How to stay safe during your casual Tinder date?

One recent study reports that alcohol is associated with a number of sexual activities and particularly with casual sexual hookups. It has been reported that more alcohol was consumed by people before and during casual hookups compared to those in a steady relationship. What is particularly interesting is that the association between causal hookups and alcohol consumption is particularly strong for women. While spontaneous sex can be wonderful and exciting, what are some of the factors that place you at risk of harm? Consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol during your first date with someone you just met on Tinder – is it a safe move?

The information we receive online can be flawed and inaccurate depending on the way a person presents themselves, including a photo that was taken ten years ago, their profession, and lifestyle. The study by Wilhite and Fromme (2019) indicated that for female graduates, on the days they consumed alcohol there was a 6% greater likelihood that they would have casual sex, potentially due to disinhibited sexual behaviour, maybe even a slightly adjusted attitude towards sex and justification of participation in a sexual hookup.

If you are hooking up with a person you don’t know well, “stealthing” – nonconsensual condom removal can be another issue that some people have been exposed to. Another study published this year with a sample of just over 600 men has revealed that almost 10% of men have reported nonconsensual condom removal before or during sexual intercourse. It has been reported that men who hold more hostile attitudes towards women and who reported higher sexual aggression towards women had a higher likelihood of engaging in non-consensual condom removal. The authors conclude that such behaviour unsurprisingly led to high incidents of sexually transmitted infections as well as unplanned pregnancies. The authors further state that people who are on the receiving end of non-consensual condom removal are at particularly high risk for unplanned pregnancies and STIs due to not being aware of the risk they have been exposed to, and also experience a significant violation of their sexual agency[1].

It is not easy navigating the dating landscape today. While some of the online dating apps are created “to be deleted” or help you not feel lonely tonight to assist in finding true love, we cannot always detect and protect ourselves from the people who plan to abuse our trust and violate our agency. While you cannot completely bulletproof your future, what can you do to keep yourself safe? Is it possible that you might benefit from evaluating the factors that might place you at risk of harm? Do you behave impulsively and place yourself at risk sometimes? Do you behave recklessly without thinking about the potential negative consequences of your behaviour for yourself and others? If you think it is time to address your alcohol drinking issues or binge drinking, then check out our courses and learn how to take control.

References:

Davis, K. C. (2019). “Stealthing”: Factors associated with young men’s nonconsensual condom removal. Health psychology, 38(11), 997.

Wilhite, E. R., & Fromme, K. (2019). Swiping right: Alcohol, online dating, and sexual hookups in postcollege women. Psychology of addictive behaviors.

[1] Our sexual agency refers to our ability and right to give consent or to decline participation in sexual activities with a specific person(s), time and place, our right and ability to choose to interrupt and stop sexual activity at any time. It refers to our ability to choose safe sex practices and having a choice over birth control. It refers to our right to define our sexuality, to choose our gender (anything on gender spectrum).