LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth
|by Sal Seeley LCSW|
|Hot Fun in the Summer
When it's hot outside, the call of the wild is too much for many of us to resist. Summer is the time of year when you escape the heat of the city by getting away from it all and coming to Rehoboth. Your holiday in Rehoboth or some other exotic locale is a time to relax, soak up the sun, meet some hot guys, and release some stress. You don't want an unexpected accident, illness or Sexually Transmitted Infection to ruin your vacation. Here are a few plans that I make before I go away.
Traveling to the beach or beyond. The main problem is dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
Sunning. Protect yourself against the sun. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m.3 p.m. if you can. Otherwise, make sure you get that hunky guy sitting next to you to lather you up with a SPF that is high enough for your skin type. If you do get sunburn, treat it right away!
Partying. Letting your hair down and going a bit crazy is part of being on vacation, but remember that you can still catch STIs, including HIV. Many drinks at the beach bars are stronger than at home. Be careful with recreational drugs. You're away from home and in a different environment so you are more vulnerable.
Here are some things to pack before you travel:
Condoms. Finding condoms in an area you're not familiar with might be a challenge. Make sure you bring plenty along, all shapes, colors and styles. You never know what your partner might like and you want to make sure you're prepared.
Lube. Pack your own. Be safe and bring a travel sized bottle of lube!
Other tips to remember:
Location. Get comfortable with the area so you know where you are.
Be friendly. It never hurts to be friendly and if you do get in trouble it's good to have some friends to help you out.
Be in control. This is the most important. Don't feel pressured to have sex if you don't feel comfortable about it. If it doesn't feel right, walk away. There will be plenty of other guys to choose from. If you choose to go home with someone, make sure you feel safe. If it seems dodgy at all, don't bother. The thrill of hooking up isn't worth getting beaten up or worse.
These are just a few tips and plans that I make before I go on vacation. Do what is best for you to ensure a good time. Remember, have fun, play smart, and CAMPsafe.
Sal Seeley is Program Director of CAMPsafe, an HIV/AIDS program funded through a contract with the Delaware Division of Public Health. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Confidential HIV testing is available at CAMP Rehoboth. Call Sal at 302-227-5620 to schedule an appointment.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 08 June 27, 2008