Daisy Buchanan | Contributing Writer | Monday, 22 December 2014

How To Deal With A Festive Sex Mistake (And Procure The Morning After Pill) When You're Trapped At Your Parents' House

The Debrief: Slipped up when it slipped in, and trapped in the middle of nowhere?! We can help!

I think being back at home impairs your sexual decision making. Whether you live with your parents already, but you’re spending a lot more time with them, or you’ve left your fabulous metropolitan, cosmopolitan flat (translation: All your stuff is there and it’s handy for Tesco Metro) to schlep to the Shires where it’s cold, and there’s only one bar of phone signal on Thursdays, tensions and emotions will be running high. And there all those school reunions, where you and some the people you see once a year all pile into the only pub that would serve you when you were sixteen, because it’s fun. Fun like the dentist.

And when you’re feeling drunk and nostalgic, and maybe a tiny bit bitter that the most annoying girl in the year has turned up with a very expensive haircut and news of a new £70k a year job at PWC, you might just try to make things better by, say, having mediocre unprotected sex with your first boyfriend, in the back seat of the Ford Ka that he passed his driving test in. 

No worries, you can get the Morning After Pill! It’s easy, you’ll just pop to the chemist and…ah. Firstly, it’s 11. 58 PM on Christmas Eve and there’s nowhere near your parents’ that will be open before 2015. Secondly, the local chemist is an occasional dinner guest and you are so mortified by the idea of anyone near your parents knowing that you’ve ever had sex that you grew up buying condoms from a shop that was three bus rides away. You could go to an emergency doctor, but you don’t know where you’d find them and you’re not entirely sure that being a horny idiot with less sexual standards than Russell Brand circa 2006 actually counts as an emergency. You’re screwed. It’s Christmas. You’ll have to have a baby and call it Jesus. And no-one will believe it was a virgin birth.

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Don’t worry, it’s all going to be OK. The best news is that with some preparation, current You can protect future You. Future You should really, really carry and use some condoms, but if the worst comes to the worst, you can order a Morning After pill in advance. Superdrug sell Levonelle (effective for 72 hours after unprotected sex) for future use – so you can order online and have it delivered the next day, or pick it up in branch on the same day. Levonelle is £24 . Let peace of mind be the gift you give yourself. EllaOne (effective for 120 hours) is also available on prescription, so if you really get stuck you can always hot foot it to your GPs as soon as you get home. 

If it’s a little late for that, the NHS website  is a goldmine. You can search for your nearest walk in centre here and find out where to get emergency contraception. The sooner you take it, the better – but remember that you can now get a pill that’s effective for five days, and in theory, the shops will be shut for a maximum of 48 hours. If there are no buses and Uber isn’t working, Kabbee will link you to a list of local mini cabs, so you’ll be able to figure out a way to get to a nearby Boots.

Sexual health expert Linda Robson says ‘We all get carried away at Christmas, but no sexual error should be life altering. When you’re staying with your parents, it’s natural to feel like a teenager and panic. But you’re an adult, and you’re in charge of your body – and no-one can accuse you of being irresponsible if you’re prepared to plan what will happen if you do make a mistake.’

You’re not alone – STI rates increase over Christmas  - and so sexual errors are as seasonal as an Elf screening party. But if you have unprotected sex, do get tested as soon as possible in the New Year, so you can treat any STIs ASAP. And resolve that you’re never going anywhere in 2015 without a condom. 

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Tags: Sex, Sex Ed