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How to plan for better and safer sex while traveling

How to plan for better and safer sex while traveling

Sex is not often discussed on travel blogs, but it should be.

2020/06/26

Sex is not often discussed on travel blogs, but it should be. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, if you’re sexually active it is an important thing to think about before you set off on your trip. Leaving home to see the world is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and discover what you like — and part of that experimentation could take place between the sheets. So whether you’re about to set off on a year-long trip or are just heading off on a short vacation, here’s how to plan for better and safer sex while traveling.

Please note: these are just my opinions. Make sure you consult a doctor, therapist, sociologist, or sex guru of any kind.

Think about what precautions you can take to ensure that you have a happy and healthy sex

If you are a woman on the pill or other forms of birth control, make sure you are stocked up or up-to-date for the duration of your trip. In some countries, you need a prescription for birth control pills, but other countries allow you to purchase the pill over-the-counter. It’s always best to talk to a doctor before taking anything of the sort. You may want to consider other forms of birth control (IUD, Implanon) as pills come with risks: they can be less effective if exposed to extreme heat, they can be stolen or lost, you can forget to take them every day, or they can be ineffective if you become sick or use antibiotics. Women may also want to consider the HPV vaccine. Again, talk to your doctor about all of this, and talk about it well before you leave.

Definitely practice safe sex while traveling

It’s just common sense. When it comes to sex and traveling, do it safely! Use some form of contraception if you’re having sex overseas to avoid unnecessary problems later on. Take a pack of condoms/dental dams (or your preferred form of contraception) with you when you travel and remember to actually carry them on your person, rather than leaving them in your luggage! You can also find contraception on the road in all of the same places you do at home: Pharmacies, supermarkets, some public toilets, etc.

Know the laws of the country you’re in

Some countries have very strict rules on who you can have sex with, where you can have sex, and even how you have sex (don’t ask me to elaborate). Casual sex is often looked down upon, especially when with a local. I’m sure you’ve heard of couples arrested in the Middle East for fornicating on the beach or even just kissing in public. Even if you don’t agree with the rules, you have to know the consequences of breaking them. You’re not in your home country anymore, so you can’t always apply your home country’s laws. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most countries frown upon public sex, so be wary of that the next time you get the urge while, oh, I don’t know, in a bulldozer on the side of the road in Malaysia. I swear I’m just picking that example out of thin air.

How to plan for better and safer sex while traveling

Sexual health packing list

Travel bloggers love packing lists, so here is my recommended sexual health packing list:

  • Barriers for STI prevention (i.e. condoms, dental dams, etc.). You know the drill. Choose your favorite or favorites (male/outside condom, female/inside condom, dental dams, gloves, finger cots, all of the above, etc.), check the expiration date (this is critical – these items do expire, and when expired they are much more brittle and likely to break), and pack a bunch.
  • Birth control or other contraceptives. You will want to make sure that you have enough birth control to last you your trip, or a way of acquiring your form of birth control while abroad.
  • Emergency contraception. Accidents during sex can be stressful enough. That, coupled with trying to find emergency contraception in a new environment (possibly a foreign country in which there are language barriers, etc.) might augment an already stressful situation.
  • Pregnancy tests. Another optional travel item for those “just in case” scenarios, depending on finances and the length of one’s trip. If pregnancy tests are a viable expense, I recommend that longer-term travelers toss one or two into your bag, along with instructions in your native language.
  • Sex toys. If you can’t do without your toys at home, then bring your stash (or a few star players) along for the trip. Just be careful to do your research about how to transport your items safely and hygienically and how to clean your toys, and make sure the country you’re heading to allows adult accessories through customs because they may even be illegal in some countries. And finally, there are two liquids that you do absolutely need to pack: lube and sex toy cleaner. Carrying lube is a way of having agency over your pleasure – use it with pride. However, make sure you pick up a bottle of water-based or silicone-based lubricant for use with condoms.

Be aware of the practicalities

Having sex (or at least, having sex in private) when you travel can be something of a practical challenge. You’ll probably be staying in hotels, hostels, or guest houses, where there are always lots of people milling about. Privacy can sometimes be hard to come by.

So, get creative. Be inventive. Make it a challenge. But be respectful of other people too. No-one wants to be unable to sleep because of the two love birds making a racket above them…but remember the saying that “Necessity is the motherhood of invention.”

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Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.