I often use the analogy of a used car when discussing this issue:
Say you have a car that you want to sell. However, you don’t want to advertise that it’s for sale or even give strangers the impression that it may possibly be on the market at all. On top of that, there may be great potential buyers out there but you dare not randomly inquire their interest in buying a car nor do they themselves dare give the impression that they are interested in buying a car for fear of being Outed as a car purchaser.
This is the life of a discreet masculine man.
Admittedly, this dilemma is self-imposed. Dating is hard for everyone but if guys like ourselves were more open about our sexuality, we’d attract more people who were also attracted to men, even if for just one night.
Example: Many feminine guys who were “Out” during their high school years have told me that back then they were secretly approached by many guys (often by guys that had publicly harassed them).
These young men wrestling with their sexuality at least knew where to go if they wanted a blow job from another guy: The feminine boy advertising that his car was for sale.
So back to the question, “How do I meet people?”
My answer to these guys is always the same: “It depends on your Level of Gay Comfort.”
What is that exactly? Keep reading to find out…
A Level of Gay Comfort is something I came up with to distinguish various types of masculine discreet Gay men. How “comfortable” a man is in doing certain things to meet other guys determines his level of comfort in being a Gay/Bisexual man of color. I’d say that I’ve been at Level Eight in my Gayness since 2009, which means that I shot from level 3 to 8 in just two years.Let’s begin at the beginning:
This is the base level. Many discreet masculine men start off here but only a small percentage stays here their whole lives. At this level, there is NO level of comfort with being Gay. Men here are paranoid that anyone will discover their attraction to other men.It’s a constant fear. They sometimes will act overly-masculine, aggressive and violent in an attempt to deflect suspicion. There are many unhappily married Bisexual men at this Level of Gay Comfort that secretly masturbate to Gay porn instead of meeting other men.
People often say that there were not as many Gay people around 50 years ago but that isn’t true. Many of them were in this paranoid state of not wanting anyone to find out about them.
This is one of the most private ways to meet men. It is the modern day Gay equivalent to Blind Dating. It is also one of the most debasing and vulgar ways to meet them. The telephone chat lines are filled with men just looking for quick anonymous no-strings-attached sex. If you’re looking for more than that you have to be patient and weed through the perverts. Personally, I’ve met a few really good datable guys there but it was like catching lightning in a bottle.
One of the top Free chat lines in America is The Blade brought to us by Talkee, available in 16 states. The anonymity in creating a Google Voice number and calling the line is priceless. Many guys will ask you to send them a photo but I never have in the past so don’t feel pressured.
This option can be dangerous as some men have reportedly been lured into meeting for a hookup only to be assaulted and robbed. Always meet in a public place if you choose this option.
Pros: By hearing their voice before you meet, you can better gauge whether or not the other person is masculine or feminine. You don’t have to reveal your phone number or photo.
Cons: Can be potentially dangerous exposing you to potential Sexually Transmitted Infections, robbery attempts, assaults and more.
This is the most common way to meet men and is typically the introduction most men have into the “Gay Lifestyle.” Most Gay men have had an online profile on a website at some point in their lives. It takes awhile for men to get to this comfort level after elevating from Level One. This is also where many men top off, never going to a higher level than this.
All of the Gay guys that I consider close friends, I’ve met through the Internet. This method allows you to take your time and get a sense of who the person is before you meet them in person. The downside here is that its harder to protect anonymity. Not only do you normally have to post pictures of yourself, your identity can also be (technically) traced through your ISP.
Also, there are still dangers involved with this method. There have been criminal cases of assaults on men responding to online ads though Craigslist and others. Always meet in a public place if you choose this option.
The more popular sites for men of color are Adam4Adam, Men4Now and BGCLlive. People have reported using sites like Facebook, Myspace and Blackplanet for hookups in the past but I never saw how that was possible if they were in fact “discreet.”
Pros: The most popular method means more men to choose from no matter where you’re located. More time to weed through incompatible guys.
Cons: Not as “anonymous” as people would think. Photos of yourself required for better responses. Can be potentially dangerous exposing you to potential Sexually Transmitted Infections, robbery attempts, assaults and more.
This is the newest method to meet guys, yet it’s much like the previous level. Like the websites, these apps require you to post “face pics” in order to get a decent amount of quality responses. Apps like Grindr, Jack’d, Loopt and Knocking Live have made meeting guys as easy as sending a text message.
If you’re comfortable enough in your Gayness to use your traceable cell phone to meet men for casual hookup sex, welcome to Level Four.
Admittedly, I’ve met two guys through this method and they both were expecting sex the first day even though we agreed that wasn’t on the table.
Cons: The mobile apps offer the same risks as the previous levels.
Okay. I was hesitant to include this as an actual level but you do have to be somewhat comfortable to go to a sex party or bath house. Sex Parties (aka Freak Parties) are typically private homes/apartments that charge a small admission fee for you to engage in NSA sex with other men in attendance. Here’s a direct quote from a Sex Party ad: “Anything goes but condoms and lube will be available.”
I have never personally been to anything like this so I can’t speak on it too much (I completely skipped this level). However, I would assume that visiting a sex party carries the same risks as the levels above: Sexually Transmitted Infections from anonymous men and sketchy characters walking amongst you.
In its defense, Gay former friend of mine said that he met a guy at a sex party and they ended up dating for almost a year and a half, so it’s possible to find more than Hepatitis B at one of these functions.
If you’re feeling frisky and want to give this a try, some of the websites listed in Level Three advertise upcoming sex parties in your area.
Cons: See above.