'Harassing women online is not cool'
Introducing Dr Love, who solves your relationship riddles in a confusing digital age
Q. I log on to Facebook only to flirt with women I don't know. Is this wrong?
A. It's certainly not right. What exactly do you get out of this anyway? Does the idea of harassing strangers turn you on? You do realise that these women can block and report you, don't you? Also, please keep in mind that going by the number of fake profiles around, you're probably flirting with some strange man who has the same idea.
Q. Is there anything wrong with flirting?
A. That depends on what your definition of flirting is. A number of men tend to think of it as saying rude, suggestive things to women they don't know. That is not flirting; it's harassment. Also, the definition of flirting tends to differ drastically depending on where it occurs. In North India, apparently, there's a fine line between flirting and kidnapping. Here in Bombay, it's still that old-fashioned way of teasing someone playfully to let them know you're attracted to them in some way. Is there something wrong with it? Yes, if the object of your flirtation finds it bothersome or annoying. If he or she reciprocates, however, all is right with the world.
Q. Do my partner and I need to practice safe sex if we are in a monogamous relationship?
A. That depends on what you are trying to protect yourselves from. If the two of you really are monogamous, and are not in sexual contact with anyone outside your relationship, you can avoid contraceptive devices provided you have both been tested negative for HIV or any other STD. If you are trying to avoid a pregnancy, you obviously don't have a choice but to use contraceptives. As for sex with someone who has relations with even one other person, safe sex practices should be mandatory. Also, do keep in mind that diseases such as genital herpes can be contracted from the skin around the genitals, even when no obvious signs are present. You should talk to a doctor.
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