Welcome to this week’s episode of Charlie’s toolbox. Today’s topic is safety. Physical safety as well as emotional safety. I thought this would be a good topic to discuss because I’ve been seeing many tips typically used by experienced sex workers passed off as dating advice. I worry about this because sex workers are not naïve about men, but you all are, and your naivety is something that can be preyed upon, exploited, and used as an opening for violence. So, you need to be clear about what safety is and what it is not. But before we get into the main topic let’s start things off with me/ the world, the song of the week, and finally the main topic.
So, apparently, a good amount of my friends are Capricorns and because of that, I spent all weekend attending birthday parties. I had such a great time. I’ve been in the house mostly for the winter with occasional outings, so it was refreshing to go out and just enjoy the company of those I love.
I recently listened to the episode land of the giants by the cut and vox, which discussed the growth and impact of Tinder on the dating and romantic scene. It made me think about how Gen-Z’s rejection of hook-up culture may impact the use and popularity of the app. Women are no longer signing up for random sexscapades and have no interest in being used as a human sex toy. So, I am curious about how the use of the app may change or if it will decrease because of it.
Song of the week
I heard it on tik tok and it is a great mix on sound cloud. The song has been floating around. It’s the Migos mix titled Fooly Forever straightenin. It’s just a nice little bop to get dressed to and enjoy yourself.
Safety while dating is one of those things that you shouldn’t take lightly. No matter how much we aren’t exposed to or aware of the danger, the danger is always near. It is especially near when we are dating. We all know the statistics and I don’t even want to go over them because there is no woman alive who doesn’t know that men are unsafe. However, there are some strategies to eliminate unsafe men that some women might not be aware of. These lists of tactics aren’t to scare you or ward you off from dating, this list is to help you eliminate unsafe men early so that you can enjoy your dating experiences with someone who respects and value women. I broke this episode into segments: Before the date, during the date, after the date, and once you get into a relationship. So, let’s start!
Prior to the date you need to find out this person's first and last name.
Under no circumstances should you go on a date without knowing those basics. I don’t care how uncomfortable or invasive you may think this is, it isn’t. I don’t care if you just got this person’s number, ask for the first and last name. You need this information just in case you have to report this person, and you need this information to do a basic google sweep. This Google sweep should result in a digital footprint. Mostly everyone has a digital footprint, and you can find people’s mugshots, news articles, and social media. If they don’t have this footprint go a layer deeper and check their name on social media.
Checking social media is a great practice. I know people are hesitant about this, but when you find someone’s social you can see if they have a family if they are married, whom they engage with, what they say, and you can see the type of persona they are trying to craft or the person they are. When you are searching, You are searching their social to see if they are safe. If their community is safe because birds of a feather flock together and if you see a whole bunch of violent birds around this guy, 9/10 they are too. So, search their social media and understand whom you will spend your time with.
Check databases to help you make sure that this person is who they say they are, and they are safe. So if you are in the U.S., I’d check sex offenders’ lists. I would put their number in the reverse phone number search engine to ensure they are whom they say they are. Those services are often cheap and if you are a single girl dating, I would pay $2-$3 for peace of mind. If you can’t find anything, I’d ask simple questions like where are you from? So, you can search for the name with the location attached that way you will have a more focused result. If they are hesitant to give you basic information, move on because the truth and innocence are not afraid to be questioned, but lies for sure are.
Finally, you need their name so that you can send it to your community before you go on date. You don’t know what can happen and if you’ve searched them, screenshot their pictures, and sent their first and last name to people who know you are going on this date, you provide yourself a safety net that you may or may not need.
Now that we covered some pre-date strategies, let’s discuss some strategies to know and figure out this person while on a date.
When you are on a date with a man, listen carefully to them. Men masks, but they aren’t always that great with them. They are often careless with their words. So, when you are on a date, your job is not to steer them into being who you want them to be. It is to get them to be comfortable so that they can reveal who they truly are. So, if there is a touchy subject for which they want to give their opinion, let them! Don’t debate them let them show you who they truly are so that you can determine quickly they are not going to be safe.
Listen to how they view women. You can find that out by talking about exes. Or women who they don’t find attractive. Or women with makeup or scantily clad. Or colorism. Or sexual orientation. Any man who has a demeaning and degrading position about these topics is often people who are often violently misogynistic. So bring it up, you can even act like you agree to get the truth. The objective is the truth and once you find it out, end the interaction.
While on the date ask yourself how are you being treated. Is it over-sexual? Are you an object to him? Are you just a hole to him? Are they uninterested in what you have to say? Are they constantly trying to teach you or lord over you? These things teach you that he does not see you as an equal but as an object or an idiot, and honestly, anyone who starts out trying to create that type of power dynamic is one that will show his ass later on down the line.
Now you’ve gone on your first date and everything seems to check out, you want to make sure the pace is normal.
What I mean by normal is to ask yourself would a well-rounded person behave like this? Would they invest or fall in love that quickly without knowing they can trust you with their heart? How could they know they trust you without the time to prove it? So, if they are using love bombing to control the dynamics or the pacing of the relationship, you should be worried because this is a common abuser tactic.
You’ve gone on dates and you are beginning to feel comfortable around this person. You are enjoying their company and you think this can turn into something serious. So, you start dating consistently.
While dating you notice that you are slowly being isolated from those you love and care about. This a red flag and a flag that shows you danger is up the road.
Ask yourself this, If these are the people who make you? If these are the people you love and who love you, why on earth would the person who cares about you disconnect you from this source?
You also know that isolation is not great for depression and keeps you feeling low. You know it can exacerbate negative feelings. So, why would someone who likes or loves you create an environment that breeds low feelings?
Is this person forcing you to conform to their thinking? Is it my way or I will make this process or whatever you want to do difficult and excruciating?
Are you being gaslit? Are you feeling unhappy, but convinced that it is all in your head and that you are ungrateful? Are you second-guessing yourself all the time while in the relationship? Do you not know why you are unhappy, but know for sure you are unhappy?
Are you being threatened? Does this person use himself as a threat? It’s his way or he leaves.
Is this person demonizing your interest? Making you feel unintelligent for what you want or like? Do they make themselves intellectually superior or you inferior?
Are they hitting you? Screaming at you? Hitting a wall? Breaking furniture?
If you answered yes to any of these, you are in an unsafe situation and you need to end it immediately. These are just a few questions and tips to use to ensure you are keeping yourself safe. We all know there is no fail-safe strategy for women’s safety; however, we can do things to decrease our chances of further harm.