More than just sex, please! Do guys actually go on dates anymore?

I recently wrote an email to Matt Akersten from SameSame with my frustrations on the lack of gay dating that seems to be going on in the gay world. It feels like it’s either a casual fuck or it’s just mates. Is commitment a thing of the past?

You can see the original SameSame post here and I recommend checking out all the comments on the story on the SameSame Facebook page here (dated Oct 27th 2015) as it generated quite a discussion.

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Tue 27th Oct, 2015 in Features

I’m Shane Cunningham – I’m a 32-year-old gay male living in Brunswick, Melbourne and I’ve been having a hard time with relationships in the last few years.

I’m sharing my story in case some of you can relate, and can give me some advice.

I’ve been single for about 3 or 4 years. I moved to Melbourne a year ago from Sydney as I was just fed up with Sydney gays.

You talk to a guy online or on a phone app who is interested in sex. Not uncommon as we all love sex and we all know that gays generally meet for sex first. Then maybe a date. Then the possibility of more. But is “more” really a possibility these days?

These were the three types of guys I seemed to meet time and time again in Sydney:

1. A guy just looking for sex, nothing more. Didn’t want to know your name, have a proper conversation or know anything about you. Whamm bam thank you man. And sometimes this is all we need, a quick root, quick sex to satisfy the need… but what if you’re looking for something more? Being a gay top in Sydney was never a hard thing, there’s plenty of bottoms looking for a quick fuck in Sydney, this has and never will be a problem!

2. A guy who you meet for a drink (or sex) but he fails to tell you that he’s in an open relationship and not looking for anything apart from sex. Sooo you just have sex… again! And generally don’t know about the relationship part until you ask them out again for more drinks. It’s then he tells you…

3. A guy who you meet but then find out that he’s cheating on his partner and everything must be discreet. “Discreet”! – this is possibly a word we should all be wary of!

Over the years I was constantly met with the above three situations. Time and time again. Week after week after week. The months turned into years.

Where do you go to actually meet a nice guy for dates? Someone who is looking for the same thing as you; a potential relationship rather than a quick fuck?! You certainly don’t go to Grindr, learnt that lesson many times. Tinder? Nope, not Tinder as nobody ever seems to start or keep up with a conversation. Hornet? Jack’d? Or any of the other gay phone apps? Manhunt perhaps? I doubt it. Been there, tried that! Plus, it’s usually the exact same guys on all the apps.

Or instead of a phone app or website you go out to a gay bar. But what if you’re not into the gay scene? You walk into a gay bar and most of the time everyone looks you up and down like you’re fresh meat and decide whether or not they would take you home. It’s gross, it’s a gross feeling.

Now, I wouldn’t say I’m the most attractive guy around but I also wouldn’t say I’m the worst looking guy either. I’m in no way a strut-around confident gay who thinks my shit-don’t-stink. I have my good qualities and I also have my bad qualities, I’m human. But the thing I’ve been battling the last few years is not knowing where to meet guys who are looking for the same thing as me; dates and a relationship. I’m a catch. I think I’m a great guy with great qualities.

I relocated to Melbourne in October 2014 for a fresh start. Left my job, left all my friends and drove down hoping for something better. Instead, I realise that guys, not matter where they are based, are more than likely the same.

Where did the days go that we could just be honest, upfront and open with each other about our feelings. I’ve met guys who seem really cool and put in almost as much effort as I have and then I tell them that I like them and enjoy their company and they run for the hills. You either never hear from them again, it’s like the drop off a radar or the face of the earth, or they come up with some excuse to bail.

Maybe it’s me who has the relationship issues. Maybe it’s me who is too honest and upfront. With saying that I’m not the type to tell someone that I love them and want to settle down with them, I simply tell them that I’m looking for something more than a casual relationship and you can almost see them run a mile in their eyes as you tell them.

Melbourne guys are definitely nicer than Sydney guys and you can actually have a decent conversation with them. I’ve even told a few guys on Grindr – yes I’m still on Grindr – that I moved here from Sydney and they’ve blocked me straight away. I know Sydney guys are one of a kind but I’m not like those. I didn’t grow up in Sydney, I actually grew up in the country in South Australia and moved to Sydney to escape South Australia.

My questions are: Where does a not-so-typical gay guy go to meet the man of his dreams who is looking for something more than a casual fling? Do gays actually go on dates anymore or is that a thing of the past? Does it always have to start with sex or can you just simply go on a date to begin with? Are phone apps the only way to go these days?

I’m lost. I’m on the brink of giving up on the gay world and going straight (again). No, joking, I’m not considering going back in to the closet but I feel like I’m shit-outta-luck these days.

I need advice. I need help!

2 thoughts on “More than just sex, please! Do guys actually go on dates anymore?

  1. You didn’t meet three kinds of guys, you meet one kind of guy three times, guys looking for sex. The reason you found that kind of guy, is because you were cruising sex sites/apps. Try going to relationship sites instead and see if things change. Or maybe interest sites, follow your passion and meet people who share it. Even if you don’t meet “the one”, you’ll meet people similar to yourself, many with fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews they may think you would like.

    Gay bar, bar, same thing. Again, it’s your choice of location, bars are pick up joints, what do you expect?


  2. Yep I’ve been thinking about this aspect lately too. It has dawned on me how limited my prospects really are. And its worse still that it stays in place by matter of choice. Sure many are in favour I assume, but break it down and there nothing gained, nothing resolved. It’s a construct that everyone adheres to – but there doesn’t seem to be a legitimate reason for it remaining in existence. Not logic since withholding information also withholds a learning opportunity and delays the changes we claim are important. For what purpose? Do we know what our agenda even is? Resolution or acts of terrorism? Fits by definition. Solidarity remains without clarity of consensus on any of these crucial things If everyone decided to suddenly stop adhering, would a single persons life change for the worse? Would anything be ruined? It exists because we all agree to participate in some way (doing nothing is enabling). Maybe we know that even if somehow the construct was demolished, the perceptions will remain. Stigma remains. Damage is done. Is this why no one could suggest any solutions? Perhaps there aren’t any viable options left. Sad for so many reasons – which is why I now determine that something dark and deserving would had to have sparked this retaliation. And to keep it alive all this time must have been driven by something unlikable they see. And in that at least that feeling of dispar turns to one of balance – and alone now seems fitting rather than unfair. Can’t argue anymore. Feed me to the wolves.


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