Before I started my blog and was reviewing in the mentor program for Edenfantasys, their online publication Sexis suggested ‘safe craigslist hookups’ as a community choice topic. I was going to contribute and as usual procrastinated past the deadline. Later I was browsing Sexis and curious as to what others had written on the subject I entered the phrase in the search engine. Nothing. Noone wrote anything on the subject. Well now I feel like a jerk for not writing a piece in time because this is a subject that I know a lot about. Before I became a part of Eden, when I was still working in my local brick and mortar and had just got turned on to L-argenine and Fun Factory and broken up with my longterm significant other, I placed an ad in the no strings attached section of craigslist for guys or chicks and found that most of my replies were from people in their 20’s or 40’s. I didn’t actually meet any of them (except for one but that’s another story) because I quickly realized 2 things- 1)most people that answer ads on craigslist don’t intend to actually go through with it, but rather are just getting off on the fantasy. Even if they think that they will go through with it, they’ll get right up to walking out the door then either get too nervous so excited that they stop to masturbate and then realize that just planning the date was enough to satiate them. 2) Tons of people are full of shit. Beware of dates that sound WAY too good to be true, like a drop dead gorgeous couple complete with perfect boobs and washboard abs that are at a fancy hotel for one night only and want to pay for everything. Since then I have re-entered the sex trade and see anywhere from a few to 20 clients a week. These appts range from straight massage to full service threesomes and Dominatrix services. I have a great bedside manner and therefore market my CL ads towards ‘newbies’ or people who are new to pay for play and/or simply want to try a new sexual activity with a focus on toys. I get clients of all ages, mostly male, all economic backgrounds, ethnic origins and a full range of personalities. Some are super polite and practice perfect etiquette while others are downright vulgar or disrespectful. Even though I am a professional the type of people that hire me are the all same types that frequent the CL personals section. In some areas sex workers advertise in the personals along with the hookups so be clear that you are not looking for a pay for play situation by simply stating NSA (no strings attached) not PFP. Over the past few years I have had too many appts to count and can thankfully say that I have had zero bad dates (refers to appts with violence or theft not simply ones that sucked) from my online ads although I have had many a no show and several changed minds. The best assurance of a safe enjoyable time by all involved is to follow some simple safety rules and take as few risks as possible.
Before you even place an ad, decide where you want to meet. You have 3 basic choices:
#1 your turf
– you know the layout and where everything is for safety
-possible guard dogs on your side/neighbours etc
-no need to drive home
-comfortable, may help you relax
– he/she now knows where you live
-possible theft issues
-lack of privacy (pictures, art, personal knick knacks etc)
-you have to clean up
#2 their turf
– complete privacy for you
– less likely that they will do anything sketchy now that you know where they live
– more likely that they will use true identity
-they are responsible for cleaning up
– unfamiliar layout or area
– if anything goes sideways you could be kinda stuck there
– they have complete upper hand in the short term
#3 neutral ground (ie hotel room)
Security on site
Hotel cleans up
Anonymity (how to ensure responsibility if need be?)
Or a combination of above. Ie. Do you want to meet somewhere first where you are seen by others or do you want complete confidentiality?
Next decide how far you intend to take it- Platonic? Dating? Casual sex? Bdsm? Group? Stick to your plan as much as possible, spontaneity may be fun but it’s not super safe when it comes to CL
Important piece of advice – unless it’s not important to you DO NOT SEND OUT A TON OF PICS OF YOURSELF. Each step of the way they should reciprocate and don’t fall for the guys (or girls) that are simply picture collectors. Make sure that the pics you do send are recent. If you are a BBW brag about it and find the guy who gets weak in the knees when he sees your bodacious tatas, not the guy who rejects you because he’s expecting something else. It’s not fair to either one of you.
GIVE OUT AS LITTLE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. Even if you do actually meet this person they do not need to know where you work, what your tattoos mean to you, who your ex is or ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR KIDS if you have any etc.
Even though I said give out as little as possible GET AS MUCH INFO ABOUT THEM AS POSSIBLE. If you are concerned about their privacy write this info down and put it in an envelope. CHOOSE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER YOU TRUST , if
possible and give them the envelope.
Probably THE most important safety tip- Boundaries- ALL PARTIES NEED TO EXPRESS YOUR LIMITS AND EXPECTATIONS not only will this keep you safe but it will also help avoid rejection and embarrassment and disappointment. Respect their restrictions don’t push it and know exactly what they are wanting to experience.
If you are having dinner or attending another activity that costs $$, make sure you have enough to cover your share and a cab home just in case.
Download a safety app like this one which has a timer as well as a personal alarm. It’s free and gives you GPS service and will contact friends by text message if you don’t clock in with a pass code in the time you set with your location.
If you are in their turf text the address to a friend as soon as you get it if you get it beforehand. Also research the area so you know how to get home on your own if need be. You should be weary if he won’t give it out his address beforehand, but understand that some people don’t do so to avoid drivebys and wait until they know it’s a for sure thing. Likewise if he’s coming to you get him to confirm the night before, hours before and minutes before. Give him the general area but not the exact address till he’s on his way.
Once you arrive on his turf,
BE AWARE OF ALL EXITS and location of more phones than just your own. Make sure that your phone is charged and bring a charger just in case. If you wanna have fun DON’T SNOOP it can throw you off and get you in trouble.
CHOOSE A SAFE WORD. Even for non-BDSM type interactions, a safe word is still a good idea, especially if you or your CL hookup is the coy type or if the ‘no’ isn’t totally clear, like a laughing “stop it” – does this mean stop your particular activity or stop it all together or even at all? Any word especially a silly one that would not normally be expressed during sexual play like “pineapple” or “lawyer” would be so out of place that you would be taken seriously.
Obviously ALWAYS USE A CONDOM. You need more than birth control with a stranger. Don’t rely on them to provide it and bring a few types- different sizes and polyurethane for latex allergy excuses. If they say they’ve been tested mention that HIV takes up to 7 years to show after unprotected sex. If they still push it mention this again and say that you just got out of a relationship with a cheating bastard/bitch. In other words stress that you are keeping them safe as well not just you. Also laugh about the ridiculousness of unprotected sex with a random stranger- act confident and they should drop the subject.
If you are trying an activity new to you or your partner TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. Make sure you can handle a slap on the ass before you ask to be caned. Research safety of your activity online beforehand to avoid any mishaps.
Bring your own toys or at least know your materials. Silicone, glass, wood, metal, ceramic and plastic only for insertables. Cover with condoms regardless. Don’t use impact toys unless they are silicone, as porous materials will pick up skin cells and microscopic blood.
If you feel uncomfortable at anytime , either express it or exit the situation. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
If a situation does arise where you are forced to do something you are not into, you have 3 choices- 1) fight, 2)flight or 3)fake it. If you can’t fight and if flight isn’t possible, the one thing left is fake it – just be a lousy lay – giving in can be a way of gaining control over the situation. This is a very controversial area but I’m talking only as a last resort. If there’s no other way out, then taking your power back by choosing to partake in the activity can lesson the aggression and make the whole ordeal over much faster. If the unfortunate situation of a bad date and anything non consensual does happen, try not to beat yourself up, don’t wash off the evidence and call the police or a crisis line immediately. Report the incident to CL admin and if you feel safe doing so post a warning to others.
Sex is natural sex is fun and speaking of one on one, it’s NOT A GOOD IDEA TO MEET MORE THAN ONE STRANGER. Make sure your date knows that you expect to be alone with him/her. If you do want a group situation, maybe bring someone you know along to even out the numbers or attend a fetish or sex party with security. If you want a threesome, try to know at least one member. Better if they do not know each other. Careful if anyone is experimenting with their orientation that boundaries are VERY clear.
When you leave, make it clear if you ever intend on seeing them again and decide what to do if you run into each other in public.
It’s up to you whether you have a form of protection like bear spray on you but I recommend against it. Weapons run the risk of more often being used against you instead of protecting you.
Once again, HAVE FUN! Don’t be so paranoid that it ruins your time. The most common problem is a no show so don’t take it personally.
If you have by other tips or suggestions please ad in the comments below!