It’s always a treat when I find a submission from Northstar in my inbox! This week his post about life as a gay guy dating, focuses on the differences with online dating when you’re gay.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Reading the 30 Dates Blog, and talking to my female straight friends, it feels as though the world of online dating is full of horror stories.
Overly suggestive messages, people completely misrepresenting themselves, men only really looking for hook-ups, etc. It seems like everyone who’s tried online dating has one of these stories to tell.
Interestingly, in my experience of gay online dating, however, those kind of horror stories seem far less common.
Admittedly I haven’t used online dating a huge amount, and have only tried Plenty of Fish, but nonetheless my experiences with it have been generally positive.
I signed up after the break-up with my ex, and within a couple of days I was having good conversations with three guys on there. I met each of them the following week, and they were all very nice – no misrepresentation, – all single, and looking to meet someone for a relationship.
I then went on to date one of the guys I met for the next month or so, before things amicably came to an end before Christmas.
That was my online dating experience – no messages that were particularly weird or suggestive, no misrepresentation, generally smooth sailing. Obviously this is just my own limited experience, and may be the exception rather than the rule, but in my opinion it does seem like online dating is easier if you’re gay than if you’re straight, and here’s why I think that’s the case…
I think the main reason is that when you’re gay, there’s really no reason to hide your intentions.
There isn’t the same stigma attached to looking for casual encounters as there is in the straight world, and while I hate the stereotype that all gay men are super promiscuous (the stereotype is not true, incidentally), nonetheless if that’s what someone is looking for, it’s perfectly easy and acceptable to find.
A number of apps cater to that interest (Grindr is the most famous, but there are a whole multitude of others), and the bar and club scene also facilitate things for those with a hook-up agenda. In which case, if casual encounters are relatively easy to obtain and don’t carry a social stigma, then what possible reason would you have to misrepresent yourself on a dating website?
The logical conclusion of this (and which in my experience I’ve found to be true), is that if a gay man is on a dating website saying that he’s looking for a relationship, then that’s sure enough what he’s looking for. If he’s not, then he wouldn’t have any incentive to claim that – there’s no point going through the game playing of false intentions on a dating website, when its far easier to simply use a hook-up app.
Perhaps supporting my theory, looking at Plenty of Fish for Toronto, the number of gay men on the site looking for a relationship vastly outnumber those looking for a date but nothing serious.
And I’m fairly convinced that the majority of those looking for a relationship are sincere in their intentions (hopefully when I try online dating again in the future I won’t be proven wrong in that assumption!).
If my theory is correct, then that would be somewhat karmic.
After all, in the physical world it’s more difficult for gay people to meet someone than it is for straight people.
With a smaller gay population we’re much less likely to meet someone in ‘organic’ ways – through friends, at work, through sports, etc, just simply due to the fact of there being less of us.
Online dating is incredibly useful even just in terms of breaking down those barriers, and facilitating contact between a much smaller population that it can otherwise be tricky to meet. But if we get the benefit of online dating being more honest and straightforward for us, then that at least is a definite bonus. While it may be more difficult for us in the real world, at least if it’s easier for us online then it feels as though there may be some balance to the universe!