Practising safe sex over the holidays

Summer break is a great time to unwind and relax. It’s also an opportunity for you to spend time with your friends and bae.

Most people tend to get very excited during the festive season, and end up engaging in risky sexual behaviour. Here are a few tips on how you can have a great holiday and still practise safe sex… 

Get tested with bae 

If you don’t know your HIV status yet, it might be a good idea to consider getting tested. Have a chat with your partner about going to get tested together and what it would mean for your relationship. It might be intimidating but getting tested together may help you and your partner get closer. If they refuse, that’s okay, it’s their choice too.

Don’t be discouraged, you can still go to your nearest health clinic and get to know your status so that you can make informed decisions about your sex life 

Use condoms

It’s also very important that you and your partner use condoms at all times,  even if you’ve tested together and know each other’s status. Use condoms even during oral sex, so that you reduce your chances of getting infected with STIs, including HIV . 

Consent is important

Safe sex also means that you can refuse sex when you’re uncomfortable or not ready to have sex. Someone who really cares about you will always ask for your consent and will understand when you say “no” to their advances.

Avoid excessive use of substances 

Alcohol and drugs can alter your state of mind and reduce your reasoning capacity. This means that you may be less likely to remember to wear a condom during sex, which could lead to STIs, HIV infection and even unwanted pregnancy.

Beware of peer pressure 

While you may find your friends’ opinions about sex and relationships relatable, you don’t have to agree with everything they say. If they’re sexually active, that’s okay – it’s their choice. If you’re not sexually active, it’s also okay and your friends need to respect your decision. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with waiting until you’re ready. Remember, a good friend will never try to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. If you’re not sure what to do when you feel pressured, rather read up more about sex and consent or Ask Choma for advice.

It’s really not that hard to practise safe sex. In fact you should do these things throughout the year anyway! I’ve only mentioned a few things that you can do but it’s always a good idea for you to read up and educate yourself about sex and other related issues. Remember to use condoms every single time! And if you aren’t ready to have sex, there’s nothing to be ashamed of – your body, your choice! 

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).