Reducing the risks from cruising for sex via your phone and the internet

Online chatrooms, dating websites and now smartphone applications such as Grindr are a popular and instant way to connect with other men for chat, friendship or sex. Although there's no risk of HIV or sexually transmitted infections online or on your phone, there are other personal risks from cruising for sex on your phone and dating websites on the internet. If you agree to meet up for sex, personal safety should be your main concern. The NHS Lothian ROAM website has some helpful information on personal safety, especially if you meet somewhere public for sex.

Sex outside runs the risk of being arrested for public indecency or a breach of the peace but remember that the police will be there to protect you, not to harass you. ROAM also offer advice on how to contact the police if you have been a victim of a hate crime. If you feel threatened or unsafe dial 999. All police services in Scotland have LBGT liaison officers where concerns can also be reported confidentially via telephone or email.

It's hard to judge character just by talking or messaging someone - they could turn out to be malicious. Someone could also record your sessions and make your sexy chat, pictures or video public or track you down in real life. This could be highly embarrassing and could impact on your job and your other relationships.

Some ways to reduce the risks from phone and cyber sex include:

  • Never use your real name
  • Don’t post any photos or videos showing your face
  • Don’t show any tattoos or other unique body marks

To stop phone or online sex partners tracking you down in real life:

  • Don't give out your contact details
  • Don't give details of where you are in the real world
  • Don't give details of real world places you visit
  • Avoid giving details of your job, friends or leisure activities

Condoms & lube

Find out how to stay healthy and still enjoy your sex life: