Much of the information in our other articles on this site has stressed the importance of communication to develop a new relationship online to help provide a safe environment and to help safeguard privacy. LatinConexiones stresses that, along with communication, education and information are the most effective tools you can use to have the best of experiences while online dating.
Now, we will talk about what is commonly referred to as sexual health but please understand that when we talk about sexual health we are really talking about your physical health and your mental health. And we are not talking about only you and you should not be thinking about only you. Many people think their risks are low because they simply think “It won’t happen to me” so they ignore the ever-growing evidence that incidents of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are on the rise throughout the world.
Whether your preference is casual sex or waiting until the relationship has developed more completely there is a wealth of resources, research, professional advice, statistics, education centers and physicians’ recommendations on the internet to help you make wise decisions when you are ready to move to that area of the relationship. We have listed many of them later in this article but please do consider that this is an ever-changing landscape so it is critical to keep yourself current on developments in this area.
As you peruse the articles in the resources we have listed there are two prominent considerations that should never be forgotten. The first is that there are more than 20 STDs or STIs that can be transmitted through sexual encounters whether they are vaginal, anal or oral. The second, and most scary, revelation is that some of the diseases or infections can be passed to unborn children AND already born children.
The physical and mental anguish of some of these diseases or infections is not only for your health but also to children and their exposure can lead to crippling lives or end their lives. Some can remain in your system for the rest of your life and forever change your life and the lives of your immediate family, your close friends who care about you and your future partner. This information should be enough to embolden you to take charge of your sexual health and do not allow someone who you may not know very well to have that kind of an impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. It should also allow you to decide if a moment’s worth of pleasure is worth a life of anguish.
Again we return to the subject of communication. When the risks are fully realized it is not possible to press too hard or dig too deeply to learn the potential exposure from the sexual habits of your partner-to-be. When you are ready to move to intimacy, chemistry and connection direct questions about the other person’s sexual habits are becoming more commonly accepted and requests for the results of tests for STDs or STIs are now part of some communication.
Answers to these questions are not definitive if there has been sex after the test was performed and there may have been an incident when a condom simply wasn’t available or the moment just didn’t permit the inconvenience of one. An answer of yes to the question “Do you always use a condom?” may have a hole in it (no pun intended) if only once it was forgotten or purposely not used. As some of the research will reveal to you sometimes it takes a little time for the symptoms or evidence of an STD to appear in order for confirmation and treatment to be done.
In all of your other communication you should have been searching for honesty to know if you could build a relationship. You were risking your heart and your emotions. Hopefully, you have continued the communication because you felt you were developing a connection. In the area of sexual health the honesty is paramount. Your heart and emotions will heal. Maybe your physical and mental health will not be cured. Here is another major consideration. Many people living with HIV don’t know they have it. Naturally, they will think they are being honest when they answer no to any questions.
Please read the information that you will find in the following articles and please continue your education in this critical area of relationships.
- SIECUS – The Sexuality information and Education Council of the United States.
- CDC: Sexual Health – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Minnesota Department of Health: Sexual Health – A good example of what states offer in resources and information
- Sexual Health: STD Testing – Testing and many other topics
- ASHA – The American Social Health Association
- Medical institute for Sexual Health – A collection of scientific information
- Advocates for Youth Adolescent Sexual Health in Europe and the US
- The Guttmacher Institute – Doing sexual research for years
- CNN Health: Sexual Health – News and research regarding sexual health and other topics
- Sexuality.org – A lot of trustworthy information
- Sexual Health: The Naked Truth – Focuses in many areas
- Sex Health Matters: Sex Health Blog – Common sense sex advice
- Sex Ed Library – What teachers use for sex education
- Go Ask Alice – A premier health question and answer site
- His and Her Health – Covers a variety of sexual topics
- AIDS Healthcare Foundation – A wealth of information about AIDs