When Sex Isn’t So Sexy

Life without sex might be safer but it would be unbearably dull. It is the sex instinct which makes women seem beautiful, which they are once in a blue moon, and men seem wise and brave, which they never are at all. Throttle it, denaturalize it, take it away, and human existence would be reduced to the prosaic, laborious, boresome, imbecile level of life in an anthill. ~Henry Louis Mencken

An intellectual is a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex. ~Aldous Huxley

Desire is in men a hunger, in women only an appetite. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook

Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable. ~Lord Chesterfield

However you view sex, you have to think in terms of:

  1. How can it enrich my relationship?
  2. How will it effect my life?
  3. Am I able to deal with the consequences of having it?

It feels good.  It helps us to bond with one and other.  It produces offspring.  But, sex can also have negative effects when considering all of the three questions above.

When is sex not so sexy?  When sexually transmitted diseases become a part of it.

Both men and women are obsessed with sex to the point that they don’t stop and think about the consequences of having it.  This essay will focus on the most important negative consequence of having sex:  becoming infected with an STD.

In February 2013, CDC published two analyses that provide an in-depth look at the severe human and economic burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States.

CDC’s new estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.

America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.

CDC’s analyses included eight common STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B virus (HBV), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and trichomoniasis…

While the consequences of untreated STIs are often worse for young women, the new analysis reveals that the annual number of new infections is roughly equal among young women and young men (49 percent of incident STIs occurs among young men, vs. 51 percent among young women).

The likelihood you will get an STD will be greater the more sexual partners you have.  Although as the cliché goes, it can only take one time.  Using condoms won’t protect you against all STDs all the time either.  Modern indoctrination has attempted (and has been successful in most cases) in removing stigma attached to contracting STDs to the point that negative social consequences no longer serve as a deterrent to having promiscuous sex.

Perhaps if the icky truth is revealed over and over, people might think twice before sleeping around with multiple partners.  I won’t hold my breath that any real epiphany is possible within the sexually promiscuous population, but I will try to shed light on some of the un-sexy parts of sex anyway.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although symptoms of the disease vary, most women and men who have the parasite cannot tell they are infected.

It’s a PARASITE ladies!  Do you want a parasite in your vagina?

The parasite is passed from an infected person to an uninfected person during sex.  In women, the most commonly infected part of the body is the lower genital tract (vulva, vagina, or urethra), and in men, the most commonly infected body part is the inside of the penis (urethra)…

About 70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms.  When trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation. Some people with symptoms get them within 5 to 28 days after being infected, but others do not develop symptoms until much later. Symptoms can come and go.

Men with trichomoniasis may feel itching or irritation inside the penis, burning after urination or ejaculation, or some discharge from the penis.

Women with trichomoniasis may notice itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or a thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish.

Just reading that makes me never want to have sex again.  Parasites aside, there is more.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).

You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia…

If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate…

Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.

Women with symptoms may notice

  • An abnormal vaginal discharge;
  • A burning sensation when urinating.

Symptoms in men can include

  • A discharge from their penis;
  • A burning sensation when urinating;
  • Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).

Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum, either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site (such as the vagina). While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause

  • Rectal pain;
  • Discharge;
  • Bleeding.

Of course there is also Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Herpes; all of which will make you more susceptible to get and transmit HIV.  Some STDs will have obvious symptoms which can be seen or (vomits) smelled.  Some STDs have no symptoms though, so if you think you can depend on someone being “clean” merely by the way they look;  well groomed, smells good, gorgeous, etc., you may end up with an objectionable itch or burning the day after – even if he wears a condom!

Women are extremely susceptible to STDs because of the way our delicate parts are made.  Our tissue is softer and more easily torn in the vulva and vaginal area, and the warmth and moisture make it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Men have almost always been more promiscuous than women.  Women are no longer shamed (for the most part) for having casual sex.  Since many women use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, their number of partners and frequency of sexual episodes has vastly increased.  Because of this, the prevalence of STDs is on an upswing in both sexes.  Blame cannot be cast more at one sex over another.  The spread of disease is the burden of both.

Sex isn’t icky.  Sexually transmitted diseases are icky.  People should be horrified if they contract an STD, and there should be social stigma attached to getting one.  If all people considered getting an STD so icky that they refuse to go forth and bang freely, maybe there wouldn’t be as many infected people out there draining our health care systems of resources that should be channeled into diseases that occur not due to poor social sexual hygiene (not sure if that’s actually a “thing”, but it should be), but because of some nasty cancer cells, or a genetically bad heart.

Even though women are more susceptible to venereal diseases, due to their promiscuous nature men spread STDs like wildfire.  This is part of the reason women need to take into account the number of sexual partners a man has had.  He may not even know he has been infected, especially if he has had recent sexual contact in proximity to your little tryst with him.  Think of sex in terms of the reality of the “ick factor”.

Do you want to kiss a man who’s mouth and tongue has been in the crotch of a woman (or many many women) infected with a parasite(s), bacteria, or a virus?  Do you want that tongue in your mouth?  ICK!  You may not even know when you meet him that he is infected.  He may not even know himself!

Do you want that penis that has just been stuck into an infected vagina inside any part of your body?  ICK!  Sure you will be able to see or feel herpes, a rash, etc., but not all STDs have symptoms that are noticeable.

I could go on but my breakfast is starting to come up.

The more sexual partners a man has, the more likely it is that he is infected with an STD, and that YOU will become infected too.  The more sexual partners YOU have, the more likely it will be that you will end up with some disgusting icky disease that may be more than just an inconvenient trip to the doctor and bottle of antibiotics/antivirals.  Untreated STDs can lead to inability to have children, among other things.

The only way to prevent getting an STD is to not have sex.  This is probably impossible in this day and age, so decreasing the number of sexual partners you have will decrease the chance you will become infected.  Not having sex with one partner one night, then another partner another night will also help.

Women’s vaginas exist in a state of homeostasis.  It’s normally a stable environment so long as activity down there is also stable (or consistent).  A woman’s vagina becomes adapted to her sexual partner over time.  Introducing another sexual partner into the environment, even if he isn’t infected with something, can cause an imbalance to occur in your vagina which makes it more likely that the good and bad bacteria down there is unable to work effectively to fend off infection.  Can  we say yeastie beasties?

So lets answer those questions above:

  1. How can it enrich my relationship?  It can bring a loving couple closer together encouraging a lasting bond.  Or, it can give you a few moments of physical pleasure.
  2. How will it effect my life?  If sex happens in the context of a loving relationship or marriage, it can solidify commitment or bond between the man and the woman who will then build a life together.  Or, it will keep you trapped in a never ending loop of hunger and unrest.
  3. Am I able to deal with the consequences of having it?  If you’ve been monogamous, you more than likely will not have contracted an STD with your current mate, and are now building a life, family, and home together.  Or, if you are promiscuous, you may have an STD which may effect your life and health negatively long term.  You may also get to the point where it’s impossible to bond with anyone due to the high numbers of partners you’ve had.

So what’s it going to be ladies?  Do you want to keep sex sexy?  Or are you cool with it being icky?  I believe I’ll hold out for the sexy sex.

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