Tag Archives: gay life


gay online dating advice gay blog

This article was originally written by The Modern Gay for Match.com

I have been using the internet to communicate with other gay guys my age since I was fourteen-years-old. What started as a means to explore my curiosities in the privacy of my bedroom has matured into a means by which I have met romantic partners. In the early days of internet dating you were warned not to share too much detail about your life for fear of being taken advantage of but as we have become more comfortable with this digital medium we are more open to sharing our phone numbers, private pictures, personal stories and even our home addresses.

When I was eighteen I signed up for one of the few gay dating sites that existed at the time. The internet was the only access I had to the big gay world but because I was still in the closet I was reluctant to use a real profile picture for fear of being outed. Like many other questioning, young gay guys, I established a false profile, using an image that I found online. I created an alluring persona of the ideal “straight-acting”, high school jock and used this disguise to communicate with other guys. Luckily though, I quickly realized the pointlessness in pretending to be someone you are not, both digitally and in real life. Although my fake profile allowed me to comfortably chat to other gay guys (something I could not do while I was still in school) I knew that these relationships would never eventuate into anything more than an internet fling. I deleted my accounts and stopped using the internet for chatting until I was comfortable enough to establish a profile that reflected the real me, with genuine pictures included.

Since then I have met some great guys through dating websites and apps. Along the way I have also learnt some valuable lessons about online dating, the most important of which is honesty. Pretending to be someone that you are not is pointless in the long run. Sure it may allow you to escape the reality of your life in the moment but ultimately it’s a dead end and people inevitably are hurt. I also strongly believe that we should only be in relationships with people who love us for who we are and not for who we think they want us to be. The best way to attract these people into your life is to be honest from day one, and this means being honest in your online profile too. Exaggerating your height, body type or income may increase the views on your profile but what happens when you meet your love interest in person and he realizes that you are not a six-foot-two footballer with a six-figure salary? Such superficial things as body type and salary should not even matter in a loving relationship but they will become an issue if you have lied about them from the start.

While honesty is certainly the most important rule in online dating, here is a list of 7 practical ways to improve your online profile that will hopefully lead to happily ever after.

Image by Steven Kohlstock

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gay instagram gay boys modern gay blog

An outsider’s satirical view on the gay American men of Instagram.

The gay American men of Instagram (GAMI) must have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money. I see them on Instagram and I wonder how they have the stamina to lead the eventful lives that they do. If they’re not at a pool party surrounded by equally beautiful men then they’re at a trendy restaurant playing drag bingo or trying out the latest hot-yoga-hip-hop-boot-camp-spin-fusion class. In their spare time they’re running cross-country to raise money for homeless youth or flying business-class across the globe to visit friends in exotic locations. And they’re documenting all of this with the precision and skill of a professional photographer, always ensuring that the angles are right, the timing perfect, the lighting adjusted and the appropriate filters applied. I don’t understand how they do it but I’m intrigued.

Never do I see pictures of them alone, unless of course it’s a gym selfie or an artistic semi-nude picture taken on a mountain trail. They all seem to be very popular, regularly hashtagging “bestie” under pictures of different guys and girls. How many best friends do they have? They must never feel lonely. The GAMI are fascinating and I’m certainly not the only one who is fascinated by them. These men have a combined following of millions. While some use their huge fan base as a means to inspire and raise money and awareness for LGBTI causes, others are happy to simply entertain their adoring fans. And they have plenty of adoring fans. Gay men from around the world love to comment on their pictures, openly daydreaming that one day they too will have fabulous lives.

But how do they do it? How do the GAMI have the energy to maintain their very social social lives? Where do they find the time to attend all those gay parties in all those gay cities throughout the world? And how do they fund their lavish lifestyles?

I can only assume that the GAMI must be making a fortune in their respective careers, although I’m not 100% sure what their careers entail as they never appear to be working. Are they doctors? Dancers? Hairstylists? Make-up artists? Models? Businesspeople? Designers? Whatever they do they must be doing it well because the GAMI are always decked out in the most stylish clothes (when they’re wearing clothes) and always eating in the most expensive restaurants (when they’re eating). Do they ever have downtime or a bad hair day? Do the GAMI get pimples? Do other gay men of Instagram ever reject them? While I’m sure there are plenty of regular gay American men who are also on Instagram and whose lives are unexcitingly normal, I never see them. They do not appear on my news feed or garner enough likes to justify following.

But then again maybe the GAMI don’t always lead such fabulous lives. Perhaps they are smart enough to realize that Instagram isn’t actually a reflection of the real world. Perhaps they have worked out that with clever editing they can make their lives seem much more interesting than they really are. Either that or the gay American men of Instagram have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money.

Image by Remulo Brandao for Coitus Magazine

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This article was originally written by The Modern Gay for Match.com

“What’s your type of guy”, she asks. “I don’t really have a type” I respond “but I would probably say that he’s of Mediterranean decent, 6-foot-3, 80kgs, long dark-brown hair, bronzed skin, light eyes, Roman nose, sumptuous lips, slim build with a light covering of body hair and a scattering of tattoos. He’s thirty-two years old, most probably university educated, successful in business, speaks several languages, dresses like a GQ model and has the wit of Russell Brand coupled with the boyish charisma of Harry Styles”. As it turns out, I certainly do have a type.

“What was your last boyfriend like” she inquires further. “English decent, short blonde hair, 5-foot-10, smooth body, 20-years-old, with the style of a surfer and the wit of a doorknob” I reply. As it turns out, my ideal type of guy and the guys I actually date are completely incongruent. Why is this the case? Why is it that our ideal type and our actual type are often entirely different? Can we do anything to bring the two into alignment? This is something with which I have been struggling of late, compounded by the big “three-zero” which looms on the horizon.

What began as a creep towards the age of thirty has now turned into a full-blown gallop and as I approach the next milestone in my life I become increasingly anxious about the type of men that I find myself dating. When I was in my early 20s and dating guys similar in age to me it was fun and carefree. It didn’t matter much to me what their long term goals and aspirations were or even if they had any. Nor was it of much concern whether or not they were the type of people I would be happy to introduce to my parents or friends. Now that I’m in my late 20s and still find myself attracted to those same guys, the things that never seemed to bother me back then have now become of greater importance. Yes he’s pretty but what else does he have to offer? Yes he is full of youthful energy and always up for a good time but does he think that Palestine is a new fragrance by Kim Kardashian? Yes he’s great in bed but would… To continue reading click here.

Image by Mariano Vivanco

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There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life. This type of guy is an essential partner who can make the arduous journey through life that that little bit more pleasant. He will be there to console you during your breakups, dance with you to cheesy diva music on a night out and offer you advice from a completely unique perspective. He is the type of guy that you can talk to about things you can’t with your other guy friends and although you may say, “I love you” to each other, it is a very different type of love. There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life and that is a straight male best friend.

It takes a straight man with special qualities to bestfriend a gay guy. The first quality required is an unwavering comfort in his own heterosexuality. Whether he’s sharing a bed with you on holiday in order to save money or dancing on a podium next to you with his shirt off, doing things that are perceived to be gay does not faze a straight guy who is comfortable in his own sexuality. He will feel comfortable walking down the street with his girlfriend hand-in-hand while you walk next to him with your boyfriend hand-in-hand. He’ll hug and kiss you hello and tell you that he misses you when he hasn’t seen you in a while. He will easily blend into a social situation where he’s the only straight guy, not flinching when your gay friends are being overly flirtatious or affectionate and he’ll relish the fact that you introduce him as your “token straight friend”. For him, being around gay guys is not a threat to his masculinity. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even faze him at all.

A straight best friend doesn’t see sexuality as a defining aspect of your friendship. You are not his “gay best friend” and he is not your “straight best friend”, you are just mates. This is the second essential quality. While some straight girls excitingly seek a gay best friend as some sort of glitzy, novelty accessory, your best mate loves you for so much more than your sexuality. You share similar values and similar tastes in music, sports, humor, books and fashion. Together you can talk about similar experiences in love, relationships, heartache and it doesn’t matter that those experiences are between different genders. Some of these guys may have been your best friends from a time before puberty, when your sexuality was still dormant while others you may have only met after you came out. In both cases your different sexual preferences were never a factor on which your friendship was forged.

Much like with any other friendship, the most important quality that a straight man must possess in order to bestfriend a gay guy is loyalty. It is loyalty that ensures the longevity of any friendship, it is loyalty that helps a relationship survive the ups and downs of life and it is loyalty that binds male friends as brothers. Loyal friends are those who will be there when the club lights are turned on and when the music stops playing. It is during times of personal crisis such as health scares, deaths and depression that a loyal straight friend truly displays his mateship.

Having a straight man as a best friend also provides balance to one’s life. They provide a sounding board on which you can bounce ideas, problems and concerns and receive advice back from a different viewpoint. Often if we spend too much time within our own community, surrounded only by other gay guys we can become caught up in the drama of daily gay life. Having a neutral, outside party with whom we can confer is important for ensuring not only variety but also one’s own sanity. A straight male best friend is also a reminder that in a world where we have been judged, teased and chastised largely by other straight males, there are those in our midst who love, support and care for us regardless of our sexuality.

Image by Olaf Blecker

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Gay Rugby Boys Scrum

The following is an extract from an article originally written by The Modern Gay for match.com.

“The Dating Game” as it is often referred is an intricate play of tactical maneuvers, distinct rules, and pre-determined positions between two foreign teams who are brought together to achieve mutual victory. The problem though is that nobody knows the rules, the positions are ever changing and the maneuvers that are learnt in training normally don’t work on the field. What’s even more complicating is that after kick-off the game rarely goes to plan as off-sides are called, red cards are given, fouls are made and penalties awarded. More often than not, someone is bound to get hurt or sent-off and ultimately one or both teams leaves the pitch feeling like a loser. In the end, when we date as if it were a game, nobody wins.

While I don’t claim to be a love professional or a coach, I have certainly been on my fair share of dates and I feel that I have learnt a few lessons along the way.

Like many other guys there was a point in my life when I didn’t want to play the game anymore.Wait three days before you message him. Don’t write back straight away. Play it cool. Be mean, keep them keen. Don’t act too gay. Sleep with him regardless. I followed all the rules and believed that with practice would come perfection but I never seemed to score a goal. Then came a series of terrible dates. There was the guy who spoke only about his ex-boyfriend for the duration of dinner, the personal trainer who refused to eat anything that wasn’t green and the gorgeous Italian boy whose English skills were much better online. After a season of disappointing results I was ready to call a time-out or retire early.

I decided to take stock of the situation, to look back over all my dating experiences to see if there was a common problem that could explain my past failures. To my surprise, after deep analysis, I realised that I was in fact the problem. There were three mistakes that I continuously made which could explain why dating was so daunting. These mistakes turned into three lessons that have changed my entire perspective on dating.

Firstly, I realised that I was placing too much pressure on the outcome of the date, willing for it to be a ‘happily ever after’ love story before the referee’s whistle had even been blown. While I have always considered myself to be an independent person, in retrospect, I went through a stage where I was eager to be in a relationship. I empathised with Charlotte from Sex and the City who in one episode desperately exclaimed, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” I shared her pain and translated it into a period of binge-dating where every failed attempt at love seemed to be one step further away from Mr. Right. One should never approach dating or love from a place of such desperation. That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was framing dates as if they were job interviews. Will he like this outfit? What questions will he ask? What questions should I ask? What if he doesn’t like me? I hope I give a good impression. Should I be myself? Should I be who I think he’s looking for?

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coming out gay modern gay stories

What would a gay blog be without a personal coming out story? Following on from my post “43 Lies I told myself while in the closet“, in my latest YouTube video I talk about how I came out to my parents and it may not be the way that you would expect.

There is no right or wrong way to come out of the closet. It can also feel like there may never be a right time. While I was out to my friends, sister and colleagues, I still found it difficult to tell me parents. Perhaps it was the fear of disappointing them or perhaps it was the fear of the unknown? It can be scary to reveal a significant part of your identity to the people you care most about but eventually there is a tipping point, a moment in time when keeping it a secret feels more daunting than telling the truth.

Click here to view my story on YouTube or to subscribe to The Modern Gay channel.

Image  by Yiorgos Kaplanidis

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The proverbial ‘closet’, a dark place of shame, doubt and fear where almost every gay man and woman begins their journey. We keep ourselves locked deep in that closet, telling ourselves stories about why it’s safer inside than out. We tell these stories until the day comes when we have the courage to see them for what they really are, lies.

This is the list of 43 lies that I told myself while in the closet.

Modern Gay 43 lies I told myself in the closet

The Modern Gay has expanded to YouTube! Please subscribe to The Modern Gay Guide to Life for extended personal content and don’t forget to tweet me @moderngay so that I can answer your questions.


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I have always believed that sharing our personal stories is a means by which we can create social change and empower our gay community. I believe so strongly in this idea that it was the impetus for creating The Modern Gay Guide to Life. As a matter of fact, the UN Human Rights Office also believes that sharing our stories can create positive change for our community and so they created a video entitled ‘The Power of Sharing’.

Created for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the emotive video focuses on the impact that each of us can have by sharing our own stories and by showing our support for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex friends, colleagues and family members.
“It’s quite easy to hate an idea, harder to hate a person,” said OHCHR’s Charles Radcliffe. “This video speaks to the power we all have within us — to share our own stories and to support our friends and family members in the face of prejudice. For everyone who can do so safely, IDAHOT provides a chance to start conversations within our own families and communities and to challenge the negative stereotypes that fuel homophobia and transphobia.”
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Music Blog Company Freak

A good song has the power to evoke feelings of joy, nostalgia and even melancholy but a great song will take you deeper, to another place and time.  That’s exactly the power that Company Freak wields in their first single “Sexaholic”. Featuring the vocals of Tony-nominated Broadway and recording star Vivian Reed, Sexaholic sounds like a synth-funk/electro-boogie anthem taken from a dance floor somewhere in 1981.

Company Freak stands as a homage to 70s orchestral disco-soul and 80s post-disco artists like Chic, Change, Kool & The Gang, Boney M, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, and Midnight Star – a retro feel that recalls the freewheeling sound of Studio 54 and the Paradise Garage, and the glistening nu-disco of the Scissor Sisters, Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Jessica 6 and Tensnake. Mixed by Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem) and engineered by Alex Nizich (Hercules & Love Affair, Antony & The Johnsons), Company Freak are a revolving multi-generational cast of vocalists and session players that include music legends from the 70s and 80s as well as up-and-coming 21st century stars.

Gay Music Blog

Paradise Garage Gay Blog Music

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   Barrett Pall Modern Gay

We are constantly bombarded with images of male beauty. From Instagram to advertising to gay media, we as gay men are exposed daily to other men who boarder on aesthetic perfection. Rarely do we have the opportunity to see behind the picture, to meet the men who make us swoon. Model, trainer and entrepreneur Barrett Pall is trying to change that. Through his blog Artisan & King, Barrett give us a glimpse behind the lens in the hope of inspiring young gay men to live their truth. His open and honest posts which discuss his vulnerabilities and insecurities, allow readers to see underneath the underwear and past the 13,000 Instagram followers into the life of a normal guy who, like the rest of us, is trying to make sense of the world. Barrett uses his increasing public profile to share his experiences, proving that social media platforms can be used as a means to uplift and inspire others. After scrolling through Barrett’s writing you become aware that even those who are aesthetically blessed and living the so-called “glamorous life” have to deal with the same issues as most other 20-something year old gay guys.

In this candid Q&A with The Modern Gay Barrett discusses his sexuality, safe-sex and the challenges facing young gay men in 2014.


Originally, Artisan & King was supposed to be a lifestyle and fashion blog that had both a men’s and women’s section. I would be the men’s counterpart to my best friends female side, who I share my blog with. We saw that there really wasn’t a guy/girl duo and we wanted to fill that void. However, as we were launching, I moved back to NYC in the middle of a break up, enduring my first winter in three years, and just feeling really down. I started writing to get my feelings out of my head, and try to rediscover my positivity, which felt lost in my move back to NYC.


My role models would have to be a couple I met a few years ago that have taken me under their wings. Alfredo Paredes and Brad Goldfarb are a gay couple who are extremely successful in every way. Alfredo is Ralph Lauren’s right hand man, and Brad is an extremely accomplished writer. They met when they were 25 and have been together for 25 years now. They are both wildly successful in their careers, and have remembered to give back, stay grounded, and show kindness to all those they meet. They have been the mentors I so badly needed as I had never really had a vision of what I wanted my life to be until I met them. They’ve showed me a life I never knew I wanted, and now the greatest thing I can dream of would be to end up just like them. To top it off they recently had their first child, and have been the greatest dads from day one. I can truly say I love these guys like family.


I don’t think enough of my generation practices safe-sex. With apps like Grindr, Scruff, and a new one popping up every day the possibility to engage in random sex is so high and easy that sex has become just another activity like brushing your teeth. I think that there needs to me much more care and thought put in when deciding who you are going to take your clothes off with.

I don’t think enough of my generation understand the gravity that things like AIDS and HIV still have today. There seems to be this false sense of security because we have figured out ways to deal with these scary sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Most of my generation wasn’t around, and doesn’t remember the horrific events that took place in the 80’s, and because of that I feel too many young gay men are naive to the real effects these diseases and infections can have.

I also don’t think we as a gay community are as banned together as we possibly used to be because we don’t necessarily have to be. Being gay is becoming more and more accepted, so we don’t feel the brotherhood our community once so strongly held. We are able to mingle in so many different arenas that the bubble has burst in some ways, and gotten smaller in others. I wish more young gay men took time to learn about our history, and make connections with older generations to really grasp how important it is to have safe-sex and see the progress we’ve made, and need to continue to make. Again, these are simply my own opinions.


Community to me means a coming together of diverse people to create a collective unity of positive thinking, changing negative actions and not only realizing a better future, but making one.


I have learned that modeling cannot be your main focus when you are a model. I have three other jobs that I put majority of my effort into. I rarely hang out with other people in the industry, and I try to remind myself that I am more than my shell.

If you allocate all your time to being a model, the industry will consume you. Your self-esteem falls low because you are constantly comparing your looks to the most beautiful people in the world, and no matter how beautiful you are, it gets to you because we all have insecurities. I have learned to be open about this as to not fall victim to the constant scrutiny and rejection. For every “yes” you hear, there are probably 50-100 “no’s.”

Barrett Pall Gay Guide


I hope that people see an image of me and are inspired to get up and change their negative patterns. I have worked very hard for the body I have, and I am proud of it, but it is important to remember that it has been 18 years of hard work. I didn’t just wake up one day and look the way I look. I am also a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp NYC, and I love being able to help others help themselves. I am aware that we live in a world where sex sells, and if a picture of my body introduces you to my other passions like my blog, my training, or a new health food I am working on than so be it. I look at modeling as my introduction to the rest of my story. This is my one page cover to a very long novel.


I know my answer isn’t going to be super popular, but in some ways I think it has made my experience slightly harder. I think it is important to remember the grass is always greener, and while I am thankful for my genetics because they have opened many doors, there have been many times that my looks have made things harder in ways many people at first don’t understand. Many people just see my exterior and think because of the way I look, and the pictures I am in for part of my career that I am going to be someone they can just hop into the sack with. Hearing the word sexy and my name in the same sentence is so funny to me because I do not see myself in that light. In my head, I am still a skinny kid with glasses, braces and trying to figure out my role in this world. I am someone that loves love, thinks relationships are beautiful, and wants to find my special someone. We all have moments when our sexual urges are strong, but empty sex ends up leaving you feeling even emptier than before. I’ve been welcomed into circles because of the way I look, but at the end of the day I feel most at home with my college friends, most of who are straight.


The hardest part for me was simply allowing myself to understand that all the negative connotations I had had with being gay were falsities embedded in my head from people, who were uneducated, unhappy and confused themselves. Once I was able to simply be who I wanted to be, being gay was not scary, it was amazing. I have said this before, but coming out of the closet is such a freeing experience, and there are so many wonderful people waiting for you with open arms. You may not know them yet, but they are the people who teach you what family truly means.


Being outside under the sun, by a body of water with my loved ones. Having the wind blow, and knowing that my loved ones and I are profoundly ok.


I have, for a long time had a laundry list of things I wish I could change about myself, from my nose to my height to my outty bellybutton. However, as I’ve gotten older I have learned that these things are all part of me, and in some ways have shaped me. I have had to work that much harder with gaining success in modeling because I technically shouldn’t be a model. My nose adds character, and is the result of three good stories of being broken. My bellybutton is the lifeline that connected me to my mother. I am learning to love every part of myself outwardly because in the end, it is what is inside that counts most, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t mind being bumped up to 6’2.


I actually wrote a letter to my younger self (read it here). I was going through my journal, which I have kept since I was 12, and I came across countless entries of being sad and feeling broken by others hurtful words. My advice was to stay true to yourself. Know that it not only gets better, but it gets beyond amazing. Be kind to yourself. Love everyday the way you have always tried to do. Swimming takes you farther than you can imagine, so while you may feel burned out, keep pushing. Keep dreaming, loving, and being light in a dark place. P.S. NYU is really really expensive.


Do it. New York City is a hard city. It will eat you up and spit you out if you let it, but if you come here and understand that your dreams require hard work, you can truly have everything you’ve every dreamed of. It is an amazing place to come and feel accepted, meet like-minded people and have fun like you’ve never had fun before. I have traveled a decent amount, lived abroad in Paris and always concluded that NYC is my favorite city in the world. Be forewarned, it is extremely expensive, and if you do not like to work, this is not your city.

Visit Barrett’s blog by clicking here.

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Images by Marco Ovando

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