It's STI Awareness Month: 4 Things You Must Know About Safe Sex

By

Sexually active? Here's an infographic you need to see about safe sex.
 

April is Sexually Transmitted Infections Awareness Month! It's that time of year when we all take stock in our bad sexual health habits, as well as the good ones, too, and resolve to be better. It's also that time of year when, if we've been lucky enough to remain STI-free despite any irresponsible, um, rendez-vous, that we thank our effing lucky stars that we dodged a bullet.

It's true that having an STI (Note: Not everyone with an STI shows symptoms or has their infection turn into a disease, which is what a Sexually Transmitted Disease "STD" refers to) no longer has the stigma attached to it as it once did, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do our best to keep ourselves free of them. For starters, even if you don't contract a life-threatening STI, they do lead to infertility in 24,000 women every year. If having a baby someday is something that's important to you, then safe sex should be even more so.

As we already covered, the Center for Disease Control has estimated that 20 million new STDs happen every year. That's a pretty terrifying number when you compare it to the fact that yearly cancer diagnoses are at just over 1.5 million. Of those who are walking around with an STI, 65 million of them have the dreaded incurable kind (herpes, we're looking at you), and the CDC estimates that at any given moment there are 110 million STIs out there, both new and existing, among American men and women. And yet, despite this readily available knowledge, only one in three singles use a condom during sex. Have we all gone mad?

Trojan genuinely cares about your sexual health, so they were kind enough to share some important information every sexually-active person should know. Let's talk safe sex facts, shall we?

infographic on happy relationships

1. Condoms work.
Condoms really are the ONLY method of contraception that is going to keep you safe from both pregnancy and STDs. You can throw your hands up in the air and say, "It doesn't feel good," all you want, but the reality is that condom brands have come a long way, and some of them feel just as great as the real thing. Get out there and do some research; find what condoms work for you, then stock up. Trojan actually has an app that provides both sexual health trivia and a tool to help you choose the right condom. Literally, it's in the palm of your hand.

2. There is a right and wrong way to put on a condom.
When used correctly, condoms are effective 98 percent of the time. However, if you're not putting them on right, then you're far away from that almost 100 percent.

Don't use your teeth to open the packaging. Yeah, it totally looks cool in theory, but teeth, like any other sharp object, can damage the condom. Here's an idea: use your fingers! Seriously. Use. Them.

Make sure the rolled up ring is on the outside. Perhaps, you may have already known this, but do you realize how many people don’t? Far. Too. Many.

Squeeze the receptacle tip at the right time. You've probably been one of those people or privy to one of those people who just rolls it on, then squeezes the tip afterward, right? WRONG. If you want to wear this thing so it actually does its job, then squeeze the tip while unrolling the condom on to the erect penis. If it doesn’t roll, don’t fight with it; just throw it away and get a new one.

Keep it on until the very end. It may seem like a fun idea to go bareback for a few, but skip that "fun" idea. We're trying to be safe here not see how far you can stay on the bucking bronco before you land on your face with a blood nose! So, with that in mind, keep that condom on until you ejaculate, then remove it immediately, wrap it in a tissue and throw it out. (And don't forget to make your partner climax, too!)

3. Condoms are finicky about temperature.
If you're one to store your condoms in your car or in your wallet, you need a new plan. You want to keep them in a cool and dry place, out of excessive heat and, for the love of god, out of your back pocket where it’s being smashed up against everything else in your wallet.

4. Oil-based lubes are the great enemy of the condom.
While you may not be picky about your lube, your condom is. One of the worst things you can do to your condom is saturate it in oil-based lubrication — you might as well bake it in the sun, honestly. A happy condom (which leads to STI-free sex), is one that is used with water or silicone based lubes.

Every minute 38 people contract an STD — this is not OK. What is OK is realizing you've been lax in your sexual health and making a pledge to yourself, and all your future sex partners, to use condoms 100 percent of the time. What's the point of an STI Awareness Month, if we're not going to resolve to make some serious positive changes? Take care of your body. Even the longest orgasm isn't worth a lifetime of an incurable STI, or even a brief dalliance with one.

 

More juicy stories from YourTango:

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB
  • 40% of parents report that they are better at communicating with each other AFTER having kids.