The Hookup Manual

Do's and Don'ts

Male couple in pool hugging and smiling
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Relationships aren't on everyone's radar. And even if they are, many guys stay open to hooking up on the path to whatever they are looking for. Meeting guys for random fun can be a wonderful thing or a complete disaster depending on what you do before, during and after hooking up.

The next time you plan on meeting someone, go over this list of do's and dont's to avoid a total calamity. First time or seasoned host, there's something to learn for everyone.

Be Yourself

In most cases, there are only a few seconds to seal the deal. One wrong word or disastrously geeky move could easily kill the vibe... or so it seems. Reality is, short of setting his shoes on fire, not much you say or do will turn him off if he's into you. You'll either vibe with him or not and the awkwardness may be what he's attracted to. Another crazy reality is most gays come out of the womb waiting for someone to choose us instead of the other way around. Use this to your advantage. Whoever you are, whatever you look like and however smooth or awkward your personality, see the situation as your choice and your chance, not his. When you're the real you the focus shifts from what you think you're doing wrong to whether if he's what you really want.

Don't Exaggerate

If you're online and claim the movie Anaconda was based on your love stick but your assets are more like a garden snake, you'll only look like a moron in the end.

Be honest! If you haven't broken a sweat since 6th-grade gym class, you're probably not athletic. Similarly, chances are you're not "just looking for friends" if you're cruising for an hour-long meetup. Most of us don't lie on purpose; it's just easier on the ego to try and anticipate what other guys want.

It's not uncommon to try and read their minds and portray ourselves as things we're not. But, we're most confident when we're direct and honest. It's better to be upfront, state exactly what you're looking for, and keep to exactly who you are.

Don't Have Expectations

Expectations shouldn't be confused with confidence. Expectations are false hopes that often lead to disappointments. Expectations on your way to a hook up can be a fiasco. Our imaginations are wonderful things but can lead us to annoyance when we start creating scenarios before they happen. You're not a fortune teller nor can you predict how things will go down, so why build it up? Avoid the regret by going into the situation with an open mind. This puts you in a better position to adjust to potential setbacks or successes.

Have Fun

Go into it with the idea that you're there to have fun, not invite him to Thanksgiving or prom. Although hookups can be, rarely are they the basis of a long-term relationship. Even if you think the guy is the best thing ever, only the future will tell if the connection is lust or love.

Ask for His Sex History

Hey, would you give a stranger the keys to your car and tell him to do what he wants with it, just bring it back whenever he's finished?

Not a chance! Odds are you'd laugh out loud at the idea of risking your insurance premium, your transportation and any other consequences for someone you just met. So why take the chance with sex? At least you can get another car if something went wrong, but our bodies are ours until the lease expires. Ask him if he hooks up frequently or if he's into barebacking. Take condoms with you and see if he has some of his own. A little reverse psych works here, too. Ask if he likes it raw. It's crude but gets to the point. Chances are he won't know if you're asking to feel him out or if you are into it, so the answer is most likely honest.

Don't Feel Shame

There's nothing to be ashamed of. You know what you like and you (hopefully) know your body and self well enough to keep it safe and still have fun.

Learn from the experience. See if it's right or not-so-great for you. Shame and guilt do nothing but distract you this perpetual journey you're taking to figure out who you truly are. Instead, take this time and experience to get to know yourself, what you like and dislike. There are no explanations or justifications needed. Protect yourself first, because not everyone has an interest in keeping you safe. Then decide if hooking up is for you—once, occasionally, all the time or not at all.