Hooking-up online and safety have been a constant nag of mine since the Jussie Smollett debacle because hooking up has become a way of life. In the new age of technology and hook-up apps, I’ve noticed that our safety is not even part of the equation most of the time. We take for granted that we’re always meeting someone with positive intentions.
In a world where instant gratification is the norm, we make split-decisions that can often end up being bad choices or not the right ones where we let our guard down because the person is seemingly nice. That’s not always the case!
Two times I was physically attacked. I let my other head, you know what I mean, do the thinking and each time the outcomes were horrific and frightening. I’m a native New Yorker, and I am street smart which makes it even harder to believe that I could be physically attacked twice in my own home during a hookup!
I tell my friends now, you never know who you are meeting and have to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. After being attacked, it took years before I started hook-up up online, and still to this day, I do not use hook-up apps. Occasionally I will use one hook-up site, but I have learned to be on guard and take the proper safety measures when meeting someone for the first time.
When I took to Instagram and Facebook after the whole Jussie story began to unfold, I revealed how I was attacked and did not go to the police. I was fearful because of the color of my skin and being gay that the authorities would not believe me especially after my attacker, a Caucasian man threatened me; well dared me to call the police. By playing the race card, he knew I would most likely think twice about going to the police, and I did not go for that very reason.
After posting my accounts on Facebook and Instagram there was an outpouring of support, but sadly, a handful revealed they had also gone through similar situations. I thought to myself, how can I help get us safe, so I thought of sharing some hook-up safety measures.
My methods are extreme, but since being attacked, I’ve never felt unsafe again because I take these measures each time I meet someone new. Even when I travel to a guy’s house, which is rare, I have safety measures in place to protect myself.
Although I feel safer in my own home, and that might sound odd since I’ve been attacked at home, I believe it could have been worse if I wasn’t at home.
SAFETY MEASURES TO CONSIDER WHEN HOOKING UP:
1. Lock up or hide all personal belongs like: wallets, credit/debit cards, jewelry and anything that is easy to pick up and hide in a bag. Definitely, don’t leave these items in plain sight. Furthermore, don’t hide possessions in open places. Funny story, I used to hide my wallet in a box of cereal, and one time I forgot where I hid it. It took all night to find it.
2. Remove all medication from the bathroom. People are known to take it or even switch it. Before you know it, your shit is gone or mixed with something else. Yes, people do stuff like this all the time.
3. Never leave someone unaccompanied for too long and don’t give full access to your home. For example, I don’t allow a stranger access to my living room. I turn out all the lights in the living room. That’s a good indication, off-limits.
4. I also provide my guests with a poly-bag to place their belongings. They place their belongings including their phone and tie it. This way, they’re not lost, they can’t blame me for stealing something, and they can’t record us without my permission. In my case, if they need to get online to find the next conquest, they are welcomed to leave. If you’re into group sex, you should be the one in control of inviting people to your place.
5. Never give anyone your address until you’ve talked on the phone or at least exchanged photos. I personally never gave my real number. I created a Google voice number that I used for hooking up. If we had a good time and I had a good time, I would give them my correct cell-phone number.
6. If traveling, I would write the address of the location and the name of the guy and leave it on my dining room table when I left my apartment. I would also put the time on it. I would also take an Uber and not Uber Pool because I wanted the exact location tracked.
7. Take a photo of the outside of the building you’re visiting or do a quick recording stating the time, address, and the person’s name. It could potentially save your life or help trace your whereabouts. It sounds strange but thinks about all of the gay men who have gone missing over the years.
8. Call or text a friend, tell them where you’re going and whether you’re hosting or traveling. Leave them all the information in a text or physically call them. Let them know when you’re expected to be done and available so they can check on you.
The bottom line, safety comes first when hooking-up!