Every relationship typically starts off the same: man and woman meet and have an instantaneous connection, sparks fly, conversation is exchanged and after a series of events both people end up in bed releasing oxytocin that creates an even deeper feeling of bonding and love between the two. Before two people even hop in the sack, it is an unspoken understanding that safer sex is going to be practiced, but surprisingly, condom usage isn’t spoken about within the context of a relationship. Eventually, condom use seems to disappear from the monogamous union all together with little to no discussion about the risks involved, and this leaves many medical professionals and sexuality researchers wondering about why the important conversation about contraception never arises.
It is a fact that condoms prevent unwanted pregnancy by 98 percent and is the only form of contraception that has been proven to reduce one’s chances of contracting STDs when used correctly and consistently, yet, many individuals choose to walk on the wild side and ditch the use of condoms within a relationship based on a blind trust one has for the other. Within the past two years, the number of newly found cases of HIV within the Black community has skyrocketed and the statistics gathered by leading condom brand Trojan explain in part why this may be.
According to a new study conducted by Trojan condoms, 80 percent of adults believe that the use of condoms is important, yet only 35 percent of that 80 percent admitted that they use condoms every time they have sex.
If the use of condoms is regarded so highly among sexually active adults, why are there so many who aren’t using condoms correctly? Trojan found that trust, commitment and exclusivity are the top reasons for why over 52 percent of those in new relationships stop using condoms within the first month of the union, yet 60 percent indicated they had not been tested for STDs.
“Trust and respect for a partner are two important aspects in any relationship,” said Matthew Hussey, relationship expert and Trojan spokesperson in a press statement. “Even though your relationship status may change, your sexual health status doesn’t, so it’s essential to have an honest conversation about using condoms, which ultimately shows your partner that you respect them and leads to a more enjoyable and healthy sex life.”
It is true that love is blind, but in the case of having control over one’s sexual health, blind trust should never be given. STDs are often asymptomatic and can lie dormant for days, months or even years. Even though a person may appear healthy, he or she could be carrying an STD that can’t be cured (HPV, HIV, Hep C and herpes are all STDs that have no cure and can only be treated).
The condom and STD status talk can be a bit intimidating for many who believe this would scare off the an interested partner, but if it is approached from the angle of ensuring the safety and pleasure of both partners in having an ease of mind during sex instead of as a “distrust” of the other the talk of condom usage wouldn’t appear so frightening.
Forty percent of those who didn’t use condoms the last time they had sex admitted that it happened without a word about it, but this can be changed. It is important for each person involved in a sexual relationship (especially those that aren’t within the confines of marriage or complete monogamy) to talk about the use of condoms and getting tested together before making a decision to go without them.