Online Safety For Gay Men

Hey there Guys,

Now I’m not sure if this news hit the international press however given the importance I wanted to share this here.

In Sydney 2005 a gay man was murdered after meeting a date in a park. His hands and wrists had been tied and he was later stabbed in the neck killing him. The victim, Guiseppe Vitale, had met his assailant, Trent Jennings, via an online dating site.

As noted by The Courier Mail:

He was found not guilty of murdering Giuseppe Vitale on grounds of mental illness in 2005 by the NSW Supreme Court.

The court was told Jennings suffered a psychotic illness that was precipitated or aggravated by illicit drug use.

He had taken three or four ecstasy tablets in the hour before meeting Mr Vitale, as well as an intravenous shot of amphetamines.

Last Thursday, having released from his psychiatric hospital on day release, Jennings again met a man via the internet, went to their home, tied the occupant and stole is car. He then casually returned to hospital where as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:

That night he returned to hospital after curfew, having contacted staff to tell them his train was running late.

Satisfied with this explanation, hospital staff allowed him out unsupervised at 2pm the next day, the eighth anniversary of the night he stabbed Giuseppe Vitale.

Clearly the hospital system has failed during this episode however I think it’s an important time to reinforce the ideas of safe online cruising and dating.

Apps like Grindr and Scruff makes meeting men so simple.

These days meeting a guy for a casual fling can be as simple as logging into an online chat room or smart phone app like Grindr or Scruff. Within minutes you can be chatting with hot men all looking for a quick hookup and perhaps more. Sadly not everyone on these sites is looking for fun.

Only last month I was told of a mate who visited a home of someone he met via a chat room. When he arrived he noticed there were three cars parked in the front of the house after the hookup said he was home alone. As he knocked on the door he heard a drunken voice call out “sweet that faggot’s here”.

Thankfully my mate had the sense to turn around and get the hell out as fast as he could. As noted above, not everyone has the chance to get away like he did.

Today I thought it was a good idea to share a few tips to help increase safety when your cruising online.

Cruising tips for online dating.

Get to know who you are meeting:

Before you hook up with anyone be sure you get to know them as well as you can. Ask for a face pic, not just the usual shots some people send ;). If someone is not willing to send a face pic there is usually a reason.

If the conversation seems odd, weird or makes you feel uncomfortable just close the conversation off. Remember those block buttons are there for a reason.

If you think you like the sound of the person exchange phone numbers and have a chat on the phone first. To protect your privacy it’s best practice to share your mobile phone number rather then your home number. Have a chat. If they sound reasonable and you feel comfortable, meeting face to face may be the next step. Don’t be afraid to delay a meeting for another time though. If they are genuinely keen to meet they will be happy to wait.

Make your first meeting some place safe:

For the first meeting it’s a good idea to meet in a public space. This way you can make an exit if you need to.
Cafe’s are great as there are usually plenty of people around and it’s unlikely that anything bad would happen in a public space.

If you are keen on meeting for sex straight away one option that is safer would be to meet at a sauna or local sex on premise venue. Again, there will be people around if you get into trouble.
On the flip side if you feel you are not compatible after meeting there could be other people there you like better!

Before heading off to meet your new friend be sure to either leave a detailed note at home explaining what you are doing, or phoning a friend and letting them know your plans. Some people arrange to have their friend call them at an organized time to check in and make sure everything is OK.

If you live in a big city there is sometimes a chance your mate may know the person you are meeting. Be sure to ask if they have heard anything bad about the person before you meet.

Get to know your new friend before getting adventurous:

Sexual practices like bondage rely strongly on trust. Being tied up on a first meet is not the safest idea. Get to know your partner before you allow them to limit your movement.

One good way to meet new bondage friends is via other friends you know in the scene. By meeting via your friends’ recommendations you can limit the risk of harm to yourself. Again, be sure to get to know your new friends before you get too adventurous.

Remember if at anytime you do not feel comfortable you are free to exit. Yes it can be awkward but your safety is important. Go with your gut instincts, they are usually right.

Look after your personal safety:

Be sure to pack condoms even if you are not planing on having anal sex. You just never know!

If you invite someone to your home be sure to not leave flashy objects or cash lying around. There is always the risk of them being stolen.

There have been some cases where men have had their drinks spiked and either being assaulted or their house being robbed. Always be sure to keep your drink with you. Try to be there when they are poured or if having beer or soft drink have it from the bottle. If the drink tastes funny leave it or get rid of it one way or another. You just never know.

If you get into trouble be sure to report it:

I agree it can be embarrassing reporting incidents when it comes to online dating. The important thing to remember is that if it’s not reported there is a chance the person could be doing it to another friend of yours.

Reporting incidents is an important key to getting the problem stopped. If you are worried or concerned be sure to bring a friend or support person to be there with you. Remember you are the victim, the police are there to help.

I’m sorry that this update is a bit of a heavy one but given the recent events it’s a pretty important one. Remember to look after your safety while you are out there having fun.

Yours in good health.

Dr George.

Guys this is a pretty important topic. Be sure to share it with your mates, you just never know who it may help.
One simple way is to hit the “like” button below.

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