DanceSafe & Safe Sex: A Guest Blog from Beforeplay.orgMitchell Gomez
DanceSafe is centered on health and safety in the electronic music world, but what about health and safety after you head home from an event and slip between the sheets with that special dancing someone? That’s where Beforeplay.org comes in.
Beforeplay.org is around to help “normalize” conversations about sexual health and make sure we can all have our fun (and enjoy it too) by staying safe, honest and informed. We encourage everyone to #JustTalkAboutIt. One big issue for us – and we hope you – is consent in all things sexual. Just to clarify: when we say, “consent,” it means that everyone involved in ANY sexual encounter has given their full, enthusiastic approval to what’s going down.
Consent is particularly relevant in the nightlife and electronic music communities because, let’s face it, you guys like to party—and we totally dig your style. But when the alcohol is flowing, the pot is lit and other drugs are well within play, it’s essential to know that only “yes” means “yes” when it comes to sex. When you – and your partner — are under the influence, the rules of consent still apply.
Here’s a quick list of need-to-knows so you can keep yourself in “yes” check:
- Consent can only come if you are of sound mind to give it freely. So if somebody is incapable of giving straightforward permission without being pressured or threatened, then that’s a definite no-go situation. No exceptions. Consent must be given of your own free will.
- Consent can be revoked at any time. If someone consents at the start, but then changes his or her mind later on, it’s time to stop what you’re doing right away.
- Open conversation is key. Verbal consent is really the only kind that can’t be misconstrued, so strive for that as the gold standard.
And while we’re talking about talking about it – it’s always a good idea to talk about if you’ve both (or all) been tested for STDs before you start getting hot and heavy. Yeah, we know. It can be a little awkward. But having a conversation is a lot less stressful than getting an STD, so don’t be shy to speak up.
Now, if you and your partner(s) consent to some pre-, post- or mid-party sexual play, definitely don’t forget the condoms. Condoms are the only forms of birth control that protect against unintended pregnancy and STDs, so they’re pretty much like the kings of contraception. In nightlife circles, quick hookups are common, so you want to be sure you take care of yourself and come prepared.
Should an “oops moment” occur (say, the condom breaks, you don’t use one, you’re exposed to an STI, or something else goes wrong), it’s important to have a plan. Emergency Contraception (EC) is available over the counter in Colorado and can help prevent unintended pregnancy if taken within 5 days of unprotected sex. Just keep in mind: the earlier the better because EC is more effective the sooner you use it. Also, it’s always good to know where there’s a health care clinic nearby should you need STD screenings, access to birth control or have questions about sexual safety. Beforeplay.org happens to have a handy clinic locator that even flags low-cost locations. Gotta love that.
So in conclusion, as you prep for a night of electronic euphoria (and maybe some responsible drinking or drug use), make sure safe sex is at the top of your consideration list. Sex is only safe when everyone feels, well, safe. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. In every way. And that can only happen if consent has been made clear.
Once safety has been established, we say: go ahead and get it on. Being flirty and frisky is loads of fun, and Beforeplay.org is proud to connect with DanceSafe to keep it all safe.