I've read several blogs written by experienced backpackers
who offer their well-intentioned tips on having good,
clean sex in hostels around the world. They list advice
about soil-free sheets, using condoms and not being
excessively noisy and disturbing fellow hostelers.
I've reviewed these tips and was left wondering 'do
solo women travelers think it's cool to have casual
sex with strangers on the road?' Are they traveling
with an exaggerated hope of meeting Mr. Right? Are
they aware of the possible dangers?
From a safety point
a travel journalist, a mother of daughters and a grandmother.
My views on sexual mores will probably be somewhat
different from younger women who are reading this
article. That said, my point of view is based not
on sexual practices but on safety issues. I've seen
too many emails from worried families whose daughters
(young and older) have gone missing while travelling.
I've learned about women found dead on a deserted
beach or those who have never been seen or heard from
set of five things to think about is aimed at the
woman who travels solo and who will inevitably meet
charming men along the way who will turn her head.
know it might be difficult to resist but when you
are feeling that age old familiar urge I urge you
to consider the following:
- How much do you know about this man? It makes sense
that any man with seduction in mind is going to treat
you very, very nicely. That's what seduction is all
about. The truth is you probably don't know this man
at all. Does he have an ulterior motive? Is he dishonest?
Will he drug you? Will he skip out with your passport
or your money? Will he abuse you?
- In your own country you understand it if a male
is behaving in strange ways. You
know how to pick up the social cues and question his
emotional stability. In a foreign culture those clues
aren't readily apparent to you and you might be flirting
with a social deviant. As my own mom used to say,
'this man could be an axe murderer'. Enough said.
- At home you don't live in a vacuum. Should you be
in danger family and friends are always just an email
or phone call away. If they don't hear from you for
a while the alarm bells naturally go off and people
begin checking. When you are all alone half way around
the world and someone is holding you against your
will, nobody knows and that makes things even more
horrifying. Those trying to find you have no idea
where to even start.
- Don't be flattered. Often you are simply a challenge.
In some cultures 'only bad girls' will even consider
sex before marriage. In these countries women's rights
as you know them don't exist and men consider it fair
game to seduce a foreign woman. All you become is
a notch in their collective belt and by morning they
are planning their next conquest.
- The concept of six degrees of separation doesn't
exist on the road. In your social circle you drop
the name of a new man that attracts you and one of
your girlfriends might say, "I know him...nice
guy' or 'He dated my cousin ...bad news.' When you're
in a foreign culture and just passing through there
is absolutely nobody you can rely on to tell you the
real truth. Don't for one minute believe that 'his
friends' will tell you anything but nice things about
your suitor. They're totally on his side.
rest my case.
I'd be naive if I believed that everybody will take
this advice all of the time. To you I say.... Be careful,
trust your gut and stay safe.