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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

DTF with protection?

Condoms one of the many ways to prevent STD’s. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

We are living in the height of reclamation. Words that were previously used to shame us are now ours to say alone. Slurs that would kill a high school reputation, just five years ago, are now proper greetings to best friends. With this new wave of empowerment, there is a new age of sexual revolution going on under the sheets of America.

More young people are refusing to wait to get down to it. With rates of marriages declining, young people seem to not want to wait for the goods of a situation they are not going to be in.

While this new revolution is awesome, sex isn’t all fun and games. Especially with Planned Parenthood getting attacked and other family planning clinics being closed. This is less of a left or right aisle problem; it is a clash of ‘new’ and ‘old’ ideas. This ideological war toll is visible through a national increase of STDs.

With funding and availability getting cut, less people are seeking treatment and tests for STDs. Yet more people are coming into the world of sex every day. In the fight over the right to chose, the systems for people to receive free to low cost treatment have been broken down. In some areas, the fear of shame has gotten to the point that they are just not going to get tested or treated.

This shame is something else we, as new thinkers, should reclaim. We should not feel bad for doing something natural. Whether you are DTF or not, you should celebrate your bodies and the amazing things they can do.

We have all seen the images of herpes and other infections circulating the internet, and the dreaded 9th grade health class presentations. However, we collectively do not seem to be taking them seriously. We need to be our own first line of defense against STDs.

Get tested! Do it often, even if you haven’t been with anyone new. Of course different sexual lifestyles would mean different testing amounts. It never hurts to over test. The CDC has guidelines listed on their website for when to be tested. Don’t forget to use protection. There are all kinds made specifically for different situations and partners. Also, yes you can contract an STD from oral sex. Was that even a real myth? Do your research and protect yourself.

Remember that not all kinds of STDs show clear symptoms. People are carrying around these infections and not even realizing it. Just ‘raw dogging’ and passing it on to the next person. However, some people do know they have it, but just aren’t taking care of it. Keep in mind, that you could be held legally accountable for spreading an STD. Always disclose sexual history, especially if it involves infections and other risks for your partner. So respect yourself and your partners!

A big problem in college towns, like our beloved Chico, is that people are hooking up after drinking. This kind of sex shouldn’t be happening at all. This is high risk behavior which can very easily lead to the transmission of STDs. Please remember a drunk yes is not real consent.

If the person truly likes you and wants to sleep with you, then they will definitely still have those feelings next Tuesday after a sweet dinner date. Plus this sober time gives you an opportunity to talk about what type of protection they are most down to use! Sex, which is under no influence except human attraction, is where the good stuff is at.

Go get tested today! Hit up the campus health center, call your doctor or look up clinics close to you. Utilize these places at your disposal. The biggest part of this sexual revolution should be an increased happiness—not increased STDs.

Rachael Bayuk can be reached at [email protected] or @BayukRachael on Twitter.

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