Hooking Up At Black Pride and How To Stay Safe
Black Pride is an amazing event that happens every year, bringing tens of thousands of Black Queer people together to celebrate all that we are. With so many beautiful people all in one city, sexual activity is bound to happen. Sex is fun, but should also be safe -- and I’m not just talking about condoms and disclosure. Unfortunately, people have used hook-up apps as a means to rob, attack, and even kill people. So it’s important that when deciding to hook up, you are staying as safe as possible.
Here are some safety tips:
- Try to meet in a public place first
When in a city that you are not accustomed to, it is best to try and meet in a public space first. Even if for a few minutes of conversation, take that time to get a vibe of a person before going anywhere you are uncertain about. Even when having the initial conversation, ask for face pictures so that you know what the person you are meeting looks like. No need to take a risk on meeting a person without you having any idea of what they look like.
- Get their phone number
Take the conversation off the app and get that person’s phone number. Begin texting the person on their phone and give that number to a friend so they will know the number of the last person you were with. It may sound weird, but it’s much easier to find a person should something happen.
- Get the full address to where you will be going
People will sometimes give you the street, or the apartment building but not want to give you the apartment number or room number (if staying in a hotel). It is so important that you get that full information in your phone. When you get that address, make sure that you give it to someone you are there with, or a good friend so that someone knows where you are.
- Telling a friend
This is so important when hooking up. This isn’t about being worried about shame as much as it is about being concerned about your safety. Have at least one friend that you have a system with where you can just send an address and they know what that means. That system should also include you texting that person when you get back home. Should the next morning come and you haven’t texted back, that person should know to start looking for you to make sure you are okay.
- Carrying of valuables
Don’t carry a bunch of cash with you when going to hook up. At most, all you need is your phone, your ID, and your debit card. These are the essentials you will need. There is no need to have jewelry and anything else of value.
- Safer Sex and consent
This is very important when hooking up with strangers. It is all about having the conversation before engaging in sex so that everyone is on the same page. If using an app, it’s okay to ask questions around status—HIV and other STIs—so that you know what you are getting yourself into. It is also important to ask questions about using condoms, and if any drugs are being used. Some people only have sex when using drugs so it’s important to know that up-front rather than be shocked when you are in the heat of the moment. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
- Alcohol consumption
If the person asks you if they can make you a drink, walk with them and watch them make it. I would even go so far as telling that person that you will make it yourself. As much as we want to trust that other people have our best interests at heart, we honestly don’t know these people. Although you are consenting to have sex with them, you should not just throw trust out the window. It is truly okay to take precautions that are in your best interest to keep yourself safe.
- If your gut is telling you it isn’t right, trust your gut
How many times have you heard someone say: “I sensed that something wasn’t right,” and they did it anyway and ended up with terrible consequences. As much fun as we are having, it is also dangerous out there and some people are not in it with our best interests at heart. When you get that feeling in your stomach that something just isn’t right, don’t engage further. Don’t let your “horny” outweigh common sense and logic.