Dating

How to quench your thirst for dating in the time of social distancing

Combat that craving for someone’s affection!

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After self-isolating myself for more than two weeks already, I found myself on the verge of insanity. In true Britney Spears fashion, “My loneliness is killing me.”

But there’s a silver lining in this adversity. When we’re forced to do social distancing, there are ways you can cope with badly craving someone’s attention. Here’s how you can quench that thirst for dating or seeing your person.

Set aside time for your hobbies

This enforced social distancing has made a lot of people realize they don’t have much of a hobby. It’s time to rebuild yourself and realize hobbies are building blocks of your personality — a much-needed ingredient in dating.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any hobby except talking to you and making you their world? That’s a recipe for disaster; a gateway to a co-dependent, toxic, and potentially abusive relationship.

Now’s the time to do something else. You can create art, put together a collage using your old magazines, start journaling, or dabble in crafting. If you have an instrument, you can start playing music again. Have some books you hoarded from the last book sale? It’s time to read them.

There are a lot of things you can do, so set aside time for your interests. Your future self and your future partner will thank you.

Learn something new to develop yourself

Ever since I met my beau, I had this dream of becoming a trophy house husband. In my quest to achieving this silly fantasy, I’ve been learning stuff that my future self will thank me for, even if I don’t end up marrying the person I’m seeing.

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon

I’ve opened up cookbooks to learn and try new recipes, so I can make my person some homemade lunch with love when this is all over. I’m also getting into gardening, tarot reading, and most recently, making smoothies while dancing.

With all this extra time we used to spend on traffic, we now have time to do things we need to improve ourselves. Take advantage of this instead of overthinking your crush’s messages to you.

Level up your conversations

If you’re already seeing someone ~and you badly miss them~, it’s time to level up your conversations. Gone are the days you slide into their DMs, chat them on messaging apps, or send them an SMS (really?). It’s time to do video calls and voice calls, or start sending voice messages.

Conversing through the usual messaging and social apps just don’t carry the same level of emotional depth versus a face-to-face encounter. However, hearing or seeing them even through your smartphone’s screen is enough to make you swoon and fall for them again. Nothing beats the calmness your person’s face or voice gives especially on an exhausting, trying situation.

Also, connecting through video and voice calls is just a better way to communicate. You can clarify stuff easily, and there’s a lesser chance of misunderstanding because you can see and hear their tone and reactions. If you have a friend who’s in a long-distance relationship, ask them for some advice. This social distancing situation is a piece of cake for them!

Swipe around

If you don’t have anyone to obsess over, it’s high time you download dating apps (if you haven’t already). For a limited time, Tinder is offering its premium service for free. Set up your dating profiles, and start swiping!

Just make sure to never meet any potential matches until this is all over. Remember, social distancing is a must and you can’t self-quarantine yourself with another person while on lockdown. Behave properly and just chat sexily! You can start with getting to know the other person (especially their political inclinations so you know what you’re getting into).

Keep yourself healthy and well-sanitized

During a pandemic, it’s a must to keep yourself healthy. While there are no ways you can rapidly boost your immune system, it’s still a good practice to eat healthy food and sanitize yourself properly — something that everyone should’ve been doing whether there’s no outbreak.

Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene is a plus in anyone’s book. It’s definitely a turn on for the person you’re dating. Make sure to wash your hands the right way!

Photo by Jana Sabeth

Last but not the least, don’t forget to drink your water. When you drink a gallon of water, you won’t have time to listen to people’s drama and cater to your negative thoughts because you’ll be busy peeing. Stay hydrated, my dear friends!

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Dating

Tinder will soon allow you to match with anyone around the world

Global Mode will roll out beta tests next week

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Tinder has always relied on an important feature: geolocation. By using your device’s location, the popular dating app connects you with people in your immediate area (or whatever radius you manually set). Naturally, social distancing has made physically connecting impossible during the pandemic.

As such, Tinder is now testing a new feature that will allow users to match with anyone in the world. Currently on testing, the new Global Mode enters interested users to a much more global agora of daters.

As reported by The Verge, the upcoming feature will still differentiate itself from Tinder’s already existing global functionalities. Currently, Tinder offers a premium service called Passport which allows users to match with other users in a manually specified region.

In comparison, Global Mode will not offer users control over where their profiles will eventually land. It’s a global roulette over which country will find you attractive. Likewise, to differentiate the feature from Passport, Global Mode is completely free.

Since the pandemic, Tinder has tried various features for thirsty daters stuck at home. Last month, the app offered Passport to all its users for free. The app is also testing a new video chat feature, reducing the need for a third-party messaging app.

Global Mode will start rolling out for testing purposes next week.

SEE ALSO: Tinder adds a panic button for dates that go wrong

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Dating

What’s the safest way to have cybersex during quarantine?

Always practice safe sex!

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A blazing hot summer isn’t the only reason people are shedding their clothes during the pandemic era. Between separated lovers and thirsty singles in your area, everyone is experiencing a rougher time getting their groove on. As a result, people are running to digital messaging and broadcasting platforms to express their horny sides.

However, as the pre-coronavirus world is wont to tell you, cybersecurity isn’t as safe as one might imagine. Work-from-home employees are quickly learning about privacy risks with their preferred conferencing apps. For example, Zoom, the work-from-home community’s golden child, has repeatedly caused shady privacy hiccups, including Zoombombing (or when unauthorized Zoom users invade other people’s Zoom calls). That said, given how risky office calls already are, how much riskier is it to sext these days?

Sliding into those DMs

Naturally, the simplest form of sexting is the good old-fashioned nude photo. Since the advent of Twitter, DMs have always been home to naughty lewds and unsolicited dick pics. Likewise, the same can be said of Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct. How safe are these forms of communication for your nudes?

Unfortunately, not very. Though they are private in nature, direct messaging features are hardly the most secure of platforms. This has a lot to do with encryption. Despite Facebook’s and Twitter’s best attempts, completely secure messaging is still a distant hope. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, only Facebook Messenger offers a secret conversation feature, allowing messages to be end-to-end encrypted. Twitter has tried encryption before, but so far hasn’t rolled out the feature after the test. Instagram, unfortunately, is still working on its own variant.

Meanwhile, the more dedicated messaging services — like WhatsApp and Telegram — already have end-to-end encryption built in. If you’re planning to go old-school sexting, using these apps might be your best bet. Also, if you and your partner both have iPhones, FaceTime uses end-to-end encryption as well.

What does this all mean? Unencrypted messages are prone to unauthorized third parties. You can get hacked. On the other hand, regular encryption protects against malicious hackers. However, the company can still access your data if it needs to. Even if they claim to not touch your data, they still can. True end-to-end encryption protects your data from both hackers and the company, ensuring that only the sender and the receiver can access the data. That said, there are still ways to illegally access encrypted data as was what happened with WhatsApp recently. Ultimately, it’s all about how much risk you are willing to handle.

Booming while Zooming

Likewise, the issue of security pops up again in video conferencing apps. As mentioned above, Zoom is already in hot water for providing less-than-stellar privacy measures. Even now, malicious parties can just as easily access your Zoom calls without your permission. Rumors of the company’s Chinese ties aren’t helping its cause either.

That said, sexy video chats are always going to be a thing. Especially now, there’s no other way to express physical intimacy for distanced lovers than through Zoom, Skype, or Discord. How safe are you when you take your clothes off on these platforms?

This is when it gets tricky. Technically, Zoom, Skype, and Discord all restrict adult content on their respective platforms, based on their terms of service. Under the strictest implementation of the rule, users shouldn’t send nude selfies or have sex shows through these apps.

However, how can these companies expect to enforce this rule? The only feasible way for enforcement is by monitoring accounts directly. Naturally, no one wants that. And companies will never own up to such an invasion of privacy.

At most, some companies claim to use AI and machine learning to catch these calls in the act. According to Zoom’s statement on Rolling Stone, the platform uses “a mix of tools, including machine learning” to help with enforcement. However, when the publication asked for more details regarding the supposed tools, Zoom refused to answer, potentially confirming the measure’s non-existence.

In 2018, Microsoft adjusted its code of conduct to restrict nudity and pornography. In terms of enforcement, the document explicitly refers to the right to go over your submitted content when “investigating alleged violations.” Like Zoom, Microsoft doesn’t have a crystal-clear way to find violators. “Alleged violations” means that the company must rely on other people reporting violators.

Though they have the same problem, Discord has a more open approach to adult content. Like Zoom and Microsoft, Discord doesn’t allow adult content. However, the platform can allow them under certain circumstances. According to a tweet from their official account, “NSFW content is allowed in DMs and video chat provided that all parties involved are consenting and of appropriate age.” Also, Discord allows users to mark communities as NSFW, curbing some of the blow.

How does this go back to the issue of encryption? Because companies will investigate user reports, Zoom, Skype, and Discord will not offer true end-to-end encryption. Though they have standard encryption, the company can still view your content if they need to.

If anything, Discord has more convenience as a platform out of the three mentioned. Regardless, if security is your priority, true end-to-end encryption — such as those offered by WhatsApp and Telegram — is still your best bet.

The human factor

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, the true risk lies in the people you share nudes with. If you don’t strip responsibly, your sexting partner can easily save your nude selfies, capture screen recordings of you getting it on, or broadcast your livestream elsewhere.

Even if you choose the most secure platform, people can still mess with you. At the very least, make sure you completely trust your partner. And not just the he’s-my-boyfriend type of trust. Make sure that, even if you break up, they won’t betray you at all.

If you’ve successfully found yourself such a partner and decided on a secure platform, don’t be afraid to express your sexuality as much as you want. Your body is your own.

SEE ALSO: Android is now much harder to crack than iOS

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Dating

Tinder is working on a video chatting feature

No more switching to WhatsApp

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Because of social distancing, Tinder has mainly turned into an invitation to chat remotely. In fact, even before the pandemic, most newfound connections switch over to other platforms besides Tinder. According to a new earnings report, Tinder is working on a new feature to keep users inside the app even after hooking up.

The new feature will enable users to video chat inside the app. Though scant on details, video chatting is a huge introduction to the popular dating app. Currently, users can only send text messages and photos. If they want to take it to the next level, they’ll need another app.

Of course, introducing a new functionality will come with its own complications. On the one hand, users can finally simplify hooking up from distance. On the other hand, the feature can also create ways to abuse other people.

So far, the coronavirus pandemic has forced dating apps to adapt to harsher conditions. For one, Tinder has made a few premium features free to use for all users. Bumble has already implemented in-app calling and video chats as well.

Likewise, Tinder users have found news ways to connect despite the lack of physical dates. Some have resorted to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, pushing the boundaries of quarantine dating.

As of now, Tinder has not announced when the feature will drop.

SEE ALSO: Tinder adds a panic button for dates that go wrong

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