Has there ever been a better combination of words than ‘sex’ and ‘party’? Whether it’s a ticketed event at a venue, a big weekend at a festival or a private affair hosted by friends, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had when you get a bunch of guys together for some clothing-optional recreation.
It’s much less fun running into them again at the sexual health clinic two weeks later.
Unfortunately, all that free love makes it possible to pass on any number of STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and MGen. And even when you’re rolling a fresh condom onto every dick in the room (challenge yourself!), it’s impossible to completely eliminate your risk. A few guys with STIs can easily pass them on to a few dozen more in the space of an evening.
Just ask Dr Vincent Cornelisse, Sexual Health Physician at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC). “There have been a few sex events in Melbourne recently, and we’ve been very busy at MSHC in the aftermath!” he says. “We get a wave of guys in the weeks after each event, many of them having acquired an STI, or having been notified that they’ve been exposed to one. They get tested, and treated if necessary, which helps stop the STIs from spreading any further. But it would obviously be great if we could prevent those initial few STIs from showing up to the party in the first place.”
But how can we do that, short of time travel?
The answer may be as close as your smartphone — introducing the Two-Week Party Plan.
“…it would obviously be great if we could prevent those initial few STIs from showing up to the party in the first place.”
Here’s how it works. Next time you’re purchasing your tickets, or sending your RSVP to ‘group’ chat, hold on to your phone for just a little bit longer:
- Open calendar app
- Mark date of sex event with appropriate priority tag (very high)
- Get excited, take selfie/screenshot, post and share as necessary
- Make an appointment for a sexual health check-up, two weeks before event
- Schedule haircut, shopping, waxing and spray-tan (as required), one week before event
- Close calendar app
And your Two-Week Party Plan is all set!
So why two weeks? And why before?
“A little preparation could have a huge impact around sex events,” says Cornelisse. “If everyone attending the party got tested two weeks before the event, it would improve the sexual safety of everyone at the event. A Two-Week Party Plan would give everyone a week to get results back, and then a week to get treated if necessary.”
Given that STIs often don’t have any symptoms, this could help eliminate a lot of them that would otherwise fly under the radar, before they get a chance to spread. As always, it’s a good idea to abstain from sex while you’re waiting for your results if you’ve presented with symptoms (and ideally for the whole two weeks, if you can), and factor in window periods when you’re getting tested, so that your results are as current as possible.
“A Two-Week Party Plan would give everyone a week to get results back, and then a week to get treated if necessary.”
To be clear, testing is never a bad idea — getting tested after a sex event is still a good thing to do. But sex parties are one of the few occasions in life when you can reliably predict you’ll be having sex ahead of time. A little forward planning could help take some of those STIs out of the mix before they’re given the chance to mingle in close quarters with hundreds of naked, sweaty dudes.
Which would mean fewer waiting-room reunions for all of us.