Hooking up – Staying Safe

Are you casually hooking up with people? Whether it’s Grindr, Growlr, Her, Scruff or Tinder, there’s nothing strange about using a phone app to find dates and sex.

Casual hook-ups can be pleasurable, thrilling and adventurous but just like any adventure they’re not without their fair share of risk involved that’s why you need to follow some steps about staying safe when hooking up:

  • Meet your hook up in public first – somewhere busy like a café or bus station.

It’s best to meet them outside in a public area, a cafe or at a local bus stop or train station. This will help you figure out if they’re like they said they would be, and hopefully give you some time to gauge what kind of person they are before you take things any further.

  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going and who you’re going with.

Send a trusted friend a text to let them know you’re going out for a hook-up, and if they don’t hear from you in a few hours or see any online activity, they should find out what’s up or let people know!

  • What are each other’s boundaries? Always remember to ask for consent before and during sex! Are you compatible i.e. condom usage, kinks or sex positions?

Consent is asking for permission from your partner before you engage in any sexual activity or when changing sexual positions.

Are you going to be using condoms? Remember to always bring some with you, just in case your hook-up doesn’t have any with them.

Talk about the type of sex or activity you want to engage in? Such as are you a bottom or top, only wants to oral.

You should never go over to a person’s house if you haven’t already explicitly stated what it is you both plan to do. But remember even if you’ve discussed what type of sex you’d like to have together – you still have to get consent the moment before you start having sex or anytime you change position, otherwise it’s sexual assault or rape.

When we’re able to have frank discussions about sex with our partners, the sex that we do choose to have tends to be more pleasurable, safer and generally just better.

  • Perhaps suggesting a meeting at the sauna first where there are security cameras, witnesses and lockers to store belongings.

Some men use saunas to unwind and relax, and others want to get in, get off and leave. But saunas will have staff on-site 24/7, there will be some CCTV in Anyone who is under the influence of drink or drugs may be refused entry or asked to leave. No mobile phones are to be used in the building, unless in the coffee bar area or public areas. As long as you play safe, know the facts and are in control then you can do pretty much anything and anyone you like. This is a great option especially if you don’t have a trusted friend you can have check-up on you before or after a hook-up.

If you are meeting someone off an app – make sure to screenshot their profile and any chats you have with them.

Every person who’s real on apps should have multiple pics. That’s just how this works. You should easily be able to get a few pics and not just the fun ones. It takes minutes to take a picture of your face, upload it or send it. If they can’t do the bare minimum, don’t bother meeting up.

If you’re not feeling it for whatever reason, you can leave.

If something happens or seems suspicious: report it.

In an emergency always call 999.

Contact our advocacy officer on 02890 319030 or via email at advocacy@rainbow-project.org.

Tell the people behind the app you used if someone wasn’t who they said they were, or if they tried to make you do something you didn’t want to. Just because you met in dating or hook up app doesn’t make an incident or abuse any less real.

We are here to support you.

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