Safe Dating: Hooking Up Online

Online Dating Safety Checklist

Before you begin to chat:

□    Pick a screen name that appropriately conveys who you are and what you’re looking for online.  Set up a new account if necessary.
□    Review what’s in your profile.  Remove any information that you don’t want to share with a stranger.
□    Investigate available chat sites and apps.  Pick a site that caters to the type of people you are looking to meet.
□    Set your own limits about how much personal information you are willing to disclose.  Set up a non work or school related e-mail account, if necessary, to maintain your anonymity when communicating outside a chat venue or dating app.

Planning your meeting:

□    Pick a public place to meet.  Make sure it’s an easy place to depart from, if you need to.
□    Make sure you have a clear idea of what is going to happen when you meet this person.
□    Decide if anyone is going to accompany you.

□    If it’s clear that your meeting will include sexual activity, consider discussing HIV and STD status and safer sex options.

Preparing to go out:

□    Let someone know you’re going out to meet someone you met online.
□    Arrange an emergency contact.
□    Leave all of the contact information you have for the person you are meeting (i.e. screen name, e-mail address, name, etc.) with someone you trust or somewhere in your room where it could be found.

If you are planning on having sex:

□    Set your limits before going out.  Consider how different sexual activities put you at different risks for contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
□    Don’t let alcohol or other drug use cloud your decision making and affect your behavior.
□    Use a new, lubricated condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
□    Use a new latex dam every time you provide oral stimulation of the anus on a man or woman.  If you don’t have a latex dam, create one by cutting the tip off a condom and slitting it down the side.
□    Use a new, flavored condom, or a non-lubricated condom and flavored lubricant, every time you perform oral sex on a man.
□    Use a new latex dam every time you perform oral sex on a woman.  If you don’t have a latex dam, create one by cutting the tip off a condom and then slitting it down the side.
□    Use a new condom every time you insert a sex toy into someone’s body.  Change the condom before moving the sex toy into a new body opening, and use a new condom if you are going to move the sex toy from one person to another.

Learn more about safe dating by attending the Safe Zone “Safe Dating & Relationships” Advanced Session.

Created by Kerry Poynter and Lindsey Bickers Bock