Dating 101

The Incredible, Undateable Gay: On Putting Out on the First Date

By: Les Fabian Brathwaite

Sex ruins everything. Now, don’t get me wrong, sex is awesome and I’ve become quite a fan of it recently. This summer, in fact, I went through a sort of Heidi-esque flowering. But, for all its awesomeness, sex can really foul up the works, especially on a first date. Putting out can either ensure or deter a second. So, how do you know if and when to give up the goods? Here, I present to you two scenarios.

[Ed. note: For all intents and purposes, sex does not constitute naked dry-humping.]

I went through an Eastern European phase early in the summer. I took it upon myself to bore my own personal glory hole into the iron curtain with a sexy Russian waiter and a gorgeous Hungarian ballet dancer. I had recently completed a self-imposed exile from hooking up and had decided to start trying to actually date guys when I met Vlad.* After chatting on Grindr, we met for margaritas and Mexican food in Williamsburg one Monday afternoon.

He was serving me black from head to toe with a billowy top and, being a sucker for proportions and a man with a sense of style, I was immediately hooked. He spoke with an adorably thick Russian accent and had only been in America for two years. Though he took an English course when he first got here, he still had trouble understanding certain words. “How you say …” was his most common question. Along with a man of style, I’m also a sucker for cultural barriers. An aspiring singer and musician, Vlad had the hustler mentality of a seasoned New Yorker: in addition to working the door at a gay bar at night, he worked long hours as a server at a restaurant in the West Village.

After almuerzo (thank you six years of Spanish), we went for a walk around Williamsburg. We sat and occasionally chatted while looking at the birds in the trees in McCarren Park. Like nearly every guy I meet, Vlad had recently ended a relationship and he wasn’t necessarily looking to get into another one. I just wanted to date, to enjoy being young and in New York whilst throwing my hat up in the air mid-freeze frame so that was fine by me.

We went back to my place where we got high on my roof, overlooking Manhattan in the distance. Our conversation was stilted at best and I wasn’t sure how he felt about me. He either liked me or he had nowhere else to go — either way, I’d take it. Thanks to a conveniently located sofa that had suffered the ravages of time and the elements, I realized it was the former. We made out on a roof in Brooklyn with the sun beginning to set. I mean, I would’ve dived off that roof immediately and called it a goddamn day because it couldn’t get any better. I didn’t plan to sleep with him, but we went back down to my place to cuddle and nap. 

He slept over, and in the morning we fooled around a bit, but no sex happened. I was adamant about not fucking him in hopes of actually giving him and the possibility of “us” a chance. We went to get coffee and pastries at the local cafe. He held my hand the entire way and my heart exhaled a million sighs. Because for me, a man holding my hand in public — even in New York, even in 2014 — is still the most romantic thing in the world.After 16 hours, he left to go home.

Vlad and I saw each other sporadically from there until whatever we had ran its inevitable course. We couldn’t really connect because of the language barrier. Enter Zoltán, the gorgeous Hungarian ballet dancer. He had an ass you could write poetry to … haikus mostly. After exchanging pleasantries and artfully posed nudes on Scruff, we decided to grab drinks. I had mentioned the idea of us making out a little — partly in jest, mostly in hopes — but he quickly pumped the breaks on that. He wanted to take things slow, see if we liked each other first. Okay, I thought, we can play that game.

Tags: DATING 101