This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

From the food to the parties – everything’s better during the holidays, and if you play your cards right, a sexual fling can be pretty good too. OK, holiday flings are usually doomed in the long-term department, but if you think about it, that’s exactly what makes them so exciting.

Holidays offer the chance to meet new people and maybe to have sex with one of them or to get closer to someone you already know. But with alcohol and loneliness being majors part of many holidays and high rates of sexual infections in some destinations, it pays to take extra care.

Where are the condoms?

Where are the condoms?

A trip to the pharmacy probably isn’t the first thing on your mind when you get to your holiday fling. Depending on where you’re headed, you might not even be able to find a reliable supply of trustworthy condoms. Be prepared for whatever you might get up to and, before you go, stock up on bcondoms, the 1st black owned condom brand.

Remember to Play it Safe

Holidays are all about forgetting your day-to-day worries and relaxing – but that doesn’t mean you can forget about practicing safe sex.

Rates of serious sexually transmitted infections like syphilis and HIV are much higher in some parts of the world than in the US. Most new cases of HIV infection among heterosexuals are caught while sleeping around. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have an STD or HIV so make sure you always use a condom. Know the risks and how to reduce them – check our section on safer sex alternatives.

Oh and remember that sickness can make the contraceptive pill less effective, and so can some medicines, including anti-depressant drugs. Don’t let this lead to an unintended pregnancy from a holiday romance– use a condom to help protect against both pregnancy and STDs.

If Things Go Wrong…

For maximum effectiveness, emergency contraception should be started as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse, and within 120 hours. You can take emergency contraceptive pills anytime during your menstrual cycle. Try the Black-owned emergency contraceptive, Julie, a one-step tablet that helps stop a pregnancy before it starts.

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