Podcast: Dating Apps and the Sex Offender Registry

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Dating Apps and the Sex Offender Registry

The Match Group which owns 45 dating apps is cracking down on registered sex offenders from using their services. In fact, a House subcommittee is investigating popular dating services such as Tinder and Bumble for allegedly allowing minors and sex offenders to use their services.

As Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, does this mean that registered sex offenders are banned from finding love? No, of course not. Going on a date, or even marriage is still possible while on the “list”, but you’ll need to do it the old-fashioned way.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the podcast. I hope your day is going well for you.

Something that has been bothering me personally, lately for the last several years actually is the lack of dating prospects. Why you’re on the registry or even after the registry or, you have a felony. 

You know, I was married without getting into all the details. I was married for a few years and I was divorced in 2017 to somebody that I knew before my conviction. So that made a big difference. I knew this woman, she knew who I was. She knew the true me and she understood, I made a bad, bad mistake. And I went to prison for it. But afterwards we reconnected but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

So, something that’s been bothering me is how does someone on the registry date? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to meet anybody… female or male. Now I date women. So how is that possible? And I hope you are listening tonight and you do have a significant other because it is important when you’re on the registry to have support and and just company and to share your life with someone. That goes for anybody on this planet, sex offense or not.

It’s an important thing. If that’s what you want in your life to be married or have a significant other, or to live with someone or just have a good friend. So yeah, this has been bothering me because I had been reading some articles about these dating apps. They’re saying, no, you are on the registry. You’re not going to be on our app. You’re not going to be on our dating app. 

An article that I was reading… now it’s a little bit old. It’s about a year old, but for the last year, dating apps are really cracking down on sex offenders being on their dating apps. Okay. So one of the biggest dating app companies is called the Match Group and they own Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, match.com, OkCupid, and some other ones. They’re really targeting people on the registry. So I’m reading this article and there’s a representative from Illinois who says this:

“Our concern about the underage use of dating apps is heightened by reports that many popular free dating apps permit, registered sex offenders to use them while the paid versions of these same apps screen out registered sex offenders.”, And then the representative continues to say, “Protection from sexual predators.”

Wait a minute! Protection from a sexual predator? Who ever said anything about a predator? There’s a difference between a registered sex offender and a registered sexual predator. But anyway, the second portion of the quote says “Protection from sexual predators should not be a luxury confined to paying customers.”

Now I can just rant and rave about how I disagree with this, but it’s not going to help because they’re continuing with their restrictions. Now, this is a hard topic to talk about. There are, yes, there have been reports, not a lot, but there has been reports of women being raped and that is horrible.

That is, that is just horrible. And I can’t imagine going through such a trauma like that. What I’m upset about is I’m seeing a very big trend going on. This isn’t going to end with dating apps. It’s going to continue. 

The Supreme Court has already stated that the use of social media for registered sex offenders is permitted. Meaning if they were to ban sex offenders from social media, it would be unconstitutional. So people on the registry like myself, maybe you, maybe your loved one, can legally use social media. But then you have to deal with things like the Facebook policies and things like that. And now we’re dealing with the dating app policies.

What is going to be next? These companies are going to start putting restrictions in place. To remove everyone from the registry. That’s almost 1 million people in the United States. People on the registry are on for such a wide variety of crimes, some serious, some not serious at all.

So we’re putting everybody together and saying, Hey, you can’t go on my dating app because we think you might be dangerous. Or, you might rape somebody. It’s that notion where, you know, one person does a real bad thing and then everybody else suffers.

When I explain these things and talk about these things and do videos on these topics, it’s hard because I am someone that of course doesn’t want anything to happen to anybody else. But at the same time, it upsets me when companies and apartment complexes and social media companies, and now dating apps are excluding a large group of people because of a past crime. It’s upsetting for me because nowadays dating apps are seen as something that’s like, “Hey, I use it it’s okay.” Years ago it used to be like, “Oh, I use a dating app…oh know.” And it was kind of embarrassing, but nowadays it’s accepted. So people that are on the registry and looking for a normal date, just to meet somebody, I guess they’re going to be excluded. 

Okay. So now that I’ve talked about these dating apps how, how does someone on the registry meet somebody? If your hands are tied and you can’t get on Bumble or match or OkCupid, my advice is to do it the old fashioned way. 

I get a lot of emails from time to time asking me, when should I talk to the person that I’m dating? When should I tell them that I’m on the registry? Well, I would have to say it really is going to depend on your situation, but I don’t immediately say it. Actually, I don’t go on dates because I can’t meet anybody. But in the past, if I have met somebody, I don’t say, “Hey, Hey, Samantha, my name’s The Outspoken Offender and I was, you know, arrested you know, seven years ago. And I’m a sex offender.”

No, I don’t do that. I let the person at least get to know my personality a little bit, but I don’t wait too long. I don’t wait months and months. I might wait after, you know, the second or third date. You might have a different opinion and that’s okay. It’s all gonna depend on what you’re comfortable with.

Now on the reverse side. I’m just going to take male and female here. So let’s say you’re the female and you are starting to date, or you found out that your date or your boyfriend is a registered sex offender. What I would say is find out the truth before you run for the hills. Let that, that guy explain the situation and if you’re not comfortable with it, well, then you don’t have to date that person, of course, but find out the truth. A lot of times when you research people on the registry, it’s very misleading. It’ll say the crime and it will sound probably a lot worse than what it was. At least give them a chance to explain and then go from there. Okay. 

So I hope you enjoyed this podcast. It’s upsetting that you know, it’s hard to find love in the first place and now if you’re on the registry, it’s even more difficult. But you can still live a semi-normal life and do it the old fashioned way. Get outside, talk to people, and try to stay confident. And I think that will help and improve your chances of meeting someone and just skip the dating apps. First of all, they suck. Anyway, no one really wants to really meet up or anything. At least that’s been my experience. And I have sent…before I quit doing the social or the dating apps, I sent hundreds and hundreds of messages to a variety of women, and I heard nothing back and that didn’t have anything to do with the sex offender registry because they didn’t know it yet. They didn’t have my full name. It’s just that they suck. The apps suck. So try something new. 

All right. Have a great day. Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of your week or weekend. And I’ll talk to you soon. It’s The Outspoken Offender podcast.

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