Sex is a part of our culture. Everywhere we look were being subjected to it – it’s in Hardee’s advertisements, it’s in the movies, it’s on TV. We live in a society with sex on the brain.
A subdivision of our culture is the fast-growing realm of hookup culture. With apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr our next sexual partner is a swipe or a super-like away – but when we embark on the sexcapades there’s one thing that is often overlooked and that’s safety. We need to be having safe sex.
Passion, even with a potentially random hook up, is a tricky thing. In the heat of the moment, the conversation of STIs can get lost. Which is unfortunate and could be dangerous.
An article from CNN states that, “Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have climbed for the fourth consecutive year in the United States.”
According to the CDC’s preliminary data, 2.3 million cases of the aforementioned sexually transmitted diseases were reported in 2017 alone – which is a lot of disease being passed around. Yes, sex is one of life’s simple pleasures, but does that mean that we ought to be having it haphazardly?
Certainly, safe sex is an easy solution, wearing a condom is quick and easy, so why is it that – according to the statistics – rates for sexually transmitted diseases and infections are rising?
Condoms are the only form of birth control that protects against STIs and even HIV, according to an article by Planned Parenthood.
Is Tinder a direct cause for the uprising rates of STIs? No, probably not. While there have been studies that show Tinder users reporting “more infections on average,” the fact of the matter is that all Tinder, and other dating apps, has done is make it easier for people to find other people willing to have unsafe sex.
The fact of the matter is that people not using proper protection – internal and external condoms alike – is what is facilitating this increase in infections.
Yes, with the advent of vaccines like Gardasil which work to prevent HPV and cervical cancer, as well as medications like PrEP, a preventative oral medication to help prevent HIV, there are a number of steps we the sexually active population can be taking to protect ourselves and our partners.
It’s 2018. We live in a world where Kim Kardashian is posting nude photos every other day, the barriers around our sexualities have been challenged enough that we ought to be at a point in time where going to the store to buy condoms isn’t embarrassing, it should be seen as proper preventative action.
Regular STI checks should not be deemed as embarrassing either. The fact of the matter is that we’re adults, we’re having sex and we need to be responsible for ourselves and our partners – even in this day and age of casual hookups.
Worrying that you might have a sexually transmitted disease is scarier than knowing if you do – once you know, you can take action. Keep in mind that some STIs, like HIV or syphilis, are easier to treat the earlier on they are detected.
Safe sex is smart sex. If we want to continue on down the path of causality that our generation seems to be on in terms of sex, we need to be making more responsible choices. We need to be protecting ourselves. STI checks and condoms are readily available, all we have to do is be adult enough to take action.