An Insider's Guide To Gay Dating

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Nine non-typical ways to meet gay men.

Quite honestly, there isn't anything about gay dating that hasn't already been said ... until now! Before I proceed, however, I need a commitment. I know, I know ... the dreaded "C" word. Well, boyfriend, if you can't commit, then you can't date — it's that simple! Like it or not, chiseled cheeks, abs and pumped up biceps don't mean the men are just going to drop in your lap like flies. You gotta work at it and go the distance to get beyond sloppy, messy, "Who are you?" mornings! With that in mind, here are 10 non-typical ways to meet gay men:

1. Give a little. Volunteer at a local charity, e.g. AIDS Walk, Trevor Project, HRC, GLADD Awards or LGBT Center. While you're at it, step out of your comfort zone and find some "straight charities" to participate in as well.

2. Bend over. Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about taking a yoga, pilates, spin, tai chi, karate or kickboxing class. Any of these activities will take you out of your normal "lift weights, cruise the gym, treadmill, cruise the gym," routine. And of course, the added benefits: new muscles that will be sore so you'll have to schedule a massage with your regular guy, who, of course, won't be available, which then leads you to a new massage guy who then becomes your husband ... it could happen!

3. A pew and a prayer. By no means am I advocating church as the new speed-dating alternative. Yet, if you are exploring your spirituality, rewiring your religious DNA or trying to find a place to call your communal home with your maker, tap into local, accepting and affirming religious communities. Not only will you nourish your spirit, you may even find a man or two to go nosh with after the service. Here's a little directory to help you out: GayChurch.org

4. Club it! I'm not talking about night clubs. Rather, social clubs abound if you're willing to do a little digging. Do a Google, Bing, Yahoo search for "gay social clubs." Guaranteed to show up are groups like the SoCal Social Club in Los Angeles, the Rainbow RV Club and of course the thousands of groups on MeetUp!

5. Become a stag hag. Most of us have our favorite straight girlfriend who will do anything for us, go anywhere with us and be our arm candy for a night when necessary. So return the favor. Go to her third cousin's wedding, attend a Women's Empowerment Weekend Workshop or take a pottery class with her. Guaranteed, she will introduce you to more of her straight girlfriends who each have "the perfect gay friend you should meet."

 

6. Show your true colors. You don't have to go shopping, hit the theater or hang at the bar to find your Mr. Right. If you like vintage cars, playing poker, gambling, watching sports or gardening, put yourself out there in those environments. Believe it or not, the more you show up and make yourself available in these "not so traditional gay circles," the more likely you are to meet someone who put themselves out there in the same not so traditional way and suddenly you'll be asking "Are you gay?" ... well, maybe not that directly, but you get the idea.

7. Explore the friendly skies. Without being stereotypical, if your gaydar goes off about the flight attendant on your cross-country flight from Los Angeles to New York, strike up a conversation with him. It doesn't mean your flirting, unless he's worth the flirt. Get to know him without holding up his ability to take care of the drunk and obnoxious dude in seat 17A.

"Where ya from?" "What do you like to do back in Reno?" "How do you meet guys when you're always up in the air?" Getting to know people in different industries and from other parts of the country can inspire you to stretch and look in places you've never thought of looking before when trying to find guys in your own backyard.

8. Be classy. Without sounding superficial or overly stereotypical, a lot of gay men have class. However, the real question is, how many gay men might you meet at a cooking class, painting class or woodworking class? You never know until you venture out.

9. Take to the arts. Whether you enjoy the arts, participate in the arts or just buy art, there's a lot to be said for finding what you want in the art scene. Volunteer as a docent at a museum. Offer to work at an artist's gallery for their bigger openings and events. Help staff a large art festival. Regardless of how you do it, enjoy the art and the art of finding your potential next date in the art world.

Regardless of how you prowl for the man of your dreams, what's important is that you try something new. Break out of the old molds, take a walk on the other side of the street, step into a neighborhood not known for it's density of "gay population" and see who might show his handsome face. You just never know.

Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach
Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leader Index, Master Practioner (ELI-MP), International Coach Federation, Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

Rick Clemons is a Certified Professional Coach who's been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought after radio show guest, blogger, author, and Sex Coach U Faculty Member, who lovingly addresses the many facets of Coming Out for all who are touched by this Journey. Rick also hosted his own radio show, The Coming Out Lounge, and has been an expert guest on numerous other radio shows, and in print on national blogs.

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