Alcohol fuels our social world, and there comes the point in many gay men's lives when the bar and clubbing scene gets tiring. If you've decided to give up alcohol for whatever reason - either temporarily or for good - how do you avoid becoming a social recluse? More importantly, how do you meet Mr Right (or, even just, Mr Right Now) when you’ve sacrificed all that lubrication? explores alternatives to the gay bar and clubbing scene.


Master of the Meetups

There are meetups catering to every possible taste no matter where you live. Use them as great opportunities to delve into something you’ve never tried before. Naked book group, or even naked rock climbing? Why not?! Life’s about putting yourself out there and pushing your comfort zone. Sign up and let those invites ping into your inbox – and, who knows, you could have another type of bulging box very soon.

rock climbing
Put yourself out of your comfort zone.

Chilling out

No, not those sort of chillouts. Enduring, beneficial relationships formed at those are few and far between. Alcohol is the most common way people relax. Take that out of the equation, and you need to find new ways to de-stress and unwind. No, that doesn’t mean you must turn into some holier than thou spiritual guru, but why not at least give Yoga and a spot of meditation a go? You can learn a lot about yourself, what you want and who may fit in with that when you’re in a calmer space. 

men practicing yoga
Yoga and meditation are great ways to relax and unwind

Be a sporty queen

Sure, the gym’s good, but it can also become boring, repetitive and anti-social. Just think of the hundreds of strangers you see every single day who you never bother talking to because you’ve got some god damn awful Miley Cyrus song blaring out of your headphones. Team sports are a fantastic way of meeting new guys. Let’s face it, what gay man hasn’t fantasised about a bunch of strong rugby players? Seek out your local gay rugby or football club (there will be one – and if there isn’t, why not start it?) and brace yourself for some full-on tackles.

Rugby melee
Grab hold of a few rough n' ready rugby players

Explore the great outdoors

Getting out and about beyond the city is the perfect way to unwind, exercise and appreciate the simple pleasures of the world around you. Gay outdoor clubs can put you in touch with like-minded guys who just love getting dirty. Hiking, camping, surfing, even mountaineering await.

Stretch your mind

Learn a new skill and take a class in something. Screenwriting, a new language, cooking – you name it. There are affordable courses available everywhere. Don’t limit yourself to living in a gay bubble – it’s tedious and narrows your world view. Throw yourself into acquiring a new skill – the more daring, the better, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your social network opens up. Treat it all as one big adventure. Learn to say “yes” to everything – well, within reason, obviously! 

group of actors
Expand your mind with acting classes

Stop being selfish, bitch!

Once upon a time, there was a young boy who dreamt of all the amazing things that his future may hold. He was a little fearful, but he was also full of excitement and wonder at the seemingly infinite possibilities that existed in the world. He wanted to play a part in something bigger than himself, to change things in a small way. And then he grew up, and little by little, he lost a part of himself as life’s challenges and disappointments mounted up. That little boy started to become jaded and bitter and angry and to dislike all of those around him. He became, in short, an inward looking, selfish queen. We’ve all seen them.

We’re not meant to be alone in life, and everything we do has the power to impact for the better or, the worse on other people. When was the last time you did something to help anyone other than yourself? Give it a go! Try being a little more generous with your day. There will be other people there who are also searching for something a bit more meaningful in their lives – and, who knows, you may just hit it off?!


Have you given up alcohol? What worked for you when meeting new people and socialising? Share your experiences below.




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