I'm STD-Free & Proud Of It; Are You?

I'm STD-Free & Proud Of It; Are You? [EXPERT]
Love, Sex

Why it's especially important to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases in this day and age.

It has been said that the best things in life are free, and while I usually agree with this age-old adage, I've come to realize it doesn't apply to one of the very best things in life: sex.

No, I'm not referring to literally paying for sex. I'm talking about the heavy risk that we all take when engaging in it.

Some STDs last a lifetime and can cause irreparable damage, including infertility and death. That's quite the price to pay for a between-the-sheets tango. With 19 million newly reported STD cases per year, this certainly is a high risk to be taking … and the cost could truly end up being more than it's worth. Why Your "Number" Doesn't Matter

Considering the high rates of STD contraction in the United States, I am always alarmed by the number of friends and peers who knowingly put themselves at risk by engaging in unsafe sex … and don't seem the least bit fazed by it. Stories about unprotected sex with new partners are rampant among the younger crowd, and many seem shocked when I bring up the fact that oral sex as a cause for STD concerns.

One-night stands; anal sex exploration; threesomes; blackout-drunk sex sessions where you only hope a condom was used but can't quite remember ... the list of sexual exploits go on and on, and they are all often brought up or even bragged about when the topic of sex arises. Sunday brunch can feel more like a pissing contest to see who got away with the weirdest sexual act the night before.

Still, the single hottest sex fact that no one boasts about enough is "I'm STD free!" In a day when there are 700,000 reported cases of gonorrhea per year, being STD free is incredibly sexy and worth bragging to the world. I wear my own STD-free badge with pride. Top Tips For Your First Getaway As A Couple

I suppose one of the reasons people aren't gathered around on Sundays bragging about their STD-free status is because the topic itself is decidedly unsexy. Plus, there is an increasingly high rate of sexually active people not being tested, whether it's because of misinformation, fear or sheer ignorance.

Even I once believed that I was automatically tested for STDs when I went for my annual OB/GYN exam. Imagine my shock when I discovered that this was not the case. It only came to light when discussing a bad sexual decision with my gynecologist.

More sex advice from YourTango:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.