Backpacker hook up culture is one of the appeals of travelling in South East Asia for a lot of young people. Abroad you don’t have to worry about avoiding sloppy seconds, running into you ex or your boss, or explaining that you don’t want anything long term as frequently as in your home town. One sight stands, or short lived romances are generally a given when travelling and this can make for a lot of fun. However, this lack of accountability has a flip side and comes with a unique set of safety precautions to consider:
If you get to the hotel where you’re spending the night and realize that neither of you has a condom, you might assume that you can just pop over to the nearest 24 hour convenience store to buy them. Unfortunately in Asia condoms can be hard to come by (forgive the pun). If you do manage to find condoms in an Asian corner store, they may not be the appropriate size. So buy condoms in your home country and make sure to bring one, or two, out with you.
Ask About Sleeping Arrangements in Advance:
Some people may forget to mention that they’re staying in a hostel dorm. Unless banging in front of ten other people appeals to you, just ask in advance. Also, consider hook ups when booking your accommodation. If you’re looking for love, maybe opt for a private room.
Diligence is Key:
Exercise the same precautions you would at home but with extra diligence. In a foreign place it’s easier to be taken advantage of, and the risks are more extreme. Make sure you have cab fare to get back to your hotel or hostel, give a friend the name/address of wherever you’re going, and add someone on Facebook before going home with them just to double check their identity. Also if you’ve had too much to drink don’t go home with a stranger, and if a stranger has had too much to drink definitely don’t go home with him/her. These last points also help to avoid encountering nature’s way of curbing the proliferation of alcoholics: Whiskey dick.
A “Fuck Yes” or a “No”:
These are words to live by, but especially when you’re in an unfamiliar place, if you’re not 100% feeling it with someone, you probably shouldn’t sleep with them. Once again backpacker hook ups are made fun by a lack of accountability, but this also makes them a little more risky than at home. Besides even if your one-time-lover has no intention of doing you harm, it still might suck to hook up with someone you’re not that into.
Know Where You Are:
Download a GPS map app such as ‘maps.me’ so that you can know exactly where you are even when you don’t have internet access. Program the location and name of your hostel or hotel into your app before you go out so that no matter where you end up, you’ll know how to get back.
Pick up a small metal or plastic hand weapon and keep it on you at all times. This may seem a little over kill but you never know when it might come in handy. Even if you never use your Knuckle Duster on someone, it may give you peace of mind just knowing that it’s there. The benefit of a hand weapon over pepper spray is that it’s much easier for pepper spray to be used against you. Keep your knuckle duster at the bottom of your bag and if shit gets weird put it on your hand discretely, and only use it as a last resort.