How to Battle First Date Anxieties
No matter how many times we’ve done it before, going on a first date can still wobble the nerves. But they’re stage-fright nerves – the good kind. It means it’s important to us that the date goes well. It means we’ll do anything to ensure we don’t come across as a big loser.
Here are my own five handy-dandy tips for first-date prep. Keep in mind these issues generally don’t apply to mere sex-hookups, which have less on the line than a proper “date”.
If you’re on a proper date (and not just a hookup) and hope something more will come of it than a quick shag, then why not postpone the shag until the next date? I would rather miss out on the sex the first time around than fail at it because of nerves. If you’ve successfully completed round one, you’ll go into round two with more confidence—the sex will be easier, and you’ll make a better first sexual impression.
- The Sweats
I’m not a sweaty guy. But whenever I’m going on a first date with someone I expect to really like, I have a tendency to get all soupy from head to toe. Don’t shower until just before you walk out the door. And feel free to apply deodorant to areas where you normally wouldn’t (if you’re following hint #1 anyway, then who cares where the roll-on has started to crust!).
- WhatdoIwear, WhatdoIwear?!?!?!
Try not to wear anything new if you can avoid it. Wear something you’ve worn successfully before so you don’t spend the night wondering what kind of impression your new threads are making. We get so caught up on clothes, don’t we?
- The Pasties
Date nervousness causes dry-mouth. Not carrying gum is a mistake you’ll come to regret. If you’re in a restaurant, stay on the waiter to keep filling those water glasses. Even if you’re following hint #1, a kiss at the end of the night is still possible. Don’t let it taste like barn mud.
- Easy on the Party
If having a drink calms you down, have one. But getting wasted on a first date not only makes you look dumb, chances are you’ll lose control of the shit coming outta your mouth. Know your limit—before you start to sound like that Mel Gibson phone call.
Maybe you share some of these issues, maybe not. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments box. I, like many others who aren’t lucky enough to be too-cool-for-school, am all ears.
And sweaty palms.
Unique First Date Ideas
Going to dinner is always nice, and drinks are fun, but doing something unique on a first date is a sure way to get your potential match’s attention, and keep them coming back for more. “Make it memorable,” says Mason Jennings, a membership liaison at DiscreetGayDating.com. “It will show your date that you’re creative and fun! When things work out, you’ll love looking back at how you met, not to mention sharing your story with others.”
First Date Ideas
Work out at the Gym Together
“Getting your heart rate going with your date is a great way to see if there’s any sexual chemistry,” explains Ryan, a personal trainer and popular guy on OutPersonals.com. “Plus, you can check out their body when they get all hot and sweaty!” Go for a run in the park on a sunny afternoon, or hit the gym and spot each other before getting a smoothie to finish things off.
Take a Trip down Memory Lane
Remember long, hot summers when you’d play mini golf, go to the batting cage, or cool off in the lake? Play the nostalgia game with your date and do some of those fun activities. With these summer diversions, there are lots of opportunities for flirting. You can “help” your date with their golf swing or batting practice to ramp up the sexual tension. And if you’re swimming, it’s a great time to check out your date’s hot bod!
Try Interactive Restaurants or Theatres
For something different and little kooky you could try a novelty restaurant that offers murder mystery, dinner packages or “blind dining” where you can’t see your date or what you’re eating – for the truly adventurous! These types of places takes the first date pressure off because you will both be interacting with your environment and others, as well as each other.
What was your most memorable first date?
Questions to Ask a Gay First Date
What we really wanna know when we’re pummeling our first date with questions is, “Does he like all the stuff I like?”, perhaps even, “Does he have all those qualities I fantasize about?”…
Thus first-date Q&A’s are obviously very subjective. Perfect example: I, personally, would never ask a first date whether he’s into sports because sports aren’t part of my life, so it wouldn’t cross my mind. I may, on the other hand, ask him what he reads (the real question I’m asking, of course, is “Do you read?”…)
But there are, universally, details we should want to know—because if we’re at all serious about an ongoing relationship, the answers could sway our decision-making.
These are questions you’ll wanna squeeeeeze in somewhere along the way. Once the first is on the table, the ice’ll definitely crack. Depending on the answer you get, hopefully you can relax about having to ask the rest.
Where do you work? Not “what kind of work do you do?”, but “where?”. If you ask this early during the date, it’ll sound like small-talk. If you save it until you’ve already learned a bit about the guy you’re sitting with, you’ll have a better context for his answer. What you’re looking for is this: is he an unemployed deadbeat?
Are you married? There’s a never-ending flood of gay guys in straight marriages who are looking to get their secret ya-yas out. No matter what you’re “promised”, these guys are far from being in a position to offer you anything substantial—tell them to hit you up once they get their shit together. If your date is in a same-sex marriage, determine whether or not it’s an open one: being part of a lie sucks.
Have you ever been married? I think it’s fair to know if there’s an ex-wife in the background. An ex-husband might have less drama, if you’re lucky, but at least they aren’t part of a package-deal with kids. Which leads me to…
Do you have kids? If so, what role do they play in his life? How often does he see them? Does he seem like a loving father, or does it strike you that he finds his kids to be a nuisance to his new gay lifestyle? The answers not only reflect his character, but can be a red flag to you if kids aren’t in your cards… even for a weekend.
You’ve never been arrested, have you…? I have no problem pulling this one out. But I usually only do so when I’m on a date with a guy who seems so TOTALLY perfect that I begin to suspect something MUST be wrong with him. The answer is likely (and, for me, has always been) no, and you can have a good laugh. If the answer is yes, well, you’ll be glad you asked…
Talking Too Much on a Gay First Date
Always be sure to have the ball gag ready: some guys can’t help but hose you down with unwanted chat the instant the hookup begins. I’d like to think they’ll read this post and realize how off-putting it is. Fingers crossed.
If you’re out there looking at this, here are some topics we’d all like you to avoid during a first date… at least until we’re interested enough to ask for more:
Your venomous ex-wife. I’m sure the breakup was nasty, and hard on the kids, and yes, coming out was probably the right thing for you to do, and yes, she probably is making your life hell. But we’re not here to bitch about your ex-wife. Or your ex-boyfriend, or any of your exes. We’re here to have a good time. And while you’re at it, keep schtum, as well, on how your mother’s been unreasonable in her expectations of you.
Save it for the clinic. It’s one thing to tell me you’re lactose intolerant. It’s quite another to excuse yourself from the table because the quiche is going right through you. I don’t need to hear about your bowel regimen, your eczema, or your ringworm. Do tell me only about conditions I’m likely to contract — and try to tell me at the e-chat stage so I know not to show up.
LTR. I thought we were here to get dirty? It’s hardly a turn-on to be tested on how I might be suitable as a long-term companion. Shouldn’t we spend some time together first, see if it’s a good match? Listing expectations makes you look like a control freak, or worse, someone who’s more into the idea of a relationship than the relationship itself. Hardly sexy.
How work works. It’s one thing if you’re passionate about work. Even better if you have what others might consider a cool job. But all too often people who work within a cubicle will bitch and squawk about how shitty their office is run and how everyone but them is useless and blahblahblah. We don’t know these people. We don’t care about the old ladies in your office who hog the microwave. People who work in human resources tend to do this a lot. Please don’t bore us.
Or, who knows, maybe it’s good for me to hear these things on a first date, to get it all out early.
That way I’ll know not to stick around.
First Date Turn Offs
This one’s easy:
Much of what can be a turn-off upon meeting someone for the first time is doubly off-putting when that someone is a date, bringing those turn-offs in to closer quarters.
I can’t believe I have to even state this, but the number one issue is hygiene. We live in the first world, with malaria-free running water. I’ll be the first to admit to skipping showers on those weekends at home reading or catching up on my favorite TV series – when I have no one to see – I can live quite peacefully in my own stench. But why on earth would anyone skip a shower on date night?! And guys do, they do!
It gets worse. Some guys opt for body sprays. Here’s the thing about body sprays: all they do is send the message that you’re covering up the smell of something far worse. And the sprays themselves – sprays whose only purpose are to mask – are chemically faux and unpleasantly putrid. I’d rather get a whiff of fried liver and onions. Puh-LEASE stay off the body sprays!
And here’s the part I most dread discussing, but, here she go:
If you plan on having anal sex, The Big Rinse is non-negotiable. (I’m not about to give you a step-by-step, but let me assure you that YouTube is your friend – you’ll find plenty of how-to’s.) It’s a simple fact that bungholes are naturally dirty (yes, even yours, despite its adorable bubble shape), and a poo-free butt will ensure your date isn’t so turned-off that he bolts before you’ve taken your socks off. Guys who are new to the anal douche will be intimidated (rightfully so, in my opinion), but with practice, it’s eventually no biggie, I promise. A clean butt is a pornstar butt.
If – if – the aforementioned are non-issues, and I happen to be hot on the guy, I’m willing to be a bit more lenient to forgive a case of bad breath, easily solved by brushing or gum (as I pop a gum, I simply say, “Gum?”, and he’ll pretty much always say yes. If he refuses, I get a bit yukked-out).
That being said, if he shows up with spinach, bits of pork chop, or a sticky yellow film on his teeth, I’m on the first plane to Afghanistan.
Ditching a First Date
I kinda sorta feel guilty about this one. Maybe? Maybe not? Lemme throw it out there:
Let’s say you’re cruising online and you find a guy who seems worthy of taking the time for a proper meeting. So you’re on your First Date, some place public, some place where there are plenty of other deliciously irresistible guys. Before your date is through (in fact, let’s just pull out all the stops and call it for what it is – in the middle of your First Date together) you meet someone else – a guy with whom you connect much better than the date you showed up with.
Is there an etiquette that should be followed for switching to Guy #2 before your First Date with Guy #1 is even over?
The scenario I’ve just described actually happened to me. Throughout the course of the night (we were at an event), I couldn’t help but wish Guy #2 were my date instead. Sure, I suppose I’m a wee bit ashamed to say my feelings became embarrassingly obvious. In the end, I went home with neither of them that night; but that only postponed hurting the feelings of Guy #1, who, the next day, was officially told that I’d henceforth be dating Guy #2.
(I’d like to note that, in my defence [if there is one…] I subsequently began a months-long relationship with Guy #2, so there was a bit of a follow-my-heart kind of thingy going on, but, still, I know, I know…!)
So, back to my original thought that I’d like to throw on the table for all you guys out there:
Is life not too short that etiquette can be trumped by the possibility of happiness?
Did my behaviour that night make me nothing more than a self-serving asshole?
Let me know what you think, guys.
Sock it to me. I can take it.
(Besides, if I don’t like what you have to tell me, I can always dump you for the hunkier stud standing next to you. Heehee! Kidding, kidding!)