Hello and happy spooky season, pumpkins!
After a brief Fashion Week hiatus, I’m back and ready to delve into all things Halloween, hook-ups and, well, it might not alliterate but, night out safety.
I hope you’re all well and enjoying your autumnal coffees, iced or hot, you do you!
During last month’s break, I had a lot of time to think about my favourite holiday of the year; Halloween.
If you’re anything like me, you do not mess around when it turns October 1st. I have both of my costumes planned to a tee along with a third backup should one fall through, the week is completely booked off work, and my sewing machine is positively on fire from making spooky accessories.
In the words of Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a slut.”
While it’s not the one night, staying sexy is definitely part of the agenda.
While I’m partial to a typical lingerie costume, after an unfortunate nip slip last year, I have decided against any particularly booby costumes.
Instead, I’ll be opting for the equally sexy but safer option of a Bratz doll and Daphne from Scooby Doo (as a couples costume with my partner).
Along with outlandish costumes and copious amounts of chocolate, there is another spooky staple of the season; parties.
Arguably the main event of the holiday, there is something so liberating and fun about embracing your creativity and sexuality through dressing up.
However, with the fun of haunted gatherings comes the more sinister issue of personal safety and having to protect yourself against creeps and weirdos while you’re trying to have a good time.
Densely packed places like nightclubs are prime sites for poaching and spiking. With everyone having fun and being distracted, perpetrators are often able to commit these acts somewhat unnoticed.
In the UK, where I’m based, spiking is an epidemic with perpetrators graduating from slipping pills into drinks to injecting victims in crowded areas.
It’s also worth mentioning that poaching can occur when spiking is not involved. The act of poaching is when a person observes another person becoming intoxicated or inebriated and then attempts to take advantage of them when they are past the point of consenting or functioning normally.
A few things to be aware of about spiking include spotting the signs of a spiked drink, understanding the symptoms of being spiked through both injection and oral ingestion and what course of action to take if you or a pal is spiked.
Drinks are commonly spiked due to the easily accessible nature of an open top bottle or glass where powder or a pill can be added.
Things that can help reduce this risk include having a cup cover or bottle stopper with a straw hole that makes it physically harder for any assailant to gain access to your drink. A simple hand over the top is also another widely used technique.
Although it’s fucking annoying that we have to take these precautions, they really can help.
The signs that a drink could potentially have been spiked include a foggy look or change of colour to your drink, extra bubbles or fizz, an off taste and sinking ice. If you suspect that you or a friend’s drink has been spiked, take it back to the bar and inform the staff there.
If you have already ingested the drink or been spiked by other means, you might experience symptoms such as vomiting, reduced coordination, slurred speech, feeling more drunk than you actually are and in some cases, unconsciousness.
If you or a friend have any of these symptoms and suspect you’ve been spiked, tell a staff member at a venue straight away and call an ambulance if they get worse.
This certainly goes without saying and should be done on any night out but do NOT go home alone or let a friend go home alone. By having a buddy, you can monitor the condition of a person and help them if needs be.
Having friends present is a failsafe for keeping you and your group safe. Perpetrators find it harder to carry out these crimes when people are in close groups as they’re more likely to get caught.
So, to round up:
. Never go home alone after a party or a night out.
. Communicate with your friends often e.g. if you’re going to the toilet, what time you’re looking to leave, how you’re feeling.
. If you feel like something is wrong, speak up. Talk to someone with authority and make them aware. Your safety is the most important thing.
Thank you for reading this month’s edition of Sexplorations!
While it’s bit of a serious one, spiking and poaching are such important topics and it is so important to be hyper-aware of these crimes with party season approaching.
Have a great Halloween and stay safe!
Edited by Emily Duff