So you’ve been wanting to date, but you’re also afraid to reveal your name, IP address, and physical location? Here are our top five tips for meeting and communicating your feels to a person or persons who may be willing to couple with you!
5. Incognito Mode
One of the things we’ve enjoyed about Google’s Chrome browser is the “incognito mode.” Essentially, incognito mode creates a little “browsing bubble” that isn’t recorded in your search history, cookies, or browser history once you close the window.
- Great for chatting people up, especially when at work, at a public library, or from a roommate’s laptop while they’re asleep.
- Little traceable evidence on the computer you’re using, unless you’re downloading images of your prospective hotty for… later… reference purposes.
- As Google warns, incognito mode does not protect you from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit, all of which may be out to get you. Their warning used to joke about secret agents watching you. Now they’ve taken that down.
- Odds are you’re still using some online service, whether it be a chatroom, instant messenger, Facebook, OkCupid, eHarmony, or some other site that is collecting all the data you’re sending to your sweetie. We know you are not using Google+, because no one uses Google+.
- This is a Google product, and their eyes are everywhere.
The Tor Project offers free software to help you avoid the prying eyes of network administrators and the aforementioned secret agents. If you want an in-depth explanation of how it works, you can read all about it here, but essentially encrypted data jumps around between computers in the network before being sent to its destination, obfuscating the original source.
- Unlike with incognito mode, Tor does protect your data from traffic analysis, so it’s less likely that anyone discovers your e-trysts, even if they’re actively looking for them.
- Dating in the bear scene is likely going to be easy pickins.
- Cool logo.
- Unless you come up with an alias, you’re still giving someone your actual name. We recommend roleplay (furry or otherwise) until you begin to develop feelings of trust.
- Finding Tor installed on your computer may be something of a red flag to parents, spouses, or police forces who seize your computer.
- There is an astonishing amount of child porn floating around the Tor-sphere and similar networks. Seriously astonishing.
- This may not be a con for all readers.
3. Dead Drops
Another option for the security-savvy is to avoid the Internet entirely through the use of dead drops. Think of Cold-War era spies and drug dealers, only with exchanging text files and pics.
- The NSA can’t see Internet traffic that doesn’t exist.
- Seeking out new dead drops is kind of like geocaching, which is a fun hobby!
- You’re limited geographically in that a potential partner has to visit the same dead drop as you. To check messages, you’re going to have to physically trek out to each of your drops.
- If your drop is sufficiently well-hidden, it is possible that no one else finds it. This is sort of a double-edged sword when looking for love.
- You are literally standing in a back-alley with your computer plugged into a brick wall.
2. Bitcoin and Sex Surrogates
Okay, so through some method, you’ve found a person or persons with whom you would like to do the nasty. But you’re still not sure you want to reveal yourself. Why not use a sexual surrogate? One or both of you can hire a surrogate who is willing to accept Bitcoin, and perhaps give them sample sweet nothings you’d like to whisper into your lover’s ear. Audio or video recordings may be made to send to one or both partners on the receiving ends (data-wise).
- Bitcoin is difficult to trace.
- Little chance of revealing your location, assuming proper protocol is used (see above).
- Surrogates may be more attractive and sexually capable than either of you.
- You’re still not actually having sex.
The only undetectable network is the network that doesn’t exist. Sure, you’ll need to use some wetware to set up the exchange, but you were hoping to use some wetware anyway, right? That attractive neighbor in your apartment building? Just talk to him/her. Better yet, find a low-key social area– local bar, coffee house, public restroom– and meet lots of people without the NSA being able to track your data!
- Human contact.
- Fresh air.
- Hugs, kisses, and the chance for actual sex.
- Being physically spotted.
- A loss of anonymity. Possible work-arounds include paper bags or a hole in a sheet.
ADAM WEISHAUPT is a Professor of Law at the University of Ingolstadt. His hobbies include rationalism, masonry, and opposition to Kantian idealism.