1. Get those pics
“Real” people on apps like Grindr or Scruff, Bumble or Hinge usually have multiple pics. That’s just how this works. You should easily be able to get several pics, and not just ones of their body. Tell them you want to see their face. If they say they “don’t have” any, it might be worth reconsidering. Keep in mind that some people are hesitant to share pics for their own safety. But usually, many people should be able to share face pics freely. Or you could ask to share their social media accounts (Tik Tok, Instagram)
Some apps have video call functions built into them which are great for a quick face to face before you meet. If you have their phone number, you can ask to FaceTime. For some, it’s simply “too much work,” for a casual hook up, so they might not do it. But others will be more than happy to briefly chat before meeting up IRL.
3. Share your location with a friend
There are numerous apps to share your location with friends, like Find My Friends, but the easiest way is to share your location directly from your phone. All you have to do is head into a friends contact and at the bottom it will read share my location. Then it will let you determine how long you would like to share your location for. Shoot a friend a text to let them know you are going out for a hook up, and if they don’t hear from you in a few hours or see any movement, they should find out what’s up!
4. Talk about what you want to do before meeting/Set boundaries
If you want to bottom, use condoms, only do oral, or chat in person a bit before getting down to business, make that clear. It’s a really good idea to chat about what you both want to do before you go over to a person’s house (or host).
5. Leave their place if you’re not into it
If you’re not feeling it for whatever the reason, you can leave. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m not feeling this. I’m going to go.” Just because you planned to do things with them sexually before meeting doesn’t mean you have to go ahead with it. You always have the option to say no and you always have the option to leave (or ask them to leave)
6. Go with your instinct
If something seems off, then don’t meet. Even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what the person is doing, if something smells fishy, stay at home. Remember: There will always be more opportunities. It’s not worth risking your safety and emotional wellbeing for a casual encounter.
7. Ask for their phone number
When you get their phone number, it’s another method of validating their identity. You could even text each other a bit before meeting up to check the number is real.
Resources and Support
- Rainbow Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Helpline (1800 497 212), available 24/7
- 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), available 24/7
- QLife (1800 184 527), 3pm – Midnight every day
- Find a service near you through Say It Out Loud here