Something I have neglected to mention so far in my blogs is the idea of protection when being intimate with a person. I believe this is because nowadays, this is one of the last things many people are thinking about, especially teenagers. I don't believe it is necessarily something that people do not want to discuss. However, I do believe that for many people, it is much easier to avoid topics such as pregnancy and STD/STIs. This is because these things often make us uncomfortable no matter who we might be speaking to. In fact, one of the things I don't even remember discussing much with my family was the importance of protecting yourself. When I became sexually active I was very much informed of condoms and their use, and they were even provided for me in order to ensure that I would not be able to use the excuse of not having them readily available. However, with this comes the discussion of why these things are being provided to me and why I was taught about how to use them. I feel as though that was a discussion that was lacking in understanding from my family members. This occurs in many families because for one, parents don't want to believe their children will be active before marriage, two, parents don't want to believe their children could ever have an incident in which they might forget to use protection, and three, parents sometimes rely on those surrounding them to inform their children of these situations. Along with this comes shame and embarrassment. I believe that we should not be ashamed of the things that are part of our biology. As human beings we have a need for intimacy with others. I believe there is no shame in exploring this.
While exploring our sexuality, we must keep ourselves protected from those things that may harm us. We can do this through many different ways such as female condoms, latex and non-latex male condoms, dental dams and many other barrier methods. Along with this however, I think one of the most important things for us to do is, you guessed it, have regular testing for HIV. I do this every 6 months or whenever I am with a new partner. I believe that no matter what form of protection you are using, the most important thing to do is to get tested.
I wrote this because it seems like people nowadays are just going crazy everywhere. Everyone is having sex with everyone else and I always wonder just how protected these people are being. Yes it is only my business to worry about myself. However, I worry about finding a partner who could have possibly been with some of these people who might not have been as careful about their sexually exploration.
Some websites to check out of course
For women who want more information about HPV and their annual gynecological exams