Special Dating Strategies for Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals over 50 - dummies

Special Dating Strategies for Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals over 50

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP All rights reserved.

Much of what you read about dating applies to all daters, whether straight or gay. But some topics and differences are unique to people who are looking for a partner of the same sex. Some of the issues that gay men and lesbians have to take into account include:

  • Finding people of your own age: All daters tend to want someone slightly or a lot younger than themselves. This seems to be true among gay men and lesbians, and it means that finding places that have people interested in their own age group is very important.

  • Finding people in places beyond bars or gay community centers: Bars seem to be great meeting places for younger gays or lesbians, but they don’t work so well for older people. Also, gay men and women who congregate only or mainly in gay places are different from the ones who prefer mixed groups.

    Online dating has helped a lot of people 50 and older find age-mates, and other places that may work well for gays and lesbians searching for a partner include gay and lesbian sites on the Internet.

    Political elections and affinity groups (like fellow mountain climbers) are great places to find partners if they’re open and affirming about sexuality in general. If an election ballot has measures that affect gay people, you’ll find many gay people working on the issue.

  • Negotiating monogamy: Unlike heterosexuals, the majority of gay men make no assumption that monogamy begins when sexually intimate dating begins. Though many gay men want monogamy (both for emotional and health reasons), a sizable number of men think that the core nature of male sexuality is non-monogamous.

    Gay sex expert and columnist Dan Savage has advised gay partners to be “monogamish,” which seems to mean that it’s good not to run around all the time, but on the other hand, you’ll probably be less disappointed in your partner or less frustrated yourself if you construct a relationship that allows for occasional outside sex.

  • Negotiating safe sex: Safe sex is incredibly important for gay men. AIDS is deadly and infectious, although it may respond well to treatments, when available. Gay men are very much at risk, so using a condom is critically important. Some men don’t want to use them; if that’s the case, the couple shouldn’t have penetrative oral or anal sex.

  • Overcoming your credibility problem if you’re a female bisexual: “Straight by graduation” is a saying about young women who have romances with other women in college, meaning that women seem to have affairs in college with other women but drop the connection when they graduate and go into the real world.

    As a result of bisexuals having the “option” to go to their nonstigmatized heterosexual identity when it’s compelling to do so, lesbians tend to distrust self-described bisexuals. They don’t want to be dumped by a lover who suddenly or gradually begins to swing closer to the more “respectable” idea of being more centrally heterosexual.