Cybersex and the internet

Many young people might use the internet or apps on their phones to connect with others, ranging from friendships and pen pal’s to casual sex. It’s important that if you use online sites that you’re safe and have the confidence to have sex that you want and is healthy.

Some concerns with using online services:

  • Potentially fake identities, people can use false information about age, appearance or anything about themselves, it’s important to not give out sensitive information about yourself to strangers or personal photographs
  • It can damage your self-esteem, we all want to feel wanted but the internet can be detached and not everybody will respond to messages or advances
  • One-dimensional, sometimes the internet just isn’t the same as having a face to face conversation and you can’t always judge someone’s character by what they type.
  • It can be addictive, sometimes it’s easier to connect with other people online but it should be at the expense of work or education, and sometimes it’s hard to log off.

Tips for Using Online Services:

  • Be honest about what you want but be careful about what personal information in on your profile and make use of the privacy settings
  • Don’t include photo’s or info that you might regret
  • Avoid bigotry and offensive language

Chatting and Messaging:

  • Don’t give out personal info e.g. address, date of birth, phone number
  • Don’t believe everything people say
  • Be honest and friendly, find common ground
  • Be prepared to take the time to get to know someone
  • Treat people with respect and courtesy

Meeting Up:

  • Make sure you see a number of decent photos of their face
  • Choose mutually accessible meeting places
  • Let someone know where you’re going and who you’re meeting
  • Don’t go drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Have a get out plan
  • Make sure your phone is charged up and has credit
  • Remember to have safe sex and negotiate condom/dental dam/femidom use
  • Stick to your principles, you can always say no at any time
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations
  • Treat people with respect