Women who have casual vacation sex underestimate the risks

Sex on the beach

For men and women alike, going on vacation usually translates to cutting loose and having a good time. For many ladies, however, it also provides the green light for casual sex and risky sexual behavior.

A recent study from the University of Illinois took a closer look at the phenomenon that is vacation sex. What is it that triggers sexual risk-taking while vacationing? Researchers say that it’s the departure from tight schedules, social judgment and everyday responsibilities that ultimately opens the door.

In other words, being away loosens inhibitions.

For the study, over 850 American women aged 18 to 50 filled out an online survey regarding tourist situations thought to encourage risky sexual behavior. They also weighed in on how risky they perceived certain situations to be. This included situations like having casual sex while drunk.

In the end, many of the women reported that drinking alcohol made them more open to pushing their sexual boundaries and trying things they normally wouldn’t. It appears that pulling away from social expectations also promoted sexual confidence and overall risk-taking. For example, many of the women surveyed said that anonymity played a major role. The ability to anonymously participate in sexual fantasies was a big draw for some. Others went as far as to say that sexual experimentation and erotic thrills were vacation musts.

Researcher Liza Berdychevsky of the University of Illinois says that the study offers practical considerations for health programs aimed at addressing sexual risk-taking among female tourists. For example, group tours, sightseeing trips, rest and relaxation trips, and backpacking could be targeted to help streamline education and prevention efforts.

The biggest takeaway is that vacation sex, while thrilling for many, isn’t free of risk.

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