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Which means it’s a good time to talk about sex.
Safe sex to be precise.
We asked some seasoned Schoolies veterans what they learnt from their experiences. Here’s what they had to say about how to keep safe from STIs and unplanned pregnancies while you’re getting your holiday freak on.
Kate had a great time at Schoolies last year and says the best way to avoid an awkward situation, or a total mood killer, is to make sure you’ve always got condoms handy.
“When you’re about to have sex with a hottie, having a condom ready saves the embarrassment of having to run down to the shops or stop what you’re doing to ask a friend.”
Tip: Condoms are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and all-hours convenience stores so you shouldn’t have any trouble hunting them down. If you’re strapped for cash, many sexual health centres have free condoms available. Check out our website for a list of places near you.
James reckons a lot of what you hear in the media about Schoolies is a bit over-hyped and that there are ways of getting involved, having a drink or two and meeting cool people- without going overboard.
“I always felt safe at Schoolies but there is one thing to remember: What happens at Schoolies stays at Schoolies… except for Herpes!”
Stats show us that sales of the morning after pill sky rocket during Schoolies which means that not everyone is using condoms or barrier methods.
Tip: While the pill protects you from unwanted pregnancies, it doesn’t protect against STIs including HIV. If you want to stay safe from STIs, HIV and pregnancy, condoms and barrier methods are the way to go.
Bettina went to Victor Harbour in S.A. for Schoolies. She says sex wasn’t high on her and her friends’ list of priorities when they got to Schoolies and that it would’ve been good if they’d been more prepared.
“My advice is to do some research around safe sex and STIs before you go to Schoolies. Talk about it with your friends and get help if you need it.”
Tip: A lot of STIs don’t have any symptoms so even if potential sex partners assure you, all in good faith, that they don’t have any STIs, they may have one and just not know about it. To be sure that you don’t come home from Schoolies with anything that you didn’t leave with (at the risk of sounding like a broken record!) stick to condoms and other barrier methods.
But it’s not necessarily all about sex. Lee didn’t hook up at Schoolies and is totally OK with it.
“I think it’s really important to have a conversation with yourself about what you want to get into, what you’re ready for and what your boundaries are. I still had a great time at Schoolies without having sex with anyone. If the right person had’ve come along, the situation could have been different.
“Don’t do anything you don’t want to do, respect yourself, look out for your mates who are drinking and make sure your friends have got your back as well.”
This year’s Schoolies celebrations are running from the 17th of November to the 2nd of December. Once you’re home safely, have unpacked your bags and uploaded your photos to Facebook, get in touch with us and share your own safe sex tips. Hit us up on Facebook, via email or submit a form on our website.