Preventing STD/STIs: Be a Smart Slut – Open Relationships, Promiscuity and STD/STIs

The past few weeks, talking about ways to prevent STD/STIs, one thing that came up repeatedly was the fewer people you have sex with, and the more closed your sexual circle, the less likely you are to be infected with an STD/STI. Which does not mean you should restrict yourself to just a few sex partners or that closed relationships are in some mystical way ‘better’ than open ones. This is about risk assessment.

The more often you cross a street, the more likely you are to get hit by a car. The more often you have sex, the more chances your birth control will fail. The more you eat, the greater your risk of getting food poisoning. If anyone suggests you restrict yourself to a starvation diet to reduce your risk of getting food poisoning I hope you tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. Seriously.

But the same way you know not to eat food that smells off, if you are going to have a large number of sex partners, and frequently enough that STD/STI testing is becoming increasingly fallible as a method of self protection, then be a smart slut. Learn the signs and symptoms of those STD/STIs that have obvious signs and symptoms. Check with your local health department about what STD/STIs are common in your area, and which barrier method provides the best protection. Invest in a few of the over-the-counter HIV test kits the FDA just approved of (results in 20 minutes) when they go public in October of this year.

If you want to have an open relationship, be a slut, pick up one night stands, whatever makes you happy, there is nothing wrong with that. But do it knowing your risks. Only you can choose the level of risk you are comfortable with. So educate yourself, make your choice for you, and don’t let any of the sex-negative slut shaming idiots tell you otherwise. Just do it smart.

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