Millennials, according to how most people define them, are individuals who were born between 1981 and 1996. According to those numbers, all millennials are adults now, which means many of them are sexually active.
As adults, there’s no reason to think millennials should not enjoy sex, either for pleasure or procreation. However, like any generation before or after them, they should make sure they’re using safe sex practices.
Safe sex practices mean more than just one thing. You can talk about the term and mean STD protection, STD detection and treatment, pregnancy prevention, and women’s reproductive rights.
Let’s take some time to talk about safe sex practices in which millennials can engage.
Online STD Testing
If you’re a millennial and you’re sexually active, one thing you should do is test yourself for STDs frequently. If you have multiple partners or you sometimes have unprotected sex, it’s even more critical that you do this.
There are services like Priority STD that exist. It’s an online STD testing network. Once you contact them:
- You can purchase a lab order on the phone or online
- You can visit one of their 4,000 testing facilities
Since they have so many locations, you should be able to find one close to you with no problems. They are discrete testing facilities, so you don’t have to feel awkward or embarrassed.
The best thing about them is you can get the results within 24-72 hours. This way, you can quickly know whether you have a clean bill of health.
If it does turn out you’ve contracted something, they can also talk to you about your treatment options. If you’d prefer to see your own doctor, you can do that as well.
Millennials should also learn to use condoms. They have been around for decades, but they continue to be one of the best ways to:
- Avoid pregnancy
- Avoid many different STDs
If you’re single, you can have some in your home, just in case a date gets physical. Also, if you’re going on a date and feel like things might have the potential to become romantic, you can take one with you.
Married people or couples can use them. You might feel confident that neither of you has an STD, but you still might want to avoid getting pregnant.
Embarrassment is one reason many people don’t use condoms. They might also feel like if they have them on hand, it sends the other person the message that they expect sex to occur.
These might be valid reasons, but it’s far better to feel a little embarrassed or have an awkward conversation than to decide not to use one during a lustful moment. Pregnancy or STD transmission can sometimes result from just a single encounter.
Maybe you’re a man in a relationship. Perhaps you’re partnered and exclusive to one person, or maybe you’re married.
In either case, you may decide you don’t want any more children, or you don’t ever want to have them. If so, that’s your right. You can get a vasectomy, which is essentially male sterilization.
Some men squirm at the idea of this procedure, but it’s not as invasive as they might imagine. A doctor can usually do it in under an hour. There is some pain and swelling afterward, but the recipient should recover fully within a few weeks.
Also, in almost all cases, no sexual misfunction occurs afterward. The man can continue having sex and feel the same sensations he always did. He no longer needs to use condoms with his partner, which saves money, and they can also have unprotected sex, which most people think feels better.
Women Can Use Birth Control
Women using birth control is another safe sex practice. Some health insurance plans cover it, though some more restrictive or cheaper ones don’t.
Women can use birth control pills, and it’s a safeguard against pregnancy, though it does not afford STD protection. The best thing to do if a woman and her partner want to avoid pregnancy and STDs is to use both birth control pills and condoms.
Some women also find they have lighter periods when they use birth control pills. Others discover they have less painful or uncomfortable PMS sensations.
Female sterilization is another safe sex practice. It’s like a vasectomy, but it’s more invasive. The layperson might call it a woman “getting her tubes tied.”
Doctors, though, call it tubal ligation. The tubes are the fallopian tubes through which the egg travels each month when the woman is still fertile. Ligation means the doctor ties off those tubes.
If a woman does this, it makes it almost impossible for the male sperm and female egg to come in contact, so pregnancy practically never occurs.
If a man and woman are exclusive to one another, though, it’s almost always better for the man to consider sterilization rather than the woman. Male sterilization is much less invasive and potentially dangerous.
Frank Sex Discussions
There is one more safe sex practice in which millennials can engage, and that is talking about sex. If you have two consenting adults, one of them might want to do things the other doesn’t necessarily want to do. Everyone has their kinks, and what one person likes, the other one may not.
Again, it’s often embarrassment that stops people from having these conversations. It can cause you to blush talking about oral sex or other practices in which people engage.
A repressive, Puritanical society is the reason for that. Many individuals grow up in families and practice religions that regard sex as dirty or shameful. As a society, we have no problem showing brutal violence on television, yet we don’t want to reveal an exposed female breast except on premium channels.
Perhaps collectively, we will all stop being such prudes at some point. For now, it’s vital that millennials, and all generations, engage in some of the safe sex practices we mentioned.