Queer dating 101 | What to ask on your first date

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Dating can be an exciting experience but what are the must-discuss topics for a first date?

Dating is fun, and in these times of talking stages that don’t seem to go anywhere, being able to get to that first date is exciting. I recently was able to reach this milestone with one gentleman after weeks of discussions, negotiations and flirtations (the contents of which I cannot reveal in this piece).

Our conversations in the lead up to the date showed me that there was room for a good time but that it would not include sex; having discussed this upfront was some kind of comfort.

For purposes of clarity, I am no prude and I have nothing against sex on the first date, so I remained open to the possibility. But it was not the goal. Having had that date, and taken advice from some friends, I thought about what’s a good idea to discuss on the first date. And here are the results:

Sexual role preference

It is often easy to just say two men who are both attracted to one another will hit it off emotionally and sexually. But it is not like that all the time. The question of how fixed one’s sexual role is and what it is becomes one of the things we need to know.

If you are able to get up to the first date without asking this (dreaded?) question, it definitely should form part of your chat on the day. We can only hope that the answers there leave you both happy. This discussion can lead to more in terms of understanding what pleases your date; what they want to do to you, and what they are open to.

Think of it as foreplay – starting in the mind. A note: you might want to also ask if they prefer monogamy or polyamory and how to regulate whatever type of set up they prefer.

Money

This is a difficult topic for many, including among intimate partners, friends and family. But having a sense of your potential mate’s attitude towards money, their spending habits and what their financial limits might be is important.

You don’t want to discover too late that with your fine dining habits he is a fast food man. It’s been said that finances are one of the leading causes of divorce. Better tackle this issue very early on.

Sexual health

It might be a bit awkward when you start here, and it might lead to a long pause or a deep stare, but getting to talking about sexual health on the first date helps avoid the hard health chats that we might have to have later.

You can start off easy; ask how often they test/screen for HIV and STIs and take it from there. You could even kick it off by sharing your own tales around testing and screening, the anxiety, the fears and habits. Once you have opened the door, this can become a continuing conversation. Like an elephant, you can eat this topic piece by piece, it doesn’t have to be done all on the same day.

Politics

Ever seen your perception of someone change the moment you find out that their politics are so different from yours and possibly on the wrong end of what is right and wrong?  Imagine it happening with someone you have fallen in love with, months into it.

Our politics speak to the choices we are inclined to make in difficult situations, they speak to our values and they reveal how we treat those we love and hold dear. Consider this, what are his views on the rights of transgender persons in society and in health services? What is his position on gender-based and intimate partner violence? Does he vote and who did he vote for in the last election and what does he think of the state our country?

Of course, our politics evolve as we become more enlightened and new information is revealed to us but there are areas that are fundamental. Sometimes, his views may different but not wrong but at other time, they may simply be wrong.

If you and your partner disagree on the fundamentals, sustaining a relationship might be difficult in the long run, because those views will be laid bare in many situations. If you’re not sure how to start this talk, just watch the news for a week prior to the date; there will be more than enough headlines to bring up to break the ice.

Covid-19 vaccination

Before 2020, this would not have been a thing; we didn’t care much about vaccinations. But Covid-19 is here and like a bad boy pop star, it’s here to stay. The world is moving with haste to manage the pandemic and one of those ways is through vaccination.

If you are on a date, you’ve probably  already broken a number of the rules around safety; you may have hugged,  kissed, and you may have sat close to one another without your masks as you shared a meal. So, it is definitely worth finding out; is your potential mate an anti-vaxxer? Depending on whether you are one too, this should help decide if you’re going on a next date. (As a rule, I will not date anti-vaxxers.)

Love should live here and I wish all of us the best. As for me, as I type this I’m waiting on yet another first date…

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