With most of our summer holidays fast becoming only distant memories, its worth reflecting on just what we got up to during our last summer break. A recent study of over 12,000 British men and women ranging in ages from 16 to 74 has revealed some shocking statistics. The study found that almost 1 in 10 men and 1 in 20 women reported having a sexual relationship with a new partner whilst they were overseas. Furthermore, well over half of the new sexual partners for those in the survey were not residents in the UK. To be clear, this means that when we Brits go overseas on our holidays, a very large proportion of us have sex with one or more people who are not from Britain whilst we are away.
The study went on to delve a little deeper into just what is going on and found that not only are a large proportion of us having sex with strangers on our holidays, but the sex we are having is particularly risky. We are not always using condoms, and we are having full on vaginal and anal sex with people that we don’t know. Many of the individuals surveyed were in long term relationships, but at the time of their sexual affairs, were travelling alone.
So what can we draw from these findings? Firstly, that sex is a natural and strong drive in almost everyone, and just telling people to abstain wont work. Secondly, education about the risks involved in having sex with strangers is very important. Just think, if you have sex with someone, who had sex with two people in the last month, who each had sex with two people the month before etc, then if that is multiplied over just one year, your sexual contact with that single person effectively is the sum of sexual contacts between over 3000 people! And if you know nothing about your partner’s sexual history, well, you can see how and why sexually transmitted infections are so common. Next, use protection, every time! This is the best way to ensure you break the chain of infection and don’t bring home something you might well regret for the rest of your life.
Finally, get tested. If you have had a sexual relationship with someone you don’t know, didn’t use a condom and are concerned about the risks, get your self booked in for an STI screen. Most STI’s can be easily cured but not all, so get a test and know your status. Better2Know can help you with choosing what tests are right for you, can supply you with condoms and provide you with more information. We hope you enjoyed your holidays, but get tested and stay safe, so you can enjoy many more holidays in the years ahead.