Sexually active beings have a responsibility to themselves and all their partners to participate in safe sex. Not thinking about safe sex as an absolute priority is irresponsible thinking as well as downright dangerous. Even in the year 2017 there are still serious dangers to think about when it comes to sex.
The fact is that STDs happen when we do not practice safe sex. Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, HPV, Herpes and HIV are the most prevalent infections that happen. Some of these infections don’t even have obvious symptoms so you may have one and not even know it. This means you can pass the infection to another person without even knowing that you are a carrier.Romantic Lovers In Bed
REGULAR TESTING IS IMPORTANT
If you are having sex, especially in a non-monogamous relationship, it is essential that you get regular STD testing, especially because some symptoms are not always obvious. Both men and women need to be diligent with STD testing. You can ask your primary care doctor or gynecologist to perform the testing or you can go to a free clinic such as Planned Parenthood and have the testing done. However, it is important that you ask for ALL possible STD panels to be run. Many times they will not automatically check for Herpes or HIV, and these are very important.
PROTECT ALL ACTIVITIES
It is equally important that you know how to protect yourself from all sexual activities – oral, vaginal and anal sex. Condoms are the primary barrier method for preventing pregnancy and STDs as well. However, condoms are not 100% effective against pregnancy and will not protect you if not used correctly. Condoms are fairly delicate and can rip or tear so it is essential that you know how to use a condom correctly. Also, oral sex on a female requires use of a dental dam for optimal protection. Any and all sexual activity where there is an exchange of bodily fluids requires protection.
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BE HONEST / KNOW YOUR PARTNER
The year 2017 is the year of everything internet, that includes dating and hook up sites. If you are entering into a new relationship it is absolutely crucial that you are honest with your new possible partner about your sexual history as well as any STDs you may have (such as Herpes or HIV) that he/she could contract. It is also important not to jump into a sexual relationship without having a discussion about your partner’s STD status. It is also imperative that you get tested BEFORE you start a new relationship and insist that your partner do the same. Yes, it may suck to be so clinical about sex, and to have to wait especially when you do not want to, but it is for your own safety.
CONSEQUENCES CAN BE DIRE
While some STDs are just a nuisance (you may need some penicillin to clear it up), others can be permanent and even deadly conditions. HIV is a serious STD that can lead to AIDS (which is the more advanced form of the virus) and that can lead to some very serious conditions and, eventually, death. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause cervicitis which can lead to female infertility and cause epididymis in men which can also cause sterility. Most importantly, all of these infections may show few if any symptoms, so you could be carrying and passing these STDs around.
HERPES – NOT EVERYONE HAS IT
If you are of the notion that “everyone” has herpes nowadays you would be half right. There are two types of herpes – 1 and 2. Herpes 1 is oral herpes, most commonly causing cold sores. While this is not entirely an STD (meaning you can get it via other means) and is very common among the general population with 50-80% of the adult population carrying it; herpes 2 is genital herpes and is an STD. What is important to know about herpes is that you can pass oral herpes to the genitals through oral sex – which is why dental dams are so very important. Herpes has NO cure and you can transmit the disease when you are not even having an outbreak (meaning, you have no sores at the time). Plus, since herpes has few symptoms until a break-out, and some fairly common symptoms (like itching, redness, soreness) you may not even realize you have it. Many people confuse herpes with ingrown pubic hairs. This is why STD testing and common sense are so absolutely essential!
BE SAFE – BE HONEST – BE RESPONSIBLE
Sex is fun and feels good but no sex – NO SEX – is worth getting an STD no matter how slight the chance. Protect yourself, protect your partner and be responsible with testing and with STD prevention through the use of condoms and other barrier methods. Do not ignore any symptoms in your body that seem out of whack, do not “roll the dice” if you know you have herpes and are feeling the tingles of an outbreak, do not trust a partner who seems shady or can’t provide STD testing results. This is your life – and you have a duty to protect yourself! STDs are real, are dangerous and are PREVENTABLE – so do your part to make sex safe!
How Do You Stay Safe?
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