Here's a question I've been wondering about lately: If an individual is in a long term monogamous relationship, not having intercourse, but engaging in most other things that fall under the category of sex, and for the most part is not using any form of birth control (except avoiding penetration and limiting other partners to zero), I know you are at a risk of transmitting STI's if either partner has one. But what about other illnesses? Can non-STI's be transmitted through acts such as oral sex and other activities involving fluid transfer? Kissing, I imagine is a sure way to get your partner's cold, but what about sex? Should it be avoided to keep from getting sick?
I know that it is not recommendable to be having unprotected sex, even without intercourse (except perhaps in very specific circumstances: a record of frequent clear STI screenings and all that) and I don't want to influence anyone into thinking this is not the case. But let's say this is a married couple, or similar long term commitment. What are the risks for getting each other sick?
Posted by dailicious (Member # 22471) on :
(Just to clarify- we recomend that couples do not start going without condoms until they have both been in a monogomous relationship, will continue to be in one, and have both received two full STI screenings that return negative for any STIs, 6 months apart, and for the couple to after that point continue to get annual sTI screenings while they remain together and monogomous. This goes for ANY couple, INCLUDING married couples or those in similar long-term committments, marriage doesn't make you prone to STIs, afterall).
The reason STIs are a big concern is because they can often times have serious consequences if not treated properly, or are viruses which can stay with you for the rest of your life (most of your run-of-the-mill contageous illnesses are not, they're a pain in the butt sometimes, but they're curable, and often times just through staying hydrated, resting and letting your body fight them off- even bacterial STIs should NEVER be simply left alone); STIs are passed the majority of the time through sexual activity, which is why they are Sexually Transmitted Infections - most can also be passed in other ways, although it is much less likely when no sexual activity is involved whatsoever.
But germs pass through fluid sharing, period. A lot of germs can pass because of hand-to-hand/person contact, or even breathing the same air someone's recently sneezed, coughed or breathed in (the hand-contact one especially is a biggy, which is why, especially in cold and flu season, it's important to wash your own hands after sneezing or coughing if you're sick, but to also wash your hands regularly if you're not).
So, yes, unprotected oral sex can most certainly increase your risk of transferring germs, manual sex can do so as well, even though fluid transfer is not usually involved (again with the hand contact). Heck, like I said, just being around a person who's sick enough can be enough for the germs to float along to you.
So, if a partner is sick and you want to avoid catching their illness, or vice-versa? It's best to minimize intimate contact as much as you can (kissing, sexual activity) and be sure that you're both keeping your hands washed. Or, if the person is sick enough, take a couple day vacation from your partner until they're feeling better if you can (this works better for those who are just dating, not in a situation where they're living together), or just make them be the ones to bring you the chicken-soup and tissue boxes when YOU'RE under the weather next!
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