Holiday nookie, summer flings… these are some of the best things about the festive season. As the partying hots up, so do our hormones, which might be why sexual health issues tend to increase at this time of year.
Whether you’re getting down with a partner or hoping to hook up with your crush, you need to keep yourself safe – both physically and sexually. Here are five things you can do to protect your health and make sure your safety comes first these holidays.
5 safe sex rules to follow this season
1. Use protection every time you have sex
The more sex you’re having, and the more people you’re coming into sexual contact with, the greater your chances of contracting an STI. No matter how well you think you know your partner, if you’re not 100% sure you’re safe with them, don’t take a risk. Sex is for a few minutes; STIs – and unplanned pregnancy – is for life. Remember that infection is spread through oral sex too.
2. Try to stay sober(er)
We don’t want to be a buzzkill and tell you not to get into the, ahem, spirit of the festive season. And while we wish the world was a safe place, no matter how tipsy you may be, it simply isn’t.
A drink or two is probably okay if you’re in a group and among people you trust. But try not to let it get out of hand. Not only does alcohol and drug consumption lower your inhibitions (making you more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviour), but it also puts you at risk of being taken advantage of in some truly awful ways.
3. Don’t jeopardise your personal safety
Dating apps like Tinder make it super easy to hook up with strangers. And while a fling with someone new can be exciting and fun, there’s also a real element of risk. Don’t take a stranger home with you and don’t go to an unfamiliar place alone with them either. Always let a friend know where you are and who you’re with.
4. Spice up your relationship
Holidays aren’t just for hook ups. If you’re in a committed relationship, there are loads of ways you can add some fire to your union and reignite the spark. Give your relationship a festive season gift! Check out these great articles to improve on what you’ve got or try something new:
- 8 Tips to help women climax faster, better and more powerfully
- How to last longer in bed: 5 tips for guys who climax too quickly
- Anal sex tips for your first time
- 10 expert relationship tips to get the love you want
5. Get the right contraceptives
The holidays shouldn’t end with an unplanned pregnancy. Find the contraceptive option that works best for you so you can enjoy fun, spontaneous sex without risk of pregnancy (but remember: contraception doesn’t protect against STIs, so never go without a condom unless you’re completely sure you and your partner are monogamous).
Get STI screening, contraceptives and more at Marie Stopes
Get prepped for the holidays so you can go out and have fun!