May 2009

Sun, Sea, Sand and Sex!

Your essential guide for safer fun in the sun!

Planning to bring back anything nice from your holiday?

We all look forward to going away, whether it’s just for kicks, fun in the sun or trotting across the globe; but did you know that a whopping one in five men in the UK catches a sexually transmitted infection whilst on their holiday?

At Over The Rainbow we have put together some helpful suggestions to help you enjoy that holiday fling, without bringing back any unexpected holiday souvenirs.

Be prepared!

Good quality condoms and lube are not always available throughout the world.

  • Don’t rely on condoms being readily available. There is little or no free condom and lube distribution in foreign gay bars clubs and saunas. Even If they are available, they might not always be there when you need them.
  • Condoms for sale abroad may not meet the UK standards that you are used to receiving back home, so it’s always a good idea to take a healthy stash of condoms and lube with you when you go away on holiday. Its always better to take too many than not enough!
  • Condoms need to be kept away from damp, hot places and kept out of direct sunlight! Keep ‘em nice and fresh, a new condom works better than an old one, so always check the expiry date.
  • Don’t forget that 60-80% of STI’s are asymptomatic which means that you can catch an STI without having any symptoms. So, once you’ve got back home and uploaded your facebook photos, take the time to pop in for a check up or even a nice cup of tea!

Destination Unknown…

In the UK the legal age for people to have sex is 16, however, this age of consent is not the same world wide. Different countries have their own laws regarding same sex relationships.

Some countries find it offensive to see open displays of affection between two people of the same sex whilst in others it is customary to walk down the street hand in hand with another man/lady!

Avoid trouble… do your homework!

  • Take the time to find out more about the area that you’re travelling to, most holiday destinations have information available on the internet about local gay hot spots as well as how much to bare on the beach!
  • You’ve all seen what happened to Bridget Jones in Thailand! Use your loaf, don’t accept packages from people you have just met or befriended, that ancient love statue might not be so innocent!
  • Bag snatchers and pickpockets prey on tourists, especially in busy areas so keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Don’t take all your money out at once and make sure you’ve got some travellers cheques just in case.
  • Be wary of people who may want to befriend you, they may have a hidden agenda and want to rob or harm you in some way. Stay together and always let your friends know where you are at all times!

Holiday Guides

The Spartacus international gay guide has the low down on gay friendly hotels, gay night clubs, bars and saunas as well as the hottest beaches across the world. Revised annually, it is available from all good gay outlets and bookshops.

With 500 titles available, lonely planet is one of the world’s largest guidebook publishers. Each guide contains all the local information that you need to safely navigate around your chosen destination. If you’ve ran out of room in your suitcase, then fear not, lonely planet have downloadable chapters available from their website, including vital information for LGB travellers.

Want to know more about where you’re going? Log onto the internet and check out the following websites or take a visit to your local bookshop to check out these great titles!

Useful Websites:
Gay Times - Hot Spots
Gay Travel
Time Out
Lonely Planet
Spartacus World Gay Guide

Useful Phrases!

Don’t know your senor from your senoritas? It’s always useful to have some local lingo under your belt when you’re in a foreign country. Not only does it make you look muchos cultural darling, it’s a really good way of making sure you don’t end up with any nasty surprises. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Handy holiday chat ups, what a good incentive to learn a new language!


"I want to use a condom!"

Spanish: Quiero utilizar un condon

Italian: Voglio utilizzare un preservation

French: Je veux utilise un condom

Sun Screen, Tattoos and piercings, Face lift holidays...

For part two of our article, click here.

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