6 Tips for Staying Safe and Discreet When Using Gay Hookup Apps

If you’re a gay man who loves to hook up, it probably goes without saying that you love your special collection of apps unlike anything else. Interfaces like Grindr and Scruff offer a horny guy near limitless access to as many potential partners as he could possibly want.

In fact, they’re so much fun that it can be easy to check safety, discretion, and common sense at the door sometimes – a mistake you definitely don’t want to make. Protect yourself and stay safe and discreet, when using gay hookup apps, by keeping the following pointers in mind.

1. Meet with new matches in a public place.

When you’re super turned on and eager to cut straight to the chase with the latest hunk you’ve been chatting up, it can be tempting to just give him directions to your place and be done with it. However, it’s a better idea to err on the side of caution and meet up somewhere public if this is your first time getting together with this particular person.

gay men at a restaurant

Giving someone you don’t know your address right off the bat can open the door to bullying or harassment down the line if things don’t go as planned. Going to his place instead can rob you of your control over the situation should anything go wrong. Meeting in public, on the other hand, lets you feel out the situation properly before moving forward.

2. Consider getting a prepaid phone.

Just as you may want to think twice about giving a total stranger your address, you might also want to consider protecting your real cell number for a number of reasons. To begin with, this is personal information that could be used against you if a hookup goes badly.

If discretion and privacy are concerns for you in your personal life, using your main cell for online gay hookup apps can put you at risk of discovery as well.

One possible solution is a prepaid cell phone that you use solely for facilitating your hookups. They’re available at most drug stores and are super inexpensive. They’re also easy to charge via your bank, your PayPal account, or your credit card.

If discretion is a bigger issue, you may also want to consider switching to an interface that doesn’t require you to install an actual app on your phone in order to use it to get laid.

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3. Keep your face out of pictures you send.

When you’re totally absorbed in a hot and heavy sexting session, on gay hookup apps, with a guy you’re hoping to hook up with, it only stands to reason that you’ll want to exchange a few steamy pics at some point and that’s fine. Just be smart about how you do it so that whatever you send can’t potentially be used against you at any point in the future.

Feel free to show off your smoking hot abs or the massive cock he’s been begging to see to your heart’s content. Just leave anything identifying out of the shot, especially your face. If you really do want to send a shot that includes your face, at least consider showing your upper body only.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to leave your face out of any shot you wouldn’t want your mom, your boss, or anyone else like that to see.

4. Designate a hookup buddy.

No, we’re not talking about bringing a wingman with you when you’re planning on hooking up. We are suggesting that you pick a friend you really trust and start letting them know the details if you’re planning a hookup. Think time, location, and anything else they ought to be aware of if anything doesn’t go as planned. It’s also a potentially good idea to send your buddy of choice a photo of the person you’re meeting. Be willing to be that person for them as well.

gay topless man taking photo

Together, the two of you should come up with a system for checking on each other and seeing after one another’s safety. At the bare minimum, that system should involve checking in at different points in the evening (e.g. when you arrive at your destination, when you’re leaving to head home, and when you’re safely back at home base after your date).

However, it’s not a bad idea to also come up with a short code word you can text to them to quickly let them know something’s wrong.

5. Don’t drink and cruise.

There are a million reasons why alcohol and gay hookup apps don’t really mix and safety is really only one of them. Regardless of how well you hold your liquor, your judgment just isn’t what it normally would be if you’ve been drinking – not what you want when you’re potentially meeting a total stranger. You’re also a much bigger mark for any nuts, freaks, and psychos you do happen to run into.

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That said, wait to schedule your next Grindr browsing session until you’ve sobered up. You’ll be a lot less likely to wind up in a sticky situation. The actual sex will be a million times better when you’re not at risk for a major case of “whiskey dick” as well.

6. Go with your gut.

Last but definitely not least, you should always pay attention to what your gut tells you about a given person or situation, because it’s right more often than you think.

Did you talk to the guy over the phone and think he sounded drunk, high, or just plain weird? Is something specific not really adding up about the person? Do you just plain not have a good feeling about meeting the guy, even though you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong?

It’s ultimately better to play it safe rather than wind up sorry, so just call the hookup off. You don’t owe this person anything and you’re completely within your rights to change your mind at any time. That gut instinct is there for a reason, so always listen to it when it decides to speak up.

Of course, most of your hookups are going to go just fine, but it’s still important to be prepared just in case. Great hookups that are everything they’re cracked up to be are smart, safe hookups as well.

Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.