You’re checking out his dating profile and suddenly you come across an acronym you’ve not heard before… we’re here to help you navigate the shorthand world of gay hookups.

  1. 420. This is all about pot and the smoking thereof. This guy is probably into smoking weed.
  2. A-Levels. This all about anal sex… and the willingness to do it.
  3. Age Play. This is about the guys who like to age up or age down. Guys who take part in age play might like to wear nappies/diapers – or go the other extreme and use Zimmer frames.
  4. ASL. Before pictures and GPS on apps, it was common to start a chat conversation with ASL, which means Age, Sex Location. Thanks to smartphones and gay dating apps, location and sex are pretty much-taken care of, however, you might still need to ask his age, if that kind of thing is important to you.
  5. Bottom. You might be asked whether you’re a top or bottom. “Bottoms” or “Vers bottoms” are guys who generally take or receive the D. They are the ones who get penetrated. Tops or Vers Tops are the ones who do the penetrating. Vers are those guys who like it both ways. Guys who don’t like penetrative sex are called “sides”.
  6. BDSM. This is the broader term for bondage, dominance, discipline, submission, sadism and masochism. He likes whips, chains and all sorts of sub and dom play.
  7. Bareback / BB. This is anal sex without the use of condoms. Previously BB sex was seen as extremely risky, however, due to the invention and availability of PrEP, bareback sex is safer from an HIV point of view, however, BB sex can lead to other sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
  8. BBC. Potentially offensive, so use with caution, but it derives from porn which has black men with big cocks.
  9. Bear. Bears are guys who are generally thicker and hairier – a bit like a bear. There’s a whole community and they even have their own flag. How well do you know your pride flags? Take our quiz here.
  10. Bondage. Part of the BDSM world. This is about being tied up – and not in an officey, phone-call type of “tied up”. Actual ropes or straps can be used – or failing that his tie or even electric cords. It’s all good.
  11. Boy Next Door, BND. Are younger guys who are a typical build, height and looks. They may be geeky or they may be jocky. Check out their pictures for more details.
  12. BS. As in not into bullshit.
  13. Candle Play. Some guys love the feel of candle wax dripping on their nipples/chest/stomach/cock.
  14. CBT. Cock and Ball Torture. Some guys are into having their junk tortured and there’s a whole host of toys out there to help you out if that is your thing. They could include chastity devices, which makes it impossible to touch your D or even ejaculate.
  15. Chemsex. Chemsex is where drugs and sex come together, which isn’t always a good idea, especially as some drugs can make a person take risks that they wouldn’t normally take sober.
  16. Cut / Uncut. Cut is for those guys who don’t have a foreskin, whilst uncut is for guys who are still intact. Across Europe, most guys are still intact, whereas in North America many guys are circumcised. Of course, some religious people are circumcised such as Jewish and Muslim men.
  17. Chastity. Chastity is abstaining from sex and sexual contact.
  18. Daddy. Where to start, some guys love the daddy mantle some guys HATE IT, so be careful before you ascribe “Daddy” to someone. Generally, guys over the age of 40 could be considered “daddies”.
  19. Discreet. This guy might not be out or maybe in a relationship with another person so therefore discretion is everything to him.
  20. Dirty. This guy goes beyond the dirty mind. He likes actual dirt, like urine or poop. This isn’t for everyone. Guys who like watersports might use WS to indicate their preference on dating apps.
  21. DL. Again another way to say he’s discreet it stands for Down Low. As in, I’m not really out so therefore on the down-low.
  22. Dom / Dominant. This doesn’t have to mean topping during anal sex, a bottom can be dominant too. It means that this guy is one who likes to take charge.
  23. DP. Double penetration. Yes, that’s two cocks up your bum. Not for the faint-hearted and probably only for someone who is experienced. He’ll probably need quite a bit of prep time.
  24. Edging. Edging is where you play with your dick but then stop just before you bust a load. Some guys can do this for hours. Ultimately leaves you very horny – and potentially giving you a crazy big money shot.
  25. E play/ Stim / Electrical Play. Plugin and plug up. This guy likes electrocution, but don’t be licking any plug sockets. This will be low voltage play.
  26. FF. This is all about Fisting. Either just run of mill fisting or fist fucking. You can let guys know whether you’re active (the one doing the fisting) or passive (the one being fisted).
  27. Flogging. Whips do it for this guy. He likes to be flogged – which means whipped.
  28. FWB. Friends with benefits. It’s when you don’t go the whole hog and become boyfriends, but buddies who suck each other off… now and then… or all the time.
  29. Hanky Code. Back in the olden days, guys used to display their sexual preference with hankies hanging out the back of their pockets. There was an entire colour-coded system which let people know what you were into, from Vanilla to full-on fisting.
  30. HMU. This simply means, Hit Me Up – as in give him a call or a message.
  31. HNH. The first H stands for Horny, the second stands for High – so this is probably a guy who likes to have sex whilst high on pot.
  32. GGG. Good Giving and Game. This is for sexually evolved guys who know that being a good lay means that everyone is happy.
  33. GPS. Some apps use GPS to display your location and how far other guys are from you. Grindr became known as the first gay dating app which successfully used GPS locating, bringing local guy after local guy to your yard. Modern technology huh!
  34. JO. Means Jerk off, not a typical British English way of saying, wanking or masturbation – mutual or otherwise.
  35. Limits. Do you know yours? This about knowing what your sexual limits are and communicating them to your potential partner.
  36. MMF. Basically a bisexual threesome
  37. Neg on PrEP. This means that since his last test, this guy is HIV negative and is on PrEP meaning that you can have bareback sex with a greatly reduced risk of contracting HIV.
  38. NSA. No strings attached, not the National Security Agency.
  39. Poz / Positive and undetectable. This guy is letting you know that he has HIV but is on anti-HIV medication. People living with HIV who are on treatment for 6 months and with an undetectable viral load can’t pass on HIV to an unprotected partner.
  40. Otter. A guy who is hairy, but slimmer than a bear or a cub. He may have the appearance of an otter when wet… apparently.
  41. S&M also written S/M. Sadomasochism This guy gets pleasure from giving or receiving pain or humiliation.
  42. PnP. This stands for Party and Play – generally speaking drugs play a part in this guy’s sexual activity. Sometimes also referred to as chemsex. Make sure you keep safe during PnP often drugs can make people take risks with their sexual health, due to lowered inhibitions.
  43. Piss. This guy is into watersports and not the sort that you can do on the ocean. He’ll be into guys pissing on him or him pissing on you. Either way, if you’re not into the urine thing, you might want to make this known at the start. This is part of the “dirty” community who like to play with body fluids that aren’t salvia or cum.
  44. S2R. Send to receive. He’s basically saying you got send some picture his way if you want some of his. Could be face, cock or ass pics. You might need to be specific.
  45. Side. Guys who don’t like or do anal sex are sometimes referred to as “sides”. If he has this in his profile he probably doesn’t identify as a top or a bottom.
  46. Sub / Submissive. This doesn’t have to mean bottoming or anything to do with penetrative sex, it’s guys who like to be dominated during sex.
  47. Switch. A Switch is one who likes both being dom and sub and switching it up.
  48. SSC. Safe, Sane and Consensual
  49. Slave / Master. This guy is looking for you to fill a role, the slave (submissive) or the master (dominant). Which will you go you for?
  50. Safeword. When things are getting a bit freaky in the bedroom it’s good to know there’s a “safe word” that one of you can use to make sure whatever is happening comes to a full stop.
  51. Top. This is the guy who does the penetrating, i.e. puts his dick in the other guy’s butt. Guys who don’t like being tops or bottoms are called “sides”. They’re into BJs (blow jobs), mutual masturbation and frottage (rubbing yourself against others).
  52. Twink. This is a type of guy defined by his lack of body and facial hair, slim body and youthful appearance – think Bel Ami porn boys and that’s pretty much a Twink.
  53. UEqualsU. Undetectable Equals Untransferable. It means that a guy with HIV who has an undetectable viral load cannot transfer the HIV virus to you. Being undetectable happens when someone is managing their HIV with antiretroviral drugs.
  54. Vers. A vers guy is a versatile guy, this means that he likes anal sex both ways, topping and bottoming. Although he might have an overall preference, like Ver Top or Ver Bottom. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
  55. WS / Watersports. This guy is into pissing on you or having you piss on him. This is part of the “dirty” community who like to play with body fluids that aren’t salvia or cum.

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Have we missed any out? Let us know in the comments below.

** This article has been amended from its original to update information on PrEP. 

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