Advances in technology in recent decades mean that as a society, we are connected 24/7. Whether its email on our computers, or the latest social networking sites on our mobile phones, it’s possible to now contact our friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers as and when we need to. Of course, it goes without saying that such technology is perfect for men wanting to arrange hook-ups online. The success of social networking apps such as Grindr, which is specifically designed to put gay and bisexual men in contact with others in the vicinity, only proves how popular the phenomenon is. Of course, it’s not exactly anything new - since time immemorial, men have been arranging to meet both in private and in public for discreet sexual encounters.
In order for hook-ups to work out, there is a level of trust assumed between two people, who in reality are total strangers to one another. While it’s certainly exciting, if you’re going to hook-up with people you meet online it’s important to take a number of precautions, for your own personal safety as well as your sexual health.
When intending to meet someone for the first time, it’s a good idea to arrange your meeting in neutral public surroundings such as a cafe or bar. Then, if you feel comfortable with each other, you can go somewhere more private. Also be sure to tell a friend where you’re going, or leave a note at home saying when you’ll be back.
Hooking up online offers a disadvantage in that most of your interactions are purely text based. There’s a lot that can be gleaned about a person by noticing how they speak, so it’s often good practice to call someone when arranging a meet. That way, you’ll be in a position to figure out if they sound like they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or perhaps exhibit an aggressive manner, allowing you to take control and make a decision to meet based on more than a few simple emails or texts.
Remember, if you’re hooking up with a stranger you met online, it’s likely that you’ll know very little about them – and that includes their sexual history. While it’s always important to maintain safe sexual practices, it goes without saying that when meeting strangers, you should always be 100% certain that both of you are being as safe as you can, and this means wearing condoms.
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