Being in a relationship has so many benefits. Finally, you have a sounding board for all of your ideas, even the crazy ones. You can share in that far-off dream of opening a coffee house in the middle of a place called nowhere. You can share those many moonlit nights while you two gaze up at the star bedazzled sky. On the days when you are not feeling so sexy, yep, you have someone who challenges that whole notion. Even better, relationship sex is more than euphoric because it is almost like an often traveled journey. While you know the route, every time you drive down the road you find something new to explore and discover. However, even within a relationship, couples should take precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancy, or worse yet, contracting one or more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Before meeting each other, both partners had a sexual history, a past that might include monogamous relationships and/or the random hook up. For this reason, taking care to protect oneself and one’s partner against possible STDs/STIs is extremely important. The worst thing that can happen to a person, especially someone falling in love, is to make love love only to discover later that the partner has infected him/her with a disease that might or might be incurable. Not only is awareness important for this reason, but couples who are not ready to be parents should take precautions to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. After all, having children ties both parents in the relationship to each other forever. Okay, for at least eighteen years.
Consequences of unsafe sex
The two main consequences of unprotected sex that couples face are the various STDs and unplanned pregnancy. The various STDs include herpes, HPV and HIV, all viruses that cannot be cured. After contracting these viruses, the person can only treat the chronic condition with prescribed medications. Other diseases like chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea, if left unchecked, can result in pelvic inflammatory disease in women and epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) in men. Both of these conditions end in infertility for both sexes. Unprotected couples can also get hepatitis A, B, and C, which are various versions of liver infections. They can be quite debilitating for individuals. While some of these conditions can be treated, contracting an STD can really put a damper on great sex, and even worse, a good relationship. One other lasting consequence of unprotected sex is an unplanned pregnancy. While visions of nappy changing and cradling the newborn are indeed romantic, the financial and custodial responsibilities of caring for a child leaves a sobering effect on any relationship.
Preventing contracting an STD or having an unplanned pregnancy starts with an honest conversation with your partner regarding sexual history before intercourse. No, not names and numbers, but couples should discuss the types of experiences they have had in relationships, which includes divulging any past incidences of STDs, especially if they are chronic conditions. If either partner is unsure of their STD status, he/she can seek STD testing in Phoenix and the surrounding area. Couples can even get tested together. Couples desiring to practice safe sex should also become well-versed in sex education literature. Much of the literature advises people to use condoms to avoid STDs, and lists the different contraceptive injections, patches or implants to avoid pregnancy.
However, couples can also practice safe sex by engaging in activities that do not expose each other to disease or pregnancy. Couples can fantasize or have phone sex with each other. They can masturbate (with each other and alone), give each other massages, and/or have a plain old make-out session reminiscent of those held in the back seat of any model car as a teenager. Other suggestions include spooning (cuddling) with a partner, having sex with just one partner at a time, using latex condoms when engaging in oral, vaginal or anal sex, or just plain abstaining from sexual intercourse.
Ultimately, you should carefully maintain sexual health regardless of the status of your. Furthermore, sex goes hand and hand with intimacy. So having that discussion to protect a partner from exposure to STDs and/or getting pregnant alleviates some of the worry associated with careless attitudes about sexual health. An honest discussion regarding sexual history promoting proactive steps that guard against contracting a disease proclaims that each partner in a relationship cares for the health and well-being of the other person.