GMFA Summer, sex and how I stay safer By Hadley Stewart | @wordsbyhadley As I write this, I’m fighting the temptation of stripping off entirely. Not because this article is about sex, but because it’s just too hot! Yes, I’ve turned into that British person who complains about the weather and arrives at a dinner party looking for the nearest absorbent fabric to mop up the sweat on my top lip. Summer is officially here and doesn’t Tesco’s deodorant stock know it. Of course, it’s not just antiperspirants that are taking a hit this summer, condoms and lube are also proving popular. The sky is blue, the birds are singing and we’re bonking like mad. Maybe we’re not all “bonking like mad”, but suddenly sex seems more appealing than a Pret salad on a lunch break. Why? Well, just look around you. Everyone has resigned their jeans to the top shelf of the wardrobe and have pulled out the shorts. Legs we’d never seen before are trotting up Tottenham Court Road, so it’s no wonder we’re feeling a little hornier than usual. The heat also does funny things to us, especially when it comes to booze. People really can’t handle their liquor during the summer heat. That’s either because they’ve found some spare change down the back of the sofa and are buying more drinks, or they’re dehydrated. Alcohol loves a dehydrated body, meaning our confidence levels go through the roof quicker and we feel able to go up to that guy in the bar. The downside is that we get drunk faster, so might topple over earlier than we were meant to – learning to pace yourself and drinking more water are valuable lessons to learn this summer. Perhaps the UK isn’t providing you with enough Vitamin D, so a foreign beach seems like the perfect place to go looking… Not only does sun cream need to be taken into consideration, but being gay or bi means we also need to think about if we’re going to get arrested just for having sex with another guy. The ‘D’ in ‘Dubai’ is not for ‘dick’, OK? Irrespective of the law of the land, sexual health services could also be a bit different to what we’re used to here. Packing a few (boxes of) condoms and some lube might be an idea, especially as you’ll be more likely to use them with a partner if there’s one in the vicinity. Holiday PrEP is also a thing and could be helpful if you think sex might be on the cards during your time abroad. The IWantPrEPNow website is a great place to buy PrEP online and advises doing the ‘7-7-7’ when it comes to taking PrEP for holiday purposes. In other words, take one daily pill for 7 days before the holiday, then one daily pill for 7 days (or longer) during the holiday, and finally one daily pill for 7 days after the holiday. Plus who wants to spend the holidays worrying? This could be an extra sexual safety net to make sure the holidays go swimmingly. But don’t worry if you’re not going anywhere. The usual suspects on social media are now even more naked than they were before. I don’t think you can scroll down your social media feed without at least three shirtless selfies in the park, and that’s before the morning commute. However, if the thought of sex in the summer heat isn’t turning you on, you’ll be thrilled to hear that On The Latch is back! The podcast has returned just in time for those long summer evenings, meaning that those of us who aren’t getting any this summer are at least able to hear about those who are.