Dear Bearded Confidant,

I live in Britain, I'm of legal age for sex, and about 6 months ago I admitted to myself that I was gay. I battled a sort of 'fear' that I was gay for around a whole year, but I've become accepting of my sexuality now.

My question to Your Bearded Confidant is how am I supposed to let other gay (and possibly interested) men know I am gay? I live in an area where people would mock you just for breathing air, so coming out the closet is a total no go for me. I also know that I've acted differently since being comfortable with being gay in ways such as adopting a more feminine stride (with my lower back curving inwards which seems to stick my buttocks and chest out) and some feminine gestures. I find it comfortable to act in such ways but I'm not really up for dressing in feminine outfits (I feel uncomfortable with that). Unfortunately they gay-me seems to attract a variety of girls instead of men. I never had a heterosexual relationship in my life, so I'm unsure if the gay guys at my school have seen some other way of taking me off their list of potential partners. I understand a slim sporty 6ft2" guy like me might not attract every man (to each his own, of course) but I feel kind of left out of the scene seeing as no one who is A: openly gay, or B: semi-openly gay (told just good friends) seems to even consider me. Especially as I have tried the odd subtle come-on in classes or on occasion I was even caught eying up a gay guy in my year. So how am I meant to stay in the closet (or at least closeted from anything other than close friends) and try to find a partner? Because frankly I have a craving to have gay-sex but no one seems interested or even acknowledges signs that I may possibly be gay.

Dear Martin,

It pains your bearded confidant when the answer to a question isn't purely good news.  In the long term, you can rest assured that you'll enjoy the intimate company of wildly hot men.  But for the duration of your time in the closet, you'll mostly need to find satisfaction in masturbatory adventures.  All that comfy, safe padding of the closet has the side effect of hiding you from potential mates, and there's no real way around that.  You simply can't have it both ways.  If it's either too uncomfortable or possibly dangerous for you to act like your true self in public, by all means wait until you have the proper confidence.  In the meantime, consider sharing your problem with discreet girl friends who might enjoy playing matchmaker for you.  Be mindful that secret encounters are going to be quite stressful—there will be a looming fear of being caught, not to mention the worry that your liaison might not be as discreet as you are.  Ultimately, you really just need to wait until you graduate from the closet so that you can comfortably enjoy an active sex life.  Enjoy wanking yourself silly until then, Martin!  It'll be worth the wait, I promise!