These days meeting a guy for a casual fling can be as simple as logging into an online chat room or smart phone app like Grindr or Scruff.

I thought it was a good idea to share a few tips to help increase safety when your cruising online.

Before you hook up with anyone be sure you get to know them as well as you can. Ask for a face pic, not just the usual shots some people send. If someone is not willing to send a face pic there is usually a reason.

If the conversation makes you feel uncomfortable just close it off.

If you think you like the sound of the person exchange phone numbers and have a chat on the phone first. To protect your privacy it’s best practice to share your mobile phone number.

For the first meeting it’s a good idea to meet in a public space so you can make an exit if you need to. Cafe’s are great as there are usually plenty of people around.

If you are keen on meeting for sex straight away one option is to meet at a sauna or local sex on premise venue. Again, there will be people around if you get into trouble.

Before heading off to meet your new friend be sure to either leave a detailed note at home explaining what you are doing, or telling a friend your plans. Some people arrange to have their friend call them at an organised time.

If you live in a big city there is sometimes a chance your mate may know the person you are meeting. Be sure to ask if they have heard anything bad about the person before you meet.

Sexual practices like bondage rely strongly on trust. Being tied up on a first meet is not the safest idea. Get to know your partner before you allow them to limit your movement.

One good way to meet new bondage friends is via other friends you know in the scene. Be sure to get to know your new friends before you get too adventurous.

Remember if at anytime you do not feel comfortable you are free to exit. Yes it can be awkward but your safety is important. Go with your gut instincts, they are usually right.

Be sure to pack condoms even if you are not planing on having anal sex.

If you invite someone to your home be sure to not leave flashy objects or cash lying around.

I agree it can be embarrassing reporting incidents when it comes to online dating. The important thing to remember is that if it’s not reported there is a chance the person could be doing it to another friend of yours.

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