Is Tinder Safe?

Tinder, the online app that allows users to review and "like" -- or not -- hundreds of pictures of potential partners, has rapidly risen in popularity. Although slightly different from online dating sites, it shares many similarities. As with other forms of cybersex, it is wise to consider safety aspects before signing up and using tinder. Tinder carries all of the risks associated with other ways of having casual sex, with added complications.

 

What are the Risks?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

One of the most obvious risks of meeting people for sex through tinder is the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some sexually transmitted diseases can go undetected for years, while being spread to other partners. If untreated, they can even be deadly.

Top Sexually Transmitted Diseases You Should Know About

The risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease from someone you have met on tinder may be higher, due to the possibility that they have a higher than usual number of sexual partners. Although not verified by legitimate research, a magazine article reporting on interviews with tinder users describe some as having sex with 5 different partners a week. While this may not be typical, each person your partner has had sexual contact with increases the risk of an STD, so the risk that your partner has been exposed to many other potential carriers of STDs may heighten the risk of infection to you.

If you have had sex with multiple partners, especially if you have not used a condom, you should see your doctor about STD testing. If you test positive, try and contact your past sexual partners, if possible, so you can inform them of their own need to get tested.

Unplanned Pregnancy

Even if you use protection, having heterosexual sex carries a risk of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy.

This already difficult situation can be compounded by the fact that it may difficult, or impossible, to contact the person or people you have had sex with at a later time. Carrying the sole responsibility of an unplanned pregnancy is an emotionally and financially difficult undertaking, whatever you choose, and not being able to consult your partner to determine his feeling about having children may an additional burden at a difficult time.

Affairs

The ease with which you can sign up to tinder "just for fun" can quickly and easily lead to a situation whereby a married person, or someone in a committed relationship, becomes involved with a casual sexual encounter with someone on tinder, than has to live with the consequences. As well as STDs, and the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy, which can put great strain on an existing relationship, having an affair can mean the end of the relationship, or deeply hurt feelings on the part of the spouse. If there are children involved, they are typically hurt in the process as well.

On the other side of the affair, single people may be used as an extra-marital affair with someone who is already married or in a committed relationship, sometimes without even knowing. The minimal information given by tinder means that this can occur easily, and few people would knowingly be part of hurting another person or damaging their existing relationship, or the happiness of their family.

Sexual Predators and Violence

The potential risk of being paired with a sexual predator is obvious when an app allows someone to access hundreds of potential partners -- even if it was not their initial way of enticing victims, sexual predators will certainly be making use of the app. The actual risks are not known, but there have been reports of at least one gang rape and one death associated with tinder use.

Take Precautions

If, after considering the risks of tinder, you decide to go ahead and meet someone for sex, be sure to take sensible precautions. Use a condom, and make sure that someone who cares about you knows where you are going, and when you intend to be home. Don't drink anything you have seen prepared by a professional or that you haven't poured yourself, to reduce the risk of date rape. If you have an old cell phone, keep it charged and somewhere on you in case you are unable to access your phone, but need to call 911. Charged phones will still work for this purpose, even if they are not activated with a service provider.

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