Safe Sex Is Very Important – Here Are Some Tips!

Sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies can be greatly reduced by practicing safe sex. Even thought no method of safe sex is 100% effective, it is still much better than not using any protection. The methods of protection, while not foolproof, still greatly reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or an unwanted pregnancy.

So, if you choose to engage in sexually activity, it’s always important to use some form of protection. The following will outline some of the options available including abstinence and monogamy, both male and female condoms, and oral contraception.

Abstinence is still the best and safest method of preventing both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It is 100% effective. Although it is the only foolproof method, it is not the most popular choice. The next best option if you are unwilling to practice abstinence, is to engage in sexual activities with only one person, in a monogamous relationship.

A monogamous relationship means that both you and your partner engage in sexual activity with no one but each other. While monogamy is not an effective method of birth control, it does minimize the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. As long as both you and your partner are free of diseases and remain committed to each other, you will remain free of diseases. Abstinence and monogamy are both highly effective safe sex methods. Abstinence is effective at preventing both pregnancy and diseases while monogamy helps to prevent diseases only.

The condom is one of the better methods available for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. When they’re properly used they are also 97%-98% effective in preventing pregnancy. Male condoms are easily accessible in drug stores, grocery stores, and even vending machines. They are also inexpensive. There are male and female versions of the condom available. Male condoms are more popular. The male condom is a thin sheath, usually made of latex that fits over the penis and acts as a barrier to the exchange of bodily fluids during intercourse. Even if they aren’t used correctly, they are still very effective in preventing pregnancy (88%-90% effective). So even though they are effective, they are still not 100% reliable. The risk still exists, however small, of getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

The female condom is a polyurethane sheath that lines the entire vagina. The closed end is inserted into the vagina and the open end remains outside the body. It’s been available only since the 1990’s and is not as readily available at the male condom. If you can find it, you will also pay more for it, since it costs more than a male condom. It is however, just as effective as the male condom in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

There are oral contraceptives available as well that are very effective in preventing pregnancy. These however, do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. An oral contraceptive is a pill that is taken daily which uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. If used correctly, the pill is 97-99% effective.

As with any drug, there are side effects that come along with pill usage. Most of these side effects are mild. Some side effects include weight changes, nausea, irritability and breast tenderness. Even though these aren’t severe, they can be avoided altogether. Today there are numerous varieties of pills on the market. Talk to your doctor and find out which is best for you. Again, while oral contraceptives are effective against preventing pregnancy, they do not work against contracting sexually transmitted diseases. If you are not sure that your partner is free of disease, you should consider using another form of safe sex method as a back up to prevent these diseases.

If you want to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, it is best to take all the measure you can to practice safe sex. So while abstinence is the only 100% effective method against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, there are other options out there to explore that offer good benefits. Monogamy is effective in protection against sexually transmitted diseases, while condoms and birth control pills are effective against unwanted pregnancies.

The Disease of Sex Addiction II

Many people resist the notion that sex addiction is a disease. But in The Minnesota Model, a seminal book on addiction recovery, Spicer points out the similarities between chemical dependence and the disease concept. Borrowing from George Vaillant’s The Natural History of Alcoholism, Spicer shows how chemical dependence, like a disease, cuts across cultural and socioeconomic lines, is progressive, has specific signs and symptoms, and has a recommended course of treatment. In our view, sex addiction is no different. Here’s why:

Does Not Discriminate

First, like other diseases, sex addiction is an equal opportunity disease. It could care less about your race or culture. It doesn’t care about the fact that you’re young, middle-aged, or elderly. And it doesn’t care if you’re broke or wealthy. It’s a debilitating disease that affects people from all walks of life without discrimination or prejudice.

Progressive

Second, like other diseases, sex addiction is progressive. The frequency, intensity, and measure of risk increases with time. Masturbation may progress from once-a-week to three times a day. What began as a once-a-year trip to get an erotic massage turns into a twice-a-week event. The need for greater intensity leads to greater risk-taking. In the process, sex addicts contract sexually transmitted diseases, get caught in sting operations, and even commit suicide. Spicer writes that “people with a disease find their responses are less flexible.” The sex addict’s response to the normal ups and downs of life become progressively confined to a single, destructive response: the search for sexual satisfaction.

Has Recognizable Signs and Symptoms

Third, like other diseases, sex addiction shows certain signs and symptoms. Addicts often display some of the following symptoms: a deep feeling of shame and guilt following acting out behavior, constant obsession with acting out, and general malaise if unable to engage in the behavior. They also show the following signs: an inordinate amount of time spent in the pursuit of and recuperating from sex, unsuccessful attempts at stopping their behavior on their own, and decreased engagement in social, professional, or recreational activities. Once people acknowledge that they need help, they complain of having most, if not all of these signs and symptoms.

Has a Recommended Treatment

Finally, like other diseases, the diagnosis comes with a set of specific interventions that promote recovery. In its simplest form the prescription is this: individual therapy, group therapy, and 12-step meetings. In the process of participating in these relational activities, one needs learn about their disease and the tools needed to recover from it, how to manage their emotions without acting out, and maybe most importantly, how to be honest with themselves and others. When sex addicts follow the suggested course of treatment, it’s our experience that they recover to live happy and meaningful lives.

Just Sex Vs. True Love

Opinions vary greatly on the topic of the difference between true love versus just sex relationships. How do you know when the physical sensations and desires you are feeling are the result of being in love with someone and not just the result of being attracted to them sexually? Which is better – just sex relationships for the sake of sex or true love that leads to a sexual encounter?

Is It Just Lust or Is It Just Pleasure?

The difference between lust and pleasure is so thin that it is nearly non-existent. Lust refers to the existence of a strong sexual desire, craving, or longing. Its presence in the sexual relationship can lead to passionate love making. Lust encompasses every aspect of the sexual experience starting with the desire to have sex with a specific person, even if this individual is someone you have just met, and ending with the denouement or final climax.

When you have sex for pleasure, it is usually just a means to an end – having sex to achieve an orgasm. It is more likely to occur as a random encounter with no particular partner in mind.

Pros and Cons of Just Sex Relationships

The basic premise of just having sex rather than being in a committed relationship based on love is the ability to avoid all emotional entanglement. Casual sex, particularly as experienced in a series of one night stands, avoids the need to form an emotional attachment, pretend to lust your partner, feel guilty over not satisfying the sexual needs of your temporary lover, or practice a monogamous relationship. Plus, anyone who is having casual sex rather than participating in a relationship based on true love can avoid having to answer to someone else, call home when running late, or buy gifts for birthdays or anniversaries. This is a “winning” situation for anyone who simply isn’t ready to settle down with one individual.

Casual sex, as experienced in the friends-with-benefits scenario is a bit trickier since some type of emotional bond clearly exists. Keeping the relationship strictly on a friendship level is only possible when neither participant begins to fall in love with the other half of the equation. This kind of it’s-just-sex relationship can blow up on a person unexpectedly, especially if a pregnancy occurs. It can lead to the dissolution of the friendship, leaving you feeling lonelier than ever.

When an individual dabbles in casual sex only, avoiding true love at every turn, it really is a costly experience when it goes on for too long. If you never form an emotional commitment, then you can wind up living the rest of your days out alone. You never have anyone to invite as a guest to important functions, and you might find your desirability as a lover begins to fade as your hair thins, skin wrinkles, and tummy sags. This scenario might have you searching for sex in all the wrong places, simply because the “right” places are no longer suitable for a person of your age or stature.

Pros and Cons of a Relationship Based on True Love

True love is often defined as the feelings held between two people who put the partner’s well being first and foremost. It refers to the ability to love someone no matter what they say or do. True love is everything good and nothing bad. A relationship based on true love includes a healthy dose of patience, kindness, loyalty, caring, and compromise, distinguishing it from lust, a feeling which disappears until the next time that you become sexually aroused by your partner. True love involves a lasting bond that continues to grow, whereas lust dissipates the moment that sexual climax is fully reached.