Should We Have Sex With Strangers While Travelling?

by | Dec 9, 2017

A couple flirting on a quaint street in France, Europe
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Last updated on January 21st, 2023

Featured Image: Sex with strangers while travelling – do or don’t? / Photo credit: SimpleFoto on DepositPhotos

Is it ‘cool’ to have sex with strangers while travelling?

by Evelyn Hannon, Founder, JourneyWoman

Recently 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 of view…

I’m 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 again.

young solo woman travelling

Featured Image: Young woman travelling in the desert / Photo credit Envato

Five things to consider about sex and travel  

This 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.

I know it might be difficult to resist but when you are feeling that age-old familiar urge I urge you to consider the following:

#1 – 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?

#2 – 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.

#3 – 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 halfway 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.

#4 – 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.

#5 – 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.

I rest my case.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 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.

Learn More About Sex and Travel

Evelyn started Journeywoman in 1994, and unknowingly became the world's first female travel blogger. She inspired a sisterhood of women, a grassroots movement, to inspire women to travel safely and well, and to connect women travellers around the world. She passed away in 2019, but her legacy lives on.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa P.

    About 25 years ago I was travelling alone on a cruise ship and was docked in Istanbul. I had befriended a male staff who invited me to a party on shore. As much as I wanted to enjoy the experience I didn’t know this person and no one would have any idea of my whereabouts. I opted to stay on board. I don’t regret my choice. Safety first.


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