How is Gay Online Dating Different Than Straight Dating?

The following is a guest article from Terrence of The Manplay Blog.

Meta: Gay online dating differs from straight dates in a myriad of ways; from profiles to locales, gay daters like to shake things up from their straight counterparts!

First off, there is no right or wrong answer to this. It’s a complicated issue that only gets further complicated by the fact that it is easy to talk in stereotypes whenever you are talking about one segment of the population against another. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed, having scoured thousands of profiles online and compared them to many on straight dating sites.

First off, sex is generally a lot more open and discussed when it comes to two gay men going out – especially on a first date. While a lot of straight people on dates try to avoid discussing sex lest it seems too presumptuous of either of them, gay men seem more likely to broach the subject early and often. While this can get into stereotype territory (aka all gay men are promiscuous, etc.) it does seem to be the case.

Another difference is the first date locales. While straight men and women don’t seem to have ventured far beyond the dinner date, it seems more often that gay men will head out to a club or a bar. These are often gay clubs and bars, which might suggest that gay couples are more comfortable going to a space where there will be other gay men in attendance and they will feel more comfortable being affectionate to each other if they so desire. As acceptance grows in society though (particularly in big cities) I’ve noticed that gay men are more likely to be up on what are the hot spots for anyone – gay or straight – and will be more likely to hit them up on a first date.

One side note about stereotypical straight dates: I’ve never understood the ‘dinner and a movie’ phenomena. I have no idea why people think it’s a good idea to meet someone online and then instantly sit in a dark cinema and watch a movie together when you should be somewhere where you can talk to each other and actually learn something about the other person. But I digress.

Speaking of meeting someone, online gay dating profiles are much more likely to include specifications and preferences that they are looking for in someone else. I mentioned this briefly in a previous post I did about online profile writing, but I’ve never addressed gay dating online/straight dating online differences. While straight profiles might include mentions of looking for someone ‘honest, kind and decent’ or similar, a gay dating profile might be way more specific and say ‘I’m into tall men of European descent, mostly. Hey, if they know what they’re after, all the power to them, but aren’t they therefore missing out on a lot of the options out there that they might not think they’d be into, but might be? As well, gay men are more likely to want to meet up sooner after meeting online rather than dragging out the online courtship with back and forth messages for weeks on end.

What do you all think of these aspects of gay online dating vs. straight dating? All generalizations or would you agree with them? Anything else you’d add to the list? Let us know!

Author Bio: Terrence Badd is a freelance journalist who has lived in Los Angeles for five years now. Originally hailing from Michigan, he got out of there as soon as he got the chance. While his topics of interest range from baseball to gardening, he’s been writing for gay-themed publications since 2006.