Sex and relationships columnist Dan Savage was at the University of Maryland for the premiere of Savage U tonight and he dug up all kinds of dirt on the dating and hook-up scene. It takes a LOT to shock Dan but his jaw dropped when a student visiting the school’s health center told him this story:
The student and his girlfriend Deb admit they are regularly having unprotected sex, without condoms or birth control pills. “When I’m in the mood, I’m not thinking about pregnancy,” he said. Both say they don’t want to have a baby, but just can’t be bothered with birth control or condoms.
++The (SEX)perts weigh in
Where to even begin! This couple is taking a huge gamble EVERY time they have unprotected sex. It’s hard to imagine why they would even go there– risking getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease on a regular basis, and they can’t seem to come up with any excuse. As Dan asked on the show, “Are you insane??”
Dan is completely distressed by this couple’s casual approach to not using protection, with good reason. About 1 in 2 sexually active young people will contract an STD by the age of 25. And a sexually active teen who doesn’t use protection has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. Those odds ain’t in this couple’s favor!
++The good news
Protecting yourself from STDs and pregnancy is easy if you plan ahead. And life can be a lot less stressful if you just take responsibility up front, instead of having to wonder after the fact.
++What you can do:
If you’re having sex (any kind—oral, anal or vaginal) be proactive and make a plan. There are many different methods of protection out there, so learn more in the What Works/What Doesn’t feature or talk to your doctor about what method works best for you. A few popular methods are:
- Condoms (when used consistently and correctly each and every time) are the ONLY method that can help reduce your risk of contracting an STD AND prevent pregnancy. Read up on condoms here.
- The pill doesn’t provide any protection against STDs but it is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
- The shot protects against pregnancy for 3 months (which may be helpful for the more forgetful ladies out there) and is 99 percent effective when used correctly. But again, only condoms provide protection from STDs.
If you’re waiting to have sex, take a deep breath, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy just yet. But even if you aren’t having sex, know that some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so consider using a condom if any sexual contact is going on.
For more information on sexual health visit It’s Your Sex Life and enjoy some of our favorite Dan-isms of the night below:
Best hair-cut advice:
“You should style your vulva however it is that you want to style your vulva”
Best SAT-style analogy:
“Women reading Cosmo and then having certain expectations are like guys watching hard-core porn and having certain expectations.” –Dan trying to convince ladies to put down the Cosmo.
Best relationship advice that applies to all areas of life:
“Stay in the game, say optimistic and don’t get bitter”
Best call out:
“That old song, ‘Oh I can’t feel anything with a condom’ is bull$#*!” –Dan putting the myth that condoms take away all sensation to rest.