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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Comment For Scarlet Experts/Admins Etc.

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Author Topic: Comment For Scarlet Experts/Admins Etc.
bobbyflay
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After reading a lot of your response it seems to me you stress the importance of sexually transmitted diseases/infections. I agree with you in how you respond because many people have “casual” sex and do not know where each other has been. I do not agree with some comments you make. A lot of posters on this board are around the ages of 13 to 20 it seems to me and most of these people are usually monogamous.
My comment, Is along with saying get tested get tested and get tested also comment on, that if you and your partner are the only one’s you’ve been with then you really don’t have much or less than non-monogamous people have to worry about. In my opinion when you saying get tested or make sure they don’t have any diseases a lot people get scared and they don’t understand that if you’ve only been with one partner then most likely you’re alright. Also you seem to categorize people as being “easy” or free flowing with partners when MOST people are not bar hoping sex freaks looking for a good time.
I am not stereotyping people that go to bars as people who are looking for girls to have sex that night but in most cases alcohol and diseases are usually spread by meeting people in places such as a bar or club.

I think it also seems that in the times now people are having sex for pleasure and not procreation. I believe that taking the right steps to protect one self is good but I truly think people want to have one partner and not numerous partners as it seems you are pointing too.
Please do not take offense and please comment on my words.

Thank you.

[This message has been edited by bobbyflay (edited 09-19-2004).]


Posts: 67 | From: Raleigh,NC | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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quote:
f you and your partner are the only one�s you�ve been with then you really don�t have much or less than non-monogamous people have to worry about.

That's misleading.

Yes, if you and your partner have both never been sexually active in any way before, then your risk for some STDs is negligible or very seriously reduced.

But that doesn't mean you don't have any risk. Many STDs can be transmitted non-sexually - for example, you can be born with HIV, or get herpes through casual contact.

quote:
and most of these people are usually monogamous.

Actually, most of the board users who are sexually active seem to be serially monogamous. They will only have one partner at a time, but if and when a relationship breaks up, they will subsequently date someone else.

Relatively few people in our society only have one sexual partner in the whole of their lives. That's a fact.

And that's how an awful lot of STDs get transmitted.

quote:
I am not stereotyping people that go to bars as people who are looking for girls to have sex that night but in most cases alcohol and diseases are usually spread by meeting people in places such as a bar or club.

Incorrect. An STD virus or bacteria doesn't know or care if you meet in a bar or a Bible study group.

It is a very dangerous stereotype indeed to think that STDs only affect "bar hopping sex freaks looking for a good time".

That myth discourages people from practicing safer sex because they think their partner will be offended if they ask to use a condom or dental dam.


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Londongirl
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Some other thoughts on this. I hear what you are saying Bobby, but have you considered infection through intravenous drug use, or through medical accidents as well as the issues Logic_grrl already mentioned?

Also, it can be very difficult to be sure that your partner is telling the truth, hasn't omitted anything (sexual history is a topic which many people find it very difficult to talk about), and understands all the issues. For example have you read the article here Magical Cups and Bloody Brides, which deals with differing definitions of "virginity". If a potential partner says to you "I'm a virgin", how do you know what she means? It doesn't necessarily mean she has had no STI risks.

However, I do think it can make it sound like you can never trust anyone, and that many people do not accept the idea that everyone should get tested before embarking on a sexual relationship. But that doesn't mean they are right. I think it can be very difficult negotiating all the aspects of safer sex, but to ignore them could cost you your life.

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Londongirl
Thirtysomething and not actually counting
Who the **** is Londongirl?


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logic_grrl
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Here's a fact which is relevant to some of the points that Londongirl made:

In the UK, I'm considered too "high risk" to be able to donate blood. And this was the case before I had ever even kissed another person.

Why? Because I work with children with special needs who may have challenging behaviour, and as a result I sometimes get scratched or bitten.

Therefore, I'm considered to be at a high risk for blood-borne diseases - many of which are also sexually transmissible.

It's nothing to do with people "not knowing where I've been", or whether or not I'm a trustworthy person. In my case, it doesn't even have anything to do with my sexual history.

Bacteria and viruses don't make moral judgements. Whether someone is at risk of contracting an STD or not isn't a moral issue - any more than it's a moral issue if they catch the flu.

quote:
A lot of posters on this board are around the ages of 13 to 20 it seems to me

Actually, teenagers are among the highest-risk groups for contracting STDs. That's one of the reasons why we emphasize safer sex here.

[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 09-20-2004).]


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bobbyflay
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I agree with what you guys are saying, I just trust people to much and think they will always be safe in what there doing, but some people just don't care. What do you think about that? Thanks
Posts: 67 | From: Raleigh,NC | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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It is NOT about trusting or not trusting, which is what I think you're not hearing.

Take this for instance: like most people who develop oral Herpes, Sally gets it at a very young age, just by kissing her auntie who has it.

She isn't very informed or aware of what the virus is or how it spreads. She has unprotected oral sex with her boyfriend, neither of whom have EVER had sexual partners. He winds up with genital Herpes. Given how herpes works, that could even happen WITH a condom. And it's entirely possible that that male partner may have NO idea he even has genital Herpes for a very long time.

Boom. See what we're saying here? Yes, in some instances, it IS a matter of a lack of care, or a matter of multiple or previous partners. But in plenty, it really isn't, especially considering the fact that how many young adults think about certain terms contradicts safer sex guidelines.

For instance, your average teen would say that three or four months with someone is long-term monogamy, when it is not. Per safer sex guidelines, six months is a MINIMUM on long-term monogamy in terms of protection. Many teens would say that not having had intercourse means they haven't had a sexual partner before, even if they've engaged in oral or manual sex with someone else. Many teens do NOT get annual sexual healthcare and screenings, either because they don't think they need to, their doctors tell them they don't need to (sometimes because the teens aren't honest about their sexual activity for various reasons) or because they can't afford or access it.

The reality, too, is that MOST people will NOT have or want only one sexual partner in their lives. Life is long, much longer than it seems like it'll be when you're 16.

And many teens do NOT practice safer sex as they should because no one gives them all the information they need to know to do so. So, when you post saying you assume people are careful while at the same time suggesting we give less of this information, you're setting up a paradox. Without that information, they can't know how to do that, after all.

(This statement from you, by the way, simply isn't so, especially with young adults: "but in most cases alcohol and diseases are usually spread by meeting people in places such as a bar or club.")


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Heather
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Per your idea that most teens have only one partner by the way, data and research just doesn't support that.

In fact, a recent study reported by Advocates for Youth shows that around 45 percent of teenage males have had as many as six partners by the age of 21. Having only one partner, even through the teens alone, is still fairly rare.


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bobbyflay
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"Per your idea that most teens have only one partner by the way, data and research just doesn't support that.
In fact, a recent study reported by Advocates for Youth shows that around 45 percent of teenage males have had as many as six partners by the age of 21. Having only one partner, even through the teens alone, is still fairly rare."


Don't you think in some ways that's sad at all?


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MarvellousPurple
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I think it's sad that STDs and unplanned pregnancies result from having multiple partners. People having sex they're not ready for and generally misusing sexuality don't make me too happy. But I don't think it's particularly sad, in and of itself, that people have multiple partners, no. I think that, given that it's safe and healthy for everyone involved, it's perfectly fine.

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Heather
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No, I don't think it's sad at all if we're just talking numbers.

(Many studies do show plenty of teens hving sex don't really want to be doing so very much, and don't feel good about it physically or emotionally: that's sad. People putting their health and well-being at grave risk is sad. people feeling unable to create sexual limits and boundaries and to ask their partners for what they need all around is sad. Couples staying together just to do so when both are seriously unhappy is sad, as are people coupling just because they're lonely or insecure. Et cetera.)

But per having more than one partner? Heck, no. People live a LONG time nowadays. And people tend to change and grow, and relationships come, go and change as well. There's really nothing to show that one romantic or sexual relationship is any more or less gratifying than several. I know that personally, I'm quite glad I've had many partners and relationships in my life, because they've all differered pretty greatly, taught me different things, offered me different things.

But that's also not required: if it turns out for you that you and your first partner grow old together gladly and keep your relationship sexually monogamous and that's what's best for you, then more power to you.

But in many ways, sexual relationships are like friendshoips. Most of us will have more than one close friend in our lives, and won't think that's "sad," so there's really no reason to think sexual relationships are vastly different in that regard, because they're not. Intimacy is intimacy and love and care for others tends not to be limited.


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Gumdrop Girl
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So, what is monogamy in the context of being under 21, anyway?

Y'know, I was in high school and college not too long ago, and even on ST, I hear the following, "My boy/girlfriend and I have been together for 2 months! We've been going out forever!" I remember the first boyfriend i had, and how excited i was when we had been going out for a whole MONTH! That eemed like forever to me, and it seems like forever to a lot of folks.

How long is a long term relationship when you're a teen or young adult? It's usually something in the neighborhood of a few months, two years tops. And when you get these series of short "long-term" relationships, while you may have been having one partner at a time, the cumulative is that you've multiple partners.

We want people to see that. It's not that they're "easy" or whatever, but it's just the dynamic of how their relationships.

Teens do have multiple partners. Not all at once, but in one-at-a-time series. Their social networks are tight (usually schools), so it doesn't take long for one disease to pool in the group and spread around. Yes, alcohol and drugs play a part in this, but it's the attitudes people have about themselves and their risks that are really holding a lot of folks back.

What is the risk for a teen anyway? well, considering that 4 million of them get STDs each year, it's pretty high. the 15-19 year old bracket alone constitutes about 25% of all STD cases in the US each year. If you expand that to 15-24, that's two thirds of all cases in the US each year.

That's a lot of young people who, like you, probably had been faithful to their boyfriends or girlfriends (whom they only dated for a few months at a time, but that was a long time for them). And because they were, they didn't think it could happen to them. But it did.

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bobbyflay
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o I understand what you are saying and agree with you. I don't think i'm that age your talking about. I've been with my girlfriend for around 2 years now and i'm 20. Thank you for the tip
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showstoppa84
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Well, I am 19 and I've had about 2 sexual encounters in my entire life. I realize that everyone with an std is a "bar hopping swinger", usually, it takes one enocunter to recieve an std and from that one enocunter, you're affected for life.

Usually, when people do "hook-up", there is some trust between them. They don't even think twice to ask them about if they have anything, but sadly, they don't. I know what's that like. I feel it's required if someone does know they are carrying around an std, then at least have the decency to tell the person you do have an std. Well, now I have learned my lesson, so next time, the dams and flavored condems will be ready.

I truly do beleive most teens do have the wrong idea about sex.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
They don't even think twice to ask them about if they have anything, but sadly, they don't. I know what's that like. I feel it's required if someone does know they are carrying around an std, then at least have the decency to tell the person you do have an std.

The trouble is that often people don't know that they may be carrying an STD.

Some STDs (such as chlamydia) can often be asymptomatic, especially in men.

There certainly are a few people who know that they have STDs and don't tell their partners, which is highly unethical.

But there are also a whole lot of people who don't tell their partners because they don't actually know that they're carrying an STD.

That's one of the problems with turning this into a "trust" issue - someone can be totally trustworthy and honest, but they can't tell you what they don't know themselves!

quote:
from that one enocunter, you're affected for life.

Not necessarily. Some STDs (like HIV and herpes) are incurable, but there are plenty of others that can be got rid of altogether with the right medical treatment.

STDs aren't something to treat lightly, but they aren't necessarily a sentence of doom either .

[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 09-24-2004).]


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