You just had a hookup with a stud you met online, the connection and passion you both shared was undeniably the strongest you’ve had in quite some time. There was enough sweat to fill up a fish tank and there were bite marks that ran from your neck to your ankles. You both agreed to go more rounds sometime in the near future. Your partner calls his Lyft and is on his way out the door. As you lay on your sweaty bed sheets, you reminisce the amazing moments you just experienced.
There’s only one thing running through your mind as your adrenaline slowly diminish to it’s normal state. You did not use a condom, and the eyes of the dreamy chiseled man you were once gazing into as he fu……. You know what? Never mind. The moral of the story was that you didn’t use a condom and now paranoia begins to set its roots .
The Basics and Latest Info
Sexually transmitted diseases ( STDs) or Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread through sexual contact( Oral, anal, and vaginal sex, kissing etc.), caused by bacteria or viruses.
Some of the most commonly known STD/STIs include syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes, which are all most commonly found among people under the ages of 30.
A 2016 CDC report stated that over 80% of syphilis cases were accounted within men who had sex with men (MSM), also 47% of those cases who had a known HIV status were reported to be HIV-positive.
In 2017, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in the state of California.
In other parts of the world such as England, the PHE (Public Health England) claimed that in 2016-2017, young people between the ages of 15-24 are diagnosed with Chlamydia or gonorrhea every four minutes. (Click to read the article)
Back home in New Jersey, the STD rates have soared miraculously. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have risen by 25% from 2012 to 2016. It’s also known that a spike in 2016 alone has calculated well over 44,300 cases of new STD infections, this number continues to rise.
For more jaw-dropping New Jersey STD statistics click here.
From the information given we can draw many inferences. We know that individuals of the queer community, specifically gay and bisexual men are having a lot of sex, probably much more than any other community. We also know that the age demographic that is highly at risk are who? Millennials.
The lack of condom usage both orally and anally is a primary reason why STD infections are skyrocketing. Or maybe there is a lack of mutual communication between both parties before hitting the bedroom. Nonetheless, these numbers have got to drop!
Understand that STDs like syphilis have long term effects that can damage other parts of the human body such as our heart and other internal organs if left untreated. If this epidemic continues we will witness our younger communities growing up with all sorts of STD-related conditions.
Please be aware that by no means am I trying to intervene into your sex life and tell you how to live it. Sex is to be enjoyed to the best of its potential by everyone, but just as we have the power to enjoy sex we must also hold ourselves accountable for the predicament we placed ourselves in.
How do we find a balance between pleasure and risk reduction? Do you lower your risks, which could also lower pleasure? Do you increase pleasure and risk all around? Is there a way that we can increase pleasure and lower risk? My answer is -“ABSOLUTELY YES!”
Condoms are our friend. Manufacturers have created many different styles of condoms that can optimize our sexual experience. Currently, condoms are thinner than ever to the point where sex almost feels condom-less. Of course, no condom will compare to the instant satisfaction you get from diving in raw. It’s one of the greatest bodily experiences known to man and nobody can tell us otherwise.
Condoms have the ability to heighten other senses like our smell, sight, and taste. Condoms may not compete with our sense of feeling, however, it doesn’t hurt to mention that condom manufacturers have created Glow in the Dark Condoms, tasteful condoms, and even condoms with pleasant smells. There are also female condoms that can also be used by men who are the receptive partner. Have you tried any of these?
Open Dialogue From The Beginning
Dating apps like Grindr, Jack’d, and Scruff makes sex so damn accessible. I could log in, search for a potential hook-up, and find their location at the same time it takes me to get out of bed a brush my teeth. This isn’t a bad thing, but having this much power increases the number of partners and sexual experiences which will increase our chances of an STD exposure.
A lot of times when we find our partners online, or in any other social settings we tend to exchange in a dialogue that consists of who’s going to be the top or bottom, sexual interests and fetishes, nude pictures, and who’s going to host or travel. I could go on about what’s being said between both parties. Rarely do we have the conversation about recent STD/HIV screenings, boundaries, and condom use. Of course, I’d like to believe that our community is responsibly having that open dialect, but the numbers do not reflect that.
Have that healthy conversation, find out what your partners likes and boundaries are. Talk about each other’s recent screenings, there’s power in knowing. After that, send nudes!
Is there’s some type of taboo or fear of getting tested? Testing is supposed to be a great thing to do. Not only does it show responsibility, but it shows a great deal of self-care ( Not to say that those who don’t get tested do not care about themselves). As stated before, there’s power in knowing. Hold your head up high as you walk down the clinic aisle and demand that screening from your doctor. It sure beats the hell out of not testing at all and assuming that STD’s cannot happen to you.
If you are sexually active it is recommended that you are tested every 3-6 months.
Masturbation is cool, right? Although some of you may be reading this and probably are thinking “No it’s not! We’ve been jerking off since the 6th grade. We want sex, sex is better”. Along with individual masturbation, you could also incorporate mutual masturbation into your sex life. Imagine you and your partner passionately staring into each other’s eyes as you passively stroke each others man parts until the point of climax. Spice it up! Include some great music and snacks and you’ve got yourself a sausage party.
Note that this method substantially lowers your risk and can maximize pleasure.
Call To Action
At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make. There are causes and effects in all realms of life. The STD scare continues to climb the charts due to our actions as a community. It’s time to take ownership and bring power back into our bedrooms. Sex will forever be a huge component of our being. We were created through the actions of sex, but now it will be up to us to fight back against the outbreak. Get tested today, there’s power in knowing.