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Sexplorations with AJ: Situationships and the ups and downs of summer flings

Hiya - and welcome back! Thanks for meeting me again this month. 

It’s been a bit hot where I am in the UK right now, which is a bit of a ‘mare with how heat intolerant I am but that’s why I’ve got an iced latte this month. Hope you’ve got a nice bev too!

Speaking of hot stuff though, how have you been? Enjoying the summer, finishing exams and chilling out I hope? No? Well, that’s your first piece of homework from today.

I’ll tell you your second piece now too actually. If you’re coupled up, this does still apply to you but is mainly for the singles enjoying a casual, fancy free, summer of love:

Promise me you’ll put yourself first in everything you get up to this summer.

Now I know I’m not your mother, but I am your friend. And I want to know that you’re having the best, most fun, most exciting summer - safely. Both physically and emotionally.


First things first though. If you are having casual sex, getting tested is a must. 

I don’t want to hear anything negative - any worries you have, I’m here to reassure you. 

You can get free STI testing at home from SH24 with kits that include testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia. Results are texted to you in 7 days and packaging is completely inconspicuous. You can order here via their website:

SH24 also offer free contraception and advice on over 10 different types so you can see what best fits you. Advice can also be found on the NHS website in the UK and Ireland and the WHO website for the rest of the world.

Physical barrier contraceptives including condoms, female condoms and dental dams should be available for free at most sexual health clinics and you can find your nearest one on the NHS website in the UK and Ireland. 

If you’re a student, they’re often found in your SU bathrooms too - or you can always nip to Boots and gawk at how much a box of the little fellas cost, but please, please use your head (pun kinda intended) and use protection.


Casual sex can be amazing, the excitement and primality of hopping in bed with someone you barely know just because they’re hot can be so empowering. 

It’s a thrill to live out your Samantha Jones fantasy too. But, it is important to remember that when you’re getting hot and heavy in the heat, it might be wise to ask ask yourself a few questions. Not right in the middle of it obviously, that would distract you a bit. 

I’ve found this trio very useful in the past as a sort of ‘risk assessment’ for any venture into intimacy:

1. Is this going to hurt me?

2. Am I going to regret this?

3. Do I still want to be friendly with this partner after intimacy?

Physical and mental safety are the most important things when engaging in casual intimacy. 

Making sure you are never in physical danger is an instinct - but when you’re in the moment, we can sometimes brush it off. 

Always try to evaluate your surroundings and the person who you’re with before getting physically vulnerable. 

Now, as for the mental side of things, sex is the most easily accessible Band-Aid of all. If you’re feeling sad or seeking sex out for the lone reason of making yourself feel better - then this might not be the way to go. 

It’s going to sound cliche but the best way I can get it across to you is by suggesting you watch the ending scene of Fleabag Season 1. 

Yep, that’s me trying to get you to watch that masterpiece for the zillionth time. Deal with it. 

We can sometimes put way to much of our self worth onto how we are perceived and admired by others and that can really affect our self esteem and mental health. I know it might seem like an easy fix but if you’re struggling, try to re-evaluate if using sex as a pick-me-up is the right thing for you.

Now onto the third question; do you want to ‘hit and dip’ or do you want to have a friendship with the person you’re sleeping with? 

Being friendly consists of flurries of ‘wyd?’ texts and the occasional Instagram story like. 

I don’t think I need to tell you that the hook-up to friends to friends with benefits to situationship pipeline is an absolute ball ache.

Thing is, situationships and FWBs are impermanent by design. They’re temporary little pockets of several different types of connection and intimacy that sound absolutely fantastic on paper. 

But, before you know it, you know it they come to an end and at least one person is having their Bridget Jones ‘All By Myself’ moment in their front room because they were a smidgen too attached. 

If we use our noggins (that’s head, for the non-UK folk) and evaluate, no one is going to have a sad summer. 

Go and get it, my loves. I’ll be here next month to here all the hot goss, don’t worry! Be safe, have fun and, for goodness sake, put some sun cream on.


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