When I was in to see my travel health nurse, Isobel at Napier Travel Health, we had a conversation about sex. Yes, it certainly seemed kind of odd at first for her to mention it, but then she told me why it is so important. I felt it would be a good topic to share!
Lots of people travel on ‘boys’ trips or ‘girls’ trips, go away somewhere warm and sunny, have a few too many drinks and end up hooking up while they are away. Or, maybe you are traveling on a singles cruise or to a singles resort. Maybe you don’t drink at all, but you find yourself getting intimate with someone you’ve just met. Maybe you have no intentions at all of gettin’ it on with someone while you are away, but sometimes things happen! And, scary, but true, rape can happen anywhere.
We all know about safe sex. Wear a condom, wrap it up, put your rubber on … We all know the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, but how many people really practice safe sex? Further than that, here in Canada, I’m sure the numbers are staggeringly higher than in developing countries for practicing safe sex. What seems like second nature to us here in Canada, is probably not ‘common knowledge’ everywhere else.
Developing countries do not have an education system like ours. They may or may not be taught about safe sex. Even if they are aware of safe sex practices, they may not have the money, or the access to buy condoms, the day after pill and other products. In some countries, monogamy ins’t necessarily standard either, so who knows how many partners that person has been with.
I was recently reminded recently that prostitution and escort services work very differently in other countries. A pretty lady or sexy man hitting on you at a local bar is likely to be looking for more than just a little attention. They are likely looking for your money as well as sex. There are many instances where situations like these lead to someone being drugged and robbed. Could it happen in Canada? Yes, or course it could! It is much more likely to happen elsewhere though.
In Canada we often think of prostitutes who work on the streets, are high on drugs, scantily clad and often not very attractive. This isn’t always the case, but more often than not. In other countries though, the prostitutes may be dressed very well, be very attractive and perfectly sober. They look at trading sex for money in a different way than we do here. Don’t be fooled though. Just because they are attractive doesn’t make them safe or clean!
I know, I know, I know … this is all common sense to us … right? Well, try this on for size …
Did you know that condoms are not the same quality and reliability in other countries? Yup, just like everything else, their condom industries may not be regulated like they are in Canada/US. Makes sense, but have you ever thought about that? You might stop by a local store to buy some protection, but really, you could be just as safe with a little saran wrap!
Don’t forget that those condoms may have been subjected to heat that could damage their effectiveness. Maybe they were transported in a truck without air conditioning and sat in 30 + degree heat for eight hours. Do you really want to trust that to keep you safe?
Even if you are able to buy a brand that you are familiar with and trust, don’t forget to check the expiry date!
Better yet, if you think there is even a slight chance that you might hook up while you are away … even if you don’t plan to, the best thing to do is pack your own and keep them safe so that you know you are protected.
Last, but certainly not least, go get your Hepatitus shots would ya? It is just good sense to be protected from both the water bourne and sexually transmitted types of Hepatitus. Whether you plan to hook up while you are away or not, protect yourself!