First time being gay: Advice on the first date

John Doe
Relationship tips

If you are reading this article and you feel you connect with it, it means you are at a stage in your life that we refer to as a “baby gay” or a “baby dyke.” You can be a baby gay at 12 or at 55;

The fact is you’re fresh, you’re new in the community.

Thankfully you’ve probably already done the hardest thing, which is acknowledging your sexuality and hopefully braving the process of coming out to trusted individuals.

The word “process” is a keyword for the queer community. For, the idea that “being gay” is something that can be activated in a single moment is actually a myth. It is a journey of self-discovery and like all journeys it has its ups and downs.

A possible difficult first step comes with the prospect of dating.

The anxiety and insecurity that comes with a first sexual same-sex encounter are universal in the queer community.

A first gay date, whether that be in high school or your late thirties, can feel daunting. Even if you are done with questioning your sexuality you may still feel uncertain to call yourself a member of the queer community and even less equipped to start dating.

There are some questions that are difficult to answer:

How do you know if it’s a flirtation or a friendship? Who makes the first move? Do I tell them it’s my first time?

The fact that there is no socially-established script to follow like in heterosexual dating can make the prospect of a gay date turn from a beautiful scenario to a nerve-racking experience.

So what rules or guidelines are there to safeguard the gay dating journey?

The first rule to follow is what therapists call “being in tune with your feelings.” It’s corny, but it’s true. From flirting to sex to relationships, your intuition is your best teacher.

That being said, there are some tips that might ease you into your first gay date.

  1. If you are feeling insecure about your newness, it’s okay to disclose to your date where you are at. Being genuine and honest always wins points. If your date doesn’t appreciate your true approach that by itself may be a red flag.
  2. Be proud of your coming out! If someone is put off by your newness don’t take it personally. They may be wary because maybe they encountered someone who was feckless with their feelings in a period of “experimentation” and they got hurt. However, you should still expect compassion and encouragement, not a write-off attitude!
  3. See your first possible date as a welcome into the queer community. Even if it doesn’t work out on a romantic, erotic or sexual level, let it be a joyful queer connection. So check that the person of interest is affirming and welcoming. You don’t want your first experience being with someone who is either condescending or invalidating.
  4. The same rules apply if you identify as bisexual. If anyone makes you feel ostracized for your past straight relationships or sexual fluidity, just disengage. You’re probably already in your head enough about your sexual identity, and you don’t need to fuel the insecurity with anyone’s small-mindedness.
  5. Don’t get your expectations too high. A first date will probably be one of more. If you go on a date And make sure that should you find that you aren’t attracted to that person, don’t freak out. That doesn’t mean you were “wrong” or “not gay enough,” it just means you didn’t have chemistry. Something positive can still come out of a mediocre date, such as realizing that you may have more of a friendship chemistry than a sexual dynamic. That’s great! That’s actually how a lot of strong gay friendships begin.
  6. Once you are into the “practical” phase of a date you may find yourself wondering what kind of sexual being you are. Are you a top, bottom, switch, vers, femme, butch etc? Thankfully you don’t need to know right away or commit to any preference for that matter. Just make sure you’re having fun!
  7. An easy way to break into gay waters is through dating apps. That way you aren’t stuck in the purgatory of figuring out if someone wants to hang out as friends or a date.
  8. Don’t spend too much time talking on dating apps. You are not looking for a pen pal. After chatting for a bit, get their number and make a plan over text.
  9. When it comes to paying, it’s easier to follow the rule of thumb of “whoever did the asking out should offer to pay,” but it’s also totally fine to go Dutch. If someone insists on paying, and you find the date is not going anywhere, you may insist a bit on paying your half but If the date is going well, you can say, “I’ll get the drinks on our next date.”

At the end of the day, the only way to learn is through doing. Make a dating profile, get out there, make mistakes, and do it all over again.