Last updated on April 25th, 2022
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.
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 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.
#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.
Marriage between cultures…
The article, She Teaches Italian Men was written by Sheila Wright for Journeywoman in 1996. It still makes us smile. Sheila Wright married her Italian boyfriend who followed her back to Ontario, Canada. Now she has written, Amare, A true Italian Love Story published by www.iuniverse.com. Click here to read more about this lovely union.
Marguerite van Galdermasen travelled from New Zealand to Jordan and fell in love with a Bedouin. Her book is aptly called, Married to a Bedouin.
Not Without My Daughter is a compelling bestselling book and movie. In 1984, Betty Mahmoody’s husband took his wife and daughter to meet his family in Iran. He swore they would be safe. They would be happy. They would be free to leave. That was not what happened.
Plan Your Trip
Get started with resources recommended by the JourneyWoman community
Book Your Flights
Find Somewhere to Stay
Looking for an apartment or something more long-term? Check out VRBO.
Insure Your Trip
Travel insurance is more important than ever. Compare plans and policies for the best coverage for your trip using Insure My Trip.
Looking for a Tour?
Head to the Women’s Travel Directory to find a woman-friendly tour around the world.
Why not brush up on a new language before your trip with Babbel.
Don’t forget your JourneyWoman branded accessories while you’re on the go!
Learn More About Safety on the Road
Practical travel safety tips to help young women plan and prepare for their first solo trip, covering physical to online safety.
Women’s safety advocate Tracey Breeden shares how women can protect themselves against online harassment, which data shows is intensifying.
Women’s safety expert Tracey Breeden shares her top tips for women to stay safe in the digital world.