Online Dating - How Do You Stay Safe?*

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Over the last 18 months or so, we have see more media publicity than ever before about abuse and ill treatment towards women, including things such as the #MeToo movement. The awareness of how men behave towards women in public and, more importantly, in private has increased massively and is now something people are talking about more and more.

As someone who has been treated horrifically by men in the past, the #MeToo movement is something that really resonates with me, and when I started dating again, it was very important to me to find a man who treated me with respect, had the same values and ideas as me and identified as a feminist - which, let me tell you, is not easy to find.

Obviously I started my dating journey online, and that is where I think the problem really begins - whilst hiding behind a computer of phone screen, people can pretend to be whoever they want to be. They have the courage to say whatever they want to say, even if it's in no way appropriate because they feel protected by the screen. This often leads to the abuse and sexual harrassment online - unwanted, inappropriate photographs and videos, name calling, bullying, peer pressure and threats.

Using adult dating sites shouldn't be a scary prospect though, it should be fun! So whilst websites continue to battle with online trolls, what can you do in the meantime to protect yourself online from sex dating predators who need to be avoided?

1 - Don't give out personal details online
No bank details, no address, nothing personal and private until you've met that person and know that they are who they say they are. You might want to say the area that you live so you can meet people from the same area as you - if this is the case please be very general. List the county or the town you live in but don't list your exact location.

2 - Be careful when arranging dates
Meet in public places surrounded by lots of people - don't go to their house or invite them to yours. Meet in a busy pub, restaurant or theatre where other people have a clear view of the two of you.

3 - Be careful on the date, too
Don't leave your drink unattended, in case they spike it. Also, let people know where you're going and who you're going with - a friend, a family member. This is just in case something did happen, they would be able to assist in helping you out.

4 - Don't be afraid to hit the block button
If someone makes you feel scared or uncomfortable there is no shame in hitting the block button so they can't contact you again - or even reporting them to the adult dating site or the police if necessary. As I've already said, dating should be exciting and fun and even if you've been speaking to someone on a regular basis or for an extended period of time, if they start to abuse your relationship, cut them off. Block and delete them! You don't owe them anything and you don't need to let them continue harassing you.

Catfishes are real. There are sick people out there who will try to gain your trust by pretending to be someone else, enticing you into a situation that's not safe. It's hard to combat these preadators but if you protect yourself by using some of the tips listed above, you'll find that online dating doesn't have to be scary - it can be fun, and you might even find the love of your life!

Not everyone out there is out to get you - but it doesn't mean that no one is. Look after yourself and be web-wise when connecting with people online!

Love from,
Florence Grace

This post was sponsored by No Strings Dating via Digital Dudes but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Florence Grace's New Rules On Sex...


Yesterday, a trending Twitter moment really caught my eye - "Amber Davies new rules on sex", in collaboration with BBC Radio 5 Live. And from Rule 1, I knew we were on a downwards slope. If you missed the moment, don't worry - here is a list of Amber's 'new rules' for sex:

  1. No sex on the first date. "If you don't know the person, don't have sex with the person. It's all about self respect".
  2. If there is alcohol involved, ask yourself if you're going to regret this in the morning. Because when you're under the influence of alcohol, you're a lot more vulnerable.
  3. Don't think sex is to impress. Amber thinks females and males would be a lot more impressed if you don't put out on the first date.
  4. We are absolutely binning the saying "no strings attached" or "friends with benefits". Amber says us females, we all know we get emotionally attached after sex so if you don't want to get hurt don't do it. 
  5. Don't follow the crowd. Just because sex has become so casual these days doesn't mean you have to do it, so stand up for yourself. 

I have one word in response to these rules:


Girl, please. What the hell?

First of all, this is coming from a young woman who had sex on live TV when she appeared on Love Island (or so I'm told, anyway - I don't watch that show, it's utter trash) so if she wants to tell people they don't have self respect... well, I won't comment because I for one don't judge people and their sex lives but girl, what you thinking? Secondly, who on earth is ANYONE to tell anyone else how they should be having sex? 

You might think I'm hypocritical, given the title of this post and the fact that I'm about to give you my own new rules on sex, but hear me out, because there's actually only one rule, and that's this:

Ignore Amber's rules and have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want and however you want as long as all parties are consenting. 

It's as simple as that!

If you want to have sex with someone you love, great. If you want to have sex with someone you just met, great. If you want to have sex whilst drunk, yolo! If you only want to have sex sober, you do you! Sex is a very personal choice and the only important thing at the end of the day is that both parties are consenting. You shouldn't let anybody dictate to you how you should be having sex. Casual sex, serious sex, one time sex, on and off sex - whatever works for you and the other person, whatever makes you and the other person happy, great. Don't let some low-list 'celeb' dictate rules for sex that are, quite frankly, shaming towards other people and shouldn't be listened to at all. 

I'd love to defend that some of her points are quite valid - don't have sex to impress (unless you want to, of course) and don't follow the crowd are both quite worthwhile points but the way she backed them up with reasoning that just shames people is not okay! Talking about self respect being lost if you have sex on the first date, about not putting out straight away to impress people... it's all just trash talk and it should just be ignored. 

Self respect has no correlation with your sexual status at all. Repeat that to yourself as often as you like, no one should treat you like less of a person because of your sexual choices - they just shouldn't, and if they do, the problem is with them and not with you! 

Do what you want when it comes to sex, as long as all parties are giving full and clear consent. Within the confines of that relationship, be it for one night or longer, a permanent one or a temporary one, create your own rules and have sex in a way that works for you and the person you're having sex with - that's literally the only rule you should stick to. 

Love from,
Florence Grace

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