9 ways to stay safe on Grindr

FS magazine

The gay men’s health and life magazine.
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9 ways to stay safe on Grindr

By David Blackett @boysies
Photo © www.flickr.com/partymonstrrrr




When the horn hits thoughts about your own safety can go out the window.

You’re at home, pants wrapped around your ankles, sweat on your brow. You’re hunched over. Breathing hard. Every place you touch yourself feels incredible. Your whole body is telling you that your balls need to unload and doing it alone would be terrible, a waste, a crime against the amazing sex you know you could give to the world. You need to be pressed against someone, their tongue exploring you. Your nipples harden. If only the right body was with you that very second.

You open Grindr. XXXversXXX is free, his nips are out and his abs are tight. This is the one. You send pics. He does the same and he’s hung like a donkey that’s genetically mutated for deep cave exploration. This is the one. Location sent.

What occurs next is hopefully a pleasant time spent in the company of a potential new gentleman friend. But what if it goes wrong? How can you keep yourself safe?

I carried out a wholly non-scientific bit of research and asked some fellows their worst hook-up experiences. A lot came back with verbal bullying and how this lowered their confidence and self-worth. There was also an awful amount of racism.

Disturbingly there was more than one story of violence, where someone had clearly got the wrong meaning of fisting. I spoke to a man in Ealing, let’s call him Roy, who had arranged to meet a guy. Roy was pretty new to London and on the hunt for all the city had to offer. Roy thought he was arranging a horny back seat meet up. He got to the car and sat inside. Not only was the guy in the drivers seat different to the pictures but he had a buddy with him too.

Roy’s next memory is waking up on the floor outside the nearest hospital, clothes torn and jaw broken. His body was checked for signs of rape. Roy didn’t tell me what the results were and the men were never caught. Roy still struggles with meeting new people, going to clubs and being intimate with anyone. An unusual situation but enough to spark worry. Is this common?

Meet Greg, 20 from Huddersfield. Greg arranged to meet a guy at his local park. He told us: “I got messages from this hot guy. He was tall, fit, and way out of my league. My lack of self-worth meant that I was going to do anything and everything to meet this guy. I never questioned anything he said. He wanted to meet at my local park and I said yes. When I got there, there was no sign of him but a group of youths on bikes shouted ‘faggot’ at me. I quickly put two and two together. I was lured to the park by homophobic youths. They chased after me on their bikes. Luckily I was able to run to a nearby café before they could reach me. That experience left me shaken and I haven’t met anyone from Grindr since. I have real trust issues now.” 

Chatrooms, Twitter, online dating, making friends online without being 100% sure they’re genuine are all part of everyday life. For the most part, to avoid being beaten up by a stranger, all you need to do is take a breath and think before you leap. After a long-winded introduction we get to the Buzzfeed, easy to digest section of the article. The list of what you really should do before bumping uglies with that guy that’s just 2,450 sweet feet away.





Be careful not to tell someone too much about yourself (where you live, work, go to uni, your last name). We live in a digital age where you can be easily found. There have been many cases where gay men have shared too much only for that information to be used to find them.






Make sure he has something beyond the pecs and abs. Make sure they are of him and not an insta-celebrity. If he only sends one photo and won’t supply any more, get those alarm bells ringing. Chances are it’s not him and you are either being catfished or being targeted by someone looking to do some damage.






The phone number is powerful. You can Facebook stalk someone with a phone number. You can even go old school and call that person and actually hear their human voice. Phone numbers can also be traced if your body is found next to a river with your intestines pulled through your mouth (that’s a little graphic – but you get the picture).






Here are some key things to look out for:


“Hello Dave” – if he knows your name before you know his face, this is a deal breaker.


“You’re the guy who works at…” Stalker, much?


“I just want a boyfriend. Will you be my boyfriend?”


‘Crazy talk’ is tricky to spot. But if he’s acting irrationally or over-the-top with his comments then it’s best to block and move on.






It’s good to let someone know where you’re going. You don’t have to go into detail and it’s possibly best if you choose a pal or housemate rather than your mum.

If you’ve got a friend who’s happy to get the odd text of a random location in Greenwich and will happily drop you a text at 2 in the morning to make sure you’re not dead, then they’re a keeper.






If he suggests meeting in an alleyway somewhere in the rough end of town then it’s best to say no. The best place to meet is where there are a lot of people walking by – shopping centres, pubs, and busy streets. If he suggests the park, make an alternative suggestion. Chances are if he’s a ‘real person’ then he won’t mind meeting on a busy street.






Control yourself, you horny beast. You might plan on getting wasted on drugs, alcohol and cock but don’t get the party started early. Stay in control of the situation from the start and you’re more likely to get out of it alive.






If your brain is telling you something different from what your cock is saying then listen to it. The horn can be powerful at times but if he seems ‘too good to be true’ then he probably is. ‘Real people’ will come across as natural, easy to talk to, will send more than one face pic and will have no problem meeting in a public place. If he does not do any of the above then listen to your gut and say no.






If you are unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of any verbal or physical attacks, or if you receive any threats then you should report them. If you are in fear of your life at any point call, the police. You will not be the first person this has happened to and they will know how to deal with it in a sensitive manner. If you feel uncomfortable with talking to the police then call Galop or LGBT Switchboard. They will have trained people who can help you through any attacks or threats.

Remember your safety should always come before being horny, lonely or looking for love.

Too many gay men think “it’ll never happen to me” but homophobic attacks through apps are on the increase. Be careful.




Self Contained Strap

GALOP – for hate crime advice, support or reporting. 

Call 020 7704 2040 or visit www.galop.org.uk





Remember – Living with a bleeding disorder doesn’t automatically make you a target.


Further information as well as contact details can be found on the Haemosexual website, Personal Safety and Awareness, Support and Information pages.






Source: FS magazine / GMFA




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