NIGHT CLUBS AND OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS
A night club is a drinking, dancing and entertainment venue that does its primary business after dark. It is a place where people congregate and socialize. Clubbers usually pay a nominal entrance fee. Pubs and taverns on the other hand do not usually include a dance floor and DJ. There are also various social events that are available, such as a monthly party in a community hall or a private party.
Clubs, bars and private parties present an ideal space for lesbian women to:
- Meet up and socialize with one another;
- Find prospective partners;
- Escape from the stress and tension of their lives.
Research has shown that a number of risks are associated with these spaces. It is important that you are aware of these risks so that you can make appropriate decisions and party safely. Some of the risks include:
- Availability of alcohol and drugs. Remember that an overindulgence in alcohol or drugs can lead to an impairment in judgment, a decrease in inhibitions, an increase in sexual risk-taking, an increase in number of sexual partners, and an increase in the odds of engaging in unprotected sex. Use substances responsibly. Know your limits and avoid making choices you wouldn’t otherwise make.
- Overt or covert sexual undertone. Many of these spaces project a very strong sexual undertone. Combine this undertone with available alcohol and drugs and you are likely to find that your inhibitions go out the window and sex becomes prioritized above all other forms of relating and connecting.
- Negative peer norms. In order to fit in, many feel the pressure to behave in a manner similar to their peers (“I must do this because everyone else seems to be doing this”). In this context, there are very strong pressures placed on individuals to use substances and to act out their sexual urges without hesitation. As such, the above-mentioned risks are channeled together via peer pressure. To go against this is to risk being branded an outsider. Not to hook-up means the possibility of being seen as a loser. Add alcohol and drugs and you are likely to give in to the pressure.
The aim is not to dissuade you from being with others but rather to make you aware of the risk factors involved, so that you can make more informed choices about the various forces at play.