Hook Up Safety: Put On Your Hardhat and Know Your Plans Before You Go
The internet serves up meat faster than a Brazilian steakhouse. It’s never been easier to meet someone who is into exactly what you want, when you want it. Apps like Scruff and Grindr and others like them are popular because of the swift swipe and like features many of us know so well. You can spend all day on Adam4Adam, Manhunt and BarebackRT.com and never run out of options. Let’s not forget Craigslist, the Pennysaver of Penis. It doesn’t give you the hi-tech options of the apps but it’s free and easy to peruse.
Recently, the Grindr app was in the news but not in a positive way. A young man name Dino Dizdarević, looking for a quick hook-up was brutally beaten and strangled in Chester, Pennsylvania. Why is unknown at this time. According to police reports nationwide, apps like these are responsible for countless violent crimes including rape and robbery. This raises the question, how safe are these hook-up apps?
You can expect to find hard-core hookups and someone who is ready, willing, and able within minutes. So many choices, so little time. If this is your thing, those choices can come with a price and it’s up to you to protect yourself.
Though hosting (your place or mine) is typically the culture of the “quick-fux”, here are some tips for safeguarding yourself if you can resist immediate gratification. Always think about safety before meeting someone you don’t know for the first time.
How does one stay safe? Think before you act.
- Be Your Own Lifeguard
Watch for those red flags. What’s he into? Is the conversation going where you want it to go? Do you feel like he’s lying or does have any odd behaviors? The longer you can chat with him and see his patterns of conversation, the better off you will be. Get the details down before you commit to meet. Trust your instincts. Vague answers, long times in between answers, and an inconsistent storylines are all signs. Stop chatting with someone if your gut tells you the clue phone is ringing. You’ll never run out of others to try.
- Are There Going To Be Drugs Involved?
Beware of the PNP culture unless you are into that sort of thing. We aren’t condoning it but this is a reality online. PNP, Party and Play generally refers specifically to methamphetamine use during play. Look for the word Party with a capital P or any word with a capital P, capital T (for Tina; which is meth as well) or G (GHB) or K (Ketamine) or M (Molly which is Ecstasy). Blowing clouds, getting cloudy, or playing in the clouds usually means they are smoking meth. If you notice they are really into skiing, don’t offer a trip to Aspen. They just like cocaine. Someone looking for these things might request a Party Planner. If this is not your scene, simply emphasize NO PNP.
- Is Money Expected?
Another reality online. Is your prospective looking for a GENt? That would mean GENerous and expect it to cost you. How your work that arrangement is up to you but if are not looking to pay to play, save yourself some time and delete!
- Protect Your Personal Identity and Information
Stranger Danger! You have no idea who is on the other end of that profile. Hopefully, it is someone just like you looking for your bubble butt bottom to get down but leave your address, place of work, and anything you wouldn’t want an identity thief or a stalker to know out of the conversation. This is not your best friend, no matter how dirty you are about to get with him.
- A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
This is just good shopping advice and a safety bonus. You want to get what is advertised right? Request extra pictures that are not on his profile. Make sure you get a few pictures of the face. Ask when the pictures were taken. Save any details you get and the pictures in a folder on your computer at home. If you are worried about someone finding them, get a secure tablet just for cruising. It seems like overkill but unfortunately, it may prove important one day.
- Buddy System Bandwagon
No, your friend doesn’t need to go with you but have a friend you can check in with and let them know your exact location and how long you anticipate being there. Let your hook-up know you checked in with someone. This may seem a little weird, but your safety is worth it and a good friend will do that for you. If you are on the DL, and we know some of you are, find a way to let someone know when you should be back so they realize right away if you are missing.
- What’s His Public Persona?
Yes, we know it’s super-hot to show up at random dudes house all full of expectations of 8 inches cut and ready to fuck. Yes, we know you just ordered it up like a Domino’s Pizza and he can come to your door in thirty minutes or less. Think before you twink. Ponder before you otter. Your date can wait (a bit). Meet in a public place and see if guy might live up to your expectations. If your Spidey sense goes off the creepy end and there is something just not right, don’t continue. Excuse yourself. Know where your exits are and don’t be afraid to use them. Take an unusual route home in case you are being followed. Pull over in a public place and call the police if this happens.
- Keep A Positive Outlook
Not everyone is truthful when it comes to their HIV/STD status. Not everyone gets tested regularly. Not everyone uses condoms every single time for every single thing. No one who engages in risky behaviors is certain of their status in between testing. Guys on drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Guys who are willing to bareback with someone they just met on Scruff are likely engaging in risky behaviors. Syphilis and HIV cases are on the rise so rather than read the signs and try to gauge whether they are “clean”, just assume your partner is positive and act accordingly.
Now for those of you who aren’t too busy trying to find nourishment for your Cock-A-Day Diet, take a moment to find the fun-to-read testimonials on these sites, like the story of two the cops who met on Grindr. It’s a happy ending to a happy ending.
If you know of a love-match that happened because of a hook-up or match on one of these sites we would love to hear about it. Or are you or a friend getting married soon? Let us know that too! We want to hear from you! Comment below or follow us on FB at /thewetguy or on Twitter @wetplatinumman.