Yes, Virginia, of course they do! And we now know more about the ways they create safety for themselves when they connect with sexual partners they first met online. Paige Padgett, in her article, "Personal Safety and Sexual Safety for Women Using Online Personal Ads," just published in the newest issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC
(locate abstract at http://caliber.ucpress.net/loi/srsp
), reports that her study showed that "women used e-mail communication prior to a face-to-face meeting to negotiate such issues as safety, boundaries, sexual preferences, history of sexually transmitted infections, and condom use." Padgett's article documents the fact that women do indeed meet sexual partners online and provides one of the first accounts of how these women take care of themselves and create mechanisms for increasing safety when they meet these men in person.