YOUTUBER RAIN FLORENCE
My (M24) GF (F25) claims that condoms can’t protect well enough against STDs for casual encounters, and that before every casual encounter you should ask for the other person’s medical history. Is she right? Or is she overly cautious?
My girlfriend and I have been talking about expanding the sexual boundaries our relationship. Open Relationship/Group Sex.
But she says that she won’t allow either of us to have sex with anyone else unless she has physically seen their medical record, and they have a clean sexual history. She says that condoms are not effective enough, and STDs can still be transferred even when being 100% safe.
Obviously I will respect her comfort/safety, and do everything I can to not introduce STDs into our relationship. But honestly, at this point, I’m just curious about the validity of her fears. Does anyone have any non-anecdotal evidence to either support her claims, or to deny them?
nadia61: She’s factually correct, 100%. Some people consider it an acceptable level of risk and some do not. You can absolutely still get several things with proper condom usage, so if she wants to be cautious it’s pretty fair.
sirbearus: So, this is sort of tangential to your question, but if you want to play, you need to respect her limits. Even if you think they are unreasonable. Is it possible that what she is asking you for, is not really what she wants. It maybe she is uncomfortable with other partners.
Just a thought.
CasualHSV: Herpes and HPV take skin to skin contact, if the condom doesn’t cover the part of the skin where the virus is it can be transmitted.
There is no test for HPV for men, women can get a pap test done. Herpes is seldom tested for and can take up to 4 months from exposure for the body to build enough antibodies for the test to pick up.
Also both HPV and HSV (herpes) can be transmitted with no visible symptoms.
Shamadominadingdong: She’s right, there’s always a risk with any sexual activity even when all precautions are taken. She can ask for medical records but when does it end? How will she ensure that she’s safe everytime? Is she requesting updated screenings at regular intervals to make sure they haven’t been exposed after their initial tests? Its smart but also excessive imo. Most people accept a small level of risk as part of sex.
PositivelySexual: I’m too lazy to look up statistics, but you could probably do so via google pretty easily. Just search something like “efficacy of condoms in preventing various STDs”
Logically thinking though, STDs can be transmitted by skin to skin contact.
A condom might not cover all affected areas, and so someone with herpes for example could definitely spread it even when using a condom if there is a blister that comes in contact with an exposed piece of skin. Additionally, sex can get messy… it’s not hard to imagine things like vaginal fluids or precum getting splashed around and coming in contact with exposed parts of your genitals before, during and after condom usage.
Condoms do provide a decent barrier, but nothing is 100%. There’s always a level of risk of transmission. You should look up statistics and determine what is an acceptable level of risk for both you and your girlfriend.
death-and-doornails: It definitely isn’t a 100% guarantee, but with that being said, I have never asked for a casual encounters medical history and I have never been asked for mine. It’s definitely ideal to know and be sure, but if you are that paranoid about it, you are likely not someone who would be having casual encounters any way.
I have been with many people and never has an STI. I have been in an open relationship before and I never got their sexual history, but I always asked if they were clean and hoped that they would be honest with me.
childrenofthewind: tbh, if she’s so concerned (which is legit) then maybe you guys shouldn’t sleep with others?
sangetencre: Condoms don’t fully protect against Herpes or HPV. Herpes isn’t necessarily routinely tested for, so even partners who’ve been tested may not know if they have it; a lot of people are asymptomatic. There is no HPV test for men, only women. So it’s important women/anyone with a cervix, keep up with their pap smears/yearly exams.
Most people don’t use condoms or dental dams for oral sex, so knowing your partner has been recently tested is another step in having safer sex. Of course, you can’t be sure that they didn’t contract something after their most recent test. So it’s also important for you to get tested as well (every 3-6 months depending on how many new partners you have). You can exchange test results without exchanging full medical histories.
But yes, even if you take all precautions, you could still contract an STD. Your risk is lowered, but the fact is risk cannot be negated 100%. If you’re having sex with other people (that is, you stop being a closed system), there will always be a risk of getting a disease.
ihatefreud: She’s right. Herpes is the big one, HPV is another one but it’s overwhelmingly asymptomatic and very common so it’s less of a concern. You should absolutely talk about STDs with anyone you’re going to sleep with and I don’t think it’s so unreasonable for her to want to see recent test results from potential sexual partners, especially if she’s willing to do the same for them.
throwaway15662: She’s not just protecting you, but herself too.
Condoms are very effective, but it’s obviously not 100%. She is very reasonable and mature to make this suggestion.
Atomic_Blonde_: I spoke to a nurse recently and they said that condoms don’t go on all the way so you’re not 100% covered for STDs
imp_of_santa: “Well enough” is a value judgment.
If your partner has chlamydia and you have unprotected sex with her, you have (guessing) a 60% chance of catching it yourself. If you wear a condom, that goes down to 10% or less.
Of course, at any given time, less than 1% of the population has chlamydia.
But her plan is no better.
First of all, “the” medical record is nonsense. Your physician will have a list of all the tests that he ordered for you, but if you took a STD test else, those results won’t be on it. There is no centralized record. Thank God.
And even if there were:
1. Records can be faked
2. Tests can be wrong
3. Tests can be too old
If you had to pick one strategy, test-only or condom-only, condom-only would get you laid more often, but test-only would probably get an STD a tenth as often and enjoy sex more.
The advantage to _you_ using both would be you be protected against both STDs and psycho chicks trying to get pregnant. For your girlfriend, there is essentially no reason to use both, since she knows she’s on birth-control, and the marginal improvement offered by a condom is very minor compared to the downside.
oceanscales: Asking medical history is definitely safer than just relying on condoms. That being said, condoms are pretty darn safe (just not necessarily for herpes, and also people tend to forget about protection for oral). Having to ask everyone will definitely decrease your pool of sex partners, but honestly not by that much – the only people who will try really hard to avoid it are people who are not being super safe in the first place. And since you’re still planning on prioritizing your relationship to each other as the most important, a decreased pool of sex partners still sounds like a big step for y’all, and shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
SexualDarwinism: If virgins only had sex with virgins who lost their virginity to virgins, they’d be safe. We were virgins and had only included virgins in our experimentation and play, so we didn’t have to stress or worry.