When Sex Gets Scary – STIs
There is little in life that is greater than sex. Making love, sex, hooking up – whatever you want to call it, sex is essential for reproduction and creating healthy relationships. Whether you do it out of love or lust, sex is exciting, passionate and an essential part of most adult lives. But not all sex is perfect. You can light all the candles you like, produce flowers for your other half or even enjoy a post-sex meat-feast pizza, but there is no greater passion killer than the reality of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
These infectious diseases range from mild to serious, to life threatening, and there are none that should be ignored. Often, sexually active individuals neglect their own sexual health and fail to keep their bodies safe. Promiscuity and ignorance are arguably the two biggest reasons as to why these ghastly infections are a continual problem. With many individuals choosing to have sexual intercourse with multiple people, and without using protection, the transition of these intimate nasties is easy, leaving many people with potentially serious diseases.
The ever-pervasive binge drinking culture of the 2000s means that on a night out it is easy to see why protection is neglected when one is under the influence and happy to be getting lucky; condoms are bound to be the last thing on your mind. Another reason why these diseases are rife, besides intoxicated glee, is mindless ignorance; often individuals imagine that ‘it will never happen to them’ when in reality it very easily could if you engage in risky unprotected sexual behaviour. Often a lack of education means that people do not understand the risks, thus dismissing certain sexual acts as ‘safe’. It is not always true that everyone knows what sexual acts cause which diseases. For example, often individuals assume that sexually transmitted infections can only be caught through penetrative sex, whereas in actual fact you can catch all sorts of diseases through unprotected oral sex.
When entering a new relationship it is often a little awkward to discuss your previous sexual encounters and it can be embarrassing divulging whether you have been protected or tested before. Despite an uncomfortable conversation, the merits of such a discussion are limitless; relationships will flourish on honesty, security and if you are both sure, no diseases will get in the way of your nights of love making. Usually, STI tests are quick, easy and discrete offering a lot in the way of reassurance. If you suspect you have an STI there are many discreet and easy ways you can get yourself tested and treated if necessary. With a choice of visiting your GP, a sexual health clinic or sending off a sample through the post, there is a multitude of ways to get tested confidentially. If someone is worried about confidentiality, they need not be as clinics and doctors are very private, allowing you to use an alternate name to call you into the surgery if necessary. If you cannot face going to the doctor, there are also schemes that allow you to complete a test kit and send it off in the post, before receiving a text a week later. With such a range of solutions, there is no excuse to be too shy to get tested.
Treatment for less serious STI’s can be as simple as antibiotics, restoring one back to full health within weeks, and (hopefully) educated on the harms of unprotected sex. With some diseases being life threatening or a threat to fertility though, it is essential that everyone knows the potential for the spread of, sometimes undetectable, infections, ways to protects themselves and where to get help if they need it.
STIs are there, they won’t be going away, but there is a way to beat them and ensure you aren’t the victim to these avoidable intimate irritations. Firstly, use protection until you are sure you and your partner are clean; it’s a small price to pay for your own sexual health. Other important factors to stopping the spread of STI’s are good education and stopping the stereotypical embarrassment associated with the subject – there really is nothing to be ashamed of. Sex is great, but safe sex is even better. Knowing you are both clean and healthy, you can enjoy your post sex meat feast pizza and get right down to round two…