Llana Samuel, News Editor
As more and more people turn to dating apps and swap dinner and movies for Netflix and chill, the worn out message about safe sex remains: wrap it up.
With February being National Condom Month—yes it’s a thing— share the love safely this Valentine’s Day. Romantic or not, few people want to spend their money stocking up on condoms when they could be wooing their partners with roses, serenades and extreme wedding proposals. According to Condomology, an initiative by the American Sexual Health Association, STDs cost the nation almost $16 billion dollars in healthcare every year. Perhaps prevention really is better than the cure when it comes to sexual health.
Female condoms also exist, though not as popular as the male condoms.They offer protection against sexually transmitted infections, though not as much as a male condom does. Although they are less stylish—less funky flavors and less different sizes—the woman is given control in terms of contraception by having the option of a female condom so the pressure isn’t only on her partner to use protection.
Tips you should know:
Only use latex or polyurethane condoms
There’s enough to go around, do not reuse a condom
No one wants used condoms lying around; dispose of them efficiently and safely after use.
Despite how sexy it looked when that one actress did it, do not use your teeth to open a condom
Make sure your condom is not expired and hasn’t been damaged prior to opening in any way
Using condoms is a great start, but make sure to get tested regularly by your doctor. They’re only 98% effective according to the American Sexual Health Association.
Even the popular dating app, Tinder, is adding a sexually transmitted disease testing site locator to its website. The service will be provided by Healthvana and was recommended by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
“Tinder is proud to empower millions of users to create relationships,” said Dr. Jessica Carbino, Lead Sociologist at Tinder. “An important aspect of any healthy relationship – whether formed on Tinder or otherwise – is ensuring sexual health and safety. We’d be delighted to see other major social networks follow in our footsteps in educating the public.”
Since its launch and successful climb in the dating-app market, Tinder has become known as a hookup app rather than a dating one. Maybe it’s because of the thousands of millennials who no longer care for traditional dating, but want everything as fast as their lifestyle. Maybe it’s because most users on Tinder just want to hookup. Either way, a lot of offline hooking up takes places via apps like Tinder and the creators want their users to be smart about their health doing so.
“Staying healthy in today’s dating world means getting tested regularly, practicing safe sex and having honest conversations about your HIV and STD status. Healthvana empowers people with actionable health information at their fingertips so they can make better decisions. We already have hundreds of thousands of people using our testing locator to find free, quick and confidential testing at sexual health clinics near them” said Ramin Bastani, CEO of Healthvana.
“The CDC recently reported that sexually transmitted diseases increased dramatically in 2014. [They] also noted, the majority of these infections are affecting young people – the demographic that is on their mobile phones all day long,” said Whitney Engeran Cordova, Senior Director, Public Health Division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Whether you’re still swiping relentlessly to find your bae for the big day or you’ve got plans already lined up to take advantage of our romantic city, be prepared. Don’t have time to grab a few condoms? Too embarrassed? The Inkwell has your health and safety of in mind and has included a free condom with this print issue.