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What Types of Gay Men Are There? Finding Your Archetype

Can a stereotype be sexy? Why don’t you ask a daddy? Here are the types of gay men, so you can identify your tribe — and the ones you’d like to mate with.
Editorial team
April 5, 2024
May 21, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

Considering the various titles gay men have given each other, some of the less-clued-in straights might imagine we’re talking about a visit to the zoo rather than the local gay bar.

But that’s by design. Gay men, lesbians, and everyone else in the Rainbow Mafia have spent a long time cultivating slang terms to help us navigate our wonderfully diverse community (and confuse conservatives). Sure, stereotypes can be harmful, but they’re also essential to how we interact with others. When it comes to types of gay men, specifically, some categories are based on sex and sexuality, while others are just adorable ways to let someone know you’re kinda hairy.

So, which slang term best describes you? Whether you’re an otter or otherwise, there’s a home for you among these LGBTQ habitats.

The gay animal kingdom

Although it might seem like a David Attenborough fever dream at first, the gay genera and species that set us apart actually stemmed from a biological imperative. By that, we mean it was somewhat of a protective mechanism — a way for gay men to speak about themselves in code without revealing that they were a friend of Dorothy.

Indeed, the fiercest terminology comes from the direst circumstances. And leave it to the gay man to dig his heels into the details and come up with a veritable issue of National Geographic chock full of slang involving gay animals.


Among the gays, bears are probably the most recognizable, thanks to them being one of the longest-standing subgroups of gay men. Bears fall somewhere on the chubby-to-muscular spectrum. Still, the biggest prerequisite for calling yourself a bear is to put the clippers down and embrace that body hair — and the body along with it!


Not to be outdone by the hairs on their chinny-chin-chin, gay otters are here to knock their man clams together and see what comes out! Otters are essentially hairy twinks. The twink definition has become somewhat nebulous over time, but the slang term usually implies a hairless, thin, and younger gay man. Otters have the slender part down but take a leaf out of the bear’s woods and hang on to their thick fur coat.

Silver foxes

This is the gay man you accidentally call Daddy while you’re checking out at Home Depot. This one’s a seriously sexy stereotype describing men with salt-and-pepper hair who can tell us to go to our room and we’ll happily oblige.

Other types of gay men

Much like their highly speciated animal counterparts, gay bears, otters, and silver foxes can also fall into other subcategories. So, let’s get granular! Here are some of the common types of queer and gay men you’ll see out in the wild. Each has its own natural habitat, be that a dating app or a brunch with bottomless mimosas.

The drag enthusiasts

These tongue-popping, lip-synching divas are ready for the runway and to tear down the walls of toxic masculinity brick by brick — with acrylics on. They’re pioneers of fucking with the gender binary, and the gay and queer community owes a lot to their ability to embrace masculinity and femininity without batting an eyelash.

Circuit gays

You’ll find a circuit gay shirtless, dancing, and potentially dehydrated out on the dance floor. This is a gay man who spends a reasonable amount of time holed up in underground nightclubs (potentially in multiple senses of the word) and finding camaraderie within queer party spaces. Where do they get the money to live this lifestyle? Scientists still have no idea.


Jocks are precisely what they sound like: gay men who fancy themselves gym rats or sports enthusiasts. Yes, they have a jockstrap, but they might actually be using it for its intended purpose. And don’t let the extensive basketball knowledge fool you — they probably know what to do with other kinds of balls, too.


Artsy gays

Artsy gays will come in a few different varieties. The most common is the thespian or “theater gay.” These Broadway babies will pull just about anything out of their mouths to continue the next few bars of Cabaret if they hear it.

Other artsy gays are more hipster-leaning. Is it insufferable to listen to him go on and on about how good The Strokes are? Maybe. But be patient, and you might get a few good strokes yourself.


The term “daddy” has become diluted lately, but true daddies still exist. Whether they’re giving off actual dad vibes (e.g., a beautifully hairy, chubby bod and New Balances) or just commanding all the attention in a room, daddies are a sought-after bunch among the gays. They often exude sex appeal even when they don’t mean to, like when they do their taxes on time — yum!

The geek

The queer geek is busy collecting, cosplaying, and clicking away on their favorite FPS game. You just have to accept that you’ll be waiting for texts between Overwatch matches, but it’s well worth it. Geeks often have an array of interests that are actually interesting! And don’t worry — you’re gonna hear all about them. Hope you like info-dumps!

The Ivy Leaguer

The Ivy Leaguer is smart, put-together, and (perhaps most obnoxiously) well aware of it. But there’s a charm in that trademark old-money pretentiousness. Plus, you’ll always have a gorgeous guy to talk about philosophy with between bouts of sex.

The curious one

This is the “straight” guy with pretty noticeable bisexual or gay tendencies. They aren’t sure where they stand on the LGBTQ spectrum, so they’ve settled with texting you in the middle of the night to ask if you want to see their treasure trail. Be warned: If you’re a hopeless romantic and encounter one of these in the wild, lay down on the ground and play dead until they go away.

The kinkster

A kinky queer isn’t always easy to spot. Sometimes, you find yourself appendage-deep in sex with someone who’s suddenly turning you on in a completely different way than you’re used to. But hey, if you come across a kink-lover, we invite you to stay curious, keep things consensual, and see what you can learn about yourself.

The fuccboi

If the answer to “What that dick do?” is “Not introduce me to any of his friends,” you might be dealing with the fuccboi. This species isn’t specific to any sexuality. Basically, they’re masters of giving you just enough commitment to keep you interested in having sex with them. And since it’s often pretty good sex, you put up with it in hopes that your future together is more than just sexually charged moments and 3 a.m. trips to Taco Bell after the bar.

Are you homo-exotic?

Of course you are! Whether or not you resonate with any of these stereotypes, no one else could ever dream of being you. So yes — even if you fall neatly into one of the boxes the gay and lesbian community has so graciously carved out for us, that doesn’t mean you’re not special. You’re part of the LGBTQ biome, but you’ll always be an icon, a legend, and the moment. Now, c’mon, now.

Ready to do some field research on your local gay and queer habitats? Find the otter, bear, or hairless Sphynx of your dreams with the help of Grindr. Download the Grindr app now and get started!

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