“Come on, baby, don’t worry. I promise to pull out in time.”
“Aww man, I can’t feel nothin’ if I wear a condom! You want me to cut off my circulation?”
“I don’t sleep around like that, so I don’t have an STD, and I’m not trying to get you pregnant anytime soon.”
All good excuses to have casual, unprotected sex, right? WRONG! A lot of people use excuses to shield them from the reality that it is possible for them too to contract an STD. It doesn’t matter if it is the carefully-thought-out, pre-planned sex or the spontaneous, hot-to-death, knock-you-up -against-the-wall-and-make-you-fall-to-the-floor sex, you are going to have to protect yourself.
Although abstinence is the safest form of protection, many people find it hard to even consider “no sex at all” as an option. This makes it all the more important to have safe sex. Taking precautions does not necessarily mean taking all the fun and pleasures out of the experience. But it does decrease the risk of catching STDs or getting pregnant.
Some couples find it embarrassing or uncomfortable when it comes to using protection. It is very important, though, to know your partner’s sexual history and which forms of protection they are most comfortable using.
Male condoms are the most widely used protection, and when used properly, are about 97 percent effective against pregnancy. They are also useful in guarding against HIV and other STD’s. Available over the counter, condoms can sometimes be an embarrassing purchase, but they are well worth the buy in the end.
There are several other types of birth control methods, but very few also guard against the HIV virus and other STDs.
For women, there are daily birth control pills that can be prescribed by a gynecologist or clinician. There is even a shot women can take every four months called Depo-Provera that has the same effect “the pill” has, just without the daily consumption. Also, diaphragms, foam suppositories, and film serve as “female condoms” and are just as effective as their male counterparts. In any case, both parties should be equipped with some form of protection, and not have the sole responsibility on one person.
Even though these options pose obvious perks, it is important to contact a doctor first to be aware of serious side effects and to find out exactly which products are right for you and your partner.
For more information, feel free to contact the Health Awareness Resource Team in the lower level in Mitten Hall (Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30). There is plenty of reading material to do your own research, or you can make an appointment with a health counselor.
There are more than enough things in this world that are killing people, so at least have fun the right way. If you’re not going to sack it, go home and whack it.