Our Commitment to Safety

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How To Date Safely and Respectfully

At Seeking, the safety, security, and well-being of our members is something we take very seriously and consider it our top priority. Our collective goal is to make sure that Seeking.com is the safest, most secure dating platform on the planet. 

Seeking is already ahead of the competition through its utilization of its humans-in-the-loop (HITL) system, which includes both human review and Artificial Intelligence (AI), for keyword detection, image moderation and measures to eliminate potential fraudulent behaviors such as nudity, violence, and scam behavior. This AI and Machine-Learning (ML) system allows the platform to balance quality, member privacy and ethical behavior through automated systems. In addition to the AI solutions, Seeking.com will continue its security rollout to implement even more safety features, including more advanced ID verification, later this year. 

Additionally, Seeking has partnered with URSafe – a first-of-its-kind and the only hands-free, voice-activated personal safety app fully integrated with 911 – to provide you with a tool to help keep you safe  and prevent an emergency from occurring in the first place. This partnership is part of Seeking’s ongoing commitment to invest in the latest technology to empower members to keep themselves safe both online and offline.

We have various brands in our portfolio that employ different tools, processes, and policies to foster respectful communities and environments. The information provided below gives an overview of these technologies and methods. Depending on the needs of each platform and the audiences they serve, different tools may be adopted by different brands. However, the objective is universal: we are committed to creating a safe and positive experience for all our members on each and every one of our platforms.

While rare, we believe that any incident of misconduct or criminal behavior is one too many and that is why we are committed to work tirelessly to ensure that you and our community remains safe.

Dating Safety Tips

We want to make sure you stay safe during your online dating experience with Seeking. Keep these tips in mind when you are talking/texting with someone or setting up a Meet & Greet.

General Safety Tips for Online Dating

Keep your full name private. When talking with someone online, don’t create a username with your first and last name. Just use your first name or create a playful account username and vanity email account with a flirty nickname. Who doesn’t enjoy an air of mystery while you get comfortable with the other person?

Don’t mix online dating with social media. Avoid using photos from your social media accounts in your online dating profile. Why? They’re too easy to trace. By the same token, don’t link any online dating sites to your social channels. This is one of the fastest ways for someone to trace you and learn all about you, your friends and family.

Catch a glimpse of your date before meeting them. Did you know that Seeking now has a video chat feature? Members with verified profiles or upgraded memberships can’t get enough of it! It’s an easy way to meet virtually before setting up in-person dates, and also a safe way to spend time together between dates. No need to share your email, phone number or social media handle—just some quality face-to-face time with new friends. For your safety, here are a few things to keep in mind when using the video chat:

  • Don’t share any of your personal information
  • Be aware of your background and avoid displaying private info in your shot
  • While we don’t record any of your video conversations, no video chat platforms can prevent members from recording their video chats

Tell Someone About Your Plans. One of the most crucial steps is to let a trusted friend or family member know the details of your date: where you’re meeting, what time, the telephone number to the establishment, etc. There are never too many details to share when it comes to your safety. 

Nip uncomfortable conversations in the bud and take the appropriate measures to block and report the person who is making you feel uncomfortable. Our site provides many ways to anonymously report a member that makes you uncomfortable to make sure no one else is subject to that individual’s behavior.

Be cautious. Don’t send photos right away. Get to know the person you’re chatting with a little bit more. Also, don’t give out your phone number and use the chat features instead. And when talking with someone, be careful in describing your location, events you’ve been to recently, your workplace or anything else that can easily place you somewhere that they may recognize or know. 

Never give anyone money or financial information online. It’s as simple as that! And the same principle applies to all your online activity, not just dating online. If someone is asking for your financial information, please use the report function on our sites.

Keep Private Details Private, For Now. It’s always exciting getting to know someone new and sharing personal details about yourself and your immediate circle seems natural. On those first initial dates, keep private details private. This can include (but is not limited to) your last name, address, social handles and frequent spots where you hang out until you’ve both built up enough trust.

Where you live and who you live with is private. Until you know someone better and can trust them, never give out your physical address or have them meet you there. If you do decide to hang out in person, make sure to meet in a popular, public place. You can even have a buddy with you or share your date location with a friend.

Always Meet in a Public Place. As you’re planning your first in-person date, remember to always meet in a public place. Should you feel any pressure to meet in a private location, stress the importance of wanting to meet in public for the first couple of dates. If they continue to push the subject, reevaluate meeting in person and/or end the conversation entirely.

Never meet an online date in their car, in the parking lot, at a motel/hotel or any place where you can’t get away safely and quickly. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut and get out of that situation. Do not hesitate! You also can consider carrying a can of pepper spray, just in case.

Be observant. Pay attention to the body language and facial expressions of the person you’re meeting.

Always Keep an Eye on Your Food and Drinks. Never leave your food and/or drinks unattended. Should you have to step away from the table, place a napkin over your plate. And never feel bad about requesting a new drink if you recognize any suspicious behavior(s) from anyone at or around your table. Date rape drugs are easy to administer and don’t change the flavor or appearance of your drink. Keeping an eye on your drink at all times is the best way to stay safe.

Make sure you watch your alcohol intake. Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink.  Becoming impaired is an easy way to make yourself vulnerable and put yourself in an unsafe situation.  

Download and Use URSafe. As part of your membership, Seeking offers free access to URSafe for 60 days – this hands-free, personal safety app is fully integrated with 911 and provides features such as allowing friends to virtually track your location, fake calls, emergency SOS alerts and safety checks.

Ensure Your Cell Phone is Fully Charged and Location Settings are On. Before, during or after your date, you want to make sure you have enough battery life to contact anyone for any reason. This includes having your location settings on to ensure a trusted family member or friend can track your location. If you find yourself always on the move before a date, consider investing in a rechargeable cell phone case or a portable charger to always be prepared. 

Report All Suspicious and Offensive Behaviors. If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected while interacting with someone while on a dating site or when you meet in person, be sure to report them through the proper channels within the respective app where you first connected. At Seeking, members can ‘Report a Member’ from the member’s profile. Pick the appropriate reason from the list and provide a clear description of the behavior. Additionally, you may also block the member which will prevent them from communicating with you and from seeing your profile. 

Arrange your own transportation to and from the date. Drive your own car, take public transportation, call a friend or have a rideshare app to come get you. To make sure you get home safe and sound, don’t accept a ride or walk back with your date. This would let them know where you live and could result in them taking you somewhere else.

Always have enough cash or a credit card on you to get home. You never know what could happen and having some available cash or electronic funds to handle any unexpected situation is the best way to feel comfortable when you’re on a date.

IMPORTANT: If a member has threatened you or committed an act of violence or theft, please contact your local law enforcement agency and also report the member to us in the appropriate website app.

COVID Safety Tips for Online Dating

Start with virtual dates. While COVID case rates are dropping and cities are opening up, virtual dates are still a great way to meet that new special someone. If you’re not comfortable with in-person dates just yet, virtual dates let you get creative and offer a chance for you two to get to know each other better. Consider using Seeking’s video chat feature to do this (see video chat safety tips above). Check out these ideas for your next virtual date:

  • Have a themed online dinner
  • Play online games
  • Learn a TikTok dance together
  • Take an online workout class

Talk about COVID. One of the best things about Seeking is the opportunity to be straightforward, and COVID is not the exception. As an open-minded community, our members understand that some daters are taking more precautions than others. So, don’t be shy to talk to your new friends about COVID and ask questions that help avoid an awkward first date. Some of these include:

  • Do you have any COVID symptoms?
  • Have you had COVID before?
  • Are you vaccinated?
  • Have you been tested for COVID?
  • Are you a special-risk individual?
  • Do you wear masks?
  • Do you prefer indoor or outdoor dates?
  • How do you feel about social distancing?

Take it outdoors. These days, everyone loves doing things outdoors. It’s the best way to keep your dates casual and shake off some of that pandemic fatigue. When planning a date, remember to observe your local health ordinances and use these ideas for outdoor dating inspiration:

  • Hiking
  • Bike rides
  • Picnics
  • Lawn games

Choose a safe location. When deciding on where to meet, be sure to pick a spot that has proper ventilation and thorough cleaning practices. This will make you both feel safe and comfortable while you’re spending time together. And remember to wash your hands often!

Follow the regulations. Local and regional regulations are in place for a reason. And while they seem to change often, it’s easy to find the information you need to stay safe and comply with policies and procedures. So, even if part of your date means standing in line to enter that outdoor bar, remember this is for your well-being. Instead of getting frustrated, use this time to break the ice with your date.

Be mindful of symptoms. We all know the symptoms: cough, fever, headache, etc. If you’re feeling them, don’t just brush them off. Cancel the date instead! As long as you explain, your date should understand and will likely appreciate it. When in doubt, it’s always best to get tested and wait until you have negative results to reschedule the date.

Consider testing. Some daters make a habit of testing before their dates. It’s considered good etiquette and offers you peace of mind. But it’s also important to remember that a negative test isn’t always good enough. You should still follow precautions and follow-up with a test a few days after the date.

Company Values

Customer Commitment

We operate with our customers at the forefront of everything we do. We don’t offer cookie-cutter ideas; we obsess over innovative solutions that better our customers’ lives.

Security & Protection

We are committed to preserving the trust that our members have placed in us to keep their digital and physical selves protected. We preserve what matters most: confidentiality, security and most importantly, safety.

Results Driven 

We believe actions speak louder than words, and that the results of those actions are measured in customer satisfaction and data. We overcome setbacks, find solutions to obstacles, and deliver exceptional results.

Innovation & Excellence

Every task, service, and product is completed at the highest standards, continuously raising the bar for our competitors and ourselves. We are committed to the continuous growth of our company culture through engagement, appreciation, and talent development.

Seeking’s Safety & Security Features & Tools

  • Our security team uses industry-leading security monitoring tools featuring advanced AI threat detection and monitoring augmented with a dedicated monitoring team within a Security Operations Center.  This team serves as first responders on the cyber front offering 24/7 and 365 protection in any time zone. The team works around the clock safeguarding against data and privacy theft.
  • We have the most sophisticated bot detection software on the market.
  • We safeguard all members’ personal information — including credit card data — with multiple layers of security, including encryption in transit and at rest. Users’ passwords are hashed and encrypted, and staff have no access to them.
  • Constant profile vetting to ensure the community is safe from deceitful members.
  • We have a giant technology infrastructure featuring security as the core.
  • All member data is encrypted and stored in an infrastructure exclusively controlled by Seeking.com.
  • We conduct both internal and external quarterly compliance audits:
    • PCI Compliant – External
    • Security Team – Internal 
  • All of our websites are Transport Layer Security (TLS) secure. This is a cryptographic protocol designed to provide communications security over a computer network. The TLS protocol aims primarily to provide privacy and data integrity.
  • We provide regular and ongoing Privacy and Security Training for all staff

We use a network of trusted safety tools

Seeking uses a network of industry-leading automated and manual moderation and review tools, technology, process, and policies. We spend millions of dollars annually to prevent, detect, and remove people who engage in inappropriate behavior on our platforms. Examples of tools we use include:

  • Automatic scans of profiles upon creation for red-flag language and images;
  • Ongoing scans for fraudulent accounts or messaging activity; and
  • Manual reviews of suspicious profiles, activity, and user-generated reports.

We also depend on our members to report any profiles engaged in concerning behavior so that we can investigate and take appropriate action.

Background Checks

At Seeking, members have the ability to have a background search. After verification there is a badge that is posted on the member’s profile to show that they have been through the background check process.

URSafe

Seeking has partnered with URSafe – a first-of-its-kind and the only hands-free, voice-activated personal safety app fully integrated with 911 – to provide you with a tool to help keep you safe wherever you go and help prevent an emergency from occurring in the first place. This partnership is part of Seeking’s ongoing commitment to invest in the latest technology to empower members to keep themselves safe both online and offline. 

Features include:

  • Follow Me – Feel secure by allowing your selected contacts to track your travels and notify them when you reach your destination safely. Activate the “follow me” feature to let your contacts know where you are going, and they can keep virtual track of your live location with the GPS tracking on mobile phones.
  • Safety Checks – Trigger safety checks when you arrive or leave a certain location. Enter the pin periodically to let your contacts know that you are safe.
  • Live Streaming – Notify your loved ones, family members or someone from emergency contacts instantly, with the live audio and video streaming to monitor unsafe or uncomfortable situations. The camera will begin streaming live video to your contacts, so they can have a live visual of the happenings around you.
  • Fake Calls – Schedule and ring with a fake phone call, for when you need to make an excuse or get out of a dangerous or threatening situation. You can even customize the caller and trigger it using the code word.
  • Emergency SOS Alert – Activate the SOS mode and quickly alert your contacts and 911 if you experience any discomfort or stress. Your contacts and 911 will be called immediately.
  • Voice Activation – Hands-free, voice-activated feature in case of situations where you can’t publicly use or touch your phone. You can enable the SOS mode with your voice. No need to press the button to operate in case of difficult situations.
  • Nearest Public Safety Locations – Get the information of the nearest police stations, hospitals, and fire departments.
  • Geo-located 911 – App integrated with public safety agencies in over 240 countries and territories for worldwide security that does not require any cellular data.

Find out more about how UrSafe works. 

Video and AI Technology

Seeking is integrating various features such as video chat, automated photo review, and photo verification, all of which aid our efforts to help our members ensure that every match is who they say they are. We are also incorporating anti-harassment prompts on our platforms, which use machine learning to automatically screen for potentially offensive messages and prompt the recipient to report the behavior.

Safety Resources

Seeking has in-app safety resources that equip daters with a comprehensive suite of information to keep members informed about the latest safety features while providing the most up-to-date information and tools in the online safety space. These resources are continually being updated and are evolving in collaboration with the safety experts on our Seeking Advisory Council. 

Customer Care Teams

Seeking has its own robust customer care team dedicated to supporting our members and addressing any complaints or reports of bad behavior. Serious violations of our Terms of Use are reported to a centralized safety repository and cross-referenced across all our platforms to see if the member has other accounts on our other platforms. If any accounts are found, those accounts are blocked as well. 

Seeking’s Safety Policies

We make every effort to identify, detect, and take appropriate actions to remove bad actors

At Seeking, we prohibit the following groups of people from using our product:

  • Anyone younger than 18 years of age; 
  • Anyone who has been convicted or pleaded no contest to a felony and/or a violent or sexual crime; 
  • Registered sex offenders; and 
  • Anyone suspected of sex trafficking. 

Seeking’s Terms of Use  authorizes us to remove members who fall into any of the categories above, as well as to conduct searches of sex offender registries and other searches of publicly available records. If a member has been reported for domestic abuse, assault, or criminal activity (past or present) while they are active on our platforms, all accounts found that are associated with that member will be banned from our platforms.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech

We have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on our platforms. In addition to our human moderators and investment in technology to detect banned language, we encourage and rely on our network of members to report any inappropriate language so that our Customer Care teams can investigate and take appropriate action.

We ban and block underage users

With the combination of technology and human resources, Seeking works diligently to keep underage users off of our platforms. In addition to using sophisticated artificial intelligence, we collect birthdates, phone numbers, pictures, bios and other inputs used for age verification, as well as check profiles for red flags to keep underage users off our platforms. Human moderators also review accounts that have been flagged either by automated systems or by member reports, and act on those reports accordingly.  

We do not allow prostitution, sex trafficking, or solicitation

Promoting or advocating for commercial sex services, human trafficking, or other non-consensual sexual acts is strictly prohibited and will result in your account being banned from all Seeking platforms. Solicitation of any kind is also prohibited. If the purpose of a profile is to advertise an event, business, non-profit, political campaign, contest, or to conduct research, we may delete and ban that account.

We ban and block fraudulent behavior and scams 

Seeking has a dedicated team and sophisticated technology that detects and removes spam and fraud using a variety of tools including conducting automated and/or manual reviews of each member profile to block IP addresses from high-alert countries, identifying stolen credit card numbers, and detecting suspicious language in profiles. Seeking instructs members to never send money to someone they meet on our platforms, and to report any individual who asks that they do. These steps are designed to stop scams in their tracks and help protect the next potential victim.

For more information on romance scams and how to protect yourself, learn more from the  Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud on our platforms, you should report the scam on our platforms and contact local law enforcement.

Off-Service Conduct Policy

Seeking is committed to facilitating vibrant and dynamic communities, which can only happen if our members feel secure and protected. We believe that the occurrence of severe offenses committed by Seeking users that may take place entirely off our platforms (“off-service”) can create a substantial safety risk to the Seeking community. As a result, we will suspend and ban applicable accounts, up to an indefinite suspension on the first offense for some behaviors, even if the conduct took place offline or on other internet services, including:

  • Deadly violence and violent extremism;
  • Terrorist activities or recruiting;
  • Explicit and/or credible threats of mass violence (i.e., threats against a group of people, event, or location where people would gather);
  • Leadership or membership in a known hate group;
  • Carrying out or deliberately acting as an accomplice to non-consensual sexual activities and/or sexual assault;
  • Sexual exploitation of children, such as child grooming and solicitation/distribution of Child Sex and Abuse Materials (CSAM);
  • Actions that would directly and explicitly compromise the physical safety of the Seeking community; and
  • Explicit and/or credible threats against Seeking, including our staff.

We work to keep the Seeking community safe. We believe individuals who have engaged in the severe forms of abuse listed above are more likely to engage in behaviors on Seeking in violation of our Community Guidelines or create overt safety risks for our communities. As a consequence, we will apply these standards even if the target of these behaviors is not a Seeking member on one of our platforms, or the person engaging in abuse was not a Seeking member at the time the severe offense was committed. Persons who engage in these forms of severe abuse off-service are also prohibited from subsequently registering for other Seeking accounts on our platforms and any attempt to do so will lead to account termination.

We also recognize that toxicity and abuse can spread to Seeking from outside our services in a way that is detrimental to our community. To mitigate this harm, we will take reported off-service context into account when evaluating violations of any of our policies that occur on Seeking. If we are able to verify reports of off-service statements or behaviors that relate to an incident on Seeking, we will use this evidence to support and inform our suspension and ban decisions.

Because we have less context around behaviors that occur outside of Seeking, we generally require that evidence of these activities is verifiable before we will take action. In most cases, this includes direct links to public posts or content directly uploaded by the  member. Screenshots and other content from third-parties that may be edited, doctored, or falsified are generally not considered to be sufficient unless they are supported by other verifiable evidence or confirmed by our third-party investigator as authentic. Additionally, we will consider law enforcement action(s) as an input when assessing the credibility of accusations and evidence.

Seeking will leverage third-party legal experts to assist in investigating severe offenses that occur outside of the Seeking services when needed. Members can contact the Seeking Off-Service Investigations Team to directly report cases of any off-service abuses listed above. These reports go directly to our global team responsible for investigating allegations of severe off-service offenses and are handled with complete confidentiality.

Limitations in Acting on Off-Service Behaviors

Seeking has established this policy to protect the safety of our members. Because of this, persons who have carried out severe offenses and created a safety risk will be prohibited from using our services. However, in cases where these behaviors have occurred in the distant past, users have gone through a trusted rehabilitation process, such as legally mandated time served in a correctional facility, and our investigative process determines that there is no evidence to suggest that the user would cause any clear and present danger to the community, we may decline to take action against a user or reactivate their account based on an appeal. For particularly egregious offenses that present a physical safety risk to the community, suspensions or bans will not be eligible for appeal, no matter how much time has elapsed.

Account Takeover Prevention

While Seeking has not experienced a major data breach, other large platforms have and that can expose your email/password credentials if you have used the same credentials on Seeking. If you do not login to your account for 180 days, we will reset your password and you will need to create a new one by verifying a link in an email sent to the email account you used to set up your membership. This extra security process is designed to protect your account and private details over the long term.

Seeking’s Photo & Video Guidelines

When uploading a photo to either your Public or Private albums, please follow the rules listed below. Photos that violate the guidelines will be denied and your account may be suspended.

Photos must include yourself.  Photos can include:

  • Bottom nose to chin photos.
  • Partially blurred or masked photos.
  • Clothed photo of body without your face.
  • Couple photos, only if you’re present in the photo.
  • Houses, Cars, Yachts are allowed if you’re present in the photo.
  • Photos of your body with all private parts fully covered by lingerie, underwear and bikinis.

It’s important to note that violating the rules below may result in a disabled account or discontinued use, without warning. Photos that are not allowed are as follows: 

  • Any photos that don’t feature yourself. This includes stock/celebrity photos.
  • Extreme Closeup photos- photos focused solely on lips/hands/feet/chest will be denied.
  • Photos including children.
  • Nude or sexually explicit photos.
  • Photos containing or depicting illegal content.
  • Duplicate photos.
  • Photos from other members on Seeking.
  • Copyrighted photos from any website.
  • Improperly rotated or cropped images. 
  • Contact information or logos.

If you have found someone using your photo on the website, you can request that the photo be removed by writing to customer support. Please submit a support ticket here. Be sure to provide your email address so we may contact you if we have questions. For example, we may ask you to provide us with a copy of a government-issued identification or other evidence that proves the photo is yours.

Seeking’s Community Guidelines

The Seeking platforms may be used only for lawful purposes by individuals looking for romantic relationships. As one of the conditions of your use of our platforms and services, you represent, warrant, and agree that you will not use (or plan, encourage or help others to use) our platforms or services for any purpose or in any manner that is prohibited by the Seeking Terms of Use or by applicable law. It is your responsibility to ensure that your use of the Seeking platforms and services complies with the applicable Terms of Use, and to seek prior written consent from Seeking for any uses not permitted or not expressly specified herein. Seeking specifically prohibits any use of its platforms or services, and you hereby agree not to use  the Seeking platforms or services, for any of the following:

  • Using the platforms and services as an escort or prostitute or using the platforms and services to promote, solicit, or engage clients for an escort or prostitution service, or to engage or facilitate human trafficking of any kind, including past escort activities or affiliation with an escort site or service;
  • Posting or sending material that exploits people under the age of 18, soliciting personal information from anyone under 18, failing to report knowledge of a person under the age of 18 to [email protected], or continuing to use the site to interact in any way with anyone you know or believe is under the age of 18. Any violation of these prohibitions will result in termination of your membership and possible referral to law enforcement or other agencies, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Posting any incomplete, false, misleading or inaccurate content about yourself and/or your profile;
  • Posting any content that is not entirely your own or which you do not have full rights to use;
  • Impersonating or otherwise misrepresenting an affiliation, connection or association with any person or entity;
  • If you have a password, allowing any other person to access a non-public area of the Seeking platforms or services, disclosing or sharing your password to or with any third parties or using your password for any unauthorized purpose; using meta tags or code or other devices containing any reference (express or implied) to the Seeking platforms or services (or any trademark, trade name, service mark, logo or slogan of our platforms or services) to direct any person to any other website for any purpose;
  • Soliciting, from other members, passwords or personal identifying information for commercial or unlawful purposes, or for any other reason that would constitute a violation of Seeking’s Terms of Use;
  • Engaging in advertising to, or solicitation of, other members to send money, or buy or sell any products or services. You may not transmit any chain letters or junk/spam email to other members. If you breach the terms of this subsection and send or post unsolicited bulk email, spam, or other unsolicited communications of any kind through  Seeking’s services, you acknowledge that you will have caused substantial harm to Seeking;
  • Initiating contact with members off site by any other means without first obtaining explicit permission from them to do so via the Seeking platform;
  • Posting advertisements or solicitations of employment, business or pyramid schemes;
  • Using Seeking for activities that violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation;
  • Using Seeking to encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity;
  • Engage in any activity that violates criminal laws of the jurisdiction in which the member resides, visits or contacts members;
  • Bullying, stalking, intimidating or otherwise harassing any other members or  Seeking’s employees or representatives;
  • Framing or mirroring any part of  the Seeking platforms or services, without Seeking’s prior written authorization;
  • Using our services in order to damage Seeking or any related websites, affiliates or subsidiaries;
  • Using the Seeking platforms and services for any competitive purpose, including copying, soliciting, competitive or market analysis or any other use by a competitor;
  • Recruiting, including for pornography, modeling, or escort sites or brothels;
  • Using the Seeking platforms or services for commercial use. Our platforms and services are for personal use only. Each use of our platforms or services for commercial or competitive reasons will result in a $100,000 award for damages;
  • Any other use that violates any applicable law, including without limitation, laws related to export controls.

Sexual Health

How to Talk About Safer Sex with a Potential Partner

The pandemic brought lessons about communicating our comfort levels, boundaries, and physical needs. We let each other know when we would or would not be wearing a mask, we notified each other when we came in contact with the virus, and when we did get sick, we stayed home.

And these lessons can all be applied to sexual health. 

When talking to a partner or potential partner, be clear about your expectations and any concerns. You might want to know:

  • What birth control is being used?
  • What protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is being used?
  • When was the last time your partner was tested for STIs?
  • What are your partner’s COVID-19 vaccination status and current social distancing practices? 

If these questions make you uncomfortable, it may be easier to begin the conversation by giving your own information first — for instance, “Just so you know, I was last tested for STIs a couple of months ago, and I haven’t slept with anyone since. Also, I’m on birth control, but it’s still important to me that I use a condom every time. Do you have any preferences that I should know about?”

The Importance of Routine Testing

Before vaccines made gathering with loved ones somewhat safer, many of us became accustomed to getting tested for COVID-19 (and quarantining) before a social visit. The same principles can apply to STI testing.

According to the National Coalition for Sexual Health, recommended STI testing frequency varies based on your relationship status and your sexual activity. If you’re coming out of quarantine “single and ready to mingle,” it would be ideal to have an initial, all-encompassing screening that looks for common STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, HSV-2, syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV. 

The CDC says that both gender and age factor into which tests you should be prioritizing, and how often you should seek testing. Talking with your primary care provider can help determine the STI testing schedule that will best suit you and your needs.

Getting tested for STIs before having sex with a new partner is always a good idea — though this may not be feasible for some people. If you are having sex with new partners frequently, it’s a good idea to talk frankly with your primary care provider about an STI screening schedule and safe sex precautions that will help keep you and your partners healthy. 

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Sex Life

Your healthcare team is there to help you be the healthiest you can be, and that includes your sexual health. Medical professionals are healthcare experts, but they are also humans who understand that sex is an important aspect of life. Building a trusting relationship with a primary care provider will make it easier to discuss potentially sensitive subjects such as sex. If you feel uncomfortable bringing up certain topics with your doctor, it may be helpful to write your concerns down before your visit (so you have something to refer to) and to express your nervousness in an honest way — for instance, saying something like “This is hard for me to talk about.” 

A frank discussion about your sexual health will help your provider be a better partner for you in your health.  

Consent

Consent means actively agreeing to be sexual with someone. Consent lets someone know that sex is wanted. Sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault.

What is consent?

Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity. Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too. It’s also important to be honest with your partner about what you want and don’t want.

Consenting and asking for consent are all about setting your personal boundaries and respecting those of your partner — and checking in if things aren’t clear. Both people must agree to sex — every single time — for it to be consensual.

Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape.

Consent is as easy as FRIES:

  • Freely given. Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Reversible. Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
  • Informed. You can only consent to something if you have the full story. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
  • Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should only participate in activities you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do.
  • Specific. Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (like having sex).

You get the final say over what happens with your body. It doesn’t matter if you’ve hooked up before or even if you said yes earlier and then changed your mind. You’re allowed to say “stop” at any time, and your partner needs to respect that.

Consent is never implied by things like your past behavior, what you wear, or where you go. Sexual consent is always clearly communicated — there should be no question or mystery. Silence is not consent. And it’s not just important the first time you’re with someone. Couples who’ve had sex before or even ones who’ve been together for a long time also need to consent before sex — every time.

There are laws about who can consent and who can’t. People who are drunk, high, or passed out can’t consent to sex. There are also laws to protect minors (people under the age of 18) from being pressured into sex with someone much older than them.

The age of sexual consent is how old a person needs to be in order to be considered legally capable of consenting to sex. Adults who have sex with someone younger than the age of consent face jail time and will be registered as a sex offender. The age of consent varies in different parts of the U.S. and in different countries. There may also be other laws that define the age of sexual consent by state. 

What is sexual assault and what is rape?

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse can have different legal definitions. In general, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse are forms of violence in which there is sexual contact without consent — including vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex, and genital touching.

In the U.S. the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault vary. Some states use these terms interchangeably, while others define them differently. Often, people will use the term “sexual assault” to refer to any kind of non-consensual sexual contact, and use the term “rape” to mean sexual contact that includes penetration.

Anyone can be a victim — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, or age. But certain groups of people are more likely than others to experience sexual assault in their lives. Women (especially women of color), LGBT identified people, and people with developmental disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault over the course of their lifetimes.

Sexual violence doesn’t happen in one single way. There doesn’t need to be a weapon involved and the victim doesn’t need to have fought back, screamed, or said “no” repeatedly in order for it to count as rape or sexual assault. Most sexual assaults don’t happen by strangers in dark alleyways. Often, it’s someone the victim knows or even a romantic partner. If you or someone you know has experienced this type of violence, you’re not alone, and help is available.

Sexual violence, or sexual assault/abuse, refers to any type of unwanted sexual contact – including pressuring someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do or don’t consent to. It can also refer to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, like restricting access to birth control and condoms, or sexual activity with someone who is very drunk, drugged, or unconscious.

It’s important to remember that no matter the circumstance, sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. Everyone has the right to decide what they do or don’t want to do sexually.

Reporting Members

Click here to submit a report 

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
  • Report members who request sexual offers in exchange for money.
  • Report members who identify themselves as escorts or prostitutes since this is strictly against the Seeking Terms of Use.
  • Report any member guilty of online harassment.
  • Report anyone who asks for money upfront and before meeting in person. This includes, but is not limited to, sob stories asking for money, and individuals needing to pay their cell phone bills.
  • Report members who ask for your address so they can send you gifts.
  • Report members who ask for your bank account details, including account numbers or passwords.
  • Report any members who are looking for individuals under 18 years of age.
  • Report any members who tell you that they are under 18 years of age.
  • If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or via SMS “BEFREE”/233733 (Text «HELP» or «INFO»).
  • To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement, please call (866) 347-2423.

Response to Reports of Assault

We encourage members to report all instances of abuse or assault

All members of Seeking are able to easily report instances of abuse or assault in the app or online. When a member reports abuse or assault to Seeking, we review and take necessary action, which can include identifying the member and blocking any associated accounts that are found on the Seeking platforms. 

We partner with law enforcement

We pride ourselves on our support to and cooperation with law enforcement, and stand ready to assist in any active investigations. 

We also work with law enforcement proactively to report things like potential violence, self-harm, and other imminent physical harm. In each instance, we work collaboratively with law enforcement to get them what they need without objections or delay.

Click here to submit a report.

Campaign for Secure Dating Advisory Council

Formed in 2021, the Campaign for Secure Dating Advisory Council is a group of leading experts and advocates involved in the study and prevention of sexual assault, sex trafficking, abuse, harassment, and similar issues. The council regularly makes recommendations on how to improve safety on the Seeking platforms.

Government Relations

We support comprehensive safety laws and regulations

As a leader in connecting people, we believe we have an important role to play in defining the standards for all players in our industry. That’s why we work closely with legislators and regulators across the globe to define and pass new safety-focused laws that can help make both our members and those on other tech platforms safe. 

We welcome the opportunity to work with governments around the world to make the internet a safer place for everyone. 

Member Education & Resources

Please see the below resources for support, advice, or assistance.

CountryWebsitePhone
USANational Human Trafficking Hotline1-888-272-7888
USANational Sexual Violence Resource Center1-877-739-3895
USANational Center for Missing & Exploited Children1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678)
USAFBI Internet Crime Complaint Center1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324)
USACyber Civil Rights Initiative1-844-878-2274
USANow Matters Now – Crisis LinesSee website for regional contact info
EuropeRape Crisis Network Europe44 (0)141 331 4180
EuropeVictim Support Europe0032(0)23 46 04 55
EuropeWomen Against Violence Europe (WAVE) – Find Help43 (0) 1 548 272 0
FranceNational Trafficking Hotline (Ac.Sé)0 825 009 907
FranceLe Planning Familial – Sexuality, Contraception, IVG Hotline0 800 08 11 11
FranceViols Femmes Information Line – Sexual Assault Helpline0800 05 95 95
GermanyHifetelfon – Violence against Women Helpline08000 116 016
IrelandRape Crisis Network Ireland1800 778888
IrelandNational Trafficking Hotline1800 25 00 25
IrelandIrish Family Planning Association1850 49 50 51
ItalyNational Anti-Trafficking Hotline800 290 290
ItalyDiRe Network of Anti-Violence Centers39 392 720 0580
SpainSAVG 24 HORAS – Violence Against Women Hotline(Madrid)900 222 100
SpainNational Violence Against Women Helpline901 400 100
UKModern Slavery Helpline0800 012 1700
UKNational Domestic Violence Hotline0808 2000 247
UKNHS National Sexual Health Hotline0300 123 7123
UKCrimeStoppers0800 555 111
GlobalINHOPE (To Report Illegal Online Content)See website for regional contact info
GlobalPathways to Safety International (Support and Assistance for Americans Abroad)833-SAFE-833
GlobalGlobal Modern Slavery Directory (Trafficking Hotline Directory)See website for regional contact info