Dating Safely

Feb 15th 11
By Rubi McGrory

Your dating life is a movie. You’re the star, along with a cast of assorted characters, and – because of your career – you film in some pretty amazing locations. Before you get wrapped up in the glamour of dating vacationing bankers, surfers, artists or fellow yachties from halfway around the world, take some time to consider your safety.

After all, you don’t want your movie to end in tragedy.

Sexual predators hail from every country and every walk of life. They don’t come from central casting as overweight dullards with excess hair, pasty skin and creepy manners. They can be well-dressed, articulate, handsome, clever heartthrobs. And, unfortunately, the yachting environment can be extra-attractive to these creeps. The constant coming and going of vessels means there always is a new crop of young women who need a break and maybe even a drink after 10 days of demanding guests.

But a little bit of smarts and some intuition can save your life…and your epic movie plot. A key to keeping yourself out of harm’s way is to engage your brain (generally, the last organ we want to include in romance).

So, the scene starts with you meeting Mr. Handsome on the beach, at the gym, at happy hour or at Le Grande Marche. The sparks are evident. A date is offered, accepted and planned. You’ve even picked out an outfit, now what?

1: Background check. Use social networking…on and off the computer. Someone’s online persona can be very different than who they are in real life. There is no Facebook profile field to indicate perversion. Do your own research. Does anyone on your crew know him, anyone from the boat next door, maybe your friends in a different marina or even the marina/gym/restaurant staff? When you ask about him, are people effusive with praise, do they raise one eyebrow and bite their lip or maybe he is an unknown quantity. The more you know about your date, the more prepared you are.

2: Don’t go it alone. Arrange to meet Mr. Handsome in a busy, well-lit restaurant or bar or go for a group setting, during which your friends or fellow crewmembers can keep an eye out for you. Avoid getting in a car alone or going to secluded locations with your date. Have a friend call or text and check on you.

3: Don’t go hungry. This may be a silly sounding suggestion if you are going on a dinner date, but it’s easy to get sidetracked. A few drinks before dinner on an empty stomach can hit you quickly. Then, not only are you likely to make poor decisions, you also can be easily coerced or overpowered. If you have been in the sun or worked all day, some nuts or cheese will help keep you on an even keel.

4: Better yet, keep the drinking to a minimum. Go ahead and have a glass or two of wine with dinner, but maintain control.

5: Keep your eye on your drink. A practiced hand can spike your Cosmo in the time it takes you to read a text message. Once in your system, date rape drugs take only minutes to kick in. Then you will begin losing muscle control, feel dizzy, drowsy, nauseous and possibly black out or pass out. Rohypnol, “roofies,” can be obtained legally anywhere outside the U.S. GHB is colorless and odorless, but can be slightly salty, which is easy to mask in fruit drinks. Ketamine, the fastest acting of the three most popular, is undetectable and comes in powder or liquid form.

6: Bring taxi fare.

7: Trust your gut. Only you know how you feel. If something seems wrong or weird, it probably is. Get out quickly.

If you feel you have been a victim of sexual assault, contact your local authorities immediately.

Remember, this is your movie. You aren’t just the star, you are the director.






Rating  Average 5 out of 5

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