Casual sex, like the stuff you see on TV, is considered the latest trend among young people, mainly because of the option of constant on-demand sex with the click of a button. But even though not everyone has the same perspective on it, the fact that many people are happy to throw caution to the wind when it comes to meeting a sexual partner hasn’t stopped many people from writing books about its dangers, and discerning lay people in the realm of sexuality from religious authorities. So before you get on a couch (or a Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr comment thread) with someone new, make sure you’ve clearly articulated what boundaries you actually have.
In general, “it’s a good thing for a grown man to have sex on a near-daily basis, even with someone of the same sex if he’s comfortable with that,” says gastroenterologist W. Bradford Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., in an interview with Men’s Health. “However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for him to have random sex, or to have sex with people you’ve just met, or sex with people who have STDs.”
In fact, that’s a big problem for young, inexperienced men. They tend to hook up with sex partners they’ve just met or sex partners who have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) without either being able to talk with them about it beforehand, Dunn says.
The fear of discussing condoms with someone you don’t know — or even of disclosing that you’re a gay man and having someone assume that means you’re sexually active — often leads to a multitude of STDs that are easy to treat, but difficult to catch, in young gay men.
Sexual transmitted diseases generally have a very low infection rate — if you’re a heterosexual woman or man, you’re much less likely to contract an STD from having sex than you are to get pregnant. That has much to do with the fact that many STDs — like chlamydia and gonorrhea — can’t be passed on through sex. The same is true for your age group: you’re at a much higher risk of becoming pregnant than you are of getting something like herpes or HPV.
“Men are just not going to ask a person who they just started hooking up with, ‘How well do you know you?'” Dunn says. “Now you’ve got a person who has no idea, and no one to do the asking for them. You don’t see that in a lot of adults today, but
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