Not Out? Can You Still Use Gay Dating Apps?

Justin Myers

Justin Myers
12 December 2017

  1. If you’re not out, putting yourself out there can be a worry – what if you’re spotted on a dating app? 

Dating is fun and exciting! Even if you’re not out, you should be able to relax and enjoy yourself whilst you’re looking for someone.

Putting yourself out there on a dating or hook-up app can be tricky. Choosing the right photos, agonising over your bio, wondering how many of your stats to give away – you want to make sure you’re representing yourself correctly.

You want to be open, but mysterious. Am I right?

Transparency is all well and good but a successful profile tantalises, leaves them wanting more. But for some guys, even getting to that stage seems an impossibility.

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.

We all know that the way you look playing a huge part in attraction so you might find it hard getting someone interested if you don’t want to exchange pics right away.

Not out? There is good news!

The good news is that on most apps, there’s immediately a trust there. We’re all on there for similar reasons. While guys can be judge-y or suspicious at the best of times, most of us realise how hard it can be to meet other men when you’re not out on the scene.

Even if you are out to a few people, the risk of being spotted by someone you know can really hold you back. This is actually the advantage apps have over the bars – if you’re not that confident, you might never pluck up the courage to dip your toe into the scene, go into a bar, and see how you feel about it. The apps are a window into a world that might otherwise be unavailable for guys who, for example, maybe live in smaller towns with no scene or who want to be as discreet as possible while they explore their sexuality.

How can a dating app help with coming out?

What a dating app can do is empower you. The more gay men you have contact with – and I’m not just talking sex here – the more likely you are to normalise what living as a gay man will mean for you, should you decide to come out.

Being exposed to a gay “lifestyle” will, usually, make you even more determined to live your truth. Or, if you’re definitely not ready, they can at least help you carry on meeting guys and finding out about yourself with relative privacy. As long as the guys you’re with know exactly where they stand and you offer no false promises, it’s all good.

Whether it’s the nudge you need or the confirmation you’ve always suspected, apps help you meet men you would never normally mix with, and broaden your horizons. Don’t be shy: in or out, there’s always someone waiting to chat. Be whoever you are and see where it takes you

Join Gaydar



If you’re ready to put yourself out there, but not ready to come out, you’ll always be welcome on Gaydar! Using our photo blur feature, you’ll only have to reveal your photos to the people you choose to! So why not join Gaydar and see who’s around? 

Justin Myers

Justin Myers

Justin Myers is a freelance writer. He began his anonymous dating blog The Guyliner in 2010 and soon became dating and advice columnist for Gay Times. He has since joined GQ as a weekly columnist and his work on dating, relationships and LGBT+ issues has appeared in the Guardian, BuzzFeed, and International Business Times.




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