The Not-So Private Parts of Being Young and Seasonal

A blog entitled “Tales of the Young and Seasonal” would be remiss not to include at least one entry dedicated to the one activity that rivals the young and seasonal’s love for skiing: sex.

Don’t lie, now: unless you brought your boyfriend or girlfriend to town with you, one of your reasons for coming to Fernie over, say, Silver Star or Sun Peaks, was the hope that you might get fantastically laid. Legendary powder, a fun community and epic mountain aside, Fernie’s huge population of young, single, attractive people—who, incidentally, are in town for a good time, not a long time—is a huge draw.

Regardless of your level of success in this universal mission, we all deal with the same risks and consequences of having sex: potential pregnancy, unexpected viral outbreaks, and messy emotional backlash, to name a few. Given the shared-ness of the sexual mission, and the shared-ness of the sexual consequence, I’m always surprised when conversations about sexual and emotional health are met with discomfort.

Okay, so Fernie is a smaaaallll town. And the sexual health clinic only comes to town twice a month. When you pay the clinic a visit, you’re guaranteed to run into one or two or eight people you know, waiting to fill up their birth control or to get swabbed in uncomfortable places. It's like attending a community meeting. And yet we get awkward about it. Why?

Here's what I think: if you’re getting tested, vaccinated, discussing birth control, or checking out your nether regions for lesions, then you’re being responsible for your health and for that of your partner(s). And if your friend, ex-lover, or coworker is doing the same thing, then good for them. Instead of avoiding eye contact with the patient in the waiting-room seat across you, go over and give them a high five. Yeah! You’re getting tested too? Way to be a sexually responsible human! A gold star for you!

We need to have a more positive rapport with our sexual health. Choosing to not get tested doesn’t mean you’re somehow immune to the risks of sex; it means you’re avoiding your responsibility to know about them. STIs virtually blow in the wind in ski towns, and are a lot more common than most people realize.

So, the young (and maybe not-so-young) of Fernie, when are you getting tested next? The clinic is in town this Tuesday, March 5th. If you see me there, go ahead and say a non-awkward hello!