‘Hooking up’ – meeting someone online and shortly afterwards becoming intimate.  Before the age of the internet and dating apps burst on the scene, a hookup is what may have been referred to as a one night stand.  For millennials, this fast-paced computer love-style approach to dating has become a frequent thing to do.  While we at SwaggerScan strongly appose the notion of speed-smashing and believe this style of dating to be a threat to humanity, still, we’d like to serve up some advice on personal safety.  Below are a list of do’s and don’ts when considering intimacy with a new online acquaintance. 

Let’s begin with the don’ts shall we:

Don’t ignore the consequences of your actions

Meeting a beautiful stranger on the internet can be exhilarating.  Meeting someone on social media that actually measures up and also wants to meet up with you immediately?  Given the mutual attraction, this can be very a very unexpected but yet exciting experience for most anyone.  You must be aware of the very real possibility that anyone online or off can have an STD or STI and not know.  TIP: Review the links on our home page provided by the Center for Disease Control which lists some of the latest STD/STI statistics in the U.S.

Don’t invite them to your home

The thought of asking a friend to accommodate your escapade, or springing for a hotel all sounds a bit much for an impromptu encounter.  Well chew on this – If anything goes wrong during your intimate encounter with this person or something happens that doesn’t sit well with you then surely you’ll need for this person to not know exactly where you live.  TIP: On the flip-side, being alone with a stranger at their home is also dangerous when you consider worst case scenarios.  Measuring up to safe standards should be mandatory and not a request or option.

Don’t confuse a hookup with an actual relationship

Let’s face it, if you’re considering intimacy with a new online acquaintance, its not unreasonable to consider to dating them after the encounter.  Especially if the encounter is positive experience, the both of you may express interest to see each other again. Still, you should NOT confuse the two.  While the expectations of a relationship isn’t something you may be planning on ahead of time, you should also set a prudent strategy for if things go well.  TIP: If after the encounter you both would like to continue seeing each other, you should use this opportunity to begin a healthy courtship.  Schedule a second date the nearest testing lab or open clinic; followed by lunch and a brisk walk in the park.  Knowing your status will increase the value of intimacy.  Knowing is attractive!

The Do’s for a safe rendezvous:

ASK BEFORE THE INVITE

While planning your ‘hookup’, be sure to follow through with asking your (very) new acquaintance about their health history before meeting them face to face.  This way it won’t be a big deal when you bring it up when the two of you meet.  The worst thing you can do is to get caught up in all of the flattery and excitement of having someone so attracted to you that they’re willing to consider meeting immediately.  If you plan on remaining STD-free, you must take audit of the situation and adopt a safe approach.  TIP: Remember, the only person in charge of your personal health and safety is you.  For this occasion, don’t allow yourself to be compromised by gender roles; carry your own money, avoid sharing transportation, and avoid consuming anything that would decrease the ability to make sound judgment.

 Use both condoms and contraceptives

If discouraged by this article but still you’re willing to take on the risk of the infamous hookup, it is vital to use condoms.  Be sure there’s more than one condom readily handy as well.  TIP: ‘Stealthing’ is a new dangerous act of removing the condom during sex while the other person is not aware.  If you think your hookup has removed the condom, you should immediately stop intercourse.

Get tested afterwards

Hooking up with someone you’ve just met online is considered extremely risky behavior.  Even when you’ve followed all of the safety precautions necessary, you still cannot be sure of your status until you get tested.  We recommend doing so immediately after your encounter.  If you don’t have a primary care physician, get to an open clinic and remember to get tested for everything.  TIP: For private, at home testing visit these sites – stdcheck.com and letsgetchecked.com.


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