Most of us have a pretty laid-back attitude towards sex.
More than fifty years after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the taboo around the subject has almost entirely faded. Nobody is embarrassed anymore that they had a one-night stand. It’s more a mark of honour. Unfortunately, however, sex still presents a range of dangers and can all-too-frequently go wrong. The modern understanding of sex as just a way to have fun is relatively new in the human experience, and the risks almost as old as time itself. It’s only recently, for instance, that so many people from so many different parts of the world now regularly travel between cities. Activities like this are making it much easier for infectious agents to spread themselves around the community.
With that said, it is clear that sex presents a wide range of risks. Let’s take a look at them here so that you can avoid them in the future. While some of them are related to infection, that’s not the case for all of them.
Sure, sex is fun, but it needs to be safe!
The Risk Of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Microbes figured out a long time ago in our evolutionary history that sex was a great transmission mechanism. So long as they hung out in our nether regions, we would eventually make contact with another person, allowing some of the bugs to hop from one person to another.
The range of common STDs today is enormous. The list includes genital warts, HIV, gonorrhoea, genital herpes and syphilis. You can pick up these infections though regular or anal sex, and in oral sex. Some of these infections will go away over time, while others require medical treatment. Some, such as HIV are with you for the rest of your life, unless new treatments come along in the future.
If you think you might have an infection, you can get a range of test kits. A gonorrhoea test kit, for instance, will tell you for sure if you have the condition or not. For diseases, such as HIV, you may have to send a blood sample off to a specialist laboratory.
Preventing sexually transmitted infections from passing from one person to another is more complicated than you might think. Because these bugs are so small, it’s almost impossible to keep them contained in one place. Unless you wear protection, there’s no way of stopping them from passing from one person to another. There’s just too many of them.
As usual, the best approach is to make sure that your partner wears a condom. This practice protects both of you. Even if you think you’re in an exclusive relationship, you may not be. The condom prevents the transmission of any bodily fluids from your partner to you, stopping the spread of infection, including viruses.
Just remember, you’re just as likely to get an infection through oral sex as you are regular and anal, so you’ll want to use a condom here too.
It’s also worth noting that oral sex can lead to infections either way. The person receiving is less likely to get a disease, but it is still possible for the infection to travel in this direction.
The Risk Of Abuse
While sex is fun, it can be dangerous, especially when it becomes abusive. Of course, knowing when that’s happened sometimes isn’t clear. You want to enjoy the fun with your partner, but sometimes they can make you feel uncomfortable asking you to do things that you wouldn’t choose to do if you weren’t being pressured.
In general, anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or fearful or that hurts you is grounds for concern. If you don’t feel right about what is happening, always speak out.
Consent is absolutely crucial. No consent. No sex. It’s that simple.
The Risk Of Sex Toys
Sex toys include any object designed to add to your sex life. Common sex toys include vibrators and sex dolls.
Just like people’s bodies, sex toys can harbour infectious diseases. This is why you shouldn’t share sex toys unless you wash them thoroughly first. It’s also worth covering dildos with a new condom every time you use them if you share them with other people. Any blood or fluid that gets onto the toy can harbour infection and lead to the development of disease.
Infections From Fingering?!
Is it possible to get an infection from fingering?
The answer, in general, is that fingering is a low-risk activity that makes the spread of infection less likely. It is not, however, without risk. The main problem here is cuts on the fingers that could allow dangerous pathogens into the bloodstream.
Be Safe Out There
While the mainstream media and popular TV programs like to present sex as just a bit of fun, there are real risks. The last thing you want is for something that should be enjoyable turning into a nightmare.
Many of these sexually transmitted diseases have nasty side effects. Some, for instance, cause scabbing, swelling and peeling around your genitals – both unsightly and painful. Others, such as HIV, can lead to wholesale shutting down of your immune system, making you vulnerable to disease.
The good news is that there are all sorts of things that you can do to protect yourself. First, condoms are essential, no matter what kind of sex you’re having. Understanding partners should accommodate this precaution into your routine.
You also want to make sure that you avoid any contact with the blood of another person. This means not sharing any toys or engaging in unprotected sex.
Just remember that there’s nothing wrong with you if you decide to stop having sex for a while.
You’re free to take your time, choose a high-quality partner, and look for something lasting. Many people available for one night stands tend to be the highest risk. Often, they have had the most partners and are the most exposed to diseases making their way around the community. What’s more, you sometimes can’t tell if somebody has a sexually transmitted infection. The first time you find out is when you present at your doctor with symptoms.
Safe sex is the best kind of sex.