A version of this article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands.
Finding someone to have sex with has always been fairly simple, but, thanks to hookup apps, it's never been easier. But, like everything else on the internet, those apps can also get very dark, very quickly. We spoke with five people about the scary and, sometimes literally, muddy roads online dating has led them down.
Chris, 30, Was Almost Chloroformed into Sexual Submission
I once organized a threesome through a dating app. When I arrived, we all headed straight to the shower to "warm up." Eventually, things moved into the bedroom. Everything was going great until I noticed that both my partners were trying to pin me down and stop me from moving, which I found quite strange. I wasn't really into that—I wanted to do some grinding of my own. But they kept trying to force me to be still. Suddenly, one of the guys angrily goes "fine," gets up, and starts rummaging around in the kitchen. He clangs around for a bit, but then returns a few moments later holding a wet cloth. I've watched enough horror films to spot when someone's trying to chloroform me into sexual submission. But before I could say anything, he rushed at me with the cloth.
Butt naked, I got up and ran into the kitchen and grabbed the biggest knife I could find. I then ran into the bathroom where my clothes were, got changed, and stuffed the knife into my back pocket. I knew I couldn't stay in the bathroom forever, so I unlocked the door and ran straight for the front door, but both guys—one still holding the cloth—were standing in the living room, blocking my way. They tried to convince me that I was overreacting, so I asked them to prove it by breathing into the cloth. At that point, they came at me again. That's when I brought out the knife and threatened them with it. After that, they had no choice but to let me leave.
Jasper, 23, Came This Close to Watching a Man Die
It was New Year's Day 2015, and because I hadn't slept, my resolution to be "less slutty" hadn't kicked in. I ended up talking to a guy I met online. When I arrived at his place, I discovered his partner was sleeping in the next room. I ignored this vital piece of information, while my "date" pulled out a bottle of poppers. After a while, we ended up in the shower, and that's when things started to go wrong. After what must have been his 50th hit of poppers, he collapsed on the stone floor. With his eyes wide open, staring right back at me, he started to convulse. Obviously, I began to panic, thinking, Fuck! I'm in a shower with someone I don't know, and he's dying—what am I going to tell the police? I shouted that I was going to wake up his boyfriend, but, with a slight shake of his head, he made it clear he definitely didn't want me to do that. I waited a few more seconds, and, luckily, he slowly started to come back to life.
By now, my dick had shrunk to the size of a tiny hot dog—I thought it was probably time to go. I had just finished getting dressed when his boyfriend, who was woken up by all the noise, entered the bathroom. I stammered a bit and ran out the door, hoping the New Year would bring more pleasant experiences.
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Le Strange, 32, Bird-Eating Spiders and Custard
I was left completely heartbroken and miserable when my long-term boyfriend, Donald, broke up with me. Logically, I turned to Grindr for a quick fix. I eventually met this gorgeous guy who said he was an army pilot. He said he lived in the barracks just outside my town, so we quickly arranged to meet up. When he arrived to pick me up, he looked ten years older than he did in his profile photo, but I was desperate, so I got in his car anyway.
As we were driving, he admitted he wasn't a helicopter pilot, but a chef. Again, I was desperate, so I ignored it. At his place, instead of just getting straight down to why I was there, I was forced to sit and watch Coyote Ugly, while we ate a horrible meal he'd cooked. While we sat in front of the TV, I noticed a glass tank in the corner of the room that seemed to have something moving inside it. I asked him what it was, and he casually replied, "Oh, that's my bird-eating spider, Donald." I genuinely don't know what made me freak out more: the fact that he owned a spider large enough to eat birds, or that it had the same name as my ex. But instead of leaving (again, desperate) I decided the best thing to do was to get really drunk.
When the film finished, he suddenly turned to me and said, "Babe, I want to gunge you." I was too shocked and drunk to reply, but he did kindly go on to explain: "I want you to lie in a kiddie pool while I cover you in custard." So he got his inflatable pool out of his spare room, and I just laid in it as he poured jug after jug of custard all over my body. I wasn't into it sexually, but luckily I love custard, so I just ate away. It was a very long and silent car journey back to my place, with the fermenting smell of custard and regret.
Benjamin, 26, Got Very Muddy for $80
For a while, I was addicted to sex, and dating apps have always offered me a quick fix. Some days, I would meet up with four or five people. I was constantly having threesomes and quick lunchtime sex during work.
One day, I was dead broke, and barely had enough to eat. Seeing as I was having so much sex, I wondered if someone would pay me for it. I soon found a guy who offered me $80. He was being a bit mysterious about what exactly I would have to do for the money, but he did say it wouldn't involve sex, which sounded perfect. We met up later that night at his huge house in Amsterdam. He was about 40 and didn't talk much, but seemed very friendly. He asked me to take off my shoes and walk around his muddy garden. I did as he said and went back inside. He then demanded I walk on his back with my soaked muddy feet. I obliged, and he began to softly groan. After that, he licked my feet—toe by toe—until they were entirely clean. He climaxed as he finished, blurted out a wheezing moan, and handed me the money. I put on my socks and shoes, stuffed the money in my pocket, and rushed home. I could afford to eat again, but I have never felt so gross.
Alex, 26, Blood Is Bad for Blowjobs
While I was showering in preparation for my date, I suddenly saw blood flowing down my legs. Images of anal prolapse flashed through my mind. I soon realized that I had a bloody nose—something that is often a problem for me after a wild weekend.
Shortly after my dick appointment arrived, we got started. He turned out to be way too dominant for me, and he didn't really care about my sexual needs. He also had a huge dick, and at some point, while I was going down on him, he suddenly panicked.
I didn't realize until he said it, but blood was flowing from my nose all over his dick. I spent the rest of the evening trying to convince him that he wasn't going to contract HIV because I had recently been tested and wasn't the type of person to have unprotected sex.
All names have been changed for privacy reasons.