You've written about being careful about who you meet online. But don't you have to be even more careful in bars, especially if you're drinking? At least online you have a clear head. Anon.
Well, maybe you do. A picture of a hot guy or a massive member attached to a private message on a gay dating site can make some men take any risk. There are some things you can do to protect yourself from bad scenes if you meet someone in a bar:
1.) Don't get so crap-faced that you don't know what you're doing or who you're doing it with.
2.) Carry plenty of condoms. Most bars have jars full of them, or ask the bartender.
3.) If someone seems too good to be true -- they're definitely way out of your league -- maybe they have less than pleasant motives for wanting to get together.
4.) Ask the other customers, preferably regulars, as well as the bartender, if they know the guy you're planning to go off with. Is he a complete stranger to everyone? Is he well-known as a nice guy in the bar?
5.) If you go off with a stranger, make sure you introduce him to a few people, and that he knows that they know who you're going off with.
6.) If someone is sending out bad signals, listen to your brain and don't go with him.
7.) Don't bring a complete stranger that no one can vouch for to your home. Bringing them to your hotel room is also a bad idea. If you want to go home with someone, stay out of private houses in isolated areas until you know them better. Going to somebody else's hotel room is generally safer.
8.) Sick to safe sex! Many guys do not know their HIV status, lie about it, or do not volunteer the information. But if you stick to safe sex, that won't be a problem.
The advantage that bars have over online dating is that at least you're meeting the guy face to face and you can immediately tell if the chemistry is there (unless it's more a question of alcohol-induced lust). If you're not drunk you can size the person up. You're seeing what they really look like and not a possibly doctored or older photograph.
Remember, play safe and have a great time.