With figures stating that there’s been a significant rise in reported cases of sexual assaults from people who have met through apps such as Tinder and Grindr, it’s time to look at all of the ways we can stay safe when dating online.
Meeting strangers CAN be a risk. Let’s not deny that fact. Sure, internet dating is now the norm. We are no longer meeting people at work, through mutual friends or whilst dancing to Ignition Remix at the club. Instead we (like with every thing else) are turning to our phones to swipe up a little fitty into our lives as soon as we need some attention and company. However, we must pay heed to the potential dangers involved with meeting strangers to protect ourselves. So here are my top tips for staying safe when dating online.
Don’t ask a stranger to come over. Sure, her pictures are hot. You’re horny. Maybe you’ve spent all day playing Fifa and twiddling your bits and those 3 wanks over Fake Taxi didn’t quite sort you out but suggesting a horizontal meet up within 3 messages on Tinder isn’t clever is it? You know nothing about her. She could be after your gadgets rather than your giblets. Who knows, maybe she’ll come over, sleep with you and you’ll never hear from her again. Furthermore, she could be a clingy psycho! Or worse… a catfish! You wouldn’t want that, would you?
Don’t send a dick pic. I know the temptation is there. You want to blow up her phone with your blown up bits and bobs because you know it’ll immediately turn her on and she’ll suddenly want to jump your gun BUT be cautious. That picture will definitely go into a Whatsapp group where every inch of your inch will be pored over in fine detail. Plus, what if it leaks out? What if it goes viral quicker than your last bout of Gonorrhea? That’s not something you want for your future is it?
Don’t lie about yourself. Just put yourself into this scenario – you arrive and you don’t look anything like your pictures. How is she going to pick you out from a crowd? You could be left on your tod and you know how dangerous it is to be left alone on a night out. There are predators out there! Also, if you tell her false details about yourself and you get lost, how will she identify you and make sure you’re Ok?
Don’t spike someone’s drink. I know you’ve downloaded the dating apps to get a quick bang. You do you buddy. But dazzle the girl on the date with your wit and gentlemanly ways. If you’re lucky, she’ll sleep with you! But don’t force it. If you’re getting her paralytic by buying sneaky doubles or getting the rounds in quickly, she might be more plyable into sleeping with you BUT that’s so dangerous for you! What if she’s too incapacitated to give you good head? Or her speech is so slurred you can’t understand if she said she’s on the Pill or not? Plus I’m pretty sure blottoed people will not remember the STI they may have. And for crying out loud, don’t drug her. That sort of behaviour carries criminal sentences and you wouldn’t want to explain that to your employer on Monday morning! Think about yourself here.
Don’t drink too much. I know it’s a weekend and you want to let your hair down. You’ve spent ages getting ready and want to feel a buzz but if you get wasted, she could take advantage of you. Not only that, she might decide you were such a mess that you don’t make good boyfriend material and won’t want to see you again. Not ideal eh?
Don’t stand someone up. I know it’s tempting to bail because you’ve had a better offer and you’ve weighed up which possible date is most likely going to give you a handjob in her doorway before saying goodnight BUT a simple backing out text will stop you from being torn apart and possibly from being the subject of a UniLad article about, ‘Texts From the Guy Who Stood Me Up.’ Don’t be the reason someone starts a Twitter thread because there are crazy people out there who will track you down. Do you want that worry?
Don’t assault someone. It’s tough when the night hasn’t gone your way. They don’t look like their picture. There’s no chemistry. You’ve decided they aren’t girlfriend material or you just straight up have no respect for yourself or women BUT don’t resort to assault. Yes I know you need to get your end away and you can’t be arsed to pay for it this time or there’s something seriously wrong with you but consent will keep you safe. By obtaining consent you will be protected from arrest, accusations, the heartbreak of your family, the opinion of colleagues and friends, losing your job and revenge assaults in prison because there’s nothing criminals hate more than sex offenders. Avoid the register at all costs, son.
Dating is a treacherous ground so here are a few things women are forced to do to protect themselves, they’ll probably help you too!
Meet in a public place. She’s much less likely to assault you if there are other people around.
Tell your friends and family where you are. She’s much less likely to kidnap you and take you hostage if people know where to look for you if they haven’t heard from you in a while!
Have someone call you to check in. If she’s making you feel unsafe when you meet her, take a call and say your ‘get-out-of-your-date-rape-free’ code word and have your friends prepped to come out with the ‘someone has died and you need to leave’ conversation.
Find out all of her details and social media handles. I know it seems a bit clingy and stalkerish of you but if you know her full name, it makes her a lot easier to find if she does something untoward on your date.
There you have it! A fool proof way to keep yourself safe. Hope this helps!