Welcome to Sex Ed 101: what are sexually transmitted diseases and what myths should I avoid when discussing them?
Since very few people in Pakistan are educated about sex let alone diseases transmitted through sexual contact, the only way in which we end up learning anything about STDs is through fiction, movies, and our elders – three of the worst ways to learn anything about topics that revolve around sex. Fiction promotes ridiculous tropes, movies gloss over the entire concept and your elders talk about it in confusing symbols that have little or nothing to do with the topic at hand. Abstinence is regarded as the highest form of chastity and therefore anyone who does contract a sexually transmitted disease is blamed for having sex in the first place and given lots of unsolicited advice.
Following in the same path, here are the worst, most ridiculous STD myths which will introduce you to a whole new world of knowledge. You’re welcome![newsletter_lock]
If you get an STD once you’re immune from it for the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, STDs don’t work like chicken pox or measles; your body does not develop immunity against all STDs if you catch them even once. There are so many different types and you can contract them time and time again if you engage in unprotected sexual contact. Sorry, guys. It’s all science.
Only adults contract STDs.
Yeah, sorry. No. It’s actually the other way round; younger people are more vulnerable to these diseases.
You’ll be able to tell if the other person has an STD.
We wish it was that simple. Unfortunately, in many cases STDs don’t manifest themselves in the form of symptoms and thus goes undetected in a vast majority until it is contracted by the person they have sex with. Stay safe, people. You’re not a doctor (who, by the way, are also unable to detect STDs unless they have a person’s complete blood work done).
STDs only spread through genital contact.
Whoops. There’s the number one mistake – it isn’t limited to spreading through the genitals, the bacteria/virus can enter through the cuts on any part of your body. Beware.
You can contract STDs through toilet seats.
No. You absolutely can’t and here’s why; viruses and other organisms that spread this malady can’t survive out of the human body and therefore can’t reproduce or affect you unless they’re breeding in your blood. Even if you accidentally use a public washroom which has been used by a person with STD, the virus will die the moment it exits the body and can’t affect you anymore.
Sexual intercourse in a pool or hot tub is okay because it kills STD-spreading organisms.
Oh no. No. In fact, you can get other infections from engaging in sex once you’re in a hot tub or pool. Please don’t do it.
Using two condoms will eliminate any possibility of contracting STDs.
Guys, this is the only time when two is not going to be better than one; in fact, it can actually lead to both the condoms breaking because of the friction and puts you in even more danger. Don’t do it.
While this author still believes that the only way to not contract STDs is to abstain from sex, you still need to be armed with correct, purely scientific information instead of baseless myths when it comes to a decent sex ed discussion. Don’t believe everything on the internet, folks![/newsletter_lock]