Happy Sexual Health Week! Whether you visit your gynecologist yearly or monthly, there are a few things that might go unmentioned during your check-up. However, sexual health is not only physical or about how our bodies react to sexual interaction. It’s also about how our minds interact and interpret sexual behavior. New data and studies about sexual health reveal millennial sexual behavior and information that generations prior did not have to worry about. Here are a few new tips and facts that have been revealed this year by sexual doctors and experts.
- Sex toys can be infectious…even if you don’t share them with a partner
Typically, the cheaper the toy, the cheaper the materials used to make it. Cheap plastics may contain damaging compounds such as Bisphenol A, phtalates, PVC, and BPA. These compounds can disrupt endocrine, causing issues from irritation to infertility, breast cancer, and heart disease. Look at the product’s description before you add it to your cart.
- You can get an STI from oral sex…and fingering…and hand jobs
Sexually transmitted infections are not exclusive to genital sex. STIs can be transmitted through hand to genitalia contact if there are any open sores or excessive bacteria on the hand. Clean or covered hands are always a safe bet. As for oral sex, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and herpes can be transmitted by the mouth. Condoms and dental dams can help protect from these infections.
- Porn isn’t just mentally harmful for men
A study by the University of New Brunswick examined the effects of porn on over 600 women. The survey suggests that women who watch porn regularly are disappointed by real-life sex because the sex in porn is shown to last longer with easier-achieved orgasms and *clears throat* larger than average penises. The women surveyed also experienced sexual and body insecurities, fearing their image and performance was not as exciting as those on their screens.
- Women aren’t visiting the OB-GYN as much as they used to
The amount of annual ob-gyn office visits have been steadily declining since 2000, but have fallen to below 38.4% since 2015. This directly relates to the fact that 93% of millennials are not scheduling doctor visits, which leads to more self-diagnosis and treatment. For sexual health, this is scary because many STIs are asymptomatic and difficult to detect without professional help. Ladies, we might be superwoman when it comes to everything else, but when it comes to sexual health, it’s best to stick with the real experts.
If this is you, congrats sis! If not, don’t feel pressured into getting into a sexual relationship before you’re ready. In the words of an abstinence poster from my high school: “Condoms don’t protect the heart.”