Right-swipes and flags that are red how young adults negotiate sex and safety on dating apps

Posted on 01/21/2021.

Right-swipes and flags that are red how young adults negotiate sex and safety on dating apps


Professor of Media and correspondence, Faculty of wellness, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of tech

Connect professor in Media and Communications, Swinburne University of tech

Disclosure statement

Kath Albury receives funding through the Australian Research Council in addition to Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The Safety danger and health on Dating Apps task can be an ARC Linkage partnership with ACON health insurance and Family preparing NSW.

Anthony McCosker currently gets money through the Australian Research Council, Department of personal Services, Department of Premier and Cabinet (VIC), Paul Ramsay Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.


Swinburne University of tech provides money as being user associated with discussion AU.

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Popular commentary on dating apps frequently associates their usage with “risky” sex, harassment and bad psychological state. But those who find a bride have utilized an app that is dating there’s a lot more to it than that.

Our research that is new shows apps can enhance young people’s social connections, friendships and intimate relationships. Nonetheless they can certainly be a supply of frustration, rejection and exclusion.

Our research could be the very first to ask app users of diverse genders and sexualities to fairly share their experiences of software usage, security and wellbeing. The task combined a paid survey with interviews and imaginative workshops in metropolitan and local brand brand New Southern Wales with 18 to 35 12 months olds.

While dating apps were used to meet up with people for intercourse and relationships that are long-term these people were more widely used to “relieve boredom” as well as for “chat”.

Widely known apps used had been Tinder (among LGBTQ+ ladies, right men and women), Grindr (LGBTQ+ guys), okay Cupid (for non-binary participants), and Bumble (straight women).

Dating apps are generally used to alleviate monotony as well as for talk. Oleg Ivanov/Unsplash

We discovered that while software users recognised the potential risks of dating apps, in addition they had a variety of methods to greatly help them feel safer and handle their well-being – including negotiating permission and sex that is safe.

Secure consent and sex

Nearly all study individuals frequently employed condoms for safe intercourse. Over 90% of right both women and men frequently employed condoms.

Simply over one-third of homosexual, bisexual and queer males commonly used PreP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to stop HIV transmission.

Half (50.8%) of right people stated they never ever or seldom discussed safe intercourse with prospective lovers on dating/hook-up apps. Around 70% of LGBTQ+ participants had those conversations to some degree.

Amber (22, bisexual, feminine, local) stated she had been “always the one which needs to start a intercourse talk over messages”. She used chat to talk about exactly what she liked, to say her need for condom usage, to provide a merchant account of her very own health that is sexual and also to feel “safer”.

Some homosexual and men’s that are bisexual – such as Grindr and Scruff – provide for some settlement around intimate health insurance and intimate methods inside the profile. Users can share HIV status, therapy regimes, and “date last tested”, in addition to saying their favored intimate activities.

Warning flags

Numerous individuals talked about their methods of reading a profile for “red flags”, or indicators that their real or safety that is emotional be at an increased risk. Warning flags included not enough information, confusing photos, and profile text that suggested sexism, racism, along with other unwelcome characteristics.

Uncertain photos could be a red banner on dating apps. Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash

Apps that want a shared match before messaging (where both events swipe right) had been observed to filter away a whole lot of unwanted connection.

Numerous individuals felt that warning flag had been prone to can be found in chat in place of in individual pages. These included possessiveness and pushiness, or communications and images which were too intimate, too early.