Pride is still a couple of weeks away in most places. But most people are making their plans for the events they will be attending with lots of happy anticipation. And here you are, newly out, wanting to go but facing some pretty strong anxiety and fear about it.
After all, you have just discovered who you really are, and have told a few friends and maybe family members. But you haven’t had any real-life experiences related to your new identity. How do you possibly prepare to attend a Pride event with the same confidence as everyone else, and how do you prepare for dating and hookups at that event?
You may find the following helpful – Read on!
Fill out a profile with your new identity and launch a search. Be sure that in that profile you let it be known that you are newly out. When you get some matches, chat them up. In those chats, ask for advice on how you navigate dating and hookups as a “newbie.” You’ll get honest, open, and empathetic responses.
Arrange to meet up with some locals, if only to talk right now. But who knows? Some of those meetups may end up being much more.
“Misery loves company,” but misery doesn’t have to be your fate. There are plenty of newly out people who share their identity. Through chat rooms and dating apps, you can find them. Another adage? There’s strength in numbers. If you hook up with other newbies, you will all gain more confidence, and, who knows? One of them just might be your first dating/sex experience!
Now, you may get to Pride, even with some other new outs, but you will definitely encounter far more seasoned members of your sexual identity. And they may very well be attracted to you, and you to them. If you hook up for sex, remember this: you have every right to stay within your own comfort zone, no matter what their preferences may be. If it doesn’t feel right; if it makes you uncomfortable; if it is just too much for you at this stage, walk away without any regret. Your first sexual encounter should be a grand experience.
You have never attended a Pride event before. You are in for an amazing experience if you have planned in advance to make it just that. Part of that planning involves the “gear” you need to take. You want any hookup and sex to be safe and satisfying. So, as you consider what to pack, here are some key suggestions:
Condoms and dental dams, etc., depending on what type of sex you are anticipating. Don’t rely on any partner to have them. Talk to others within your identity group and take their suggestions and advice.
Lube. Visit a local sex store and talk to someone there. They can recommend the type(s) of lube you should choose
Antibacterial Wipes. Cleanup after sex can be messy and awkward. If you have plenty of wipes, you will be much better prepared
Toys. As a newbie, here’s a thought. Get some suggestions for toys that may be erotic and fun. Buy a few and practice with them at home. Take those that turn you on.
Your goal is twofold – safety and pleasure. You have a right to both. Pack accordingly.
It’s just fine that you don’t have your new queer identity all figured out, before or after your first Pride event. We are all “socialized” for heterosexual dating, and this new dating environment doesn’t come with a roadmap.
Give yourself time and grace to figure out just what you want in dating and sex, knowing that a lot of it will be trial and error.
It would be great if dating and hookups during your first Pride experience are fun and satisfying. If not, so what? You have an entire year ahead of you to gain lots of experience before your next Pride event.
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