Beach Buddies

Four tips for finding the perfect Fire Island housemate at The Center’s Annual Share-A-Thon.
February 12, 2015

(Finding the perfect Fire Island roommate isn't easy—but it's fun!)

It may seem cruel to think about now, but summer will come—eventually. When it does, you’ll once again be frolicking on Fire Island, showing off your tanline on the beach and trolling the Meat Rack for trade under the stars. It gets a little pricey to spend a summer by the sea, and the most effective way to cut costs is to share a place. The Center, always one step ahead, set up the Fire Island Share-a-Thon so that F.I. hopefuls can meet, mingle, and find their ideal summer housemates. But if you’re going to spend the summer putting SPF 30 on someone’s back and sharing a bathroom—not to mention a trick or two—there are a few things you should bear in mind for finding the perfect share buddy. A season is a long time to live with someone, after all.


The first and most obvious thing you need to know: Can they afford it? Will your potential bunk bud expect you to pony up the entire cost of the share upfront, and can you trust this perfect stranger to pay you back? Inquire about their job, spending habits, and anything else that might give you an idea of whether or not they’ll constantly be asking you to spot them for a ferry ride or the cover at the Pavilion.


Anyone who’s spent even a long weekend on Fire Island knows that the two gay ghettos, The Pines and Cherry Grove, are like night and day. The Pines tends to be more “masc” and muscled—think of it as the Hell’s Kitchen of the island—while the Grove is a bit more queer, with a community that’s more varied in terms of gender, age, and body type. It’s not just location you two need to agree on, but attitude, politics, and whether Britney Spears is appropriate first thing in the morning.


It’s a good idea to find someone whose cleaning habits are mostly on par with your own. Will he leave used condoms on the bathroom floor and track sand all over the house? Will he borrow your favorite bathing suit and return it unwashed? Or will he yell at you for doing all those things? This doesn’t mean you should link up with someone who shares the exact same cleaning habits as you, though. Two very messy people living in a house together can be a disaster, so it’s always good to find someone who’s just a smidge at the other end of the housekeeping spectrum.


You might find a cute guy who meets all of your criteria and think, hey, he could be your summer boyfriend, too! Red flag alert! As great as the idea of a fuck buddy in the next room—or the bunk bed under you—may be, a romantic entanglement with a roommate, even a temporary one, is never a good idea. It will lead to hurt feelings, destroyed property, and probably a double scabies infestation.
Fire Island Share-a-Thon at The Center, 208 W 13th St (btwn Seventh/Greenwich Aves), February 17 from 7pm–9pm; free. Visit for more. info.