I know these topics aren’t fun and you’d rather avoid them altogether, but it’s better to give them some thought beforehand rather than have them in your face for the long-term. Do you really want the responsibility of a child for 18 years due to one night of fun, or a disease you can’t shake and have to explain to each new partner? Thought not.
STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
STDs can be spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex. This is an advice book, not a medical dictionary, so here is only a brief summary of some of the possible nasty things you want to avoid:
AIDS or HIV
This is the big one, the one that is spreading, the one you can die from. The myth used to be that only homosexuals and drug users got AIDS, but not anymore.
HIV is a precursor to AIDS, and there are no obvious symptoms. It affects your immune system, making you weak and very susceptible to other illnesses. It can show up in tests months after you catch it.
Herpes can be oral (“cold sores”) or genital herpes, itchy bumps or tiny blisters in the groin area. You cannot be cured, but it goes into remission, and there is effective treatment for it.
Also known as the clap, gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is curable when detected early. Symptoms aren’t obvious in women, but men often have a discharge from the penis and pain when urinating.
Symptoms in men include swelling of the testicles and pain when urinating. In women it can cause chronic pain and infertility. It can be cured with antibiotics.
When sleeping with a new partner for the first time, you need to be prepared and have some kind of protection with you. The best kind to use is condoms, because:
They’re easy to carry around, such as in your wallet.
You’re the person who wears one, to can be totally sure that you’re protected.
They protect you from most STDs and pregnancy.
They’re easy to throw away afterwards.
Condoms often have a negative reputation because you have to briefly interrupt what you’re doing to put one on, and some men complain that they take away some of the sensation.
My response to this is you have to compare the alternatives. At worst, you could die from this selfish moment of refusing to wear one. So take some responsibility.
To avoid getting caught out, always carry condoms with you. Often women these days have their own supply, but this doesn’t mean you should rely on them to have any. Don’t store them in your car, if they get overheated it affects the latex. Also make sure they don’t get punctured or scrunched up, and check the expiry date if you have the same packet for years (hopefully you won’t be in that situation!).
You can make condoms more fun by buying colored, ribbed and flavored ones.
If you’re unsure about how to use condoms, buy a packet and practise in your room. Read the instructions that come with the pack, and learn how to put on one safely and quickly. You don’t want to bring her to the heights of passion, only to be fumbling around with a condom for five minutes.
Some men worry about women’s attitudes to condoms. In a woman’s mind, if a man shows he is prepared and takes responsibility this is a sign of real intelligence. To a woman intelligence is always sexy. Plus, in an era of different partners and different diseases, most have accepted condoms as a necessary part of sex that is here to stay.
To find the right moment to put it on, you’ll have to decide that for yourself. But one way to avoid the interruption of slipping it on, ask her to do it. Many women love this, and it’s a good way of initiating intercourse. The important thing is, try and incorporate it in with the rest of your moves.
Very occasionally condoms do break, but usually this is because they aren’t handled properly or because people use them with a non water-based lubricant that damages the latex. So follow the instructions!
When you have come, make sure you withdraw straight away to avoid spillage, but don’t withdraw from her completely. Remember she needs to be held for a few minutes. You can deal with the condom later.