Along with house parties, learning how to cook and – yes – actually getting a degree, one-night stands can be an exciting part of the university experience for many. A university student’s sex life is definitely more fluid – it is the perfect opportunity to explore your sexuality. However, one survey from Student Beans has suggested that many students aren’t being as careful as we should be with 42% of students having had at least one one-night stand. And of course, it doesn’t start and end with university life! Many of us are sexually active with multiple partners, but are we all taking the right precautions?
The thing is, we all know about the dangers of having unprotected sex and most of us have knowledge about how easy it is to contract one, so why are we still taking these risks with our health for one night of passion?
We are lucky enough to live in a day and age where society is much more relaxed regarding sex and relationships as a whole. There is no reason why two single individuals can’t have fun, and it doesn’t take much to follow these simple precautions so you can have peace of mind, keeping you safe and allowing you to have the maximum amount of fun too.
This doesn’t only include having a stash of condoms and taking a reliable contraceptive (if you’re female). Both of which are essential and easily accessible – no excuses – but it also includes keeping your friends well informed.
If you’re intoxicated, are you in the right frame of mind? Are you having a one-night stand for the right reason? It isn’t just about your physical self being safe, but emotionally too. The three big no’s are:
- The rebound – have you just come out of a serious relationship?
- Searching for a relationship – pursuing a crush that just won’t commit?
- To validate yourself – no one-night stand should be a reason to increase confidence.
These are three very common scenarios most of us have fallen victim to. Think with your mind as well as your heart when considering a one-night stand, and remember to be physically safe by following these simple steps:
- Carry contraception – condoms and tablets.
- Talk to your friends beforehand.
- Whatsapp/message friends your plans and movements.
- Ideally head to your place – making you more comfortable and ultimately, safe. If not, let your friends know your location through message or even ‘pinning’ your location so they can track you.
- NEVER head off in an unmarked taxi.
- Clean your apartment, taking care of your most expensive items – you might be confident with the other person, but you still know nothing about them. Don’t risk it.
- Take your phone charger.
The essential health stuff
This is obvious, something that is drummed into us, and for good reason – 66% of us who have admitted to a one-night stand have also admitted to not using protection. STI’s are on the rise, and you’re not only risking your health, but your quality of life by not taking the right precautions. The most common are chlamydia, genital warts and gonorrhoea, which are easily treated with antibiotics, however they are hardly pleasant and can be easily transported even if you have no symptoms. These three are a picnic in comparison to what you could be risking…
Have you considered the likes of genital herpes (an infection with you for life, costing potentially £100’s a month), HPV virus (the most common cause of cervical cancer) or HIV (which can also develop into AIDs with your life span dropping to 3 years without appropriate treatment)?
For one night of fumbling, it just doesn’t seem worth it…unless you’re taking the right precautions:
- Always wear a condom – whether you’re male or female. They are still the best form of protection.
- For females, take protection in the form of contraceptive pills, the injection or the coil – whatever you have found works best for you. Contraceptive pills are the most popular proving convenient protection for many women, are available from your GP or can be purchased online.
It is worth mentioning your emotional health. Whether a relationship is the first intention or not, feelings can develop between one or both parties leading to awkward encounters and hurt feelings. Remember to distance yourself, or be honest as soon as possible if you would like something more.
You’ve had your night of no-strings, but you haven’t been as careful as you should, or you want to take those extra precautions. For a girl, this could mean the morning after pill that is available from online sexual health clinics as well as pharmacies. Despite the name, certain morning after pills can be taken up to five days after sexual intercourse, although they will be more effective taken as soon as possible.
Secondly, you might feel more confident taking a trip to the GUM clinic or you can buy kits and tests online if you’re not able to reach a clinic during opening hours. If you happen to have caught an STI, don’t panic, you can grab the correct treatment at your doctors or STI clinic, and this is also available online.
Whatever the trouble, it can often be cured with a simple treatment, and the right level of care on your part.
There should be no shaming and blaming when it comes to a one-night stand. From the stats the majority of us have had at least one, it’s just taking those precautions means you can have the maximum amount of fun without worrying about the consequences. A relaxed nature towards casual sex is completely acceptable, however endangering your health should never be taken with a pinch of salt.