A big hello to all the gorgeous gay men out there! I was reading an interesting email from a member of the site that has really got my thinking. In it, he writes that he is recently out of the closet and looking to set up a profile but doesn’t know where to begin. At 25, he says he hasn’t been with many people before and is nervous but excited about the whole process. I’ll admit that I don’t frequently even think about what it was like to come out of the closet anymore; I guess because it seems so long ago. As well, I’ll admit that I rarely even consider how difficult it can still be for people to come out of the closet at any age because I was lucky to be raised in a very forward-thinking family and it wasn’t much of a process for me to come out. As well, I feel like there have been so many strides made in the media showing positive reflections of gay men that sometimes I (naively) forget just how difficult the process is for so many. It’s definitely something that shouldn’t be taken for granted and is worth considering every so often. Here are some tips I have for someone who is new to dating as a gay man!
With this all in my mind I started to think about how difficult it can be then to decide to be proactive in your search for dates and decide to join a site like ManPlay and create a profile for yourself. The first piece of advice I would give someone in this situation would be that he should be honest on his profile about the fact that he is just out of the closet. Not to be disrespectful, but this is a big time in your life and it might not be something that your average member on this (or any!) site would be interested in dealing with. That’s not to say that there will be a lot of work involved in dating you, especially in a casual manner, but there’s a lot to consider when you are at a totally different stage in your life than someone who never really had a closet to come out of and has always been a loud and proud gay man.
The next thing I would advise for anyone in this situation is that they should take their time and date around. There’s a big temptation to fall for the first person that you go on a coffee date with if you are so new to the gay dating scene that every bit of the experience is going to be heightened and seem more exciting than it perhaps really is. It’s a good idea to go on several dates with different types of people in different locations and get a feel for what is out there before you even consider going on a second date or let yourself get in the mind frame of wanting to get serious with someone.
I would also advise (and this is a big one!) that you make sure you take it slow and find your comfort areas when it comes to your sexuality. If things ever seem to be heating up too fast for you, make sure you halt the breaks! There is no need to rush into anything sexually just because you are fresh out of the closet and feel open to dating men whenever and wherever you want. That is no reason to feel like you have to be sexually adventurous to make up for theoretical ‘time lost’ when you were in the closet. Remember that everyone is at a different place sexually so you never need to feel like you need to be different than you really are. Comfort is key! It is always up to you how far you go and if you feel like you are in control of the situation. It’s wise to take some dating precautions when dating for the first time as well in terms of your safety and security. I wouldn’t go home with someone that you are just meeting unless you feel completely safe around him. Especially if you are dating someone who is older and likely more experienced you have to make it clear that you are not going to do anything too drastic and that you will need some time to really feel like you can trust him before anything sexual happens. The main thing I’m getting at through these tips (which hopefully you’ve picked up on) is that this is an exciting time in you life and you should feel comfortable enough with yourself to make mistakes and also to try and keep yourself from making too many. Give yourself some breathing room to try out new things (as if being freshly out isn’t new enough!) and not feel like you have to rush into anything. Baby steps will get you to your destination but there is no hurry. Take it slow and really enjoy this time in your life where you are experiencing so many new things at once.
What do you think of these tips, men of ManPlay? Do you remember what you were like back when you first came out of the closet? Are there any tips that you wish you’d been given ahead of time? If so, what are they? Be sure and write and let me know or comment and then discuss with the other men in the message boards on the site! And for all of you in this situation now: Good luck and congratulations on coming out!