10 Tips To Better Gay Online Dating

01
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Know The Online Dating Market

Man sitting on sofa using laptop
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Many guys turn online to meet other gay men. There are a numbers of great online dating sites for every taste. The members in these online dating communities may come from different gay scenes but they all have one thing in common. Whether it's Grindr or OKCupid, each guy is asked to market themselves with an online profile.

If you've ever been on a gay online dating site, you know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of guys all looking to connect. Online dating is all about marketing. And the most successful guys are those that know their market and the product they're presenting—themselves.

Imagine if your favorite cereal came in a white box with no graphics or explanation of what was inside. No matter how good or bad it tasted, you probably wouldn't buy it. The same holds true for online profiles. No matter what the reputation of the site, profiles serve as a first impression and allow other men to build a story about who you are as a person (am I'm not just talking about the physical). How you present yourself on the shelf can make all the difference between snagging your dream lover or enjoying 15 minutes of fame. Here's how you can turn around your online dating luck.

02
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Visualize Your Dream Man

Marketing yourself online isn't just about you, but who you want to attract. Majority of men on the net browse around aimlessly, not knowing what they are looking for; waiting for an ambiguous Mr. Right to message them. Of course, we're all seeking a good man, but what kind of man? The idea of "hot" is always in the eye of the mouse clicker. Is your ideal guy short, of average build with a love for theatre or is he a nature buff of medium height and slim frame?

Even if you can visualize your ideal mate in your head, it's a good idea to draw him on paper. Make a list of his qualities and don't limit yourself to physical attributes- personality traits and details about his lifestyle (is he out, closeted, curious) are very important. You can be very specific ("My guy is 28 years old") or you can use ranges ("My guy is between 28 and 34 years old").

This may seem like an exercise in vain, especially when you could be using those valuable minutes browsing through profiles, but knowing exactly what you want gives you focus and sends a positive message of who you'd like to attract.

03
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Show Your Personality Through Screen Names

Have you ever wondered how some of these online guys come up with their screen names? I'm always baffled by the funny spellings and the creative phrases they use, especially while I'm starring at my monitor trying to come up with a eight letter word that will live with me the entire time I'm on the site.

Rest assured, you don't need to come up with an award winning screen name to attract attention. Often times I use a favorite song title or a word from my favorite movie- something that will spark interest or prompt other hopeless romantics to look at my profile. Screen names are like billboard headlines, which invite others to at least check out the product. Online, I've found that the more abstract the screen name, the more guys will message me and ask questions, which ultimately leads to conversation- the best way to asses a match.

Keep in mind, screen names can also be a deterrent. So think about the image you want to present. A name like "lookn4luv" is more likely to attract the romantic types than "easystevie".

04
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A Picture Can Speak A Thousand Rejections

Even the most gory of movies never show the most graphic scene on the DVD cover. They leave something to mystery, plus they don't want to scare potential viewers away. A man who values an intellectual thriller is not likely to rent a movie with exposed intestine on the cover.

Keep the intrigue by saving the details until you and your dream man are intimate for the first time. Show a little chest or even a leg, but if you wouldn't show it in public don't show it online. By keeping your pics on the PG-17 or R-rated scale you're showing your suitor that you're about more than just about sex. Graphic shots may get more quantity, but it's the quality of man you're looking for.

05
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Eye Catching Headlines

Profile headlines can be a vehicle to attract the man you want, but they can also serve as a first line of defense against the man you don't. Think of your headline as an expanded version of your marketing screen name. Use this space (usually 30-80 characters long) to describe your interests or the interests you desire in a man. Elaborate on where your screen name originates or try giving a catchy intro into who you are as a person. "Travel buff looking for someone to help pack my bags" or "What's my ideal date? Come find out!" are great examples of eye catching headlines. The first example is likely to attracts a guy that's into travel like you are while the second shows your prospect that you are open to dating.

06
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Winning Ad Text

Use your ad section as just that- an ad! You have a short amount of space to show your personality and call your dream guy to action. Now that your catchy screen name and headline attracted a guy, clinch the deal with your ad text.

Use the list you made earlier to help you write about your interests, including what you like and dislike in a man. You can mention your education, hobbies, or quirky personality traits. If you're a witty guy, give them a little taste. If you're the more reserved type, say so.

I'm more attracted to a guy who's told me a little about himself more than one that is vague or leaves too much to wonder.

How intriguing is it for a writer to find out that someone loves fiction or for a sci-fi movie lover to discover that someone has the entire Star Wars collection? These details may seem out of place for sites known for quick hook ups, but relationship-oriented guys browse these sites too and your purpose is to find a date or long-term relationship which is about compatibility on levels beyond the physical.

07
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Stats: Your Two-Dimensional Body

Most online profiles ask for your age, body type, ethnicity, eye color, hair color, and height among other things. Be as specific as possible within your comfort zone, but never lie. Have you ever ordered something from a catalogue and looked nothing like the picture in the brochure?

Even the romantic who digs your winning personality over your physical features will see phibbing as an issue of trust. You may not be able to grace the cover of Men's Health, but if there is anything I've learned in the gay game is that someone (actually many people) will find you hot!

08
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HIV: Is It Anyone's Business?

Privacy is important, but many HIV positive guys don't list their status because of the stigma that goes along with it. I had a crush on an HIV positive guy for years and the reason it didn't work out had nothing to do with his status. He had a great personality, a cool hobby and a killer smile. Many happy positive/negative couples cope with the illness while continuing to maintain a good relationship. Of course, there must be communication about safer sex and health, but all couples should be cautious regardless of status.

If you're comfortable listing your status, then do so knowing that it won't deter everyone. However, if you prefer not to list your results at least be sure not to lie. You want a relationship built on trust. You and your date will have time to talk about it when appropriate, but giving him a false impression can be a quick turn off.

09
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Sex Roles: What Are You Into?

Many profiles will ask about your sexual preferences. Sure you may like group sex, but is that a detail you want to disclose up front? If you are looking for the more relationship oriented type of guy, you may want to emphasize that you desire friendship, a relationship or even 1-on-1 sex. Stating that you are looking for group sex or 3 ways in a profile sends a signal that you are promiscuous. You should never lie about the things you desire and keeping it bottled up inside is not good either, but think about your audience and try to assess what information is too much too soon. Just because your dream man doesn't like to do something now, doesn't mean he's not open to the possibilities. However, keep in mind he may be turned off by your desire before getting to know you.

Another popular profile question is which sexual role best fits you. Are you a top, bottom or versatile? Do you just like oral sex or are you not into sex at all? Answer in whatever way you feel comfortable. If you prefer not to label yourself, then most sites have the option of choosing "Ask Me" or you can leave the field blank. It's not uncommon, however, to find a guy online that you really like but your sexual roles don't match up. Don't let this stop you. A listed preference is often not the ultimate say. Who knows, if the cosmos align properly he (or you) may be open to trying something different.

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The Meeting Place: Safety First!

Where would you prefer to meet your partner for the first time? On most profiles your options include your place, his place, or a public venue. You also have the option to choose "Ask me!" or another variation which allows you to assess each situation as it presents itself. Remember, even after a long chat your new potential is still a stranger. If you decide to meet up to get to know one another better, follow these online dating safety tips.

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