So you’ve found someone you like online, you’ve swapped messages, chatted for a while, texted each other and everything seems to be going really well! It’s time for that first meeting in a public place… and it goes brilliantly! You get on really well, the conversation flows easily and there’s a definite attraction & chemistry between you.
This is where things could get awkward… Sex with a new partner (whether it’s on the first date or after the third, or only happens once you’ve known each other for months or even if you decide to wait until you’re married) is something that you need to think carefully about.
1 in 3 people don’t practice safe sex with a new partner. This is like playing Russian roulette with your sexual health. If you take 10 random sexually active people off the street, the likelihood is that one of them will have some sort of sexually transmitted disease (STD). So let me get the preachy bit of this post out of the way now; sexual health is important, look after yourself – you can’t trust anyone else (including your partner) to be responsible for it. Remember, you can never truly know where your partner has been, or where their previous partners have been!
Condoms are the easiest, most effective way to protect your sexual health and help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. While dating, if you’re having sex (maybe even with more than one partner – lucky you), you should be using them.
But condoms are far from perfect; from a man’s perspective they’re uncomfortable, fiddly and they reduce sensation (think sucking a sweet with the wrapper still on). Not to mention the fact that they make an already ridiculous-looking organ look even weirder. But none of that is really a problem. The problem is that condoms can sometimes split or tear (or come off while you’re too busy to notice).
After times like these you have to consider two things: if you’re not already on the pill or some other form of contraception like the implant or coil, then think about taking the morning after pill, which should be used within 72 hours (the sooner the better).
You also have to consider STD testing. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, fungal infections, hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, HIV and many other diseases that can be contracted through unprotected sex, or when a condom fails. You may feel fine and still be infected without even knowing it; it’s possible to have an STD while experiencing no symptoms.
Now that I’ve said all that, I have to say that safe-sex, apart from being brilliant fun, can be very beneficial to your health! It’s a wonderful antidepressant: that glow and feeling of satisfaction you get after orgasm is the body releasing endorphins. These have a calming effect on you and are responsible for making sex so desirable.
Research also shows that regular sex helps improve your immune system, which would help keep you from coming down with colds and the flu. Studies have also shown that orgasms reduce pain – bear that in mind next time you have a headache or cramps.
Sex increases blood flow, and not just to your genitals. The physical exertion raises your heart rate and is great at burning calories. Regular sexual activity keeps your genitals healthy and you are less likely to suffer from sexual difficulties in the future.
So enjoy yourselves, just make sure you’re doing it safely!
Author Bio: James Armstrong is an experience journalist and broadcaster, currently writing on behalf of Dr Thom, an online doctoring service.