3 min

Don’t forget the sunscreen

Protect yourself for summer play

Credit: Xtra West files

Yee Ha! It’s summer in Vancouver again. How can you tell? I mean, it’s not like we really have seasons. Most years it rains often, clears even more often, and never gets higher than 25 or lower than 0. And nothing prevents a true Vancouverite from heading to our lovely beaches.

It’s the amount of light, really, that defines summer in Vancouver. And we’ve now got it in spades. In fact, we’ve made this point before. Remember last winter, when we gave you our tips on getting through seasonal affective disorder? We noted that for those who don’t do snow play, indeed a feeling of bleakness could set in.

We even suggested (to the horror of some readers) that a person might take refuge in a warm body-almost any warm body. And if you recall, we also mentioned that you’d likely want to get out of that cocoon when the light situation changed. We realize that some of you may indeed have found your One True Love in the dead of darkness we call winter. But you really want to check that out.

Here are our tips for this summer for the single, swingle, and fuse-at-the-hip alike.

Boys: First and foremost, safe sex. Period. We’re known for being ironically blunt, and boys, this is for real. We love you and we want you to have all the fabulous sex we dream you have. Just remember that the little chat you had with your bad boy about not going out without a coat last winter needs a little refreshing-in spite of the summer heat!

Summer brings new sex partners, old sex partners who have been busy with new sex partners, and visitors from around the world. New sex partners always require some “fitting,” so don’t be shy about a casually placed condom, or a generalized “I don’t fuck for the first year” or whatever line you like to draw. In fact, it is probably easier to set your safe-sex guidelines with that hot new guy who can’t wait to get your pants off. Just remember, he’s after you, so you have a lot of control over the rules.

The longer-term relationships are a little trickier. You may have started fucking without establishing a condom policy. Who knows what assumptions were made? So, start now. We don’t think you really need a long discussion. You can always put a condom on yourself; and if you keep him in a compromised position, you can stick one on him.

And don’t forget our visitors. You are hip, cool, cosmopolitan gay men. You’ve seen it all, done at least half of it, and you know all about making sex hot and safe. But not everyone is as lucky as you: young guys just coming out, guys from small towns or far away countries with limited information are going to be looking to you to set the standard for how to have sex. Be the proud, hunky gay Vancouver man that you are. You know that silly “Downtown Ambassadors” program the City runs during tourist season? Well, think of yourself as someone who can take a lost gay tourist in hand.

Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Women: Our biggest risk coming out of the darkness is discovering that-eek!-we’ve accidentally moved in with someone. While less immediately life-threatening than unsafe sex, it is actually more difficult to handle. There is no prophylaxis for bad lesbian coupling, and unfortunately, U-Haul is very busy this time of year moving students out of their dormitories. Our solution (other than joining a you-know-what team)? Well, get over the idea that anyone being mad at you is an earth-shattering experience and get on with living your life the way you really want to.

If you can make this a habit, you’ll have way fewer difficult situations to extricate yourself from in the future. Which leaves far more time for summer fun! After all, there is no better time to be single. We encourage you to consider taking a page from the fag book and date without getting tied down. Oops, casual sex, wrong! Bad! Bad grrl! Oh, wait a minute, it does sound good.

On the other hand, however, we must issue this cautionary note to the coupled lesbian: the grass is always greener when the grass is, er, green. But don’t throw your partner out with your mouldy wool socks the minute the parade of gorgeous dykes envelopes you at the Folk Festival. Bubba’s Angels, notorious for intervening in the case of premature and ill-advised breakups, may not be there to help you (demand for our services is extremely high in the summer months) and you could end up, well, really fucking sorry when you see the love of your life celebrating Pride with a new hot woman.

Either way: don’t forget the sunscreen! What the fuck!