Summer’s coming! How can I keep myself safe and sexy all summer long?
Great question! With all of the resources at your fingertips while on campus, it might seem daunting to know where to look when you’re off campus (or even out of the country!), but with a little planning ahead you’ll be in for a safe and sexy summer.
Before you leave, pick up some extra safer sex supplies from an RA’s door, Health Services or one of your friendly neighborhood SHEs! We have external and internal condoms, gloves, finger cots, dental dams, lube and information available to you. It’s also never a bad idea to keep a couple of extras on hand in case of an emergency. Just be sure that you are keeping your supplies stored safely in a container
that will keep them cool and safe from pressure and puncturing. If you find yourself running low on safer sex supplies and are off campus, check out a local pharmacy or try looking online to get some shipped to you. We recommend Good Vibrations, a store in Brookline, MA, for a huge variety of safer sex supplies; additionally the CVS website and Amazon have great deals and ship quickly.
In case you do have unprotected sex in which pregnancy is a possibility, emergency contraception is a great option to prevent pregnancy. There are two pills, Plan B and ella. Plan B is more effective the sooner you take it, ideally within the first 24 hours and up
to 72 hours after unprotected sex, and is available over the counter, while ella is effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex and available by prescription. However, ella can be obtained in a doctor’s office, CVS Minute Clinic or online at KwikMed, while Plan B is available in many pharmacies and clinics, as well as Health Services and online, even on Amazon. The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is another choice for emergency contraception but needs to be placed by a professional within five days of unprotected sex, and therefore may not be the easiest option when you’re not on campus. The best thing about emergency contraception pills is that you can stock up on them and keep them with you throughout your travels, even across state or international borders. It’s a great option to have on hand in case of an emergency, especially when time is of the essence and you aren’t sure where you can get it — or if it’s even legally sold in your area.
If, during your summer excursions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) become a concern, you have a few options. If you are in the Boston area, Fenway Health is a great option for STI testing that accepts all types of insurance and offers a sliding scale for those without insurance or who feel uncomfortable using their parent’s insurance. They are also extremely LGBT friendly. Throughout the country, Planned Parenthood offers STI testing and care on a sliding scale or through insurance. Internationally, conditions vary wildly, but the Internet should have resources that can guide you based on the country you are in. Feel free to reach out to us with any concerns.
If you want to be sure that you are starting off your summer on the best foot, Health Services has a wide array of options for you. In addition to offering safer sex supplies, you can make an appointment to see a gynecologist or women’s health nurse. If you’re a senior, Health Services is still offering Senior GYN clinics every Monday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. so that you can get checked out before you check out. The exams and consultations are free; however any lab tests you may need will incur a fee, but this will be discussed with you before it occurs. They will also be performing pap smears and internal exams. Reproductive health is important even if you’re not sexually active or a senior, so be sure to stop in and take advantage of this incredible option.
As always, if you have any questions, check out our social media or ask a SHE.
Have a safe, healthy and fun summer!