There have been a couple of threads recently in which several members have flamed me thoroughly and at times a bit viciously, because I had the nerve to advocate using protection for sexual contact. The posts to which I responded could possibly have meant "unprotected sex with an exclusive partner," but the wording of the posts sounded more like "unprotected sex with multiple partners." I was called Jerry Falwell and James Dobson (oh, the irony!), I was called a prude, I was called "the religious right" (again, the irony!), I was told to mind my own business. Ordinarily, my position is that what happens between consenting adults is no business of anyone else. But see, the thing is, if a sexually transmitted disease gets involved, it does become my business. Why would it be my business if someone I don't even know contracts or transmits an STD? Because of the ripple effect that every single transmission creates. The bacterial STDs: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and chancroid, can be treated with antibiotics. The problem is that the vast majority of the population really do not know how to properly use antibiotics, even when given instructions by the doctor AND the pharmacist. And when the antibiotics are improperly used, it exponentially increases the chances of creating and spreading antibiotic-resistant strains of the organisms. Improper use of antibiotics includes not taking the full course of treatment (many people stop taking them when they begin to feel better or the symptoms diminish), drinking alcohol during the course of treatment (it stimulates the kidneys and tends to flush the drug from the bloodstream), and engaging in unprotected sex before the infection is completely cleared up (sometimes that can be a week or two after the course of treatment.) The three most common viral STDs are herpes, human papilloma virus, and human immunodeficiency virus. These three are permanent infections - there is no cure. All three have secondary and tertiary complications, HPV can cause cancer in both genders, herpes in women can cause serious defects in children they bear, and HIV (while it can be managed to varying degrees) is an exceptionally expensive disease to treat - and untreated, it will kill. While some HIV-positive people can afford to pay for their treatment, many cannot, so the cost of their treatment falls to social programs and charitable organizations. Even though the entire staff of the clinic where I worked were volunteers, our funding kept getting trimmed back until the clinic had to close. We were the only free and anonymous clinic in a four-county area. Many who think they should get tested will not if the clinic is not anonymous, because most states require that any other clinic report positive tests to the state health department. We reported statistics, but no personally identifiable information. Many infected people will pass on an infection simply because they do not know they are infected. An immoral few who know they are infected will have unprotected sex anyway, and not tell their partner(s). Given the enormous social health impact, it is just beyond my comprehension that people will still continue to practice these behaviors simply because "I like the way it feels when he cums inside me" or "it feels more intimate when he cums inside me" or "I don't like to wear condoms, so I don't." Of course, this does not apply in the situation of committed, exclusive relationships. But outside that constraint, if someone tries to convince you to bareback, you can be fairly certain that you aren't the only person they bareback with, and you can also be fairly certain that your chances of contracting/spreading a STD will be fairly high.