How Much Does Location Matter on a Gay Date?

Whether you’re gay or straight, location is one of the first things you think about when you’re planning a date, especially if it’s with someone new. You naturally want it to be someplace you’ll both have a great time. You want the food to be good and the ambiance to be even better. You definitely want your choice to reflect positively on who you are and on what kind of time this hot new guy can expect to have when he’s with you.

But does location really matter that much? The answer is actually a boisterous “yes”, but probably not for the reasons you think. Here we’ll go over one of the most critical reasons location is definitely something to consider, especially for gay men dating, as well as share some pointers for making a decision.

The Affection Question

Yes, it definitely pays to take your date to the pub that serves the best craft beer in town or the theater with the absolute best seating. However, the really important thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not you’re going somewhere you can comfortably display affection toward one another. Here’s why it matters, even in a day an age that’s much more progressive when it comes to gay dating.

gay men at a bar

  • Even something as simple and small as holding your date’s hand can draw abuse if you do it in the wrong place. At best, something like that is a real mood killer when you’re trying to get to know someone and cultivate good vibes!
  • Freely displayed public affection matters more than you might think it does, especially if you’re on a first gay date or still getting to know each other. Without it, it’s hard to read the other person’s vibe and really get for a feel for whether they’re into you or not.
  • If you’re not in a welcoming environment, the whole business of wondering whether there’ll be a goodnight kiss becomes even more nerve-wracking. What if your date passes on the opportunity because they’re afraid to kiss you?

The importance of where you take your date becomes more important if you live in an area that is less liberal or tolerant in general, so definitely consider it carefully.

Choosing a Great Location

Once you’ve determined tolerance won’t be an issue during your date, you’re free to focus on other considerations. Ask yourself the following questions when choosing a place to ensure your date will definitely be one for the record books.

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“Do I have a good feel for what my date would enjoy doing?”

Sometimes you know your date well enough to plan a rocking good time on your own. Other times, the two of you literally met in line at a coffee shop or decided you’d like to get to know each other better via Tinder or GuyHop. If you’re not sure where your date would like to go, consider deciding together over text beforehand. Seize the opportunity to bond over something you both really enjoy doing.

“Is it someplace we can talk?”

Locations like bars, clubs, and movie theaters are popular early date locations for a reason. To begin with, most people enjoy spending time at those venues. There’s also not a lot of pressure to make conversation with someone you may not really know very well. However, that makes it pretty darned hard to actually get to know the person and cultivate a bond as well. Check your nerves at the door and pick a place you’ll actually be able to chat comfortably instead. It’ll be worth it.

“How engaging is the location?”

Need another reason not to drag a date to the gay bar or the club yet again? Locations like that can be fine to start with, but can quickly become monotonous and boring, especially if either one of you isn’t as into the scene as the other. Instead, choose a place that will let you both engage in an actual activity (e.g. hiking, bowling, wine tasting, etc.) It’ll keep things from being underwhelming, as well as give you both something to talk about and bond over.

“Is my date properly prepared for where we’re going?”

In the event you’re taking your date somewhere unusual or that might call gay men in a leather barfor a little pre-planning, make sure you communicate with them beforehand. Opting for an outdoor date in the middle of winter? Make sure they know to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Got reservations for that hot new fine dining restaurant that just opened in the city? Let them know so they don’t accidentally dress in jeans and a polo shirt.

At the end of the day, great date locations are places that encourage and foster pleasant, meaningful interaction between the two parties involved. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be a little creative. So long as all the basics are covered, anything goes!

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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.