He wants to meet up – what should I do?

It’s been a little while now since we’ve started practising social distancing. This has meant a huge change in the way we live our lives and importantly, our sex lives.

At this time though, and despite the recent NSW Government announcement that now allows some home visitations, the advice around practising physical distancing remains, meaning that we should still hold off from casual sex.

Up to now, you may have received the occasional message from a guy who wants to meet up for sex (well, lucky you!), and with the latest announcement, you might see more messages start filling your inbox.

Yes, it’s tempting. You may be thinking “Damn, he’s hot!” or “I might not get this chance again”, but now is not the time to become complacent. It’s really good news to see our situation improving and some government restrictions relaxing, but it was only possible because people did the right thing.

We know that saying no can be difficult, and we want to help, by sharing some ways of gently and respectfully responding to offers for sex, for when that next d*ck comes knocking. So, whether you’re using an app or not, and whether you’re getting messages from either someone new, someone you’ve previously messaged or perhaps someone you’ve hooked-up with before, here are some things to consider.

What do you want your online profile to look like?

Many of us may be on dating and hook-up apps more than ever before. So to start, there are some really simple things you can do to your profile to let people know that you are social distancing and not looking to meet up for sex at the moment.

It could be as simple as changing your screen name to include terms like “social distancing”, “cybersex”, “only chatting”. This gives a clear and direct message about your intentions while online.

If the app allows it, you could also add that information in other fields. This way you’ll attract more like-minded guys while letting others know you may just be window-shopping.

In the case that they don’t read your profile (which does happen) and they either outwardly offer sex or the conversation eventuates to them wanting to meet up, you can simply make them aware of it:

text message bubble reading: 'So, you want to meet up?' Followed by: 'Just to remind you, as per my profile, I’m not looking to hook-up right now – sorry!'

This way, you’ve done the right thing by yourself and them, and shouldn’t feel awkward or bad about it.

Give it to him straight up (some guys like that)

Right when you start messaging, it could be a good idea to let him know you aren’t looking to meet up for sex for the time being – and most guys should understand why. Saying it the right way and being honest might also soften the blow of him feeling rejected later in the conversation.

Two speech bubbles reading: 'Hey. Up for some fun?' Followed by: 'That could be hot :P But I’m behaving myself these days with everything going on with corona. Hope you get that. When iso ends, you’re on.'

Tease him with a no… for now (some guys like that too)

Saying no can be tricky, but again, it can all be in the delivery! Your conversation can continue, but the key may be finding a sexy way to say ‘no’. While your response might be ‘no for now’, think about what you could add to that to tease him. If it’s someone you’ve been with before, describe some of the elements of your last hook-up. Or what you are going to do to him when you see him next.

Two speech bubbles reading: 'It’s been a while since we had some fun. We should meet now'. Followed by: 'Ooft, last time was so hot yea. But I’m behaving myself these days. When iso ends, you know what I’m gonna do to you?'

Consider it like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. Be sexy and creative, and keep the flame alive. Who knows, maybe this is your pivot into a regular sexting session? 😈

Lovely weather we’re having

If it feels right, why not redirect the topic elsewhere? You might ask what it’s been like for them, how they’re coping (fuck buddies have feelings too!) or how many sourdough loaves they’ve baked so far. If they cut it short, it’s not a big deal. They were probably looking for a hook-up not a catch-up, right?

Sight and sound

Consider moving your encounter to a virtual one, perhaps by having a jerk session through FaceTime, or try out phone sex or swapping pics (being careful with what you share!). With some luck, he might respect your decision and who knows this could be a new, hot way for you both to get off together.

Two speech bubbles reading: 'Hey, up for some fun?' Followed by: ' That could be hot. But I'm behaving myself these days with everything going on with corona. You wanna try something else hot?

If he insists, how do you reject him without hurting feelings?

Firstly, you should never let someone else make you feel pressured into something you’re not comfortable with. If their tone becomes insistent, then maybe this calls for a clear and firm response. He may even tell you that you can have sex now because of the change in government restrictions and the low infections rates we’re seeing. But now is not the time to give in.

You can tell him that you are letting all your hook-ups know that you’re taking a break right now. Be honest about it and perhaps say why it’s important to you – it’s your choice and you’re doing it because it’s the right thing for you and everyone else.

Two speech bubbles reading: 'Meet me now, I'm close by.' Followed by 'ny other time I would, but I don’t want to with everything happening right now. Sorry, handsome. Hope you get that.'

If he doesn’t respect your decision or even gets aggressive

No one likes to be rejected, and some can take it worse than others. If you find yourself dealing with a negative reaction by someone who wanted to meet up for casual sex, you shouldn’t feel bad if you’ve been respectful and done everything right. You can’t control others’ emotions but you can control what you show and tell them.

If all else fails, remember you can always stop engaging with them and consider picking up the conversation at a later point when emotions have calmed down. You can take breaks from apps if you feel like they are starting to affect your mental health, and chat with a friend about if it helps – they may have experienced something similar and could offer some sound advice.

Remember, by saying no to casual sex, you are doing what is right for you and the broader community – and you should feel supported in that.

If you are struggling with any experiences or feeling isolated, consider finding a LGBT+ counselling service to help support you. You can find more information about ACON counselling other LGBT+ counselling services here. Keep following Ending HIV on social media for more tips on how to stay safe and sane during this challenging time.

ACON provides confidential counselling to people in our communities seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Contact ACON on (02) 9206 2000 or 1800 063 060.