s actually nothing more than a bait and switch. Even if you’re just hooking up right now, you want the guys you attract to be into you as you are right here in the present day. No one likes to show up to a date expecting one thing only to find out they’re actually getting something else.

4. DON’T upload nudes without thinking.

By now, we should all know that we need to be careful what we put online, right? This definitely includes nudes or photos that are otherwise explicit – pretty much anything you wouldn’t necessarily want falling into the wrong set of hands. We’re hardly saying that you shouldn’t post any on your profiles, especially if you’re hoping to cut straight to the chase when it comes to the guys you message. Just be smart about how you do it. Think twice about putting your face in any of your nudes, just in case. Also, make sure the apps you use prioritize security and privacy to the same extent you do.

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5. DO bother to complete your profile.

If you’re only interested in getting laid, your pictures are all that should matter, right? Actually, not really. Even if conversation isn’t their primary reason for hitting you up, most guys still want to have a feel for who they’re giving their time to, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to share a little something about yourself – hobbies, interests, favorite music, etc. You’ll also want to make sure your profile is as complete as possible. This means filling in all possible fields, including those related to HIV status, body type, ethnic background, and so forth. The more information you’re willing to share about yourself, the easier it will be to attract high quality matches that are really right for you.

6. DON’T turn your bio into a small novel.

Yes, it’s super frustrating when someone hot enough to make you look twice doesn’t have any information about himself on his profile, but the opposite really isn’t any better. Great dating profiles are thorough, but they’re also concise and to the point. They tell any onlookers enough to give them a good impression of who they’re talking to, but not so much that they leave knowing every last detail of the person’s life story. People who browse gay hookup profiles online don’t tend to linger too long, so lengthy profiles usually won’t even be read. Save the finer details of what you’re all about for actual one-on-one conversations.

7. DO be crystal clear.

We weren’t joking when we said honesty and dating integrity are really important. Make being honest as easy on yourself as possible by also making sure you’re 100% transparent about what you’re interested in, what you need, and where your personal boundaries are, both emotionally and sexually. Whether you’re strictly about one-night stands right now or ultimately open to the possibilities of long-term relationships or friendships, total clarity helps ensure that any connections you do make grow from an honest, open, mature place.

8. DON’T be a discriminatory snob.

Nobody likes “that guy” on any dating app, no matter how casual the sex they might be looking for. You know the type we mean – the type of guy that has a profile packed with discriminatory language and obvious evidence of prejudice, but tries to pass it all off as “just having preferences”. Yes, you should be honest about what you’re looking for, but it’s important to do it in a way that takes other people’s feelings into account. Use your profile to focus on what you do like in a man, not what you don’t. If someone attempts to chat you up and you’re just not feeling them for whatever reason, just don’t respond and focus your attentions elsewhere.

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9. DO ask the important questions about sexual health.

There’s absolutely no way around it. Dating responsibly is about a lot of things, but sexual health is absolutely one of the most important. Taking care of yours (and other people’s) means getting comfortable having frank, honest conversations about HIV status, STIs, and general sexual health, especially if you enjoy having casual sex and hooking up. Be up front about where you stand in the sexual health arena and make sure those you go to bed with do the same in return. Always have safe sex, get tested on the regular, and take care of yourself.

10. DON’T make assumptions about other people.

Asking questions is probably one of the best things you can possibly do when it comes to having fantastic sex and satisfying dating experiences, so… don’t be shy. If you have questions for someone, ask them. Then go ahead and ask a few more. Never simply assume something about someone, even if it’s clear that the other person is trying to give you a certain impression. That’s how people wind up getting catfished or wasting their time on someone that isn’t everything they appear to be. If someone seems uncomfortable or offended by your questions, that’s a good sign you’d do better focusing your attention elsewhere.

11. DO make sure you’re having fun.

The whole point of hooking up with hot, interesting guys instead of being in a traditional relationship is to have fun and keep things light, so make sure that’s your top priority. While it’s true that hookups do sometimes turn into lasting friendships or relationships, long-term compatibility isn’t the end goal here. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a single night or a short fling with Mr. Right Now instead of waiting for Mr. Right, so go into things with the intention of having a good time and not much else. Both of you are more likely to enjoy yourselves to the fullest.

12. DON’T be ashamed.

Hopefully you know this already, but it’s worth repeating just in case you’ve forgotten. There’s absolutely nothing about hooking up and enjoying gay casual sex that you should be ashamed of. Not one thing. If you’re both being emotionally and Two gay men arguing in bedsexually responsible, it’s all good. How you manage your sex life is nobody’s business but yours, so never let someone else guilt trip you about taking control of your sex life and going after what you really want. Ultimately, you’re the only one that knows what’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to own it. Life’s way too short not to be living it exactly the way you want to be.

Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.