You’ve managed to catch someone’s attention — online or off — and have exchanged information. Now the moment has come for you to use that information and set something up. How do you prepare for your first real date? And does your guy expect to be getting a handshake, a kiss or a thorough pounding out of this first meeting?
Location, location, location
If you are meeting with a view to more than just sex, you will not want to meet at his or your place initially. Of course, there are plenty of relationships that started as a one-night stand. But ‘accidentally’ ending up in bed straight away with someone you want to touch your heart as well as your crotch could deflate any romantic build-up you had going. By building on that tension a bit more before you get down and dirty, the sex will become more charged. A second or third date is sometimes a better moment to get naked.
A conversation between two people who don’t really know each other and don’t share a common background can be rough, especially if hormones are acting up and disabling clear thought. You may want distractions at hand that can give you something to talk about. If you are good at the gab, then any basic information you have about your date will probably be enough to build on. As you go, new things will come to light for you, to keep the conversation flowing. If you met him online, then the information from his profile could help you find a starting point, so give it a good read before you head out to meet him. Find a table at nice restaurant or café, somewhere to sit down and talk without having to shout to make yourself heard. Preferably this should not be a gay spot; cruising others during a date, be it accidentally or otherwise, is generally considered unromantic. If you are shy and words do not come easy, then going to a movie, a museum or a concert together might help. This instantly gives you a shared experience to discuss, a starting point for further talk.
You did some chatting and now both want to cash in on the spark before it fizzles. As the intent is clear, the question will be ‘your place or mine’? There are pros and cons to receiving strangers at home. You have to be sure your place is halfway presentable, and it would be wise to tuck away anything expensive that might go missing when your gentleman caller leaves. Also, he will know exactly where you live, which is not good if he turns out to be a psychopath, stalker or a potential burglar. The clean-up afterwards will end up being your task. On the plus side, you will be playing on familiar territory and won’t have to travel. As stated in the previous chapter, the best thing to do is to have a quick drink first at a bar around the corner from your or his place. That way you can check out the chemistry and call the whole thing off if you have doubts, while keeping your exact address unknown. It will be less painful than having to kick him out of your house, if you are receiving. Meeting in public is also the better option for reasons of safety. And never just go and meet with more than one stranger in private, as you may end up outnumbered and lose control of the situation. If possible, let a friend know where you’re headed, or if that’s too embarrassing, leave a note at your place with the address you’re going to, allowing people to track you down if you go missing.
“Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”
– Billy Crystal, comic
Ready for your close-up
Take a shower right before you have your date. Eau de toilette should be used sparingly, as you can’t be certain he will like the smell or be turned off by it. Brush your teeth and eliminate hair where necessary: those sprouting from ears and nose at the very least. Resolve to not sleep with this guy on the first date. With regard to clothing, it is important that you feel comfortable with what you wear. Don’t put on something you would not wear normally. He may love chaps, but if this is the first time you would have your ass hanging out in public, then you might have trouble focusing on the conversation with your date. And if you are going someplace fancy and formal, leave your boa at home. Unlike a sex date, you are not trying to sell a fantasy here but are trying to show the real you. Be it at your best, of course. Misleading first impressions will lead to wasted time and disappointment.
What was just said about grooming applies to a sex date as well: be clean and not overly smelly. If your date is someone who prefers sweaty man-sex, go especially easy on the scented soaps, but even then fresh sweat is generally preferred to the old and stale kind. Then again, if he requested explicitly that you should be stinky and you feel comfortable with it, by all means go for it. Never use deodorant on yourself just before sex, as licking skin with spray on it is not at all tasty. If there is any chance that you will end up getting topped, make sure that you are clean back there. Having a healthy, high-fiber diet helps, but rinsing carefully with lukewarm water using a shower hose will do in a pinch. Be very careful when doing this, to avoid hurting yourself. Click here for further instructions. And make sure that all the excess water is out by the time you meet your date, as you won’t want to flood him.
If you are hosting, you will have to set the mood. Make sure your sheets are clean and open a window if the place is stuffy. It should be warm enough to be comfortable when walking around naked. Make sure to have two towels, condoms and lube ready next to the bed. Don’t have porn playing as that indicates a lack of focus on your guest. If you want to play porn, let him pick a movie when he gets there. Put on music in the background that is unobtrusive, will last a good while and has a rhythm to it. Beware of the shuffle setting on your playlist, as suddenly hearing Annie belt out that “the sun will come out tomorrow” is not conducive to a good orgasm and may induce giggling or impotence.
What to wear? Well, if he is coming over to your house directly, you might not have to wear anything. Opening the door naked has its charms, though if he is a disappointment, things might get embarrassing. Your clothing should fit with what you know your Romeo likes, but remember that you probably won’t be wearing it for long anyway. If he is a sporty type, then sportswear is a good idea, if he is inclined towards leather and uniform, then butch up the outfit.
“I think that promiscuity has gotten a very bad name and some of the most intense and poetic and intimate experiences of my life were one-night stands.”
– Edmund White, writer
Feeling a spark
Lust at first sight definitely exists, love at first sight is a bit more controversial. Just because someone gives you a strong hormonal response at the start, that doesn’t necessarily mean you truly love him. But in hindsight, you might find that you unleashed your emotions on the right person. Love is something you have to work at, something that you slowly build over days and months and years and has to do with trust and familiarity. What you should be feeling at the outset is lust, coupled with a sincere interest in what your date has to say. Feeling nervous and maybe tongue-tied for the first couple of minutes is to be expected, but you should find yourself relaxing, talking easily and end up somewhat on the same wavelength. Both of you should be alternately talking and listening to an equal degree. If you are doing all of the talking, something is wrong. Avoid being negative. Don’t talk about exes — especially if there is still drama going on — and things you hate; he may turn out to enjoy some of the things you are passionately ridiculing. Focus on things that make you enthusiastic.
If chemistry is lacking and the conversation is stilted and going nowhere, bow out. The best reasons to give for leaving are ones that might be true and spare his feelings: you have to get up early, have work to finish, are really tired, meeting friends etc. Try not to promise to call him unless you sincerely plan to give him a second chance. Should he demand honesty, politely confess that you just don’t feel a click.
If you enjoyed the conversation but didn’t feel a physical click, congratulations, you possibly found yourself a friend. If you enjoyed the conversation and still want to fuck him senseless, congratulations, you may have found yourself a boyfriend. But keep it platonic for one or two more dates. It builds tension and makes it clear that this is intended to be more than just sex. Waiting for too long is also not advisable, as you need to find out if you are sexually compatible and want to avoid ending up as ‘just friends’. For now, ending the first date with a nice, long lingering kiss should signal your interest and make him want you. But don’t give him the rest right away.
“I used to persevere out of a sense of obligation when a date didn’t really click for me. But by now I have learned to just call it quits. It can be a bit painful for the other person, but if you remain friendly and diplomatic, you can protect yourself while minimizing his emotional trauma.”
The first impression is very important here, as there won’t be much time for a second one. If you don’t feel sure about your date, because he isn’t clean or doesn’t look as advertised or just gives you a bad vibe, then end the date as soon as you can. It will be harder to do so later, when you are stuck under him naked and wondering what you’re doing there. But even then, if you are not enjoying yourself, abort. Politely say it is not working for you, get dressed and leave (or ask him to leave if he’s at your place). You may feel bad about hurting his feelings, but will thank yourself for bailing later. And let’s not forget he might do the same to you. If you get rejected, don’t feel too depressed about it; it was just a sexcapade after all.
If you do connect hormonally, then a lot of words are probably not called for, though a short chat can help build the mood. Too much talking beforehand can lead to an awkward point where you consciously have to switch to sex. Beware of the generic lingo as heard in porn movies. Referring to a butt as a ‘manpussy’ could lead to instant dismissal if your date doesn’t appreciate it. Grunting and moaning are a pretty safe and non-verbal way to communicate and show your appreciation during sex.
Keep you common sense at the ready; this is a stranger you are inviting to your body and that makes you vulnerable. Treat your date with respect and ditch him if he doesn’t return the favor. In principle, don’t do anything risky with a stranger, like getting tied up, using drugs or barebacking. When you are done, you are under no obligation to stay or let him stay. But if you really like the guy, there’s no harm in having a cuddle, a chat and possibly a second or third round? An often heard complaint from gay men is that men are too clinical and distant when it comes to sex. Well, if so many people agree on this, then it should be possible to change this. And maybe this stranger will turn into a (fuck)buddy or even a boyfriend.
“Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin… it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring.”
– S.J. Perelman, writer
Dutch version here. Last edit: 22-09-2018