.Easy Life Hacks by Sagar -
Safe Gay Dating Tips
One guy was saying to me how easy it is for Straight Guys to go out there, befriend a girl, and then marry her! But for us, Gay Guys, we cannot do that. We have to use Dating Apps only. Now, whether that is a good thing or not is another story, but that is how it is. Now, that that is how it is, it is very very important that we stay Safe and Careful.
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I installed Grindr for the first time in December 2014, after returning from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Initially, I didn't understand what it is, but since then (till date), I'm almost online all the time, because that is the only way in which I can get to meet people, interact with them, like-minded people, and find good contacts and acquaintances, and (may be) travel as well. So, even though it is a lot of fun, even I have experienced a few weird and wild things, a few of which I would like to share from my own life (and the lives of others) along with a few tips to use Grindr safely.
People usually believe (and I'd also briefly searched, which resulted) in only the bad things that have happened through Grindr, like rapes, murders, blackmailing. Yes, these things have happened. No doubt about that. However, like I always say (a bit boldly) that such (negative) experiences only happen with people who are desperate or "in the mood". That's, because in their desperation they go and meet anyone, anywhere, (or send private photos) without doing even a little bit of research. However, if you follow some simple, basic, and 'common sense' tips, then you will not face such things at all.
The very first point? You may think PHOTOS, but no. It has happened two times with me that guys sent me very Cute Photos, and when they turned up at my doorstep... [laughs] I don't bodyshame anybody, ever, but you can understand... they were completely different people in real. The photos were fake. On the spot I told them to 'Get Out'. Literally. Almost. The most important point is (taking the person's) PHONE NUMBER. It is very important to have the opposite person's Phone Number, so that even if he does something wrong, you at least have a number using which you can get the person tracked later. Now, I'm not trying to put Thoughts in your Mind, as such, but sometimes it happens that there are some so-called classy guys who say, "I can't share my number, because it gets misused, spread, and people disturb me at wrong times." To them I say, "Then don't disturb me or spread in front of me. We don't HAVE TO meet."
I have an example for this. A masseur stayed (no longer stays here) at around 2.5 KMs from my house. I took massage from him. 2 days later, he had someone visit him via Grindr (without taking his number). This masseur is a young kid doing this to earn some extra money for his livelihood. He's not from Pune, but a migrant. He asked someone to visit him for massage. A guy stronger and larger than him visited him, and started saying that he's from the CBI and wants to investigate what this guy (the masseur) is doing here under the name of massage. He threatened him about telling to the landlord or taking him to the Police. Scared, this little guy (the masseur) couldn't even fight with him. So, he requested him not to do so. So, the impostor said that he'd like to check his belongings. He found INR 4,000/- in a bag, which took and absconded, and within 5 minutes blocked this guy (the masseur) from Grindr.
I scolded him (the masseur) later for not taking his number. I told him that he should've taken his photo / the screenshot of the chat. Don't be careless about such things. When you have the number, at least, you can use the number and say to such people that you can take legal action against them for stealing your money or for misbehaving. So, TAKING THE PERSON'S PHONE NUMBER is Extremely Important.
The Second Important Tip is Video Calling. Look who's talking. I, myself, don't like Video Calling at all, and some of you know it [laughs]. Now, some people from today's generation (there's a separate Group) just want to lie down on their dirty beds and evaluate other people's looks and lives before deciding whether to meet or not. Most of them want to do EVERYTHING on VC only. But, yes, if you want to verify the person, you can surely make a Video Call, talk, verify the person, and then meet, and this is a trend these days. Video Dating is the First-level Dating that many people do. But then, you cannot keep it at that, isn't it? You will have to take it to the next step and meet the person. So, Video Calling shouldn't be done to judge someone, but to find out how the person is, and to know the person a little better before being able to meet. You shouldn't only keep Video Calling the person who lives 4 KMs away from you. If you, anyway, want to meet, then meet face-to-face at a Public Place. That is the third point.
The Third Point is PLACE. To meet [sniggers]. Do I meet guys at my place? Yes, I've met quite a few guys at my house. Do I meet guys at their place? No. Hardly, 2-3 times, may be, for eating at their place, because I'm more comfortable meeting guys at my house for several reasons. However, as far as meeting someone is concerned, it is always preferred that you meet them at Public Places. Now, Public Places do not refer to 'Under the bridge', 'Dark places', 'Behind the bushes', 'Inside a Jungle', 'Public Toilet', etc. Meet guys at a safe place where there is Public. That's what's called a Public Place, isn't it? Now, if you're so much inside the closet that you cannot meet guys at a Public Place, or at a place where there are people, then stay inside the closet and stop doing all of these things. Sorry, for being so blunt. However, if you want to meet, then always meet at a Public Place, by which you will always be SAFE.
Fourth is Health Status. HIV / other Diseases. Extremely Important. What can be more important than Health? Yes, I do understand that when we're in an aroused state, we are blind towards everything else, and we just want somebody in the bed in that moment, however, you cannot be SO desperate that you do it with an infected person.
Fifth, again, a very important point. The crowd that was present on these Gay Dating Apps back in 2014 was completely different. These days, a completely different kind of crowd of young guys is using these Dating Apps. As far as Blued is concerned, 14-15-year-olds are using that App, so, I've uninstalled Blued, because, even if you consensually do something (sexual) with a minor, it is illegal, and you can be imprisoned. A 17-year-old contacted me for a Relationship. I asked him to wait until he turns 18, show me his Identity (Age) Proof, and then we'll decide how to proceed. I was like, "Wait for a year or two!" I am in no hurry. I've waited for 40 years [laughs for mispronunciation]. I can wait for a few more.
The Fifth Point is that you shouldn't disclose too much information about yourself. Because we're (almost) living in a virtual world, these youngsters want everything online. In the sense, they keep asking, "Hi", "From", "Place", "Top / Bottom", and "What do you do?". Like as if they're going to marry me. So, there's no need to share too much information about oneself. I reply pretty rudely to those who ask, "What do you do?" on any of these Dating Apps, because, first, this is not a question that you ask Online, and secondly, only if you're going to marry each other, then "What do you do?" matters, isn't it? How does "What do you do?" matter for a hook-up / ONS / a 2 nights picnic? So, I do not answer such stupid questions, and I simply don't reply to, "From".
So, keeping your Common Sense active is very important, and you have to decide how much to disclose and how much to not disclose. You know, because some people could be behind your money, they can come home and do wrong things (like stealing things). So, like I always say, "Tell about your Past only to someone with whom you see a Future!".
One more (sixth) point that I personally follow is MEETING TIME. I prefer meeting anybody during the Day Time. That's, because I like to be with myself after 7 pm. "Saat chya aat gharaat" (means 'Inside the house before 7 pm' in Marathi). That has always been my Policy. Not that I don't meet guys after 7 pm, but the preferred time is Day Time. Now, if your Meeting Time is LATE NIGHT ONLY, then the risk factor definitely increases, and then you have to take more care about other things. That is, again, a preference. It depends on what you're meeting for, but then, trying to be safe as much as possible is what this is about.
No matter how much on the 7th Heaven you are (or in "the mood"), using Protection (in the form of Condoms, Masks, etc.) has no alternative. No two Thoughts about that. Specially, if you do it with random guys or have multiple partners in bed, use it, because then otherwise, you get infected, you infect ten others, and the infection keeps spreading. Therefore, until you find your "Personal Partner" [sniggers], keeping SAFE, and protecting yourself (physically) in all ways possible is always always mandatory.
Last, and probably, the most important Tip. No giving (lending) money (either in Cash form or Digital form) to anybody, ever! Feed them what they like, give them food treats, lend / give away clothes, pay extra for the services (like massage, etc.) that you take from them, but NEVER lend money to anybody, whatsoever! No matter how much someone cries or yells, or asks you to keep their Identity Proofs or Things. For example, someone from a city (which I wouldn't name) asked me to keep his bike as mortgage for 2-3 days, and lend him INR 7,000/- I refused, because that's not my business (to keep people's things and provide them money), besides it's not legal to do these things, unless you're registered. I told him that we can go out, eat Pizza, share the expenditure, or I'll fully pay for the pizza, but NO MONEY.
Now, the Gay Dating Scene in India is very different as compared to other countries. My way of thinking is twisted. I believe that insecurity is high where things are open and legal. The chances of crime-occurrences are also high at such places, because let's assume that I'm Homophobic, and 'Being Gay' is legal in my country, then I feel more insecure. It is a very psychological thing. As opposed to India, where most of the things are done secretly, or behind closed doors. So, things are pretty different here. Therefore, taking care of small-small things like 'meeting at public places', 'not carrying all your mobile phones', or 'not carrying a heavy-looking wallet', and using Common Sense can keep you safe. Then, such things don't occur.
The most important thing is to NOT be desperate. No matter what you do in life out of desperation (specially on Dating Apps like Grindr), its output will be negative and unwanted. Therefore, stay Strong, stay Safe, and see if you can come out of the closet.
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