Is “Hooking Up” the Only Way to Find a Boyfriend?

Q: I know a lot of gay guys like to hook up and only want one-night-stands. Since I’m not into that, it seems unlikely I’ll ever find a boyfriend. I even asked a gay friend of mine how he met his boyfriend. His response: “We hooked up.” I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes to dating, and I don’t want to sacrifice my values, but now I’m wondering: Is hooking up the only way I’ll ever find a boyfriend?

There seems to be a general consensus among younger gay men that “hooking up” is a pre-requisite to finding a partner.

Let’s get one thing straight: Sex is not the downpayment to a meaningful relationship. Yes, it can certainly enhance a meaningful relationship, but it shouldn’t be used as bait, nor should it be the foundation that holds it together.

There’s a desperate need for love and acceptance in the gay world, and if some guy online or at the bar says you’re cute, it’s easy to think, “OMG, my prince has finally come!”

Oh, he’ll come alright (hardy har), but he probably won’t stay.

Honestly, I think all this misguided sex is where the slutty stereotype comes from. A bunch of confused kids thinking they have to sleep around first before finding a boyfriend. Then they become jaded, bitter assholes and start seducing other confused kids, thus starting the vicious cycle all over again.

Before you accuse me of slut-shaming, let me just say there’s nothing wrong with having a sexual appetite, as long as YOU’RE in control of it and aware of the risks involved. Being horny is not the problem here.

The problem is leading kids to believe that love is an aftereffect of sex. ‘Cause it’s not.

Sex means different things to different people. For some it’s the ultimate act of trust. For others, it’s just something to do after the bar closes. Sometimes those wires get crossed and ultimately, someone’s feelings get hurt.

But hey, life’s full of mistakes and disappointments – we just gotta learn from them.

Sorry, getting off topic here.

My point is this: There’s no reason to compromise your values for the sake of finding a boyfriend. Sticking to your “old-fashioned” style of dating is great for filtering out the guys who just want to get in your pants — just make sure your values don’t act as a force field between you and life.

Use your best judgment. If you’re not ready to sleep with someone, don’t do it. Guys who understand this are usually the ones you’ll want to sleep with anyway.

The people who make you feel bad for not wanting to sleep around aren’t worth your time (and definitely not your body).

If you’re not having sex because you’re afraid of getting hurt, then you might be missing out on something very special.

As the old saying goes: You’ll know when you’re ready, and don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad for who you are.

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34 Responses to Is “Hooking Up” the Only Way to Find a Boyfriend?

  1. i would definitely agree and stick with out fashion that it does not comprise the value and morals. you feel better about it and waiting, taking time in knowing/understanding other person.. Anyway, i am one of those who is bad in bed..meaning do nothing, but just laugh and making out/ cuddling is enough for me.. even if i find prince charming they would not stay in relationship after hooking up anyway…

  2. This article is very useful, you cannot even imagine how. This is exactly the thing that scares me the most. I deeply hope that I will be able to respect my “out dated” values (if we can use this term), meaning that I want to know a person before “hooking up”. I mean, I guess that there are a lot of men out there who think that sex is just sex, but for me its the ultimate way to connect with somebody. But its true that I am afraid of not finding someone because of this.
    Thank you so much for this post and for your blog in general because it really helps people out there. Everytime I read a new article, I feel better because it is always answering to one of the questions I am asking myself.
    Thank you !

    • That’s wonderful, Jordan. And I wouldn’t call it outdated or old-fashioned myself; you simply have values that differ from other people.

    • I’m glad I read this article. Sex is fine, but I need a guy to be serious with. I just don’t want to give it up and nothing. Being gay in a small town is hard enough, but being gay and alone, stinks.

  3. I’m going to get a little personal in this response, so you are forewarned. Before I fully realized I was gay, I used to have some type of judgement when it came to the women I hooked up with over the years. If the woman would sleep with me after just meeting me, or prior to any sort of commitment, I would automatically consider them non-girlfriend material. The women that had their own values, and would rather wait until a deeper connection was formed were held to a higher level of respect.

    Unfortunately, being gay, I almost exclusively encountered the former, rather than the latter, as I never had a strong desire to commit. However, the same still holds true as I start dating in the same-sex world. If a guy wants to sleep with me right away, it will be difficult for me to consider it any more than a hook-up. I also think it will be hard for me to form a level of trust with the individual. It is the man that can resist sex on the first encounter that really builds my respect, and a desire to form a stronger connection with him. This whole example really shows that straight and gay relationships are not that different in the long run.

    Great post Sam! Although now I’m going to be stuck with deep thoughts all day. Thanks a lot…

    • Joe, I just want to say how proud I am of you for all that you’ve accomplished these past few months (especially this past week!). I feel like you’ve brought me along on your coming out journey, and I’m really honored. You took the initiative to mentally prepare yourself, and that’s not easy. Many many hugs and blessings to you as you start your true life. :-)

  4. Again, thanks a bunch Sam! :)

  5. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. I’ve always felt sort of “left out of the popular crowd” for not wanting to sleep around. I don’t enjoy one-night stands, because I don’t find satisfaction in it. It’s really nice to know that there are other guys like me out there.

  6. Thank you Sam for this post. This has been a subject that has been something of a problem for me. There are always the, “Hey, what’s up bro” (I miss seeing that video you did about the bro topic) and “let’s meet” and “what are you into” inquires that always make the possibility of meeting a new guy with a really good heart always seems like it is more like just a meat market. I’m 47 years old, came out 3 years ago (late bloomer). It hasn’t been easy, and at my age it feels and seems like the hookup is all that there is availabe. It is encouraging though to see that thru your blog and it’s comments, that there are good hearted, nice guys out there.

  7. I met my boyfriend the old fashioned way… I was studying abroad in Beijing, he was working in Shanghai and we had a friend in common; so when i went on vacations to his city I called this guy asking for references of places to eat and go… he offered to meet the next day and show me the city, and we did. Chatting, the inevitable question of “do you have a girlfriend?” came up, and we revealed to each other we were gay… and even though we talked for hours and met for 2 days more, nothing happened.. we didn´t hook up or anything… the day I left, we just hugged and thanked each other for the nice time we had… We continued talking and texting the next month, and while we did told each other we had felt some chemistry and that we were attracted, there was nothing to do, we were thousands of km a part. What i didn´t know was that later that year his internship would finish and he would move to Beijing to study chinese for a while, so of course when he called me, we met and just started to hang out for a while…we waited some weeks before doing anything but in the end we became boyfriends and 3 years and 4 months later we are still together :)…. So, my point with my story is that not all of us gays are slots looking for only sex (although we all have our phases of just wanting to hook up), there are a lot of guys who want a serious relationship with someone, its just a little harder to find…

    Nice blog man, definitely added to favorites.

  8. Hi Sam! I’m 56 years old and I’ve always felt this way about sex and hooking up.I’ve never felt like just sleeping with someone was what I wanted or needed. For me, love has always been an important part of sex. A long time ago when I first came out. I went to bed with this man because I thought he cared for me. Turns out he didn’t even find me atractive and told me so while we were still in bed together! I spent many years healing the wound from that experience. I know now, how much my heart could be involved and just having sex with someone wasn’t what I wanted. I really appreciate you post and reading your thought on this. It helps with the healing as well. Keep up the geart work Sam! What you are doing is very important! Thank you!

  9. Thanx for the piece of advice, Sam. You know? It’s great to read other guys’ life stories, too. You learn a lot from their experiences.

  10. You write so well Sam, I LOVE this!! You give out amazing advice.

  11. In my view there is nothing wrong about jumping into bed with someone on the first date but I would not consider that a hook up. I think the issue is really is where you’re looking for that special someone. I expect that the majority of guys dancing shirtless in a gay club are looking for a hook up and not a date. So you’ll likely be disappointed. My advice would be to really get back to dating. If that date leads to some great sex then awesome, but what is important is having fun on the date first so you already have some basis for the beginning of a relationship. Where you meet guys for dating is really not important. i.e. Online, social organizations, even clubs. What’s important is actually going out on a date and doing something social before the sex.

    In my opinion gay male relationships usually get off the ground with really hot sex. From there you start building the connections that starts a real relationship. Those shared fun experiences are what keep the relationship going once some some of the bedroom stuff cools off. I always call the beginning of a relationship the “lust phase”. You know, even when it’s 2:00 am and you have to go to work the next morning you still have sex. But as a relationship continues that begins to wear off and if you don’t have real connections outside of sex then you’ll break up.

    On a side note sex in a long term relationship (I’m going on 32 years) can be great and satisfying but will likely not have the intensity of always hooking with someone new.

    One additional comment for Joe. When he was dating girls he definitely fell into the double standard trap. If you both had sex on the first date then why is it only the other person who is not relationship material? One of the things that I’ve observed about gay (male) relationships that there tend not to be double standards since we’re all guys. If you had sex on the first date then it had to be a mutual decision so either neither of you are relationship material or you both still are.

  12. Sam,
    Great topic, I’ve always wondered how some people think about issues like this. Great topic and comments too.

  13. Great post! I met this guy online whom I thought was great, but he made it a point that we meet at his place (granted it would’ve been the first time we ever met). We met at a Chili’s bar instead and we talked. Needless to say we both were looking for something else. I was looking for a supportive friend (potentially a partner) he was looking for a f*** bud (That would potentially turn into a relationship)….He hasn’t texted me back. My problem? I have too much self respect…It’s a lonely journey but at least I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day. Just saying.

  14. :) seeing this blog and all the posts attached to it gives me hope.
    ive had experiences where guys wanted to hook up but wern’t willing to let me buy them dinner first.
    it has frustrated me to no end that so many guys would lack that respect.

    thanks for the blog, and thanks even more to all the guys who have posted agreement with it. it reassures me that I’m not alone in this way of thinking.

    Joel, 22 M

  15. Glad I’m not the only one who puts his ‘old fashioned’ morals and principles first. I find it incredibly difficult to find men willing to hold off the sex for even just a little while. My problem is that I can not just have sex with men, to me it feels like I am giving away something personal. It takes time for me to build up trust so that eventually I am willing and able to get into bed with them. Seems like many men just want the sex and then they go. I have however, found a few guys who think like me in the past and have had great relationships with them. It is possible to find those guys but you have to work a little but harder. I may one day find my so called ‘prince’ but till then I will just keep plodding away and concentrate on my self. I know I will meet the right guy and he will come along when I am really ‘ready’.


  16. Hi, Sam. This is the first time I ever comment on your blog but I’ve been watching your videos for quite some time now. They’ve been helping me a lot to sort things out in my head – and even with my English, I’m from Brazil :-). Thanks for putting yourself out to help others, I appreciate that and admire you for your courage. I’m a couple of years older than you but inside of me I feel like I’m still 13… So many years of hiding away and self-rejection turned me into a stunted individual and it’s hard to switch back to full-on ‘enjoy your newfound freedom’ mode all of a sudden, you know. But I don’t want to get off to a bad start by writing you a drama-ridden comment lol, just want to thank you for your kindness, your sensitiveness and wish you and your family all the best! Saluta Piero da parte mia!

  17. Thank you Sam, I found this article very interesting and beneficial.

  18. This is the first time im coming across such wonderful stories and comments in such blogs. How dumb I have been, for not surfing the right websites.. hahahaha. XD but anyways, life took a rough toll on me a few years back and now im pretty much confident with my own orientation. I’m 21 this year and I do think that sex is a special thing rather than just randomly doing it with an unknown stranger. I’m happy to still have my virginity with me.hahaha.. XD well, I have lost counts on kissing but yeah…sex is definitely something spiritual and a wonderful between two souls. I dont wanna do it randomly with some guy who only seeks for a NSA commitments. Thanks for the article btw^^

  19. Since I broke up with my ex, and i got over it, i have been looking for a new relationship. However, when I go back to the single world, it seems everyone is looking for hook ups. I started asking myself should I follow the river? Chicken or eggs, Sex or relationship? I couldn’t help but wonder what comes first. When i started hooking up with people, I felt good during the sex, but since every time we finished, I just felt more sad and lonely. Also as you guessed, non of them has become a date. Waking up at 5:00am in the morning and try to forget everything, is that the right way to find a lover? I can’t answer myself. Or we should just open our minds, have fun, not expecting anything, and things will come?

    • Setting expectations is tricky business because it can easily lead to disappointment. I think owning your values and setting boundaries is a good start and will attract the right person.

  20. You definitely don’t need to hookup to get a boyfriend. Also, if you find someone by hooking up, they might not be the kind of guy you are after.

    I think that anyone will find their ideal partner by just being themself, socialising, having hobbies and being patient. Eventually you will meet someone at a time when you least expect it. Perhaps someone who shares your hobbies or interests.

    Well that is my experience anyway…

  21. Great post totally agree with you, even here in South Africa dating of gay people is way outrageous, I’ve seen some of my gay buddies caught by the love bug only for few days. They are constantly looking for/ waiting for someone new.

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