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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