Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

Ah, the dating scene. In recently entering the dating scene, I have learned so much. Meeting new people is great. Some turn out to be just friends, some more than friends. But the most difficult thing I have found in dating isn?t thinking of what to say, being cautious of being yourself, letting your guard down, or worrying about whether or not the
other person finds you attractive. Rather, I have found the thing that I mostly worry about to be sex. Not the act necessarily, I?m fine with that, but having SAFE sex is…to put it bluntly, annoying. I am not referring to intercourse; I think our generation grew up being taught to have safe intercourse, and I hope everyone does. Rather, I am referring to oral sex.Oral sex is fun, but it?s also unsafe, and usually overlooked when thinking about being safe. In the long run, it is more worth being safe with every partner than to worry about STDs or HIV/AIDS. You may think, ?You can get HIV from unprotected oral sex?? To which I answer,
“Of course you can, think about it!” Maybe I did not know this because it didn?t apply to me for a long time, so I never paid attention when someone talked about it. I did not know that it can take up to six months to develop antibodies against HIV, and that a person isn?t in the clear until they get tested six months after the date of possible infection. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2002, almost 28,000 adults and adolescents were infected with AIDS in the state of Pennsylvania. The number of men with AIDS is more than double that of females.

It is very important to be educated on the topics of STDs, and the Internet is great for this (try the Center for Disease Control and Prevention?s Web site). Some doctors, depending where they are located, will give you a different impression of STDs and the chances of catching something than will a doctor in a city. Many places offer free testing for STDs and HIV, including our own Health Center, Planned Parenthood of Chester County on S. Wayne St. (within walking distance), and the Chester County Health Department on Westtow n Rd. (although not within walking distance). All results for these tests are kept confidential. If you feel you may be at risk or have an STD, I encourage you to get tested, and to be communicative with your present and prior
partner(s) about the situation.

Buying protection online is the easiest, most private way to do so. Most Web sites offer everything from hundreds of condom choices to dental dams, female condoms to flavored condoms (not to mention other fun stuff too). Just Google it…there?s plenty of online sites devoted to sex, if you weren?t aware of them already. The best thing is that they keep it confidential; the package doesn?t come with “Onestopcondomshop.com”
written on it, so there is no need to worry that someone will find out what is in that package.

I would like to encourage everyone who is sexually involved to be safe about it. Carry condoms or dental dams with you, even if you don?t expect to use them. Many of us know how it?s very tempting to forget about things in the heat of the moment. Months later, if you find out

something about that person?s history that they didn?t tell you, you will regret not being totally safe. It is worth the inconvenience and interruption for a few seconds to ensure your safety. For virgins and those who are not sexually active, rock on! Never feel ashamed about not being sexually active; it is your choice, and should be respected
as much as any other choice.

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