Thursday’s Thoughts From a Bartender: Dating and Mating in the Gay Community

By Jesse Finkelstein

Dating in the gay community is an entirely different monster than the heterosexual hook-up. The main difference, I’ve found, is sex. It seems to be almost exclusively about it. We’re all so desperate to have as much sex as we can—we’re acting like they’re going to run out of sex tomorrow, so we might as well get as much sexy time in before it’s gone. And I get it, I love sex. It’s kind of awesome. It feels good. But I also like to get to know someone as well. I like to connect on a level that isn’t just physical.

How do you make sex a part of your relationship, without it defining the relationship? In a culture so obsessed with sex, have we lost our ability to have a nonsexual relationship with our romantic interest?

I can’t help but worry that when we behave like a bunch of rabid, horny wild dogs all the time, we end up missing something pretty important. Maybe it’s just me, clinging on to the little boy inside of me that still believes in romance and love, but I’d like to think that sex should be an act of affection and trust, not a tool used to avoid an emotional connection, or run from our own humanity.

If I go out on a date with a guy, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the date is, if there isn’t a sexual climax at some point, I feel like it was a failure. If I don’t put out, there wont be another date, which is ironic because after I do put out, I usually lose interest in the guy—I’m like a praying mantis, except I don’t kill my sexual partners, I just avoid them until they forget about me.

It seems that with my straight friends (yes, I have a couple), you get to know someone first, you go out on a couple dates, and if there is a connection, you get drunk and decide to bump uglys. That seems to be a good idea in my book. But that isn’t what we homos do. We get drunk, stick it in the hottest looking piece of ass at the bar, and if the sex was good, we might call them back and go on a date—if you can remember their name.

Now, while this is great fun, and I’ve certainly done this on more than one occasion, as I get a little older, I’m starting to look for more. And as I do that, I’ve started looking back on the best intimate encounters I’ve had. The first guy I was ever with told me that “anticipation is half the fun.” We flirted for months, never fully going “there,” and when it finally happened, it was fucking amazing. It was scary, and awkward, and I didn’t really know what I was doing—but it was also magical for me. And that’s something I miss now, more than ever. I miss the unknown, I miss the anticipation, I miss the seduction and flirt. Anticipation really is half the fun.

As a bartender, I’ve seen hundreds of guys who meet, and 5 minutes later their tongues are doing the tango. Cut to 20 minutes later, and the groping starts, and then it’s only a matter of time before they go home and do the dirty. But my favorite moments to watch are when I see two guys meet, and talk, and clearly connect. Guy #1 writes his number down, and Guy #2 excitedly puts it in his pocket. Guy #1 says, oh so reluctantly, that he has to go home; he has an early day tomorrow. They hug, maybe a peck on the cheek, and part ways. And, as Guy #1 walks out the door, he stops, looks back, and catches Guy #2 watching him wistfully. They both look down quickly, blushing in excited embarrassment, and he walks away, leaving Guy #2 sitting there with a big goofy grin on his face, wondering how long he has to wait before he can call.

That’s what I want. I want the goofy grin.

  • Codes

    Jesse, I love this.  

  • lol, you’ve definitely seen a lot. Gays are like everybody else.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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