Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Ask Kate: What Is Sex Like on the Backpacker Trail?


Soi Cowboy, Bangkok

This week’s question is about one of my favorite topics: sex on the road!

Hi Kate,

I’m a HUGE fan of your blog. I’m planning to travel the world and I’ve been reading various blogs to get ideas and to figure out where to start and how to set things up/etc.

I’m not sure who to ask and I feel sheepish asking but one of my biggest concerns is sex.  I tend to be a serial monogamist and always in a relationship so I get sex very regularly.  I’ve had lots of sex partners (I’m in my 30s and have been sexually active for half my life so the numbers add up) but I have only had 1 one night stand.

What have you seen amongst backpackers on the road?  Do backpackers find relationships or is it typically of the one night stand variety?  It’s not that I’m opposed to one night stands.  I probably will have them but I’m worried about my “number” getting too high.  I’m already at 17 and I think that’s high.  What’s your sense of the backpackers’ “numbers”?

Any advice?

During my freshman year of college, I was known as my dorm floor’s “condom lady.”  I would hang out with the girls, hear them talking about hooking up with guys they had been flirting with over AIM, and I would hand out condoms to the girls who needed them.

“Do you have a condom?” I’d ask my friends on their way out the door.

“No, but he’ll probably have one.”

And I’d sigh and grab a condom of my own to hand to her.  Soon, the word got out, and girls would show up at my door with a sheepish smile, asking if I had any extras I could spare.

Why didn’t these girls have condoms of their own?  Because they were ashamed.  The sheer act of having condoms meant that they were planning on possibly having sex with someone they weren’t currently dating, and were therefore acting “slutty.”  These girls would risk STIs and pregnancy over admitting that they had sex on their minds.

A decade later, slut-shaming is still as prevalent as ever — and I meet woman after woman basing her self-worth on her sexual behavior, attributing shame to any sexual behavior that is outside relationships and any number of sexual partners that is beyond her personal definition of an “acceptable” number.  And don’t get me started on how women and girls cut each other down — that’s a whole different post.

It should be getting better — but it seems like nothing is changing.

Women still deeply internalize this shame.  It seems like this is one of the last frontiers we need to cross.  I look to intelligent and worldly women writers that I admire, and in the middle of their beautiful travel prose, they’ll add a smiling, “But don’t be slutty!”

My message to you: Stop giving it so much importance to your “number.”  It is meaningless.  If you’re safe and smart about sex, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve had 17 partners or 200, and the right future partner will not care about that number whatsoever.  That number does not determine whether you’re a good person, a smart person, a caring person.  It does not mean that you’re damaged goods.

Sex on the Road

On the backpacker trail, people live in the present and form friendships instantly.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did in your pre-backpacking life.  You have no embarrassing stories tied to your past. People don’t talk about what they do for a living; they talk about where they’ve been, where they’re going, and how long they’ve been traveling.

An environment this open and friendly, as you might imagine, is very inviting for sex.

Is sex common on the backpacker trail?  Absolutely, especially places like Asia where a private room is as cheap as a dorm bed.  If you want to find sex with a fellow backpacker, you’ll probably have no problem, particularly in party towns.  Sex definitely happens between travelers and locals as well. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for hot locals, I suggest you head to Spain or Bali.  YUM.)

As for relationships, these are definitely common as well.  I’ve seen plenty of backpackers unexpectedly find themselves in relationships during their time on the road.  Many are sweetly short-term; some last long after their travels end.  I even know people who met their spouses while traveling.

But if you don’t want to have sex, that’s absolutely fine.  The decision is yours, and you can always go have a sexy makeout session on a hidden corner of a beach instead.  Never forget that you have the right to say no at ANY time.

As far as condoms go, they’re readily available at pharmacies and drugstores in most places around the world, though you may struggle in very rural areas.  The condom lady that resides in me to this day urges you to keep a backup supply of your own and not to expect a guy to provide one when you need one.

My advice?  Keep yourself protected physically — use condoms, get tested for STIs periodically, and know that no sex is ever 100% safe.  Keep yourself protected emotionally — try not to get hung up on someone who doesn’t care about you.  Protect your partners physically and emotionally — obey the campsite rule and leave them in better shape than you found them.

And go enjoy yourself — free of shame.

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121 Responses to “Ask Kate: What Is Sex Like on the Backpacker Trail?”
  1. Not a topic I would have ever thought about! Definitely wouldn’t mind checking out some of the local men in Spain 😉

  2. Edna says:

    ” It does not mean that you’re damaged goods.” Good stuff, Kate. I agree — use common sense, guard your heart, make sure you have protection; and I think just as importantly, don’t let someone else make or break your trip. Don’t get so hung up on a fling that you can’t think of Phuket without getting sad, or Vietnam without being bitter. The great thing about solo travel is that it’s about you and yourself alone, so don’t be defined by others’ actions or judgments.

    • Thanks, Edna. And a great point — it’s so easy to let a fling gone wrong ruin your trip. You need to snap yourself out of it. Good thing there are lots of awesome people, activities and adventures around the corner.

    • Renata says:

      Edna, you are wise woman!

    • bobby says:

      It does matter . NO guy wants to marry the village bycicle . Modern thinking cannot change thousands of years of evolution. Sorry

      • Mel says:

        Omg bobby, such an annoying response

        • Seymour Butts says:

          Actions with consequences? How annoying!

          • GP says:

            The village bicycle? That’s really an expression? I wouldn’t want to marry the village backwards morality preacher, that’s for sure. At least the woman of many partners has enough experience in life to know what she is looking for in a long term union. This isn’t about buying a car. It’s hanging out with a friend and adding intimacy. Why is this still ridiculously taboo? Only in the land of Puritans, I believe.

      • pete says:

        I certainly does matter…but that doesn’t mean you need to be telling anybody this sort of info..No man assumes today that his new girlfriend is going to be a virgin when they meet…it’s understood but not activly thought about …however when you throw out numbers, it becomes an active thought. Keep it to yourself…enjoy yourself. Sex is natural, and have it often. Use common sense, but don’t assume that telling your bf that you’ve had 50, or 200 partners isn’t going to make a dent. It will, simple as that and it is good for women to know that…so keep it to yourself. “I wasn’t a virgin when we me, but I love and am true to you” is a much better response then “Ive had 200, but you’re the best”.

        It’s the same the other way arond, I would never tell my gf how many former parterns I’ve had. It’s just offensive, and no woman I’ve ever known has ever actually wanted to know this…some may have asked, but expressed immediate disinterest or immediately said “I don’t want to know this”.

        A relationship is between you and the person you are with. And that is all that matters.

    • Jhonny says:

      The guy that loves you would’t care ? Try telling the guy you think loves you that you’ve had 200 boyfriends and then tell us how that pans out. Off course there are exceptions, so if its the exception you are looking for then all the best.

      • Don’t worry, Jhonny, I don’t think you have to worry about that happening to you anytime soon.

      • GP says:

        If the person that loves me and wants to spend their life with me has been with hundreds of others, I would not care. Why should I? This is not a key that fits into a lock. As I’ve told my children, be health, be happy. That is all that matters. Everything else is your fragile ego.

        • Chris says:

          It appear that women here just want to hear what they want to hear which is to support their slutty ways in the past or their slutty intentions in the future.

          There is such a thing as morals and just because no one you know will see you, hold your actions against you in your travels does not mean it justifies them.

          Saying you will learn more if you included sleeping around ahem .. intimacy to make it sound clean and respectable is essentially just self justifying.

          People in support of sleeping around overseas where no one can see or know what you go up to is essentially just seeking REASSURANCE.

          Throwing your self control and self judgement for the THRILL, EXCITEMENT which we all know is 99% of it is morally base.

          To the person above that said ” the person that loves me and wants to spend their life with me has been with hundreds of others, I would not care. Why should I?” should be.

          This is such a shallow approach for someone who I presume to be well educated. Without a doubt people have a more stringent list of condition, testing and robust mental determination to purchasing house hold goods (short term commitment) than one that is life changing as a partner. No wonder people like you are fall prey to men that only want what they want.

          • You need to get laid, dude.

          • Alana says:

            I agree with most of your statement. Though I feel sick by a man who has a lot of sexual activity too. It’s a person with no self control and debased morals. It’s like a person who eats all the time and drinks too much. Sickening.

          • Martin says:

            Wow, get off the high horse dude.

            How is two adults having consensual sex ever immoral ? Your reasoning reminds me off what we had in the 50’s, sex is not a bad thing if you are responsible about it and having casual sex does not in any way make you shallow, quite the contrary in my mind.

            You say that people who are in support of people having casual sex just are just seeking reinsurance, it seems to me like you are insecure about your own self and have to shame everyone who doesn’t see sex the same way you do in order to feel better about yourself.

            Why not try to open your mind a bit ? It might do you good

  3. I was hesitant when I saw the title of this post, but I think you handled the topic very well, Kate. It’s easy to come off as preachy or condescending, but you managed to avoid that. I think that whatever you’re looking for, relationship or casual fling, you can find on the backpacker trail. On the trail in Australia, I saw plenty of both. Just be safe and use the same sense you would use back home.

  4. Rtwgirl says:

    Great article! I know I’m prob too shy to ever write about it. Kudos. LOL on the Balinese locals….but true and not even my usual type. 🙂

  5. Nic says:

    As Kate said, ditch thinking about that “number”, it is meaningless as long as you are smart, safe and doing something that you want to do. I too am in my 30’s and have traveled abroad solo twice before, I have to say I’ve had some pretty hot one night stands in Europe that remain very happy memories from my travels. Just go travel and mingle and let things fall into place! 🙂

  6. Arianwen says:

    First of all, I’d say that you definitely get the chance to hook up more often when you’re on the road than back at home. You’re meeting new people constantly and often staying in the same place, with easy access to a lot of rooms with beds in them. If that’s your style, great. If not, it’s unlikely anyone will judge you either. A lot of travellers I know became more sexually liberal while they were backbacking long-term. The second point I’d make is to warn you not to expect a long-term relationship to materialise just because you’ve felt a connection with someone. Fewer people are looking to settle down when they’re travelling so be careful about falling for people who might not want the same things as you. And if you can help it, don’t change your travel plans too drastically for someone you just met. I met one guy who’d planned to see all of South America but stayed in Colombia to be with a girl he liked. A few months later, she moved to Spain and admitted she was married! He lost the girl and the opportunity to see the rest of the continent…

    • Great points, Arianwen. And when you’re in the thick of a sexy fling, it can be hard to think clearly. You might need someone to be your rational thinking proxy!

      • pete says:

        True! A “rational thining proxy”, otherwise known as a solid drinking buddy, is a requirement at times on both sides of the gender coin.

  7. Ivory tinkler says:

    One thing I noticed in Thailand is that the local condoms there are smaller than the western size – it’s a good idea to check the bottom lower right corner where you can find the width in mm.
    They usually have western ones as well as local ones (but they’re double or triple the price)

  8. Karisa says:

    Great article about an important topic!! Sex is a part of my life that changed big time when I moved to Thailand. It’s just so different here! Meeting people I actually like and have things in common with happens daily rather than hardly ever like in America. While I definitely felt some negative feelings toward myself in the beginning now I”m happy with myself and the experiences I’ve had. 🙂

    • Yes, Karisa, that’s a big part of it. It’s so rare to be around people who understand how important travel is to you (especially coming from the States). That’s one reason why my closest friends these days are in the travel blogging community.

  9. Susan says:

    Kate this is great advice and an even better framing of the issues surrounding women and our tendency to slut-shame ourselves and others.

    That being said, I think the backpacker trail is a great place to free yourself from some of the negative behaviors and thoughts that consume us back home. Just remember the piece of advice scrawled a hostel wall in Laos: Sex in a dorm is really bad form. Use your head and get a private bed.

  10. chinamatt says:

    Definitely important to stay safe if considering sex while traveling. A lot of people don’t even think about this.

  11. Kirra Cheers says:

    YES! I have been trying to start a revolution for ages. When I lived on Hayman Island the men were allowed to be as frisky as they wanted. Having sex made them a hero but the women sluts. How is that fare? The problem starts with women judging each other. Stop judging – just let people be happy. Go Kate! I love this one.

  12. Liz says:

    Preach! Love it, so glad you put it out there, and I agree 100%. Taking charge of your sex life doesn’t make you a slut, it puts you in control and keeps you safer!

  13. Jessica Hill says:

    Amen! It’s amazing that things such as gay marriage may soon be legal in the U.S.A. – something we may never have thought possible – but women continue to bring each other down over how many sexual partners we’ve had. I admit, I’m guilty of judgement myself. It really is a shame.

  14. Cate says:

    As an elder sister – i.e. no longer backpacking/no longer worried about getting pregnant and recently divorced after 27 years of marital monogamy(if not, bliss) – I was hoping the world had changed more; the double standards eased a bit, at least among fellow travellers. Really impressed at how you, Kate, and your readers have taken this on. Great respect for you all.

  15. stephanie says:

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting an article like this! Thanks for the information!
    So far I’ve not really met many hunky men on my travels, hopefully that will change when I go to Thailand soon!

  16. So well said. The shaming needs to stop. Be safe and then there are no worries.

    I will say, sex seems to happen A LOT more on the backpacker trail. I’ve heard plenty of it in the dorms. Luckily I sleep like a rock.

  17. Tamsin says:

    Good for you on answering this question and handling it so well, I couldn’t agree with you more!

  18. Debbie says:

    Brava Kate! A well-crafted answer to a very important question. Your directness has probably protected many young women already. Keep up the good advice. DHM

  19. Jennifer says:

    I agree, your ‘number’ shouldn’t matter, but I really don’t think that you should just jump in bed with anyone you meet on the road, whether you are wearing a condom or not. If you DO decide to have sex with a fellow backpacker, then PLEASE do not do it in a dorm room – this has happened in a dorm I have stayed in before and it is utterly disgusting and disrespectful to your fellow travellers.

    • Very good point, Jennifer. Respect your neighbors and keep it out of the dorm. Believe it or not, nobody’s ever had sex in one of my dorms. (Though I am a deep sleeper and could have missed it.)

  20. bridget says:

    And I’d sigh and grab a condom of my own to hand to her. Soon, the word got out, and girls would show up at my door with a sheepish smile, asking if I had any extras I could spare.

    Why didn’t these girls have condoms of their own? Because they were ashamed. The sheer act of having condoms meant that they were planning on possibly having sex with someone they weren’t currently dating, and were therefore acting “slutty.” These girls would risk STIs and pregnancy over admitting that they had sex on their minds.

    My views on human sexuality couldn’t be more different from Kate’s (well, maybe I would fit in with the rest of The Brood), but the one thing that I cannot stand is women who don’t have their heads on straight.

    If you’re going to be one of those girls who has sex with men outside of a monogamous, long-term relationship, then you better have condoms at the ready. If you’re the type of girl who would feel bad having sex outside of a committed, loving relationship, then don’t have sex outside of one.

    In other words, align your actions with your beliefs – all of your actions, even the ones that require you to do uncomfortable things like buy condoms or refuse sex. The world doesn’t owe you an STD-free life, perfect on-time periods without worrying about pregnancy, or a man who falls in love with you every time you sleep with him. You owe it to yourself to be enough of an ADULT to know what you want and how to keep yourself healthy and sane.

    • bridget says:

      (This is inspired by women I know who have all sorts of recreational sex, then cry that the men they are sleeping with don’t want a relationship. Well, no sh-t, honeybear – that’s what happens when you have sex with men you don’t know. If you want to be an empowered, sexually liberated woman, then be one, but don’t start crying big round tears that he’s not dating you.)

      • Sab says:

        Oh Bridget…. I totally disagree.
        Sure, a guy can dump you after you had sex with him on the first date, but he can also dump you after the 10th date. One of my closest friends met a guy on a birthday party, they had sex the same night… it was love at first sight. However now they’re 7 years together and have a daughter. So what’s the point of waiting? There is no rule. If it clicks, it clicks. If you want sex, don’t pretend you don’t want it because you feel ashamed of it. Enjoy it!
        And if you don’t want sex, clearly say NO.
        Do what you like! ///////////////////////////////////// Always be yourself.

    • And that’s a reason why I don’t hand out condoms to clueless thirty-year-olds, Bridget. If you don’t know by now, you’re done.

      • bridget says:

        Are you calling me a clueless thirty-year old? Cuz I’m old enough for that to be a compliment! 😉

        Kidding, kidding. Mostly, I just think it’s silly when people don’t act in accordance with their beliefs and their psyches. Want sex? Buy condoms. Want some emotional lovin’ with your boinking? Don’t screw some guy you met in a bar. A little self-control and self-awareness goes a long way.

        • Richard says:

          I completely agree with you Bridget. The same standard goes for men. People need to practice self-awareness and self- control. They need to align their actions with their beliefs. If they do not, then they do not really believe the values they claim to believe. If you want to sleep with strangers and have one night stands, dont complain when the other person doesn’t want to be committed to you. And also protect yourself and dont spread STDs and harm other people. If someone knowingly spreads STDs, that is harming the human population, potentially ruining someone’s life, and is considered a felony.

  21. Suzanne says:

    I’m only 22 and I know way too many girls who sleep with people outside of relationships and then get super crushed when the guy doesn’t want to date them. Yes be a sexually empowered women but that term shouldn’t be used because of your number but your attitude! Do what makes you happy whether that’s some flings or someone you are committed to, neither one should be looked upon as too slutty or too boring just be true to yourself.

    • Kat says:

      My thoughts exactly. To be fair, the same can happen to men!

      • Richard says:

        I think that men and women are equal and deserve equal rights in every facet of society. However, I do not think either men or women should sleep with people outside of relationships

  22. I think it is definitely easier to hook up whilst on the road, but although there are a few relationships, most of them don’t last. The sunshine and freedom often let’s people forget that a relationship needs people to agree on things, i.e. travel plans and preferences. I know a few people who didn’t agree and then split up. So my advice would be not to attach yourself too much emotionally, otherwise you might get your heart broken a few times.

  23. Sam says:

    Great advice! It’s makes me sad how much slut shaming is around us everyday, and indeed encouraged in some places. Indeed, as long as people are protecting themselves and their sex partners emotionally and physically, what’s wrong with being slutty?! If you want sex, go have some sex…and bloody well enjoy it!

  24. Alex says:

    Condoms are important, clearly. But I hope that’s not the only form of birth control the modern backpacker is using! 🙂 When I left home to travel long term I knew the pill would not cut it between time zone changes, an ever changing schedule and trying to find refills in strange foreign countries. I switched to the Norplant implant and I could not recommend it more highly for women on the road. It lasts 2-3 years, is the birth control most commonly used by gynecologists,
    and I pretty much forget it’s there.

    • I totally agree that pills can be rather uncomfortable birth control solution for those girls who are on the road for longer time. However, I would love to know what is the price of such implant. Is it comparable to the price of pills or it will cost more?

  25. Amanda says:

    Good, solid advice. I agree with all of it – that the “slut shaming” needs to stop, and that women should be free to be just as sexually adventurous as men if they want to be. Not saying that every women wants to be, of course. I know plenty of women who would not be comfortable sleeping with guys outside of a relationship. But for those who are? I say be safe and go for it!

  26. This is such a helpful post, even for someone like me who is in a serious relationship at the moment.
    I appreciate how meticulously and how well you addressed the issue of having a ‘number’.

  27. Dianne says:

    Another very elder sister here, travelled extensively as a young woman and still taking great trips 40 years later. This is a good discussion and shows me things haven’t changed a lot since the 1970s. One important comment I will make is there is a difference between birth control and protection from the very serious STDs out there now. My recommendation would be the Norplant (mentioned above) PLUS condoms. Definitely pack your own. Every woman should be careful to protect herself first, while enjoying life to the utmost.

    • Thank you, Dianne. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    • Ian Baker says:

      Now then, this wouldn’t be the same Dianne I met way back on the Antonine Wall in 73, and later at Portsoy? Never mind how I came upon this website, just googled female travellers+the name, and here we are.If it is, then I am at the same address now as then, and seriously wondering what happened to you after getting the last postcard you sent me. Camping beside a lake in south Africa visited by gazelles and deer on your own seems like an invitation to be eaten by lions. After not hearing anything else that is what I thought had happened. Unsure whether to contact your family or not as I thought they might blame me for encouraging you to travel there. The memory has always haunted me, and come back now after having a sort out and finding a postcard sent from west Cork, Ireland. If it’s my friend Dianne from Chipperfield, then PLEASE try to get in touch. I put a request for information on the village website recently.
      If it isnt the right Dianne then take this as a warning girls, and camp somewhere sensible. I wild camp in a van in the UK and even here one has to trust one’s instincts very much on what is felt to be a safe place. Happy Travelling ladies.

  28. Ross says:

    Great topic. None of the 7billion of us would be here without sex but yet although it happens all the time people are reluctant to talk about it maturely. Well done on getting that out there.

  29. Rick Hemi says:

    travelling for long periods solo as a man makes sex easy to get but i’m with bobby on this. no man is going to get serious about a woman who has been around the block!! period!

    • Don’t worry, Rick, I’m sure the virgins are lining up for you.

    • Robyn says:

      Oh, really? You speak for every man on planet earth, do you? All 3.5 billion of you? What an incredible responsibility . . .

    • Anh Tung says:

      Noooooo, this can’t be the same Rick Hemi – Mr Beeeg Scam – who tells everyone he is a professional photographer when photography is only hobby of his. Is this the same Rick Hemi who keeps women waiting for him in all parts of the world with the lies he tells them? is this the same Rick Hemi who tells young girls in Asia he is a fashion photographer so that they will undress for the camera? Is this the same Rick Hemi who believes that in a relationship with him, a woman does not have a right to say no to sex? I must be wrong.

      • nickolai_c says:

        please provide more information on Rick Hemi. Sounds like a real creep.

        • Suzanna says:

          i think i know this dude, he travels around the world telling anyone who will listen that he’s famous and a legend (he’s not). harmless, let’s not judge.

          • Derrick says:

            Woah! Man, this is funny! A lot of marriages, thousands of women. Men that are slutty are creepy AF.

  30. Ty says:

    Hi Kate

    I am the managing editor of the online sexuality magazine SimplySxy and came across this post of yours. We will like to republish it on our magazine to our readers. Do drop me an email if you’re favourable so that I can give you more details on what we do.

    Thank you.

    Managing Editor

  31. Brooke says:

    Thank you for answering this question in a way that addresses women’s shame towards sex. I admire you for saying that if you want to have sex, just be responsible and understand the emotional and physical consequences, and don’t be ashamed of having fun. I also like that you said if you don’t want to have sex, that’s OK too. It’s a personal choice that you have to make for yourself and no one should make you feel bad about what you decide to do. It’s your life, it’s your body, you determine what’s best. 🙂

  32. Juliana says:

    Dear Kate,

    Your blog is great, your advice is great. Women of the world unite! Sure the world is full of Jhonnies, Ricks and other misogenous people. We need to avoid people like that, and empower fellow sisters instead of bringing them down. The value of a woman is not related to how much sex she had, or how many partners she had. No woman is here on earth so that a man can feel special about being “the only one” to have touched her. We are the owners of our bodies, we are the owners of our lives. Every man who is worth our time wouldn’t even think about numbers. Neither should we.

  33. Alyssa says:

    Returned from a 2 year trip round SE Asia yesterday. KUDOS!! Kate for empowering us traveling women by writing awesome blogs like this. As a side note I met one of the misogynists mentioned in your comments section whose latest victim is a poor ordinary, plain Asian woman who fell for his deception and follows him around like a puppy dog. Solo women travelers must stay alert for the male predators who walk alongside us.

  34. Daniel says:

    Read this nice article, everything that you talked about is self-evident for me, but I notice that for a lot of men this is not the case… I’m dutch, and I have 5(!! 🙂 ) amazing sisters, and I wish them all the fun & best in the world. But not at one point a guy would have dared to tell them how to live their lives.. That is what I still love about the netherlands and most of europe, that women are finally more or less liberated. Yet there is still a long way to go. After reading the article I went to the comment section and I must say I’m ashamed of the comments that the men left. And unfortunately most men in countries outside of Europe/US/Australia/Canada, are still cave-men in their thoughts on women’s rights. Of course lets not be naive, even in Europe its still a long way to go. I admire all the amazing women that stand up against this and keep moving forward! Never succumb to male,religious,cultural oppression! And be free and live your life any way you want!

  35. Alexa says:

    Daniel, you’re amazing! And I hope that sooner rather than later, I will no longer feel such elated surprise when I hear a man express such open-minded and fair views about women because that will be the new norm. I really enjoyed the article and all the great, empowering comments, though when I read some of the negative comments from the johnnies and ricks, it made me despair that the majority of men are still living in the past. So glad I read the comments till the end. Thank you Daniel. Women empowering each other is amazing, but men actively speaking out against these issues is evidence that there’s a brighter future.

  36. Mandy Hilton says:

    This post is both sensitive and courageous. How perfect that we can talk about a subject rarely explored! I was encouraged to see Daniel’s intelligent post and sorry to learn that his views are not more acceptable. Sorry if this offends anyone – this is my opinion on the subject; ordered religion has been keeping humanity from progressing for millenniums. How do we explain why millions of people still follow religions that were written (by men) thousands of years ago? Religions that don’t keep up with the times, that are not only out of synch with current life but actively against progress? Is humanity growing dumber? Christianity is one of many religions where men are taught to have double standards and women are taught to be submissive doormats to their lovers. Double standards followed by the sheeple who refuse to think for themselves, has a lot to answer for regarding present day slut shaming and worse crimes committed against women.

    • Hotdog says:

      Try the account in the Bible when a woman was brought before Jesus, the crowd wanting to stone her to death for adultery – what was Jesus’ response? Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. Yes, that famous line is from Christianity. Words to live by, and aligning with Kate’s great advice.

      • Anke says:

        Okay… that is one account in the bible, but there are hundreds of others that show the bible is against women and minority groups. One deal breaker I have when dating, is Christianity or any other Abrahamic religion that seeks to oppress women. Christian women I know have no identity or purpose in their lives other than their husbands. They change their thinking to suit him and obey his every need. Why else but because their religion teaches this. It turns strong, independent women into weak minded individuals. And the Christian men who want that? Good luck to them.

  37. Mandy says:

    “During my freshman year of college,,,,”
    You should stop using sexist words like freshman. Surely there is a gender neutral word you know of for first year university students….

  38. Richard says:

    I think that men and women are equal and deserve equal rights in every facet of society. However, I do not think either men or women should sleep with people outside of relationships. It more often than not leads to damage psychologically, emotionally, etc. The thing that separates humans from most other animals is the passion, emotion, and ability to connect on many different levels. It has been proven scientifically in numerous studies that sex with a partner you are committed to, or a spouse brings much more joy and health benefits from sex than sleeping with a stranger you just met. Also a question I would like to pose to both men and women, “How can you trust your body, your being, to someone whom you just met and know very little about?”

  39. Daniel says:

    Hey Kate,

    You mentioned getting sexual health checkups regularly, is there a trick to doing this whilst on-the-go in SE Asia?

    In home country I aim to go quarterly & with every new LT partner; is this something that’ll be possible whilst I’m out in Asia?

    I have an iamat health card which in theory lets me find English speaking doctor’s but I can’t seem to find a specific sexual health section. In home country

  40. Sara says:

    Nice article, I’m actually more worried about waking up at night to find someone in my room going at it…
    My sleep is real precious to me! Any advice if something like that happens?

  41. Q says:

    I’m sorry but this is all false feminist trash. Men and women are DIFFERENT. I find it strange that this is not obvious to most people. It seems that society has entered this strange pseudoreality where women feel the need to rationalize their behavior regarding anything that has to do with “equality”.

    Of course it matters. To the opposite sex, there isn’t too much else that matters more….. Fact: men judge women on how many sexual partners they’ve had. It’s sickening to think that a women you could have feelings for could have devalued herself like that. Sex is one of the most important aspects of a relationship to men. How is it going to feel when you realize your special significant other had sex with over 200 people. It destroys the whole thing.

    Women view sex differently. I haven’t met too many women that care about numbers. Women look for different qualities in men and can not relate to what we find attractive.

    The only thing that limits a man’s desire to screw everything that moves, is a woman’s consent. Therefore women are responsible for their number and their sexual past. Women don’t have to work for sex in any sense.

    A slutty woman is not attractive. Only this worse is a feminist.

    • Alana says:

      Slutty men are as cringy and repulsive as slutty women tho.
      I feel grossed out by men with high numbers too. They seem off and strange.

    • Oh, my dear sweet Q! How brave of you to use a fake name and email address.

      But that’s okay. My site logs your IP address, among other information. I know where you are — and it seems like you don’t live very far from where I’m from. Which means that you’re likely someone that I know personally.

      I’ll find out soon. 😉 Sit tight, darling.

  42. dante says:

    haha hilarious write up, just found this blog looking forward to seeing more

  43. Danielle says:

    It’s kind of interesting to me how people writing such backwards notions of female propriety found their way to a backpacker blog. Isn’t traveling supposed to be “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”??? Go back to theredpill with that hateful nonsense.

  44. Jose says:


    It is difficult to take you seriously when you are posting snarky one liners to anyone who has a different opinion than you.

    Should anyone care about a person’s partners? Absolutely not, but you are joking if you think it has no impact on people’s thinking. For example : OP has apparently had 17 partners, no one cares but if you were interested in getting into a relationship with her you would question why she couldn’t make any one of them last longer since they are averaging out to one a year which isn’t really a ‘relationship’. I presume the fault with all 17 did not lie with the men.

    There are women who subscribed to your line of thought and have now found out that life doesn’t work like sex and the city and it isn’t all sunshine and roses when you have your cake and try and eat it too.


    • LOL! I think you need to learn how math works, Jose. I don’t know a single person in the world who had 17 perfectly evenly spaced partners. That takes mad skills.

      If you don’t want a woman who has been with a lot of partners, don’t be with one. You’ll just have to find one that wants you, too. Good luck with that.

  45. RK says:

    Great blog and great post. My question:

    As a single guy, what can I do to increase the chances of my having sex on a backpacking trail? I am planning a 4 weeks trip to Europe, pretty open about the countries/ cities/ hostels etc…. any tips for me?

    • Depends. Are you straight or gay? I’ll assume straight.

      Be kind. And get a single room.

      • RK says:

        You rightly assumed I am straight.

        Chances of an intimate encounter are higher if I get a single room? I was thinking if I take a shared room then meeting others (girls) will be even easier – I can always upgrade to a single room if something clicks.. what say?

  46. sam says:

    I’ve been struggling through this recently. I met a girl at a hostel and after 5 days, we connected so much. Eventually, the last two days of our time we slept together, and I really loved that. It truly felt emotionally good for me.

    But we had to go our separate ways. Recently I met another girl who has the potential to connect with me, but I started wondering about this issue: If I sleep with any woman that I connect with, does that make me a slut of some kind? I’ve been having a hard time with this. I always “love the one i am wth,” but I worry about myself sometimes.

    At home, I don’t do this, so either travel has changed me, or im easily seduced while on the road, or something. But connecting with someone emotionally feels so beautiful, and waking up with them feeling their breathing, its all incredibly beautiful intimate and I really love that. So peaceful. Anyway, thanks for the post: Gave me a lot to think about.


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