Thursday, March 19, 2009

And the Spring Break Sexversation continues....

Same question. 3 opinions.

Do our sexual boundaries change while on vacation or spring break, and if so is that okay? (Ex: What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico.)

Keshia tells all-
The only time I actually plan to have completely anonymous hook-up sex is when I’m going on vacation. While in my circle of friends it, at one time, was a running joke that I was going to try and have sex in every continent, I know I am far from alone.

The idea of a vacation is already fantasy enough. Staying in a immaculately clean 4-star hotel with 500-thread count sheets, a balcony overlooking (fill in: beach, European city, etc.), and maid service is enough to send most women into insta-orgasm already. Then add, no job or boss to answer to, gorgeous weather, your best friends at your side, and no one judging you for popping open a bottle of champagne at 11AM, and you have utopia.

Of course our sexual boundaries change on vacation, along with every other boundary that we set for ourselves in the “real world.” We eat 1000-calories at breakfast, lunch and dinner – each! We substitute our 8-10 glasses of water each day with 8-10 cocktails, we stay up until the sun comes out, we spend money with no regard for our checking account, and we don’t care because we are on vacation.

We inhibit ourselves so much in the day to day operation of our real lives because we are afraid of what other people would think. But not just any people, we really only care about the people we know or come in contact with on a regular basis. I would love to grab that hot guy in the elevator and start giving him amazing head before we reach his office on the 27th floor, but I can’t because tomorrow morning I will have to see him again.

On vacation, the strangers who happen to be in my magical paradise the same time I am there have no expectations of me. They don’t know who I am or what I’m about, so, in my mind, the shock value is gone, and I can be as free as I want to be. And yes, that is absolutely okay.
See what else is on Keshia’s mind at

The Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex, Alexandra Katehakis chimes in-

I think people drop their inhibitions while on vacation when it comes to sex, alcohol, gambling, shopping, or eating. To many, "vacation" means a break from all responsibility so letting loose can feel like a stress reliever. While having a little extra fun on vacation is okay for most, some will take it to self-destructive ends due to lack of impulse control. Any activity that repeatedly takes a person out of their integrity is secretive, shaming, or abusive is likely a problem.

"What happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico" is fine as long as the person can look themselves in the mirror when they've returned home and feel good about their experiences.

Marcia Baczynski shares her perspective-
This is a great question to consider whether you're in a relationship or not. Most of us don't stop to consider our own sexual boundaries and agreements with ourselves when thinking about questions like this, but we all have things we will or won't do, and our reasons for that. And, if we're in a relationship, there's a lot more to consider.

Being in a different environment than usual can be incredibly liberating. People don't know you. The weather's fantastic. Your usual responsibilities don't apply, and you have all the time in the world. You meet a hot stranger... and you hook up.

So does what happens in Mexico, stay in Mexico?

Well, it depends. There are some factors to consider. Are you being true to your own values? Are you breaking someone else's trust? Are you playing safe (physically and emotionally)? There's a world of difference between A) giving into pressure for a condomless fuck with a stranger, when you have a long-term, committed, monogamous significant other at home and B) having a good time with someone new while knowing exactly what to expect, when there's an on-again/off-again fuck buddy house-sitting for you. And there's all sorts of gray area in between.

If you don't have a significant other, then you owe no one an explanation. Maybe you had a great time, maybe you learned something new about yourself, and maybe you found out something you never want to do again. Regardless of the outcome, it's your personal business. You may find that there are some new avenues you want to explore sexually, and you can do that as the opportunities present themselves. You may want to create those opportunities yourself.

If you DO have someone whose trust you might have broken, that's a different story. It's not about "Are you going to get in trouble?" Fact is, if you tell your partner, you probably will have to face some music. Fundamentally, though, it's about what kind of relationship you want to have. If you're fine with both of you having your secrets, then there's maybe no reason to speak up. But if you want your significant other to trust you and build intimacy between you, it's perhaps best to take your lumps and come clean.

A friend once called me with a dilemma. Her boyfriend had just come back from vacation in Thailand. He sat her down and said there was something he wanted to talk to her about. Turns out he had had sex a Thai prostitute. Without a condom. In questionable circumstances. Needless to say, she was not pleased with this information. She was absolutely pissed that he cheated on her and put himself into a dangerous situation. On the other hand, he respected her enough to come clean about it before he had sex with her, so that she could make an informed choice about what to do. The cognitive dissonance was a little hard to navigate: "He cheated on me, but he cleaned it up as fast as he could and without putting me at risk. Should I go with being pissed? Or should I be grateful that he cares so much about me that he didn't keep it a secret?"

It took some time, but they eventually worked it out. He might have messed up, but he didn't make her pay for it. His honesty about what happened, and the fact that he respected her enough to let her make the choice about how to handle it, laid the foundation for their relationship to get better and stronger. A year and half later, they're still together, happier than ever.

--Marcia is the Director of Relationship Programming for Ideal Balance

Thank you for sharing your thoughts ladies.

Look out for more in this Sexversation series in the coming days. We could talk about spring break for-e-v-e-r.

Wishing we were on a beautiful tropical island right now!

- K & B

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