It’s that time of year hen we all drink a bit too much, we get a bit merry and sometimes a bit friendly with someone we’ve liked from a far. But despite it being Christmas and the season of wrapping things up, less young people are actually wrapping up the most important thing.
Gotcha didn’t we. You thought we were talking about presents.
Those are important too when it comes to wrapping, but the real issue is about using that lovely thing called a condom.
Public Health England have been conducting research into condom use in young people (16-24 year olds) and have found in those who are sexually active 1 in 10 have never used a condom. But why?
We all remember those sex education lessons at school where the teacher has to show you the correct way to open and put on a condom.
It was embarrassing because we were all at the stage where penis and vagina were funny words still, but we knew we would soon become sexual active so it was important to learn.
Yet it seems that less of us are taking our sexual health as seriously as we might take our general health. This is why Public Health England have launched the Protect Against STI’s campaign, and we’re helping them spread the word.
With nearly half of young people admitting to not using a condom when having sex with a new partner for the first time, we wanted to get involved so we can give you some Growing Up advice when it comes to sex.
Although you might think it’s obvious that you should wear a condom a lot of people get fooled into leaving it off. Whether it’s the whole “my penis is too big for a condom” or “it’s fine I’m on the pill” there is no excuse for not wearing one when you’ve just met someone.
A few things you need to know about condoms…
They come in lots of different sizes, flavours and shapes – all for your safety and pleasure. This also means that these is no excuse for not wearing one as they will fit everyone.
If you’re allergic to latex (which the majority of condoms are made from) then you can get non-latex ones from most pharmacies.
Some brands can be expensive to buy but this isn’t an excuse as there are many cheaper brands out there and you can even join confidential schemes at Doctors and Youth Centres to get free condoms. – These may have age restrictions but if you speak to your doctor they are always happy to give you some free condoms.
Having condoms either in your bag, your bedside table or on your possession in any form does not make you a slut – 1 in 3 young people think carrying condoms gives off the impression that you sleep around.
The truth is carrying condoms means that you care about your sexual health and nobody can or should judge you for that.
Condoms are the ONLY THING (besides abstinence) that will protect you from both pregnancy and STI’s.
There is a lot of information out there about STI’s and many helplines you can use if you feel that you may have one.
If you’ve had unprotected sex at all then always get yourself checked out, as not all STI’s have obvious symptoms.
There are worse things to be waking up with this Christmas than a hangover – don’t let one of them be an STI. Wrap it up, not just at Christmas but all year round.