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Sex + Relationships

DTF?: Finding Sexual Gratification on Dating Apps

There are certain moments in your life where you feel inexplicably horny. Woman, man, dog, mammoth –– hormones escape no living thing. While fingers and toys are great and all, sometimes a sister gets lonely getting it on on her own. I’m aware of the red flags that men on Tinder with gym selfies and bios that say “DTF” pose, but what can I say, sometimes I’m DTF too.

DTF or down to f*ck is an acronym that alludes to the desire to hook up with someone. One look at Urban Dictionary’s definition of it and you’ll see that it is typically used in relation to “healthy” male sexual desire and a loose female “slut” (surprise surprise). The double standards applied to a woman freely exploring her sexuality is bizarre and I am on a mission to de-stigmatise this. 

I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ve looked to dating apps like Tinder for sexual gratification. I think it’s completely healthy and normal to know what you want and go out there looking for someone who’s on the same page. If that makes me a slut, then I am a proud slut.

So how does one even “look for sex?”

Well, it really depends on what you’re looking for at the moment. For me, it’s about building that will-they-won’t-they tension. I prefer fun flirty conversations that escalate into a “keep me company tonight.” Generally, it’s easy to spot if a guy is looking for sex, they’re usually less coy about it (i.e. pickup lines). It could also be more of a first date situation where I’m feeling it and he’s feeling it, so why not?

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a straightforward smash (no judgement) without the games and flirting then men with bios that say “DTF” do the trick. Of course it’s not always a straightforward exchange per se, I like to test the waters to see if they’re capable of holding conversation at least. One thing’s for sure, anyone who sends an unsolicited dick picture is creepy and automatically disqualified.

Are there dangers to putting yourself out there? 

Of course. Looking back, as much as I enjoyed some of these experiences, there were times where I left myself vulnerable to sexual assault because I didn’t exactly know how to establish boundaries in these behind-closed-doors interactions. In some cases, I caught feelings and left myself vulnerable to being hurt. The shame attached to female sexuality has created a worrying lack of conversations about how to keep these interactions –– that inadvertently happen –– consensual, pleasurable and safe (physically and emotionally).  

Besides using protection (which is rule number one), here are some things I wish I knew when it comes to safeguarding my interests in DTF situations (one-night-stands, sex buddies, you name it):   

Make sure you’re in control of the situation

Beers are always a good idea for me when I meet the other party as it calms my nerves and creates a more open space for us to connect. We both know we’re looking for sex but it’s more exciting to build that tension over dinner –– a foreplay of sorts. Well, my point is, don’t overdo the alcohol because you want to be at a good place, not in an unconscious state whereby the other party can easily take advantage of you.

Listen to Khalid, “Send me your location”

Being in control also means you have at least one friend who knows your whereabouts and who the other party is (I cannot stress this enough).

Set a game plan

Not all DTF appointments include a nice little pre-game dinner, it depends on what you’re both looking for. In any case, you should have the choice to leave the appointment if you’re not into it. Having an exit plan or safeguards set up helps to protect yourself if you’re in an uncomfortable situation. It is best to firstly agree to meet the other party outside his apartment to gauge if you’re into him. For example, you can insist for him to pick you up at a nearby bus stop instead of going straight to his home –– it is completely ok to back out at either stage. 

Secondly, check if there are other people in his house; if there are, that’s great, a simple scream can alert them if he goes out of bounds. If he lives alone, suggest neutral spaces like cheap hotels where you can easily leave or reach out for help. If that’s not an option then weigh the risks, involve your friend in this game plan (i.e. if you do not answer her call twice she’ll immediately head to his apartment) and/or leave your phone on voice record, in case. 

You want to leave feeling good, not degraded

Sex should not just be about pleasing the other party, it’s important to assert your needs and boundaries as well. I’ve learnt that preparing a list of do’s and don’ts for my DTF partner can better ensure that the experience is safe and pleasurable for us both. I.e. No condom, no sex; If I say I’m uncomfortable, we have to stop; oral is a must. It may seem silly but it really helps set the expectations. Of course these points can be up for discussion depending on both your preferences.

Be aware of your own intentions

Emotionally, it is crucial to know what you want in order to avoid getting hurt. Getting too personal with your sex buddy and/or reliant on him for comfort is never a good idea. When you’re this intimate with someone, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling in love –– don’t fall for it. As a means of safeguarding my interests, I found it useful to remind myself and my DTF date that our arrangements are meant to be temporary, fleeting experiences; hence, we shouldn’t give too much of ourselves away. It’s more stimulating to have some mystery in the mix anyway (wink).

Your body deserves pleasure in a safe space and oftentimes, you have to prioritise that space before anything else. Remember, having sex with someone who does not respect your boundaries and/or needs is going to be anything but pleasurable for you. In sum, there’s no shame in being DTF but also don’t forget to protecc. Openly exploring my sexuality has really taught me about how to love my body better and what I find the most pleasurable in bed, and I wish that for everyone regardless of how they go about doing it (consensually, of course). You do you, queen.

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