Safe Sex During Travel-When You Do It, Do It Right
Let’s get scandalous! I promise to do my absolute best to discuss this topic without providing you more information than you would care to know about my, err, personal life. Now let’s be clear about a couple of things so that we have the path clearly laid out, rose petals and all. I am not sure Safe Sex During Travel, under any circumstances, promoting sex tourism. First of all, that’s weird. Second of all, that is mad sketchy and gross. I’m also not saying that you should go out in search of some nightly pootang, because that is less weird but still sketchy. I’m simply writing this from the perspective of “If it should just so happen to come up, well…”
First, let’s address the obvious, that’s STDs. STDs suck. I have never personally had one, thank you baby Jesus! However, I have met people who have had this come up while traveling. You know the story, it’s the same regardless of where you are. Boy meets girl. Boy gets drunk. Girl gets drunk. Boy and girl forget condoms and are too drunk to care. Boy and girl get it on. Boy wakes up and two days later it burns to pee.
Going to a doctor back home is no big deal, but going to a doctor in another culture where you may not speak the language isn’t nearly as comfortable. Where I currently live there are some really insulting stereotypes about white women. They assume that white women are easy. I have been treated like crap multiple times when going to the doctor as have numerous friends of mine. They assume that I am pregnant or have had an abortion gone wrong when I am in for a stomach virus. It happens all of the time. I could spend an entire page telling you how to deal with the doctor’s office, instead I am just going to recommend not ending up in that situation. Ladies, and gentlemen, keep condoms on you, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! Foreign doctor’s visits suck. They suck even more when you have to explain via pantomimes that your current visit is the result of drunken debauchery.
This one goes out to the ladies. Let’s address the second largest concern. What if you get pregnant?
For starters, if you are traveling you may be with someone that you don’t anticipate seeing again, much less spending the rest of your life with. You may also be in a country where abortions are inaccessible or illegal. You may be in a country where men aren’t legally required to pay child support. You may not even know how to get ahold of him by the time that you realize you are pregnant. You may need access to medical care in a country where medical is either inaccessible or subpar. An unexpected pregnancy is seldom cause for celebration, even less so when you are traveling. You can’t always count on men to care or to take the precautions that they should, so make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions on your end.
Now let’s talk about safety. I am not one to recommend one night stands. I don’t engage in such behavior, and I don’t encourage friends to go home with strangers. I do, however, understand that things happen. Should this come up, I recommend taking them home instead of permitting them to take you home. Keep it to your territory. If they are local, they will do just fine getting themselves home. If you are the traveler, you probably don’t have a solid grasp of where ever you are. Ladies, if you are going home with someone that you have met at the bar, with the intention of one night of fun, who’s to say that they are a good person? That they won’t hurt you? Be smart. Stick to what you know. I got a phone call a few months ago from a friend. She had woken up on the other side of town and had no idea where she was. She also woke up to realize that there had not been a condom used when she was under the impression that one had been “in place”, so to speak. The visit resulted in an awkward cab ride home and a visit to the doctor’s office.
Now here is that awkward part of the article where I can’t help but insert a small segment of too-much-information. For those traveling in a country where they don’t speak the native language, I recommend implementing a “no speaking rule” for traveler-native situations. In the act, the language section of the brain tends to not work too well even if you have a small grasp of the other person’s mother tongue. I just don’t see the need to have a conversation about what is going on. Presumably you are both adults who have some experience and know what you are doing. If that isn’t the case, you need to reevaluate your recent decisions and evacuate. I recommend taking up yoga and meditation post-hangover. Soul search. Find where you went wrong. Avoid repeats.
Regardless of your moral standing on sex while traveling, and regardless of your individual situation, my biggest concern is the next morning/following year sentiments. No one needs to spend the rest of their life regretting one night. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s keep it safe. Wrap it up, take precautions, and keep it all on your terrain.
I like to take this time to thank Tina Stelling for helping me with this amazing article. Check out her works at www.tinastelling.com
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