Gay-Dating Tips

The Informant is 20 years old, a junior at USC studying Screenwriting, and is from Denver, Colorado.

Him: When I first got to college I didn’t really know much about the gay-dating world just because I don’t know I didn’t have much experience in it. But then I would go out with some of my gay friends or I’d hear from them the next day about them making eye contact with people at clubs or bars or something, and I’d be like, “What? I didn’t know that was a thing.”

Me: What is it?

Him: Well, apparently, and this is according to my friends, like, if you make eye contact with a man at a gay bar for 3-seconds, it means that it’s okay to go home with them for the night. But like, it can be funny because you’ll hear stories like, “Nope, he only looked at me for like 2.5 seconds, it’s a no!”

Me: Has it worked for you?

Him: I mean. Yes? I’m pretty sure it’s a thing just because I hear it so much, but I’m afraid to just stare a guy down and him be weirded out, especially if he’s straight and doesn’t know what’s happening.

Me: Where did your friends hear it from?

Him: I’m assuming they also heard it from friends in high school. It’s just something that they came to college already knowing, so I had to pick up on it. This kind of stuff isn’t really talked about a ton so you have to learn by experience or through knowing people that have experience.


I think that this type of folklore is informative due to how specific of a demographic it adheres to. Particularly young, gay, males, which is not a demographic whose idiosyncrasies are often discussed in textbooks, news segments, or a lot of popular culture. If anything it gives view to a different side of the young dating world that most of us are familiar with. It’s also interesting to me that these sorts of tips are the tips that you’d have to go to your peers to learn. It seems that the Informant could only get this information from the demographic itself because of how specific a gesture, or “folklore performance” that it is. The Informant also spoke of other gay-dating tips that he learned, but he had read them previously on gay websites. But this tip he had no clue about and never found when researching gay dating tips and couldn’t experience until he had “lived through it”.