Last Updated 11.10.2022
12 min read

It’s National Coming Out Day – A Guide for Your New Dating Journey

Alan Schin (he/him/his) is the Chief Editor at Taimi. He wears several hats daily as a writer, editor, blogger, and content contributor. He began his university studies as a Psychology student but found his passion in Advanced Communication Studies. Alan loves having the opportunity to write and help our content team shine. According to Alan, his education helps him to understand the dynamics behind dating and socialization better. When he isn’t busy with Taimi, Alan works on his first novel, a sci-fi thriller, and creates works of art in his ceramics studio.

National Coming Out Day (October 11) is just that.

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    It’s a day to celebrate everyone who has, is, or will be coming out as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or queer. And it’s a day for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community to make a commitment to finding ways to support those who have recently come out and may be facing some new challenges. 

    First of all, it’s important for you to understand that you have taken a brave and courageous step and have every reason to feel so proud of yourself. But at the same time, you may face some challenges and “tests” as you embark upon your new life. Specifically, you will want to think about your new dating life, the prospects of sex, and moving into your first serious relationship.

    This guide will address some of the questions and challenges you may have and give you some key tips and strategies, as you navigate your new gender identity in its early stages.

    Your First Dates After Coming Out

    What are your dating goals? If you haven’t thought about this, now is the time to do that. The best approach now is to move slowly. You need to explore dating within your new identity. If you set finding “the one” as your goal, you are probably moving too fast. People you date will be more than just their sexual identity, and you are too. Your new gender identity should not throw compatibility in all other areas aside.

    Where Do You Find Dates?

    You have several options here:

    • Friends within your “new community” may want to fix you up. Or, you can ask them to do this. Don’t be shy. If you are ready to date, get started!

    • Join local LGBTQ+ support groups, in person or online. You never know whom you might meet

    • Use reputable online dating apps that support the LGBTQ+ community, and look for local matches. You should be looking for casual dating at this point, so state this in your profile and preferences. You aren’t ready for that serious, long-term relationship yet. It can come through casual dating, of course, but don’t look for that.

    Accept that You Will Feel Awkward

    This is so normal. Remember, this is not your first dating rodeo. Think back to when you first dated in your old gender identity. You had all sorts of worries – what to wear, what to talk about, where to go, etc. Those are the same concerns you will have now, so don’t overly stress about them. You’ve been there and done this before. Set up dates, mutually decide where you will go, dress in a way that is comfortable for you, and let the date just flow.

    No Need to Explain Anything

    You should feel no need to talk about recently coming out or your dating/sexual past. The purpose of your date is to get to know someone, and they should be focused on doing the same. You are both far more than your gender identities. Spend time on your interests, your jobs/careers, and such – the same things everyone focuses on when they have their first dates.

    Play the Field

    Pursue as many dates as you wish and have time for them. After all, there’s no rush. You are in the early stages of your new gender identity disclosure, and you have much to explore in the way of dating. Take your time, have lots of dates, and get to “know” yourself in this new identity.

    You’re Ready for Sex – Now What?

    So, you’ve been dating someone for a while now, and you’ve decided that this is the person you want to have your first sexual experience with after coming out. There’s a bundle of stuff going on in your head right now, and that’s normal.

    You are probably not a virgin. Think back to the first time you had sex. You had anxiety; you may have been embarrassed to undress in front of your partner; you may have had body image worries, etc. Those same worries and embarrassments will probably crop up now. Do not assume that your “partner” does not have the same concerns. Be who you are with the body you have.

    Two Types of Sexual Encounters

    Your sexual encounters will be of two types – planned and spontaneous. 

    Planned Sex

    Yes, people do plan and discuss their “sex date,” even today. You may have been dating someone for a bit and have decided that sex is the next step. And so you plan. Just make sure that the plan is going to give you the greatest comfort. Here are things to consider:

    • Where will you go? Hotel? Your place or theirs? Out of town for a night or weekend?

    • How will you dress? While this may seem trivial, it’s not. You need to be comfortable.

    • Will you want to bring supplies? Lube, condoms, toys/devices for example.

    • What’s the plan for after-sex and/or the next morning? Will you leave alone or together? Will you go out to eat or cook breakfast? What clothing will you take for that “morning after?”

    While you may not be able to “cover” all that may go on, having that initial plan will make you feel far more ready and let you make your own rules and guidelines in advance. This will increase your comfort level.

    Spontaneous First Sex

    So, this comes on without prior warning. How does this happen? Well, the chemistry hits and you are both ready to go for it. Here are a few tips in this situation:

    • There will still be anxiety – let your “partner” know that you are nervous. It’s up to them to help relieve some of this.

    • Go slowly, and tell your partner you want to work up to the act.

    • Spend time exploring each other’s bodies and in other types of foreplay. This can serve to relax and calm you so you can enjoy the sex to come.

    • Don’t focus on achieving orgasm. Instead, enjoy the sex in your new gender identity, feeling those sparks of arousal and desire and being joyful that you are now the person you have wanted to be.

    • If you do reach orgasm, great. If you don’t, there will be more times coming for that to happen.

    • If your date is too pushy and/or aggressive, and unwilling to accommodate your needs, you don’t need a second date with this one. Move on.

    Exploring Sex as the “new You” – Oh, the Possibilities

    The old you may not have had the chance to explore likes and dislikes. Now you get to do that.

    • Chat with others of your sexual identity about their preferences for sexual activities

    • Watch some porn that is geared toward your new sexual identity

    • View some porn that is geared toward your new sexual identity

    • Do some research on positions, gear, and such – what turns you on?

    • Date sex partners who are willing to explore with you – this isn’t about finding a long-term partner. It’s about finding out what turns you on

    • Embrace your new sexual freedom. Whatever two consenting adults do in the bedroom is good and right

    • Keep yourself in a safe environment, and date only those you believe you can fully trust. Sex with strangers is just too risky. When you date someone for the first time, let others know who you are with and where you will be.

    • Embrace self-discovery. As you progress on this journey, you may discover that you have other identities too. Gender fluidity is common and a part of sexual freedom

    Moving Into That First Relationship After Coming Out

    Relationships build over time. And that first relationship with your new gender identity will build over time too. You may have any number of dates and then find someone that you want to be more serious with. This one just feels right.

    How You Know This One is More Serious

    If you can answer yes to these statements below, you’ll know this dating relationship is getting serious:

    • You enjoy discussions and activities that do not relate only to your sexual identities

    • You have dates that include activities you both enjoy

    • You find yourself thinking about this someone a lot when you are not together

    • You and your someone talk and message a lot, during your normal days and evenings. 

    How to Navigate This Relationship

    As you become more serious, you will realize that this is how it is “supposed to be,” especially in emotional and sexual arenas. Enjoy this relationship for all that it offers now. It may not be permanent, but you will understand what a healthy and loving relationship should look and feel like in the future.

    Nurture the relationship – plan fun dates; be attentive; communicate; express what you are feeling honestly and openly. Be open to exploring your new sexuality in all of its glory. Every sexual encounter with your current partner is a learning experience for you. The more you learn, the better you become at being your authentic self.

    Be Prepared – this May Not Be Your Long-Term Relationship

    Relationships can be fickle – you or your current “partner” may decide to move on. If so, move on with dignity, especially when the split is their idea.

    If the split is your idea, be honest and open about why and end it on the best terms possible. Above all, be grateful for all that you have learned about how amazing sex can be as a person who is just who you are meant to be.

    As you choose whom you come out to and whom you do not yet, your comfort is the most important thing here.

    Understand that coming out is not a one-time thing. You may do this in stages to different individuals or groups at different times (e.g., family, close friends, co-workers, acquaintances). “Test the waters'' with those you are unsure of – what have been their past comments about LGBTQ+ members? What are their opinions on issues of the LGBTQ+ community (equality, tolerance, laws, court decisions, etc.)?

    Dealing with Those Who Disapprove

    Here’s the best advice possible:

    1. Focus on finding and nurturing support systems – family members, friends, co-workers, support groups, chat rooms, etc. You want to spend time with those who validate and encourage you.

    2. You may never change the minds of those who disapprove and/or condemn you for honestly being who you are. Accept this and try not to dwell on sadness or anger. Focus on the positive support you currently have.

    3. Make sure you are safe in your current environment. If you feel you may not be, make plans in advance to remove yourself from that environment to one that is safe and supportive.

    Above all, understand that you are in total control of your process. The timeline is yours; the methods you use to come out are yours to choose; whom you come out to and when is your decision; and if you change your identity, no matter how often, you have that right. In short, it’s totally in your hands.

    In the End…

    There’s a lot to think about, a lot to analyze, and a lot to do as you begin and proceed through this journey of a new sexual identity. The important thing is that you always proceed on your own terms. It’s your life, your identity, and your right to be just who and what you want to be at all times. This guide should help you do just that.

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