Not Out? Can You Still Use Gay Dating Apps?

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
10 April 2024

If you’re not able to publicly disclose your sexuality, or if you’re on the down-low, or still figuring stuff out, or just fancy some dick without putting any labels on it, navigating dating and hook-up apps can seem like a bit of a minefield.

Using the technology is generally the most efficient way to connect with local guys and scratch that itch, but you also need to be discreet – you don’t want to complicate things by being recognised.

It’s ok to keep your sexuality to yourself

There are lots of reasons people don’t feel like they can be open about their sexuality.  Family, religion, marriage and work are some of the most common reasons people don’t feel ready to share all of their secrets online. This can be especially hard in small communities where it feels like everyone knows everyone.

One of the challenges for down-low guys using dating apps is that having a compelling profile picture increases the likelihood of guys responding to your messages. If you can’t put a face-pic in your profile, be prepared for guys that you contact to ask you to DM a face-pic fairly early on in the interaction.

You might prefer to be a bit mysterious, but the guy that you’re chatting to is going to want to confirm that you’re a real person and that you’re what they’re looking for.

Risk versus reward

Sexual intimacy is a basic human need, but sometimes the complexity of our desires and attractions don’t fit neatly into the boxes allocated to us by the societal norms within which we operate.

You don’t have to put any labels on it, but if you fancy some man-on-man action, but you don’t want people to know that that’s what you’re into, you’ve got to appreciate that thinking with your dick is going to require you to take some risks.

Even if you’re super-discreet, you can’t control everything. No matter how effectively you compartmentalise your life, secrets have a tendency to blow up in your face in the most inconvenient of ways.

It’s also not the job of the guys that you’re hooking up with to keep your secrets. Your issues are your issues. Everyone should be respectful and empathetic, but everyone is on their own path.

How to navigate gay dating apps on the down-low

Some down-low guys create burner accounts on hook-up apps. When they’re horny and want some dick, they sign-up to the app, get the job done, and then delete the account – as a way of covering their tracks. There is some logic to this, as it removes the app from your phone and might help to minimise the risk of your secrets coming out. The downside of that strategy is that you’re starting from scratch each time – making the process of finding a hook-up a bit of a challenge. If you’ve only got a limited window to scratch that itch, you need to be able to move fast. By keeping your profile active, you can easily stay in touch with guys that you’ve been chatting with or have hooked up with previously.

Have a profile photo. It can be just your torso or something else that doesn’t identify you, but a profile that has a profile image is going to be more effective than a blank profile.

Use the bio section of your profile to make it clear what you’re looking for. It’s okay to let guys know that you’re on the down-low and need to be discreet. Being upfront about that will help to ensure that the guys that you hook up with know the deal and are able to accommodate that.

Have some photos that are ready to send. When you start chatting with a guy, he’s going to ask for photos. If you’re worried about naked photos of you ending up on the internet, you can send separate face and body pics – that reduces your risks a bit.

Get amongst it. If you’re actively thinking about using gay hook-up apps to get a bit of man-on-man action, you are ready to take the plunge. Get online and scratch that itch.

Put the technology to work and connect with local guys, with


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