When it comes to online dating, safety is a number one priority for anyone involved. Whether you’re gay or straight, looking out for yourself and your own safety should come before meeting some hot guy or trying to get lucky.
- Before the two of you decide to meet in person for the first time, make sure you feel comfortable with him via online communication. If you’re not ready to share coffee or a drink, then speak up and say you need more time. Don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation just because you’re trying to placate this potential partner.
- Do some background checking. If your date is using someone else’s picture to lie to you and catfish you, chances are it’s not safe to be going on a date with that person.
- Agree on your expectations of the meet-up. This is good in all circumstances. If you agree what you’re meeting up for – whether that’s a date, a hook-up or something more specific – then check you’re on the same wavelength beforehand. If it’s sex, preferably agree what you want to do. That way you’ll know if things start to go differently and should feel more confident to say something before they go awry.
- If you go on a date with someone you met on a gay dating app, meet them in a safe, public setting. Meeting up with someone (especially if you don’t know them too well) in a public place (like a restaurant or a coffee shop or a busy shopping center) where there are lot of other people around is a great thing to do. If a situation ever becomes uncomfortable and you find yourself needing help, there will be a ton of people around to help.
- Don’t give out personal information. This includes your last name, where you work, the full name of any friends or family, where you live or even places you frequent often. If your love interest turns out to be a crazy stalker, then you have just given him fuel for the fire.
- Prepare to say NO! When sex is concerned no always means no. With someone you’ve met on an app this should include lots more things too: things like going back to theirs from the bar, staying out drinking, going to a sex venue or simply going to an area you don’t know. You’re under no obligation to do what they want just because you fancied them in an app – if you’re not sure, choose the safest option.
- Stay sober. This may be obvious, but alcohol creates bad judgement. Remember, alcohol impairs our senses and the last thing you want to say in the morning is, “Why did I do that?”
- Don’t ever rush yourself or allow anyone to push you into doing anything. Take your time and get to know anyone you’ve met online. It’s always better to be safe at home, without a date, than to wind up with a psycho in a very bad situation.
Use a Buddy System — A buddy system is a 25 cent term for letting a close friend know that you are going out with a guy you met online. Tell your buddy the time, place and location of your destination and make sure you check in with them. Consider creating a code-word that you can use with your buddy that you can quickly say or text to let them know you are in trouble.
- If you get into trouble be sure to report it! I agree it can be embarrassing reporting incidents when it comes to online gay dating. The important thing to remember is that if it’s not reported there is a chance the person could be doing it to another friend of yours. Reporting incidents is an important key to getting the problem stopped. If you are worried or concerned be sure to bring a friend or support person to be there with you. Remember you are the victim, the police are there to help.
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