Q. How can I be promiscuous without contracting anything? How do I hack this? I want to get out there and have amazing adventures with wonderful, memorable people, and I’d also have sex with those people. But I do not want to catch anything. Ideally, I’d like to give handjobs in the beginning until he has time to get tested. (If he’s already been tested, cool! I’ll give it up sooner.) But I do not know how to finesse the situation. Is there something short and simple I can say? Maybe something like, “I practice safe sex, so let’s just get each other off and then if things work out we’ll go get tested and get tapas after.”
Maybe my problem is that I broke up with someone I was in love with and now I’m scared I’ll never love again. Whatever. Tell me what to do please and thanks!
A. It’s all about risk baby.
I don’t mean that you should throw your condoms out the door and saddle up to every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the unemployment line, because that is all one big crapshoot that will leave you blind from syphilis, anyway. I mean that anything we do, from riding a bike to eating raw oysters, involves risk. Especially when it involves sex or love or even just “feelings.”
Frankly, my dear, there is only one real solution to your dilemma, and it is the magic bullet of solutions: Communicate your sincere and authentic wants and needs. What are those? To have casual sex with different types of people, not necessarily a wham, bam, thank you ma’am type of deal, but to maybe just enjoy the more superficial side of things for a while.
Oh, and to not get emotionally hurt again. But more on that later.
Casual sex usually involves a few additional concerns for women. For one, we are more likely to encounter anything from an over-eager bro type, ready to stick it in you at a moments notice, to actual, real-live, terrifying sexual violence. Throw in some back-asswards social views on the cultural worth of women having casual sex et voila! While it may be “easy” for women to get more sex, it sure comes with some baggage, wouldn’t you agree?
But back to your question: How to approach the eager subject of safe, casual sex and post-coital tapas. This should actually be your bar question, meaning the bar of how you get to decide when and with whom to have sex. “I’d like to have maybe a few hardcore make-out sessions, complete with one of my state-of-the-art handjobs, and maybe if we dig our foreplay enough, we can get tested and have protected sex.”
Seriously, just spell it out.
If they balk? You instantly know who not to let in on your mission for casual sex. If they balk now, what’s to say what they won’t balk at later? The most basic courtesy you can do for any sexual partner, other than do whatever you can to give them a hefty orgasm, is to absolutely, positively, make sure that they are sexually protected. This means being honest and up-front, it means talking protection, it means telling them what you expect, demand, and want. If they are down with that? Then you have found your once or twice, maybe three times bonk of the season.
If not? Well, like Beyoncé once said, “To the left, to the left.”
Now, about that risk thing.
My love, whatever you do sexually, and really, whatever you do in life, takes risk. No risk, no payoff. Sex, even while casual, must come with a risk rate. Sex can be dangerous. It can come with a high cost. But as I said before, so can driving or biking or eating a raw oyster. You must choose where your taking risk factor comes into play. Is it worth casual handjobs or sex with a stranger with a condom? What is the risk you are willing to take to seek pleasure and satisfaction?
If that sounds awfully banal, it certainly isn’t meant to. It just is meant to communicate that risk is almost inherent in anything we do. The only “risk-free” sex out there is abstinence, and if that is your thing, mazel tov you crazy kid, but otherwise, risk is and will be involved. But to appeal to the lighter side, risk can lead to reward. So understand what you need to feel protected, and to have the sex you want without suffering an unnecessary anxiety over the very real, very unavoidable factor.
Oh and while we are on the idea of risk….
You will love again, my sweet. Never doubt this ever. But like the risk you will need to take seeking your physical desires, so to will you have to, when you see fit, put yourself out there for love’s grasp. Love is a big risk. But it is worth it, even when you feel like you’ll never love again.
So my dear, risk. Risk everything, and you’ll eventually stand to gain something, even if it’s just casual handjobs for a time.
2 replies on “You Must Risk: Casual Sex and the Heart of the Matter”
Superbugs aside, the most worrisome three STDs to me are HIV, HSV-II and HPV. Depending on how long you wait between partners, the first test won’t be that helpful. (E.g. the guy you want to hook up with was with another girl a month ago, so you’d have to wait two months before the test conclusively showed he is clean). HSV-II (genital herpes) is a special blood test that the doctors won’t order unless you explicitly ask for it or complain about genital sores. And men can’t be tested for HPV because the HPV test is conducted on cervical tissue.
That’s not to say you can’t engage in frequent sexytimes and stay clean. Using a condom and trusting your partner will go a long way toward curbing the transmission of any sexually transmitted infections. Getting the HPV vaccine, if you’re the right age, will help too.
I spent about a year studying medical microbiology and infectious diseases. I know way more about STDs than a simple chemist ought to.