Tips for men on how to avoid unintentional online harassment when navigating dating apps. What are the rules? Lovehoney Ambassador and Male Sex Coach Cam Fraser weighs in:
My first tip is for men to be honest about themselves and their intentions. You don’t have to conform to this ideal that men are always strong and masculine and can’t show vulnerability or be gentle. In fact, embracing and expressing your emotions can help you convey genuineness and authenticity online. I also think it’s best to be upfront from the beginning about what you are after – be it something casual or more long term. It is possible to thoughtfully articulate what you’re looking for without being abrupt or rude.
Be polite and respectful. Don’t objectify the person you are chatting to or wanting to get to know – they’re a human being and don’t exist solely for your sexual gratification. Try not to expect a certain response. And, if you don’t get the response you want, try not to take it personally and definitely don’t lash out, that will make you seem entitled and can result in you getting reported, deleted and/or blocked.
Remember there is a real person behind that profile that has emotions and what you say could have a large impact on the way they feel about themselves and others. Dating apps aren’t games, they’re an opportunity to make genuine connections. Common decency should be where you start and having an enjoyable interaction should be your goal.
People on apps who constantly receive inappropriate messages can feel annoyed,let down, and harassed, perhaps leading them to delete the app altogether. If you’re contributing to this, you’re actually shooting yourself in the foot because it means there will be less people in the online dating pool that you could potentially have a connection or conversation with.
Try to keep things positively framed – hearing about someone’s dislikes and listening to them complain can be a vibe killer. Keep the conversation relaxed, ask questions about things they enjoy doing, including hobbies and interests, and, if it seems to be going well and you’re genuinely interested, ask them out on a date!