I was asked if I could write an article for onlydates.co.uk and I bloody well did it. Turns out I was not going to get a response either way as to whether it was getting posted or not. I waited far longer than the 48 hours they had said it would take. Its probably not for them, which is cool. I just wanted closure. It wasn’t a paid job, it was a labor of love. And for my readers, here it is.
For many years of my life I was on dating websites and apps that were looking for quick hook ups (you know the sort I’m talking about). I was interested in nothing more than the chase, the sex and then the inevitable walk of shame the next morning.
Then 2012 happened. 2012 was to become the year I came out as a trans man. I had battled with the burden of being stuck with the wrong body for many years of my life, it made a huge hole in my life that could only be filled with drink, drugs and highly risky sex.
Now I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t have sex. Sex is great, and I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t look for love online, because it can and will work for some, But I’m here to talk about how to be more mentally mature on the web and how you can protect yourself.
Firstly, you should ask yourself what you are looking for. Are you looking for love or sex or just even someone to talk to. Do not throw yourself in the deep end when all you want is to dip a toe. Are you using a reputable site? Does this cater for my needs and tastes? Am I mature enough for human interaction? All these questions you should ask yourself first, before you start looking for the one/s
Secondly. Consider your etiquette, your communication and presence online. This is where MANY people go wrong!! I avoided online dating for quite awhile because people would ask about my (lack of) penis in the first 5 seconds of communication. Men, as a man I will tell you now that if you start a conversation with a dick pick, you are probably not going to see anything other than a block. Start with a hello! Politeness is the key to success. Also ladies, gentleman and other gendered individuals, never sell yourself short. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Take your time, talk to the people you are trying to hook up with and get to know them.
Thirdly, always remember that you do not have to commit to anything other than yourself and your feelings. If someone has been abusive in anyway, you do not have to be with them. I have personally been abused online quite a lot , and 99% of the time its because I’m transgender and bisexual. My block list is more populated than London, and that’s fine by me. Never tolerate bull****. You are a human being. Whether you want casual sex or a long term relationship, you need to put you first.
The forth point. The meet up. Remember to tell a friend where you are going. As much as you could have vetted this person or people, you do not know exactly what’s going to be happening till the big meet up. Always keep yourself safe at all times. I personally would make sure condoms (or other birth control) is with me at all times. I would also recommended that the very first face-to-face was in a public place. Coffee shops are great for this. After all this sit back, relax and see how the day/evening takes you.
Finally, and I must stress this. Never feel pressured to actually have sex. If you don’t want it/it doesn’t feel right. You don’t have to do it. If you feel like you have/are been pressured to have sex, try and remove yourself from the area and contact someone who you feel will be able to help you. Be it a friend / family member or local authorities.
Dating and casual sex is meant to be fun, an adventure of sorts. Keep safe and make sure you are having fun, otherwise what’s the point.