In partnership with Everlywell.
Ah, the holidays. They’re a time for giving. A time for gathering. And a time for texting your ex “WYD” at 1 AM from the childhood bedroom where you two used to make out with the door open because your mother had a “no-closed-doors-when-boys-are-over” policy.
Look — hooking up when you’re home for the holidays is as much of a tradition as leaving cookies out for Santa. (Insert joke about gifting *your* cookie here.) In fact, Everlywell, which offers 6 at-home STD tests and virtual, on-demand appointments, polled 850 singles between the ages of 18-44 years old to see how many of us are actually getting down in our hometowns, and it’s a lot more common than you think. Nearly 60% of respondents said they will have casual sex when home for the holidays this year, and nearly 70% confirmed they’ve done the deed when home for the holidays in the past.
But there is a good way to navigate your hometown hookups to make sure you’re actually having a good (and safe!) time. Below, I’ve rounded up the top tips for getting busy when you’re home for the holidays.
Avoid your childhood bedroom
Honestly, is there anything worse than hooking up in a twin-sized bed with a faded Neopets poster hanging on the wall? Or having to keep your voices down just in case your parents overhear you? Girlie pop, we are ADULTS here now. You pay an ELECTRIC BILL. You do not need to be sneaking around your folks when you’re trying to make the naughty list, do you hear me?! Find literally anywhere else — a car, a garage, your childhood treehouse that’s out of earshot. Or set your sights on a townie who has their own place. But avoid that twin bed at all costs and thank me later.
Never leave together (unless you’re prepared for everyone to know)
There’s a good chance that you’ll likely bump into an ex at your local bar. (Or, if you’re really unlucky, at the high school reunion your class is hosting while everyone is home for the holiday.) Now, listen to me: You may flirt in public. You may even sloppily make out behind the punch bowl in public. But *do not* leave the party together to hook up. Do you know how crazy the small town rumor mill is? Do you want the fact that you and the high school quarterback who dissed you at prom hooked up to be what people are gossiping about while waiting in line at the supermarket for their Christmas ham?! Stealthily set a time and place to meet later, leave separately, and keep your private life private, girl!
Have the STD talk
You may be hooking up with your high school crush, but we are no longer in high school honey! We take our health *seriously* now, so it’s important to have the STD chat before you get down to business. And before you whine about the fact that it’s awkward, know that it’s something a lot of people do. According to Everlywell’s survey, half of respondents always ask their casual hookups about their STD status, and 86% of respondents would proactively tell their hookups if they themselves had an STD. So grow up, girl!! Ask your hookup their status, and always carry protection. You can’t trust anyone to have a sleeve of condoms in their nightstand and you know it.
When in doubt, test it out
Over half of respondents to Everlywell’s survey said that they always get tested after casual sex, and TBQH, I think that number should be higher. It’s always a good idea to get yourself tested after hooking up, even if you’ve used protection–just make sure you’re waiting the right amount of time to test! Luckily, Everlywell offers at-home STD lab tests and virtual, on-demand appointments to address STD symptoms within two hours or less — when and where you need them. So you don’t have an excuse to not check yourself out post-hookup. It’s the best holiday gift you could give yourself.
And finally, leave the ghosts of hookups in the past
This isn’t a Lifetime movie. The chances of you spending the rest of your life with the local you made out with under the mistletoe is likely slim. So don’t be that girl who is obsessively wondering what your life would be like if you just moved back to your hometown and opened up a vegan bakery that specializes in Christmas cookies. Have your fling, open your presents, and go back to your real life. And thanks to Everlywell’s STD testing options, you can take steps to help ensure the only things you’re taking home from your holiday fling are the memories. Happy hooking up!