Tag Archives: online dating

Online Dating and Sexual Health: What You Need to Know

By Guest Blogger, Caitlin E.

Online Dating and Sexual Health: What You Need to Know

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Millions of people use online dating websites and apps to meet new people and engage in different levels of intimacy – from just chatting to casual sex to romantic relationships. With the rising popularity of various platforms such as Match.com, EHarmony, Tinder, and numerous others, the stigma that once existed around online dating has been greatly diminished. Even statistics show that the majority of Americans claim online dating is a good way to meet people.

But it’s still a relatively new landscape, where it’s crucial that we’re all well-informed and understanding of how we can navigate it responsibly. Here’s what you need to keep in mind regarding sexual health when meeting new people on dating platforms.

 

Sexual health is about psychological well-being too

 

The concept of sexual health is often mistaken for only the physical aspect of health in regards to sexuality, such as the absence of an STI.

But the World Health Organization reminds us that sexual health goes much further than that, implying psychological wellbeing, freedom of choice, and the ability to have a satisfying and responsible sex life.

In the online dating culture, you have all the freedom you need to engage with whomever you want and however you want. And when you have this kind of freedom, it’s especially important to listen to your gut instinct and to be cautious when meeting new people online.

It’s easy to get caught up in all of it, which makes it even more important that you fully acknowledge what you want and what you don’t want – regardless of how the person you’ve met will react. Listen to your innate needs, take care of yourself, and don’t let yourself feel pressured at any point.

Online dating is there to make things easier and more enjoyable for you, not to become a burden on your well-being.

 

Always use protection. Always.

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A lot of people are hooking up through dating platforms, as the medium makes meeting new people much faster and more convenient. The math is quite simple – the more casual sex there is, the more STIs are likely to be circulating.

This is nothing new, as STIs are more widespread than you might expect. There’s just too much stigma around them so you can be sure that nobody is going to explicitly tell you they have an infection when they meet you.

Not only that, but your partner may have no idea he or she has an STI.

The only way to stay safe from STIs and maintain your sexual health responsibly is by using condoms – every time, no matter what.

This is especially important to take note of among the older demographic, where there’s still a common misconception that there’s no need for condoms if you can no longer have children. Regardless of fertility or other forms of contraception you might be using, condoms serve to protect you from STIs, and both sides of the relationship should have them around.

 

Maintain your good judgement

 

A lot of people rely on drugs or alcohol to ease into the situation and “loosen up” when meeting someone new. Again, you have the freedom to do whatever you wish – just make sure that you own it, that you have the confidence and your best interests in mind.

Overdoing it with either of those two will definitely cloud your judgement – and that’s where it will be difficult for you to keep your best interests in mind. Whether it’s engaging with someone you don’t actually feel that comfortable with or forgetting to use a condom during sex, clouded judgement increases the chances of turning an otherwise pleasant experience into a sour one.

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The rising popularity of online dating is no coincidence. People feel comfortable with these platforms, and they present a convenient and exciting way to meet potential partners and like-minded people. But as more and more people use online dating apps, there’s a whole new dialogue opening up around sexual health and safety. Whether you’re entirely new to online dating or have an established profile, keep these points in mind to make sure that you navigate the landscape to your best interest.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

The Essential Guide To Safe And Healthy Dating

The Essential Guide To Safe And Healthy Dating

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The excitement of the first date should be fun, but all too often we hear horror stories about dates going wrong. We can’t let this put us off dating, though. Most dates are safe and fun if a little bit awkward. If you’re planning a date soon, make sure you follow these top tips to ensure you have a safe and healthy experience and all the fun you want.

Talk on the phone first

If you’re meeting someone from an online dating site, make sure you speak to them on the phone before you meet them in real life. You’ll get a much better impression of their personality that way, and you’re more likely to hear if there’s something a bit weird about them.

Do your homework

At the very least you want to know his full name, his job and have a general idea about where he lives. And while you never have to admit it to him, it’s always worth doing a quick Google search of his name too. A quick look at his LinkedIn will tell you that he is being honest, and a Facebook stalk might reveal some mutual friends, who’ll hopefully be able to vouch for him.

Meet in public places

Just in case there is anything sinister about your date, it’s best to meet him in a public place the first couple of times while you get to know him. If he is worth it, he’ll understand that your safety has to come first. Try coffee shops, bars, restaurants, bowling, or even the park if the weather is good. Just make sure there are other people around, and you can leave easily if you want to. It’s a good idea to meet in the morning or at lunch time because you afternoon plans give a more organic and less awkward means of getting away if you’re just not feeling it.

Tell people where you are

Employ a buddy system, so your friend always knows where you are. Make sure you inform them if you move venue during your date, and give them an approximate time that you’ll be getting home. This just means that if anything untoward happens, someone’s always got your back. They could even come out on your first date with you – double dates tend to be less awkward, and it gives your buddy the chance to get to know your date too.

Take the essentials

You’ll want to have spare cash for a taxi, your bank card in case you get lumbered with the bill, and your mobile phone at the very least. It doesn’t hurt to carry mace too, just in case of an emergency. Making sure you’ve got everything you need means you can get away easily if your date starts to go south.

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Don’t drink too much

It can be tempting to knock the drinks back to loosen your inhibitions and get over the awkwardness on the first date, but it can also inhibit your ability to read a situation. For the first couple of dates, try to avoid drinking much, or even stick to non-drinking activities. You’ll find that you get to know your date more thoroughly when you’re coherent the whole time too.

Don’t leave food or drink unattended

Some people are just plain horrible. While it’s unlikely you’ll meet anyone with an ulterior motive, it’s always best to be as safe (and suspicious) as you can. Leaving a drink or a meal unsupervised could allow someone to slip drugs into them, which could compromise your safety. Finish your food and drink before heading to the restroom during a meal or in a bar – the risk just isn’t worth it.

Don’t give too much away

Early on in your dates, try not to give too much information away about yourself. For example, let them know the area of town in which you live, but not your street address. They can know your profession, but not your place of employment. It just means that if they turn out to be weird and you cut them off, they have no way to contact you or find you.

If you’re worried, leave

Don’t second guess yourself as a judge of character – if someone seems a bit weird to you, or you’re just not enjoying the evening, you are entirely within your rights to leave. Trust your instincts – if they get over-familiar or inappropriate too quickly, or anything that they say leaves you feeling a bit uncomfortable, remember that you know best. And don’t compromise your safety or happiness for the sake of saving some random guy’s feelings. If you’re worried about just walking out, ask the staff to call you a taxi or call a friend to come and meet you.

Give feedback

If you’re dating online and it does go wrong, heaven forbid, make sure you report his profile to the dating site and give them an outline of your concerns. It means that other women will not have to face the same problems as you, so it’s all about looking out for each other.

Practice safe sex

This should go without saying, but it is all to easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. When you’re at that stage with your date, make sure you’re carrying condoms, as well as him. Don’t let him try to talk you out of safe sex – the risks just aren’t worth it.

Get regular check-ups

Even if you’re super careful, if you’re dating it’s important that you have regular sexual health check-ups, just to be on the safe side. Free std testing is available all over the country, so there’s no excuse not to.

Enjoy yourself

Don’t get too caught up in the end-game, just enjoy the process of dating, getting to know people, and having fun. If you’re too focused on where you’d like to end up, you could miss vital red flags, or just lose out on the enjoyment of it all.

Dating is really fun and doesn’t have to be scary. Just remember to keep your wits about you, your friends on hand, and to take it slowly, and you’ll have a safe and fun time.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.