Grooming: How to Recognize it?

by | May 28, 2023 | Taking Care of You

I Am Not a Dog – So Stop Grooming Me!

Grooming once used to be reserved for fluffy Pomeranians, winning blue ribbons in a pet show. However, as teenagers started overtaking the internet, the old dogs (those desperately horny adults who can’t get someone their own age) had to learn new tricks. And, damn, are some of them good at it!

What is grooming?

It is not something reserved for teenagers and children – adults can also fall victims to grooming. People in a vulnerable position, mentally or physically, can be easily manipulated into doing “favours”, usually sexual or financial.

@isami_daehn

☹️What is gr00ming? For more information, check out these accounts: @Exodus Cry @changeunchained #humantraffickingawareness #safetytips #staysafeonline #antihumantrafficking

♬ original sound – Isami Daehn

All over the web, groomers weave their own webs (I’m looking at you, Discord). Erika, now 20, was one of the many girls who got tangled in them in their teenage years.

“My first ever relationship was when I was 14 and I was groomed by an 18 year old lad online. We met in a chat room and that lasted about 5 months.” said Erika

“That was my first ever relationship and it was very easy for him to get under my skin. It was the first time someone had ever been interested in me romantically, and mutually”

We all think we are smarter than that, but in truth, these guys don’t set their username as Sexual_Predator69. They shower you with compliments, gifts and attention. They tell you how “mature” you are for your age.

Before you know it, you’re cutting your friends off and running to the college bathroom to send your online buddy pubescent nudes.

“I knew by rights I should be doing better – a nice boy my age who doesn’t gaslight me into sending him underdeveloped titty pics.” added Erika

How to recognize grooming?

  • Abusers attempt to gain the trust of their victims. This is often through gifts, attention, sharing “secrets” and other means to make them feel that they have a special relationship.
  • They often train victims to keep the relationship secret from friends and family. So before you get serious, always get second opinions. Stay on top, and get some fun relationship gossip with mates in the meantime!
  • Abusers often make seemingly joking sexual remarks, or progressively suggestive physical contact. Chances are, if something is making you uncomfortable – it’s wrong – whether a joke or not. Trust your gut!
  • Keep an eye on friends you feel are vulnerable or insecure. Are they pulling away after recently meeting someone new? Getting clothes or expensive items you know they couldn’t afford? All of these can be signs that they are getting groomed.

“I think I was so into it at the time mostly because, growing up, I never had someone pursue me – I would be the one to ask people out and get rejected so having a hot older dude really wanting to see me was a confidence booster” said Erika

“With my first ever relationships it was very much affirmation – ‘Oh we have something in common you are the love of my life’. Now I don’t need that – I believe I deserve someone who genuinely cares for me”

Oh, these groomers! Honestly, I think they could use a bit of grooming themselves. Some snip-snip. And I’m not talking about fur…

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