Hooking up on apps
Many of us spend time on social apps for gay and bi guys these days. It’s part of our world, and we all know sex is there as well, in many forms.
In fact, these apps are now a key place we go to find someone to get naked and have fun with. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all – but you still need to look after yourself.
Apps have become a big part of the gay scene now, which makes it a lot easier to meet guys if you don’t like the clubs and bars or if you haven’t come out yet. Some guys use them for fast, uncomplicated hook-ups, some are looking for love, and for many others it’s some sort of mix of them both. And guys do meet and fall in love after meeting on apps.
Remember, it’s easy to massage the truth on apps. Guys might shave a year or two (or more) off their age, add a few cms to their height or dick, or take a few cms off their waistlines – so don’t be that surprised if he’s not exactly what he said he is or if he doesn’t quite match the photos. If he doesn’t have photos to share, you might want to give him a miss, and if you don’t have any you‘ll probably find other guys aren’t that responsive to you either.
It’s a good thing to set up the first meeting away from your home, so if he’s a creep he won’t know where you live. A cafe or public place is a good idea for that first meeting. If you’re nervous, you might let a mate know what you’re doing and leave some contact details.
Don’t be heartbroken if you arrange everything online and then he doesn’t show up. Yes, he might be a cock-teasing prick, or maybe he had something unavoidable come up. But it’s still just a fuck with a stranger – not the last chance in your life to find true love and happiness.
Some guys may pressure you for condomless sex. They might use the term “bare” or “barebacking” or the initials “bb” to show this. Often they’ll promise you they’re HIV negative and free of any other STIs. But honestly – how do you know? Why would you trust a horny stranger from an app with your health?
No matter how hot he is, no matter how charming or how much fun, insist on protecting yourself by using condoms or taking PrEP. If you enjoy condomless sex, you can consider taking PrEP to protect yourself. If you or your partner is living with HIV, maintaining an undetectable viral load for at least 6 months will ensure the virus cannot be passed on sexually.
Some guys use the word "clean" to refer to being HIV-negative, asking "are you clean?". This is a terrible word to use because it implies that guys with HIV are dirty. Some more openly say they are “disease free” and expect you to say the same. But you don’t know if they really are or not. And there’s a good chance they don’t know for sure if they are HIV negative, let alone if they have syphilis or anything else. Even when someone swears on their mother’s grave they are HIV negative, you can’t be sure. Don’t expect to be told if someone you meet has HIV, but act as if everyone might have it - and use protection, that way you’ll stay safe.