A fling on vacation can be fun … just be sure to follow these rules. (Photo: iStock)
Embarking on a passionate vacation fling is something we’ve all dreamed about at some point in our lives.
The combination of an exotic location and the allure of an attractive stranger can seem like a fairytale, even if those emotions are fleeting.
According to a recent study by TripAdvisor, 58% of people surveyed said they have embarked on a vacation romance, and if my experience is anything to go by (hot Australian guy in Sydney, 2003), they won’t forget their encounters anytime soon.
But while sun, sand, and sex can certainly make for some incredible memories, there are risks involved in hooking up with that gorgeous mystery man or woman you have been giving sexy-eyes to across the pool.
To ensure you make the most of your vacation hook-up potential, and stay safe while you are being wooed in the waves or serenaded on the slopes, check out these top tips:
Romance shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind. (Photo: iStock)
Don’t Make Romance The Focus Of Your Vacation
Whether you are traveling alone or with a group of friends, you are setting yourself up to fail if you make the task of finding a romantic encounter the focus of your trip. All you will have achieved is spending money and vacation days on a trip that hasn’t lived up to expectations. Instead, appreciate your vacation for what it is, and if a hot date comes along for the ride, it’s a bonus. And let’s be honest, desperation is not sexy.
Don’t Change Your Plans
Canceling that excursion to ride horses on the beach or extending your stay for a couple of extra days might seem a good idea at the time. But if you are doing it for the sake of a potential sojourn between the sheets, you might feel differently once you are back home. “Make sure that, even if you’ve slept with someone, you still went on vacation to do what you enjoy,” says sex and marriage expert Dr. Jane Greer. “Preserve your own time away and on your own doing the things you want to do.” Try to stick to the itinerary that you planned before the trip. Changing your agenda for a relationship that has little chance of lasting past the end of the week will only lead to regrets.
Don’t Expect To Fall In Love
While the idea of marrying the waiter and spending the rest of your life in Ibiza might seem great at the time, sadly you are unlikely to have been the first (or last) chick to have that dream. “Make sure you’re the one-night-stand type of gal because sex on vacation with a stranger is most likely going to be a one-time thing,” advises sex and relationship expert Carrie Borzillo, who wrote the book Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend and to Living Life Like a Rock Star.
“Don’t expect to fall in love. Don’t expect for him/her to fly out to visit you. Don’t even expect a text the next morning,” Borzillo added. “Be in the moment and own your sexuality. It’s okay to have a one-night stand and never see him/her again as long as you respect and protect yourself.”
Have fun, but drink in moderation. (Photo: iStock)
Don’t Drink Too Much
While a few cocktails around the pool might be good for lowering your inhibitions and supplying the courage for a possible romantic rendezvous, one Sex On the Beach too many can actually be dangerous. “Make sure to only drink moderately,” Dr Greer advises. “Don’t move forward (with an amorous relationship) intoxicated and unable to make mindful choices about what you do/don’t want to engage in or what you’re comfortable doing.”
Aside from getting alcohol poisoning and potentially ruining the rest of your vacation, drinking too much can also make you more vulnerable to theft, assault, and sexual assault, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). If you are going to drink alcohol, be responsible. Think sexy and relaxed, not sloppy.
Don’t Take Risks
If you wouldn’t leave a bar with someone you just met back at home, you shouldn’t consider it on vacation either. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or like something doesn’t feel right, go with your gut. Leave and head to a safe place immediately.
Don’t let your guard down either. Being on vacation creates a false sense of security that can make you vulnerable. Do not assume that other vacationers will have your best interests at heart. “The ‘stranger danger’ warning that your parents told you about as a kid still holds true as an adult, especially if you’re going to have sex with a stranger. Safe sex is not just about wearing a condom; it’s about preventing yourself from ending up on the 5 o’clock news,” says Borzillo. “I once asked a guy if I could take a photo of his driver’s license so I could email it to my friend before I’d go home with him. He obliged. If you don’t want to take it that far, then you need to at least know his full name and maybe even take a cute selfie together than you can text your friend and let them know where you are and who you are with.”
Also, be careful what you post on social media. Giving away your location can put you at risk. Know the local area and keep important numbers on hand — the number for the police, your hotel, a legitimate cab company, etc.
A fling is more fun if you actually connect with the person. (Photo: iStock)
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you should lower your standards and go for the first person who shows interest. No one wants to look back on a vacation with regret. Being selective is always a good idea, and avoiding hooking up with people staying at your hotel, or in your tour group, will likely prevent the awkward post-one-night-stand glances round the pool the next day.
“Always follow the golden rule,” says Bree Schwartz from Fight Back on Spring Break, a travel safety program aimed at college students. “Come with your friends and leave with your friends.”
“Look out for each other. If you see someone not in your group in a potentially bad situation, look out for them too. Being an active bystander is the best way we can work together to end violence of all kinds,” Schwartz explains.
If you are going to take your romance to the next level, always, always, always protect yourself. “You need to be responsible about being sexually active,” says Dr. Greer, who authored the book What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. “Not only use birth control, but use a condom to protect against any kind of STIs. Have a conversation about sexual health before you hop in the sack. You don’t want to bring any unwanted ‘souvenirs’ home with you.”
Try something new … why not? You’re on vacation! (Photo: iStock)
Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
Having a fling on vacation is a perfect opportunity to try something new. If you always wait for someone else to make the first move, try offering to buy someone a drink. Or if you usually go for brunettes, flirt with someone with blonde hair for a change. As long as you are being safe, and not taking any risks with your health and security, vacation flirtations can be a good time to push your own boundaries.
Be Prepared … For it To End.
According to the TripAdvisor survey, 93% of holiday romances end. In fact, over 75% of them are over before you have even left the resort. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but try not to get too emotionally attached to your new admirer.
“Be very clear about what your objective is. You want to have a great vacation, and if you meet someone to whom you’re attracted, you’re comfortable being sexual with them,” says Dr. Greer. “However, understand that you may never hear from them again. If you’re hoping that in the aftermath they will call you or stay in touch, it’s better you don’t sleep with them.”
In other words, enjoy it while it lasts.
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