While COVID-19 has distanced us socially, it has not kept people from finding love online. According to the Australian Datingroo dating comparison site, there has been an 85% rise in online dating services as people look for love (and action) across the age, gender, and sexual orientation spectrum. Their survey reveals the leading 'hooking hotspots' in the world, with Australia ranking 3rd (with more than 2400 spots where singles and couples can get it on!)
This study confirms what we know otherwise from surveys around the world, where people are looking for alternate means of socialising (not particularly for hooking up) as the pandemic continues to disrupt life as we know it.
But even as restrictions begin to relax in Australia and other hooking hotspots, you should still be prudent when hooking up via dating websites and apps. Here are 5 pandemic dating tips to help you make the most of your hook-up experience:
1. Decide What You're Looking For
To start, know what you're looking for.
Are you seeking to socialise, find love, or just get down and dirty? This will help you head in the right direction, set realistic expectations and help you maximise pleasure.
According to the aforementioned Datingroo survey, people are actively looking for cruising and dogging locations, i.e. places where it's easy to hookup and get some action, even in your vehicle!
So, once again, be clear on what you are getting into when you date online.
2. Narrow Down Your Searches
This follows from what we discussed above. No matter how horny you may be, discretion is necessary. In a pre-pandemic era, it was OK to use generic criteria to find matches:
● "Looks like a celeb"
● "Doesn't have body odour"
● "Doesn't have a criminal record"
● "Should be human"
(These are actual quotes, BTW).
But nowadays, there's so much more at stake, because potentially, you can contract a life-threatening virus!
The bottom line is that it is necessary to be selective with your date choices.
3. Establish a Contract
This sounds crude, but let me explain.
Assuming that the digital meetings have gone well and now you decide to meet in person. But before this happens, you need to establish a contract. Otherwise, both of you may go on the date with completely different expectations.
For instance, you may want to get straight into kinky mode, but your date wants to maintain social distance. It can be an awkward situation that makes you come across as needy at best and a criminal at worst!
A contract doesn't have to be a formal agreement. Rather it is just giving each other a head's up before any intimacy occurs.
4. Safety First
Moving on, safe sex has taken a whole new meaning during the pandemic. Along with protection, you also need to look for:
● Meeting spots with enough space to maintain social distance, ventilation, and hygiene.
● Ways to stay 6ft apart throughout the meeting.
● Appropriate face coverings.
● Vaccination certificates (that's a must!)
● Quarantining or 'bubbling' for two weeks before meeting
5. Use Your Senses
Finally, you can't rely 100% on technology. Even when dating online, you have to make use of your senses (and no, lust is not a sense).
Despite all safety measures in place, it is possible for people to misrepresent themselves online. Or you may misunderstand them.
So on the day of the hook-up, trust your vibes. Don't think of it as an all-or-nothing situation where you have to follow through with your move.
In this regard, social distancing provides the ideal situation to judge the situation and your date before you fulfil your carnal desires!
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