Setting Up An Online Dating Profile For Gay Men

Gay Dating

Setting Up an Online Dating Profile for Gay Men

Jonathan Welford

Written by: Jonathan Welford

Jonathan Welford

Jonathan Welford is a dating and relationship coach, author of three relationship coaching books and regular columnist. He heads up a coaching and therapy practice specializing in dating and relationships. He lives in the UK with his husband and their English bulldog named Lola.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Online dating is now common place to meet people. In the past, dating agencies were whispered behind very closed doors, quiet mutterings about placing a personal ad in a certain newspaper.

Now, everyone of every age has had, and maybe still does have, an online profile. But there is a whole gambit of websites for you to choose from. If you are looking for love, companionship and a long-time relationship, then there are a whole range of sites to look at, and some to avoid.

The likes of Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt and that type are mainly for random hookups, immediate sexual gratification not usually for romantic meals, sweet mutterings about the dream picket fence and having friends around for brunch.

I am not saying this is not possible. It’s just very unlikely to happen. Likewise, if you are just seeking a no-commitment, sweaty, erotic experience within minutes of logging on, it’s unlikely to happen with sites like eHarmony or Match, mainly because those sites are set for a different type of people with different goals and aspirations in the relationship arena.

The key question is what to put on the profile, and here are the top five tips.

1. Choose your profile picture carefully.

If you are looking for rampant, immediate, no-commitment sex, then use a picture showing all your, ahem, features.

If you are looking for something more long term and a life companion, then a picture of you casually dressed and ideally smiling is good.

The dating sites that are focused toward long-term relationships normally have a no X-rated rule, and there is a thorough process of launching a profile. With hookup sites, you click, load up a picture and off you go.

Avoid pictures taken with your web cam with either an unmade bed behind you or dishes in the kitchen sink.

If you insist on taking a picture of your reflection in the bathroom mirror, just make sure you tidy the bathroom before you do it.

2. Pick an appropriate dating profile name.

Titles like “HardTop,” “SluttySteve” and “Use&Go” aren’t likely to appeal to a guy who wants to find his forever life partner, unless he wants to keep you caged and let you out on the odd occasion.  Keep it simple, memorable and uncomplicated.


“Looking for love on one profile and on another

wanting to be chained up will come back to haunt you.”

3. You don’t have to put your entire dating history.

Avoid talking about exes that have wronged you. Focus on a few interesting things you enjoy doing, such as favorite foods, holiday destinations and a small amount about what you do for a living.

Put down what you are looking for but keep it open. Specifying your date needs to be 25, have a 30-inch waist and be 5 feet 8 inches tall will seriously impede your responses.

I read a good profile recently that said, “Height and weight balanced and old enough to buy a round of drinks and not old enough to remember when the dinosaurs were roaming the high street.”

If you want someone above a certain age, then put that down. However, sticking an age restriction can cancel out some truly wonderful guys who don’t look or act their stereotypical age.

4. Talking about sex.

Talking about sex, as in the sexual role you prefer, is fine (active, passive or versatile), but don’t show pictures of you in the act and don’t make this the core component and overly discuss this.

When meeting a new guy and getting to the bedroom is an adventure, why spoil the pleasure and surprise by unwrapping that particular present?

5. Keep it local.

Unless you like spending time in airport departure lounges, try and keep your search criteria local, which means within an easy drive or bus ride or local enough that you could just meet up for a coffee or a drink after work.

Try to avoid having to coordinate travel arrangements by scheduling annual leave. Long-distance relationships have bucket loads of challenges and very rarely dovetail in the way the people in them desire.

WARNING! Be consistent: Looking for love on one profile with roses, candlelit dinners and romantic mini-breaks as the desired outcome and on another profile wanting to be chained up in a basement with whipped cream smeared over your torso will come back to haunt you.

The gay world is very small, and you’ll be surprised who knows who. It’s likely this severe contrast will come to light and potentially ruin your chances. Adapt and follow through consistently across the board.

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