Is gay romance possible in the era of the semi-anonymous hookup? Of course! The ever-cynical Alex Hopkins at thinks so - and shares some dating tips on how you can achieve it.  

Get a name

Anonymous sex is nothing new. Yes, the internet has made ordering a shag as easy as getting your weekly food shop delivered, but gay men have always been partial to a saucy takeaway – they just don’t have to wait around in piss-stinking toilets for hours on end to capture the salami these days. But even way back in the mists of time, if two guys hit it off they’d do that little, yet most human of things and exchange names. Try doing the same online and see where it takes you…

Handsome Man Holding Up A Mobile and Smiling
Is HE Mr Mysterious? 

Changing direction 

Crucially, get that hot guy’s name right at the start of your online interaction – not as an after-thought while you’re wiping his DNA from your new quiff. You only get out what you put in – and you need to change the way you do things to achieve a better quality product. The ingredients remain the same, but it’s about how you mix them together – and the time and effort you put into doing this. What does this mean in practice? 

Mr Mysterious 

At the most fundamental level, this means resisting the urge to send him pictures of your one-eyed monster or an image of your anus, which is so lurid that the object of your desires can ascertain precisely how many dump-trucks have travelled – sideways – up your fast lane over the last year.

Ok, the peculiar mechanics of gay sex – something straights don’t have to worry about – means that to avoid wasting time you should determine who is helium heels, but once that’s been established (merely by ticking the appropriate box on your profile), keep you online intercourse off the topic of intercourse.

Find out what he likes - quickly

What are his interests? Where does he like to go out? Where would he like to go for a date? The third of these questions is the vital one. What you don’t want to get into is endless chat. You need to get his attention quickly – and keep it.  Once you know you’ve got it, it’s time to do that wonderfully old-fashioned thing and meet in person – because that’s where the real romance starts…

A daring date

Choose somewhere exciting or unusual to go to on your first date. Avoid big, loud – and especially cruisy – gay bars. Go for something quirky, quaint and quiet – somewhere you can talk. Beautiful views or stunning interiors are going to impress him, and they also serve as a talking point. The choice of venue should reflect your personality. Make a statement which ensures he comes back for more. Romance is built on memories – create one which you’ll think about for years.

Keeping things warm - but not hot

So, the date went wonderfully. You hit it off; the ‘chemistry’ is there. What you do next is vital. You need to show that you’re keen but not come over as desperate. Later in the evening it’s fine to text him and say you enjoyed yourself – but keep things cool. If you want to see him again, then ask! But, again, don’t blurt it all out in one hideous message. Pace yourself – but don’t just wait for him to make the next move. Romance means taking the initiative and putting yourself out there with confidence – which is not only romantic but also sexy.
Two Gay Men Smiling Romantically
Taking things slow 

Forget the grand gestures

The songs tell you it’s all red roses and flying him to the moon after candlelit dinners in Paris. Erase all of that from your mind. Grand gestures are frequently corny, cliched and empty. You need to keep doing things which neither of you has done before. Getting to know one another means communicating – but romance also means reading the silences and working out what he would love to do from what he doesn’t tell you. True romance is subtle, not loud and brash.

Keep your pants on...

The perennial question is “after how many dates should we do it?” There’s no correct answer – it depends on the sort of couple you’re becoming. Whipping out your wanger right away will, of course, destroy any sense of mystery – but neither are you in a Charlotte Bronte novel, waiting to get a ring on your finger, so to speak, before you let him bash your bush.

Sexual tension combined with the beginnings of genuine intimacy is an incendiary combination. Careful romancing can be the byway which gets you there. 




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