Nobody wants to get an STD.
However, each year many, many people get these illnesses. Avoiding STDs requires understanding a bit about how a person can get these diseases, knowing how to reduce the risk of getting them, and then being thoughtful and careful before and during sex. The best way to deal with an STD is to not get it in the first place (like duh).
STDs can be given from one person to another during any exchange of body fluids such as regularly occurs during sexual activity. All types of sexual activities can spread STDs – those involving the mouth, the penis, the vagina, the anus, or any other contact that moves body fluids from one person to another. The germs that cause STDs are found in all manner of body fluids (such as ejaculate (or cum), vaginal fluids, blood, and others) and even on body surfaces, such as the skin of the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
Abstinence and Monogamy
Any sexual contact with another person comes with risks (however minimal) for getting an STD. If a person wants a 100% guarantee they will never get an STD, they should be abstinent, refraining from all sexual contact with another person. Instead, they should rely on masturbation to fulfill their sexual needs. 🙂
The old saying goes, “Man cannot live on bread alone”, and many feel that way about masturbation, too. Most sexually active adults feel drawn towards sexual contact with other sexually active adults and will engage in it despite the risk of STDs. From an STD avoidance point of view, then, the safest way to be sexually active with another person is to do so in the context of a monogamous relationship (where two partners are committed to each other and do not have any sexual contacts outside their relationship). To the extent that both partners enter their relationship in a ‘clean’, disease-free state, they should remain that way if they have no sexual contact with outside partners. Importantly, a monogamous relationship will not protect its partners if one partner has come into the relationship carrying a ‘silent’ STD (one that has no symptoms), or if a partner picks up an STD through blood transfusion (unlikely but possible), sharing of needles, or other sources. In such cases, it is very possible that one partner will infect the other.
Monogamous relationships are not practical for everyone. There is a period of sexual experimentation that many people go through when they are young that may or may not lead up to the formation of a monogamous relationship. Also, a significant percentage of people in ostensibly monogamous relationships have sexual affairs outside that relationship for one reason or another. When partners are not able to be true to a monogamous relationship, the next best step they can take to prevent STDs is to use a barrier type of contraception while engaging in sexual activity.
Condoms, and their cousins, dams (as in “dental dams”), are barrier methods of contraception. This is to say, they work to prevent the transmission of body fluids from one person to another by physically getting in the way of this transmission. Condoms are used to prevent physical contact of the penis with other body parts during sex, and dams are used to prevent physical contact of the mouth with other body parts during sex. Both products may be purchased in drug stores and specialty stores.
When using condoms and dams to prevent the spread of STDs, it is vital that only latex or non-latex plastic condoms and dams be used, as only these materials are ‘tight’ enough to stop body fluids from leaking through. Other types of condoms, made of animal intestine, for example, are too leaky to prevent STD transmission, although they may be good enough with regard to preventing pregnancy.
Barrier protection is not a 100% guarantee that you will not get an STD, but it certainly reduces the risk. Importantly, condoms or dams need to be put on before genitals mouths or anuses touch other genitals, mouths, or anuses. Also, it must be kept in mind that the only barrier method contraception has any effect on STD transmission risk. Non-barrier methods of contraception (such as birth control pills) that prevent pregnancy do not prevent STDs at all. Therefore, even if a woman is using birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, she should also use barrier protection (condoms) to prevent transmission of STDs.
Barrier contraception cannot protect you if you don’t remember to use it or are prevented from using it. Therefore, it is vital that you keep your wits about you at all times. Use of drugs and/or alcohol can and will impair your judgment with regard to sexuality. In an inebriated or “high” state, you may forget to use barrier contraception, or use it improperly (which is just as bad as not using it). Therefore, it is a good idea to responsibly limit yourself when drinking or drugging in situations where you may become sexual. An even better idea would be to not drink or use drugs at all when in such situations, but not everyone is willing to do that (sigh).
It’s not just your own appetite for drinks or drugs that may put you at risk. Predatory party goers looking for easy sexual conquests may spike your drink with Rohypnol (otherwise known as “ruffies” -tb to Hangover) or a similar sedative drug. Rohypnol is a “date rape” drug that has a strong sedative and muscle relaxant effect. It is not detectable in your drink (unless you have a special test kit), and it will make you pliable and easy to rape (and infect) if you ingest it.
For these reasons, it is best to avoid party situations involving a lot of drinking or drugging. If parties are unavoidable, it is important that you bring along at least one friend who can watch out for you (and you them), moderate your own drinking, carefully guard your drinks (so that no one spikes them), and take care to bring condoms along (bff goals). Sexual activity with an attractive stranger or acquaintance may seem like a good idea when you’re under the influence, but the negative consequence of STDs is not worth the short term enjoyment of unsafe sex with a non-committed partner.
Stay aware. Stay healthy.
If you have an erection
And don’t want an infection
You better use Protection
On your Gentle Section ~ The Fresh Quotes