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SHIRO ASKS...
Submitted 19 Jun 2006

I have been wondering. When it comes to online dating, how do the age of consent laws work? If for example I being in Canada were to make advances on a 15 year old in the States, would this be legal? Or if I were in the States, would it then be illegal to make advances on a 15 year old in Canada?

Shiro (23)

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Submitted 15 Jul 2006

Hello Shiro,

I'm a boylover and before I knew about boylove I didn't know how to deal with myself. I'm not a bad person, I never have the intention of hurting a child. In the beginning I thought the feeling would go away, but later I knew better. I was chatting with boys on the internet also, before I knew about boylove. Now I don't do that anymore, because I feel that's not the way to date a boy.

What I can say to you is: if you do, do you have the same thoughts about it, is it something you both want? My experience is that most are not wanting what you want. For example: When I was young, and I came for the first time to a gay chat site just for a look, a old man (50+) talked to me privately, and I just played a game with him. He thought that I wanted something, I didn't. Just watch your back, or stop dating online with underage boys, 15 years old maybe, but don't try to find a legal way, when you know that it can't be.

Boaboy (21)

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Submitted 16 Jul 2006

What do you mean "online dating" and "making advances"? There are very few laws that really fit the situation correctly, and they certainly don't match the age-of-consent laws in each state. But they are still on the books and enforced vigorously. Most easy prosections nowadays are for "travellers", guys that make clear arrangements online to meet a minor for sex, then travel to the meeting place. Slam dump conviction.

There are lots of new laws trying to control what people can say online, when talking to a "child" (or someone pretending to be a child). Every local community is having their idle police officers get online and lure predators into saying or doing the wrong thing - with a "child" in their local jurisdiction. The voters really eat it up! So local laws would apply? No one is completely sure yet. I believe that Canada is, at the moment, more restrictive about conversations online with, or about, minors. I have read reports of Canadians convicted just for talking about something illegal, true or not.

In the US, the catch-all "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" is often used when nothing else fits, and minor means anyone under 18 (or pretending to be under 18). In addition, any behavior that brings you to the attention of the local authorities (online chat sessions, hanging around a schoolyard, complaints) may be used as probable cause to confiscate your computer, in the war on pornography.

My advice is to talk to kids (who say, OR ACT, like they are under 18) as though someone were reading every word. Sure, you can counsel a kid with problems or questions. Just avoid anything that may sound like exploitation, your personal gratification, or promoting illegal behavior. There are still lots of things to talk about. Falling in love is fun, and still, at the moment, legal. Make friends with kids and just be a nice guy. Don't think about "online dating" or "making advances", there isn't going to be any legal way. And next year the laws are going to be worse.

Cody (17)

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Submitted 16 Jul 2006

From what I understand, advances made over the internet are subject to the same laws govern "real" dating in the countries that you are in. So in the UK you can into difficulties if you are found to be 'grooming' a someone under the age of 18 in the US.

I hope this helps

Kid (19)

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