Now, I know what you’re thinking – How could there possibly be a 28 year old virgin, specifically in the gay community? Well, you aren’t completely wrong. I’m sure there are virgins at all ages but as for me, I guess I better clarify what I mean. I lost my virginity at 18 which, according to Us national averages, would suggest I was a late bloomer. The “virginity” I am referring to would be to the gay dating scene. I have recently entered the dating world 10 months ago, after my longterm partner (and husband) decided to call our relationship quits. I was with him since I was 17, in a monogamous committed relationship (before the trend of polyamory). The only dating experience I have is with one person that spans for over 1/3 of my life. But that is a whole ‘nother story. I never had a Grindr until this year, in 2017. I had no idea what “swiping right” was until my friends told me about Tinder. I didn’t grow up with a smartphone or the variety of online dating sites, the constant “what if’s” at our fingertips. Needless to say, I was thrown into the deep end and had to swim in the dating cesspool with the muscle-hunk sharks oddly calling themselves “Otters”.
I would like to think my perspective on dating is unique. As someone who was an outsider when all of the social norms we now know were developing, my view has been steadily analytical. My initial take is how superficial it all can be. Suddenly, I was playing the adult version of “hot or not” placing an extreme value on the perfect profile bio. Crafting the right hook to grab the fleeting audience member’s attention was proving to be a challenge as they were ready to move on to the hotter guy next to me on a page full of skin and a variety of body hair. Don’t even get me started on how much pressure I felt placed on choosing the right selfie to show off all of my assets.We don’t like to talk about it, but being an older man in the gay community is like walking the inevitable plank to gay social suicide. If you don’t have abs, and I don’t, or money, of which again – I don’t, can make you feel really isolated. So what to do as a hopeless romantic in a seemingly superficial gay online dating world? I think the only thing one can do – Download all the dating apps and message all the frogs hoping to find your Prince. You’ll find some toads along the way, but no one said losing your dating virginity was going to be a happily ever after. Seemingly, it feels more like the start of the modern day gay fairytale – One where the wedding toast starts with, “When we met at W[hole] Foods,” when you both secretly know it was only supposed to be a hookup off of Scruff.
Vinny is a YouTube content creator jumping back into dating and traveling the world. He’s a gardener in his free time and a eternal optimist always. Check out his YouTube channel here.