STDs Are So Hot Right Now [Sexy Time]

The other day, my supervisor barreled into the office and proceeded to freak out about this article he’d read in the New Yorker about a new strain of gonorrhea that can’t be treated with antibiotics.  He and my other boss – both of whom are married and ostensibly free from contracting STDs – were utterly appalled and proceeded to disparage people who have casual sex, and said they hope this news would teach the “floozies” a lesson. (Sidebar – isn’t floozy so much more elegant than slut or ho? I love it.)

It’s so telling to me that their first response was slut shaming instead of having a productive dialogue about our society’s collective blase attitude towards sexually transmitted disease prevention. My first thought after I heard about this new strain gonorrhea was, “It’s all because of men.” While that’s obviously not totally true, men as a whole appear to have conspired in a massive anti-condom movement. Like there’s a meeting they all attend before they start having sex where they learn key phrases to evade wearing one – oh, I can’t get hard with a condom, I’m too big to wear one, you’re on the pill though, right? Some guys really make wearing a condom seem as torturous as waterboarding.
To be fair, however, us ladies aren’t always the biggest proponents of condom usage either. Part of it is probably acquiescing to guys because they *are* the ones who have to wear it. And a huge part of it is the fact that condoms can be pretty gross from our perspective too. I use condoms with my boyfriend, and I fully admit to having had really bad experiences — too ribbed, too much lube, not enough lube, too much spermicide, etc. A sucky condom can be the ultimate mood killer. But a good one is like a seat belt – a tangible preventative measure to catastrophe. That said, it can take a lot of work to find the perfect condom for both you and your partner, and especially in casual contexts, neither person may not be interested in taking on that commitment.
Regardless of reasons that seem totally legitimate until you spend more than 5 seconds thinking about the ramifications, please don’t shy away from condoms if you’re not in an exclusive relationship. This is a matter of your health and public health. Gonorrhea is one of the easiest diseases to prevent, and it has some of the most severe consequences when left untreated – from PID to infertility. If you’re going to eschew monogamy and go casual, that’s awesome. However, having no-strings-attached sex without a condom is like drinking from a communal jungle juice bowl at a nasty frat party and then being surprised when you end up with mono. Your actions have repercussions, so I implore you to do your part to keep us all free from ridiculous forms of the clap.
[lead image via Lynne Albright/]

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