By Liam Murphy | @liamwaterloo


Being gay can be confusing and tough. When you take your first timid steps/stride purposefully/sashay (delete as appropriate) out of the closet, it’s easy to be blinded by the bright pink light, and stumble around excited and confused, tripping over the etiquettes and rituals that are so ingrained in the Gayverse.

The most delicate of balances to strike is that of your penis versus your social circle. Your friends may well be the most important thing in your life, but left unchecked, your burgeoning man-mound can dominate all, cutting a swathe through your social life. How can you negotiate that difficult sex-friendship equation? FS has put together the Fucking Friends guide, a list of simple pointers for any gay neophyte to follow, which will assist on the path to establishing a fully-fledged homosexual social circle and a rambunctious sex life.

1: Making friends through sex

By and large the gay community is a big incestuous pool of fluid swapping, right? I bet that within your social circle at least four of you have seen each other’s penises, if not touched them. With your mouths. This may seem like a shocking and definitely not made up statistic, but former cuddle buddies can actually be an efficient and effective way of meeting new friends. Once any sexual frisson between two people has been expunged from their system (disgusting innuendo intended), they can then focus on building a solid friendship. “I’ve met quite a few friends through one-night stands or a quick fumble in a club,” confesses 21-year-old Kyle. “My best friend is someone I met in a gay club. We kissed, had a quick fondle in the smoking area and went home together. We agreed to go on a date but had so much fun and so little sexual chemistry without the booze, we decided just to keep hanging out without the sexual stuff. Now I couldn’t live without him.” 26-year-old Graham agrees, “Half of my friendship group have met through sleeping with each other first, and then we’ve all been introduced and made friends by osmosis. We don’t have ‘relations’ any more, but it feels as if we’ve got that part out of the way. There’s no unspoken horniness with each other – we’ve seen it all and pretty much done it all!” 

 2: Sleeping with friends

Showing willpower and restraint can be hard and if you’re not intimate with a friend with whom you have a mutual attraction from the off, then it could lead to a drunken fumble years down the line, which puts the very fabric of the friendship in danger. “My university wasn’t the most homo-centric of places and there were about five of us in my year,” explains 24-year-old Christian. “At the end of my first year I met this other gay lad called Andre and we started chatting about boys, the scene and things. I guess inevitably, as our exposure to other gay men was quite limited, we ended up doing stuff together. I thought I had feelings for him, and I told him so in a club when we were a bit pissed. We stumbled home and one thing led to another. The next day, we arranged to meet up that evening, but that never happened. He made excuse after excuse not to see me, until I eventually confronted him and he admitted that sleeping together was a mistake. We didn’t speak for a good year after that.”

It’s not all drama and tattered friendships however, as Ben recounts. “I slept with a close friend of mine a few years back. We went out and got absolutely smashed – we drank all the shots – and we decided to go back to my flat to continue the party. We sat extremely close on the sofa and he leaned in for a kiss, which I reciprocated. We ended up in bed and had a pretty good time. The next morning was admittedly a little bit awkward. Instead of ignoring it, I tackled it head on and we both agreed it shouldn’t happen again but it was something that we just needed to get out of our systems. It actually made us a lot closer and we can discuss intimate things we may not have done before.”

3: Falling for friends

It can be very easy as a gay man to misinterpret feelings of friendship with those of love. It has happened to the best of us. You spend every day with someone, share your most intimate secrets, laugh together, cry together, shop together, drink together. Then one day your friend will flash you a smile and you get a warm tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach (and somewhere south of your stomach). You start to look at him in a different way and feelings start to grow alongside a burgeoning obsession. Then every time he talks about another boy or kisses one in a club you die a little inside and a psychosis starts to take hold. Suddenly you decide that he doesn’t give you enough attention and you start to get more and more possessive of his time. Obviously he notices this and begins to distance himself from your increasingly unhinged ways and this is when you break. You call him crying to confess your undying love and pledge to be with him forever, an offer he politely and rightly rebuffs. You are then left as a broken shell of the man you once were, emotionally frayed, alone and minus one good friend.

Thomas has a similar, but not quite as dramatic story: “He wasn’t quite my best friend, but we spent a lot of time together. My feelings got stronger and stronger, and I did get a bit obsessed. I used to check where he was through Facebook and got insanely jealous if I saw he was out with other guys. I used to get really moody with him and I could tell I was pushing him away, but the more I tried to relax and back off, the deeper my ‘love’ seemed to get. Our group of friends booked a holiday together and that’s when things kicked off. I saw him pull another guy and I broke down in tears. He saw me and I had to tell him. He was really kind and understanding, but he did start to distance himself which I could hardly blame him for. We’re still in each other’s lives but there’s always that barrier there now.” 

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Brooks and Dan happily point out: “We were friends for years, and witnessed each other through a variety of different boyfriends and shags, until at one fateful party we hooked up. There’s no big dramatic story really! We’ve just been together ever since. We had that base of friendship and it’s made our romantic life stronger and more durable.”

4: Friends with exes

Falling into a deep and committed relationship within your first year of being an ‘out’ gay man is a common pitfall. Telling any mammal with ears that he’s ‘the one’, before cheating 

on him five weeks later because you’re ‘bored’. This will ensure that the now ex-boyfriend will never speak to you again and that he will do anything in his power to tarnish your once good name. For optimum effect, make sure that you were publicly ‘in a relationship’ on a social networking site, so when this changes to ‘single’ you have to explain to each and every one of your friends what an awful bastard you’ve been. 

Of course that’s not always the case, but maintaining a friendship with an ex can be tricky. “I pretty much lost my best friend when I broke up with my ex,” says 23-year-old Gabriel. “We did everything together and when we broke up – it was an amicable split – I was lost. I wanted to stay friends but he couldn’t handle it and wanted a clean break. I also lost a lot of mutual friends after the break-up. I pretty much felt I was starting all over again.”

29-year-old Michael found it a different story however: “My ex and I tried to be friends straight away and that didn’t really work, but we took a bit of time away to ‘heal’ and then got back in touch when everything had settled. I think it’s just got to happen naturally. Take time apart first and then if you reconnect as mates, you connect as mates. Don’t force anything and let go of the stuff in the past – if you can’t forget it or move on you’re not ready to be mates and a part of their life. I don’t even refer to him as my ex any more, he’s just my best mate, and has been for years. People ask if there’s any chance of us getting back together and I just can’t imagine it. It’d be weird –  the context of our relationship is completely different.”

5: Friends through apps

Certain branded, location-based, gay dating apps have made it easier than ever to meet new people. Before this technological sex-craft first appeared, gay humans had to venture out into the world in order to find others with like-minded interests, even having to converse with their mouths and expose their genitals to each other in person. But with the likes of Grindr, you don’t even have to get out of bed to meet new people – just jump online and take your pick. 

“I know that a lot of guys think it’s just for quick meets and shags, but it can be a great way to meet new mates – I’ve met loads through it!” says 25-year-old Adrian. “I was just really upfront with people on there. I explained that I wasn’t looking for sex, just friends and dates. Obviously loads of people blocked me but I ended up chatting to someone into the same sci-fi stuff as me, and he then introduced me to his friends. I didn’t really have that many gay mates before and Grindr really helped.” 

It’s perhaps an unwritten rule that you should openly show disdain for sex-hunting apps, while secretly having it on your phone – hypocrisy about sex is vital for a young gay man. “Oh, we’ve all got it on our phone,” admits 27-year-old Dean, “and we’re all secretly using it to meet people, we just don’t all say it out loud. I’ve met a few friends and boyfriends through Grindr, but if other people ask how we met, I just make up a story – ‘I met them in a bar’ or ‘I met them at the supermarket’ – anything but admit that we met through a gay dating app. There’s definitely a stigma still attached to it.”      

6: Friends through social media

It’s not just so-called ‘sex-apps’ where internet bonds are made – the likes of Twitter and Facebook are also effective ways to make connections. Like, follow, share, poke… it’s like these sites were built for us. Dave credits Twitter for establishing his social circle: “When I first moved to London I knew no one. I started using gay dating sites, but I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend or random hook-ups, so I found it quite difficult. Then I got into Twitter, starting following some cool people, and some lads I spoke to regularly on there all arranged to meet up. We were all ‘not from London’ so we connected straight away. In a big city I think it’s hard to meet people, so things like Twitter make it that much easier.” 

This isn’t to say these social networks are sexless, androgynous iPuritans however, as with a myriad of hashtags like ‘#NakedSunday’, ‘#TeamTop’ and ‘#TeamBigDick’, these sites can have as many cocks as a thriving farmyard. “It can be just as bad as gay dating sites,” thinks Jon. 

“I’ve been happily chatting to people online and then I get a DM that starts mildly flirty, then progresses to full-on raunch! It’s hard to know who’s trying to be friendly and who’s on there to get their end away. When you throw in SnapChat and things like that, I must see about a dozen cock-shots every day. There seems to be a very fine line between wanting to make friends and wanting people to see your manhood. It’s all a bit weird.”

When it comes to matters of friendship, the heart and the wang, there really are no hard rules. We all make friends in different ways; some of us meet them in pubs and clubs, some meet them online, and some of us meet them in a sauna at 4am after a hard, sweaty session. SOME OF US. 

Sometimes we give into powerful urges of the crotch and sleep with our mates, and if we handle it right, it doesn’t have to mean that the relationship is effectively ruined, it can make you closer. It doesn’t matter where, how or when the bonds of friendship are made, just that we all love each other. G’aww isn’t that bloody lovely? *send picture of cock to best mate*

When fucking friends goes wrong!

It goes without saying that we all need friends to maintain a happy and healthy life. The only problem with this is, a lot of gay men tend to make friends through sex. You meet someone, have a fumble, find that you don’t match but try being friends. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you become great friends and still have sex. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong. Just like it did for Mark. Here is his story: 

“I met this guy once in a club, we hit it off and went back to his place. We had sex, it was great and I really liked him. The only problem was that he didn’t like me in the same way. He wanted just to be friends and I told him I was OK with that. But I wasn’t. 

Every time we went out together we’d have lots of fun but he’d end up kissing the face off some guy and bringing him back. This used to rip my heart in half. I had fallen for a man who only saw me as a mate. 

One night we went out and had a great night. Neither of us pulled and got into a taxi and went home. Next thing I knew the mate I was in love with started feeling my leg. This made me feel so special. When we got back to my flat we kissed and made our way to the bedroom. We had sex... without condoms... and that’s where this story turns for the worse. My friend, the man I fell for, only went and gave me anal gonorrhoea.” 


FS says:

The lesson to be learn from Mark’s story is all STI including HIV don’t care about your personal feelings. Every single one of us is susceptible to them. Most STIs can be cured but other STIs like HIV and Herpes can not. Whether you are fucking a stranger or fucking a friend, you need to treat the situation with a safer sex strategy that suits you.   

Condoms: We know that most gay men use condoms most of the time. But it’s those times that you don’t use them that puts you at risk of catching HIV and STI. Using condoms while fucking is one of the best ways to prevent HIV and STIs.

Testing: If you don’t use condoms when having sex  and believe you are both HIV-negative and STI-free, then get yourselves into a testing pattern, whether that’s every month, every three months or once a year. 

For more information on HIV and STIs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.

To find your nearest GUM clinic to get tested for HIV, hep C and other STIs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.