If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

This post is an attempt to respond to this comment.

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs. Even with only two partners, you caught a disease and are wondering who gave it to you. Just image the situation in US/Europe where people have dozens of partners in the course of a few years. How are you supposed to confirm that partner#15 is clean and is not carrying any infection and does not indulge in risky behavior ?

It’s not just pre-marital sex but the combination of casual and pre-marital sex that “feminists” (like the ones here) want to promote that causes the problem. What if someone falls in “love” ten times and sleeps with 10 different people. Are we going to pretend that it’s not a risky behavior because it was in the name of “love”? The more sexual partner one has, the higher the risk of catching an infection.

 

So, if there was no risk of HPVs and other STDs – then would the commentator above feel differently about ‘the combination of casual and pre-marital sex’ ?

Is abstinence really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment?? 

Do you think promoting of abstinence – over the centuries – has benefited the society in anyway? How?

Isn’t it true that abstinence is promoted mainly for women?

And that has lead to men (and women) looking upon sex as something that is not a pleasurable consensual activity but as something:-

1. That must not be talked about, and ignorance of which is seen as a virtue.

2. That can make women ‘impure’ (more so if they participate and enjoy it).

3. Something that men are entitled to, and can ‘buy’  – but the one who ‘sells’ (or is ‘sold’) – must thereafter be denied human rights.

And hasn’t that indirectly lead to one of the partners being viewed as a commodity?

4. As something that can be used to punish women who don’t submit to patriarchal controls.

Sexual assaults are often justified, mainly by those committing them and those who have the power to control them, as attempts to ‘teach a lesson’.

4. At the same time or because of this stress upon abstinence as something to strive for, sex has also come to be seen as something to feel guilty about – specially for women.

Now, since heterosexuality requires women’s participation – this has made it difficult for many men (and women) to view any sexual activity without associating some amount of guilt with it.

This criminalisation (socially, ‘morally’ and sometimes legally), of an activity which concerns nobody except those involved, is a result of the stress upon abstinence.

If abstinence is really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment – then what do you think is ‘risky behaviour’ ?

1. Denial of information and silence about preventing infections (or sexual and emotional abuse)?

Or

2. Moralising about and glorifying lack of experience (mainly for one partner) – which leads to silence and guilt?

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http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Heterosexuality

40 thoughts on “If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

  1. IHM, basically what is good for the goose is good for the gander too. I do not appreciate differences in standards of behaviour and definitions of what is acceptable or unacceptable for men and women. The same standards need to be applied to all.

    Having said that, we cannot deny that indiscriminate physical relationships do pose high risks of HPV, HBV, HCV and HIV to name only a few. Obviously, having just two partners has not protected the lady referred to in the previous blog from HPV. Even if she were to have only one partner, the risk would still exist if the man in question had multiple partners. Thus, the statistical risk of infection certainly goes up with increasing number of partners.

    Let us leave out the moral aspects of the issue. That is another topic altogether. The question here is of exercising due care to ensure that one does not contract such diseases. If one has say only partner, one can at least take precautions to ensure one is safe. If there are say two or three or multiple partner, how does one ensure that each of them is clean and that one does not catch the infection? How does one ensure that a casual partner is going to be honest or even care whether (s)he is going to infect the partner or not?

    IMHO, the questions you have posed above are in the realm of society, women’s rights, patriarchal norms and morals while the comment you have responded to comes under the category of public health. The two considerations should not be mixed.

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    • I agree with you. The comment comes from a health point of view and i dont sense a society flavor in it. Let’s face it, its women who get pregnant and not men. I dont trust birth control as well cuz most people I know are going through or have had surprise pregnancies. They were apparently on birth control. Dont know whether to laugh or cluck my tongue sympathetically. As a woman, i am going to take every precaution under the sun till i dont want kids. If its abstinence, so be it.

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      • I too know of people who have had surprise pregnancies. Of the three I know one woman forgot to take her birth control pills. Another couple did not ‘pull out’ in time. And the third put the condom on not before starting intercourse but at a later time.More human error than method error.

        Of course nothing to beat abstinence if you want absolute guarantees.For the rest, the risks are small if one chooses to get educated. There are so many options nowadays.

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  2. 1) I take umbrage at the word “promote” in the comment:

    When I say I am pro premarital sex, it means that I respect it as a choice, and that men or women should be free to make that choice. Like all choices, it comes with consequences. This does not mean I promote/ advocate it as *right* or *wrong*. Respect is very different from forcing your convictions on other people, and I think this distinction in language should be understood.

    2) I agree that having sex with 10 different partners, increases your chances of getting an STD. You take a risk. But risky behaviour is truly injurious when you take that risk but make another innocent person/ someone else face the consequences as well. And please, falling in love and having sex are not related. You don’t need to justify sex with love. The tantrics discovered this a long time back.

    3) Abstinence. I ruminate about the biological advantages of this and at present think that there are few. Does evolution favour abstinence? Take the case of a dentist, who didn’t follow proper hygiene, and ended up passing on HIV from one patient to the next, through their tools. How would abstinence have helped there? However, if you are a low-risk person then abstinence is the way to go. This should be your choice. Not one that you accept blindly for cultural and moral reasons. Practicing abstinence does not make you a superior person; it’s like those who think not drinking alcohol makes them morally superior to those who do.

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  3. The very thing that gives you pleasure today will give you pain tomorrow, or it will leave you, so its absence will give you pain. And what is often referred to as love may be pleasurable and exciting for a while, but it is an addictive clinging, an EXTREMELY NEEDY CONDITION that can turn into its opposite at the flick of a switch. Many “love” relationships, after the initial euphoria has passed, actually oscillate between “love” and hate, attraction and attack.

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  4. “How are you supposed to confirm that partner#15 is clean and is not carrying any infection and does not indulge in risky behavior?”
    This argument is plain ridiculous. How do you know partner # 1 is not carrying an infection?

    “It’s not just pre-marital sex but the combination of casual and pre-marital sex that “feminists” (like the ones here) want to promote that causes the problem.”
    People can be married and still be having sex with other partners. There is such a thing as open marriage, not that I’m “promoting” it. It’s a matter of choice.

    “The more sexual partner one has, the higher the risk of catching an infection.”
    True. But that same logic holds in the case of injections. Do you also think that going to a doctor is what causes STDs?

    Let’s face it. Sex isn’t the problem here. Lack of knowledge about safe sex is.

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  5. Comment was totally valid and I dont think the commenter in anyway tried to bring in patriarchy or social norms or anything else . It was correct in saying the sex with multiple partners increases chances of STDs and its a risky behavior.Period .

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    • I think when people talk about STIs in relation to pre-marital sex, they *are* bringing in social norms/patriarchy.
      The issue with pre-marital sex is unintended pregnancy-which is another matter altogether.

      However, when it comes to STI’s , I think it is pure fantasy to assume that every virgin will magically pair up with another virgin and live happily ever after.
      STI’s are caused by unsafe sex.
      Multiple partners are a risk, but what is a bigger risk in India in my humble opinion, is sex with a socially sanctioned partner who hides his/her sexual history.

      As a doctor, I cannot tell you how many Indian women I’ve seen who were diagnosed with HIV that they had contracted from husbands. These women never indulged in pre-marital sex, or ‘casual’ sex, and played ‘by the rules’ yet ended up with the worst sexually transmitted infection.

      So yeah, I’m a bit skeptical when people offer pre-marital abstinence as a ‘preventive’ measure in sexual health. Forget partner #15, how can you guarantee that Mr.Arranged-Marriage-Husband is STI-free without medical tests?

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      • I am not saying arranged marriage guarantees protection from HPV , nor condemning pre marital sex. BUt telling the fact the sex with multiple partners increases the risk . And the women who contracted HPV from husbands – thats because their husbands got involved in unsafe sex with multiple partners . So its risky , not just for you but for your partners too . So I am nowhere patronizing our culture , but putting forth the facts in pure medical terms.

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      • And even if abstinence if advised,then in India ,it should not be for women but men! Men sleep around more,go to prostituites,have bragging rights to porno graphy and to have ‘unprotected sex’ !
        Even in past, women who were chaste and pure ended up with STDs , became sick , died and nobody was wiser for it !

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  6. I don’t see the listing poster mention the fact that people should use protection during premarital sex and that alone will eliminate most STDs. Also, the average American/European does NOT have sex with dozens of partners over a few years, and the small minority that would be so excessive WOULD use protection. Americans are freer than Indians but most are not promiscuous in the way many Indians think they are. Anyway, all it takes is for the husband to sleep around without protection and pass STDs on to his unsuspecting wife, who of course would not be protected unless it’s their birth control. Historically it has been the men in relationships who passed on STDs to their wives, even when the wives were faithful to them. The beginning of the AIDS epidemic was exactly that way. Even when premarital sex was frowned upon in the past, there were STDs, and there always will be no matter what as long as men frequent prostitutes, etc. Using the STD argument to put pressure on women to be chaste is really not fair.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There are numerous risk factors for cervical cancer: young age at first intercourse ( As stated in Berek & Novak’s Textbook of Gynaecology (for medical education in Gynaecology in India and around the world).

    Abstinence should be a personal choice and it is stupid to attach morality with abstinence, but the health related issues associated with sexual activity at young age/multiple sexual partners cannot be overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s true, but the solution lies in educating people about the risks associated with the choices they make, and letting them know what they can do to minimise that risk. Regular pap smears, for instance will mitigate most of the risk created.

      The risk is to the individual, not to society.
      So society should refrain from nosing it’s way into private choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Here is some factual information on HPV,
    http://m.cdc.gov/en/HealthSafetyTopics/DiseasesConditions/STDs/genitalHPV_FS
    seems like a very common STD with available treatment plans and even early vaccination. Let’s stop the morality lecture here just because the woman had sex when men have been doing it for ages and passing it on to unsuspecting good wives and future children. Just look at the Aids epidemic in India or Africa. Even in the West when people are having casual sex, most sensible folks are using protection. Sure nothing is 100% safe, life is filled with risk and you can’t burry your head under the pretence of abstinence. Are HPV vaccines available in India for teenagers or those in early 20s? Are the doctors telling you about the option?

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  9. IHM, are you saying that there is absolutely no moral, ethical or spiritual element associated with sex? Are you saying it is as value-neutral an activity, as, say, playing chess or bungee jumping?

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    • So long as there is no coercion or abuse – what two uncommitted adults do with their own bodies and time is nobody’s business. I think those who choose to attach values, religion, culture, morals etc to their personal choices should be able to do that – but only for their own selves.

      Liked by 2 people

      • IHM, I like the way you put that response to Jo’s question.

        But I have to disagree about a point of logic. Morals don’t work like that. It’s not relative, like an opinion. Something is either moral or it isn’t. I can choose to not judge someone; I can choose even to say that I don’t know whether it is moral or not i.e. humility. I can also make allowance for difference in culture and situation i.e. broadmindedness.

        But once having decided about an issue’s morality, it cannot really change from person to person. My morals might be different from your morals, but your morals must apply to all, just as mine must apply to all. Anything else is pretty absurd!

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        • Just to continue the line of logic, just because something is not anybody’s business doesn’t mean it is morally neutral. If a person spends all their free time thinking hateful thoughts, and not actually harming anybody, that is nobody’s else’s business, yet it is (in my book) profoundly immoral. Nor would my stance change depending on who is thinking hateful thoughts; whether it is me or my relative or a stranger, hate is immoral. But that, as I tried to clarify, is distinct from non-judgment and broad-mindedness and humility, all of which are necessary virtues. I suspect they would prevent the sort of undue interference you speak of. But this idea that one can have a strong moral view and not apply it to others is quite contradictory.

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        • I think you misunderstand what IHM says about morals.You can subjectively moralize all you want, apply it to all and sundry. No one really cares as long as you dont force it on the people you decide to be judgmental towards.Obviously, children are sitting ducks.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth, I agree. I stressed non-judgment. I try to put freedom & non-judgment above everything else in my moral code. It’s just that I find this idea that morals are subjective very interesting. Subjectivity poses all sorts of challenges and problems, which we see when we apply it to our own fundamental convictions. Does anyone really have a subjective moral code? I possess no morals which I feel subjectively about: for example, I’m convinced that torture is wrong – even for national security. Many would disagree with me. Similarly, how exactly does one expect a person to hold their morals about sex subjectively? It is difficult to see how they could do that without also diluting the moral. I think IHM’s answer is to some extent an escape from this fundamental dilemma. It may be more direct to say, yes, I believe that sex has no objective morality associated with it, unlike something like killing, torture, theft etc. Then her position is compatible with her post.

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        • Killing is justified when it is in self defence. Torture is always wrong. Sex is wrong when there is lack of consent, or underage or minors are involved (even if the minor has been ‘married off’ to the husband). It is also wrong when there is cheating involved (- but in this case it concerns only those involved)

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t know why a big part of my comment disappeared. I guess it was the fault of the browser that I was using earlier. I’ll try to post it here again.

    There are numerous risk factors for cervical cancer: young age at first intercourse ( As stated in Berek & Novak’s Textbook of Gynaecology (used for medical education in Gynaecology in India and around the world).

    Abstinence should be a personal choice and it is stupid to attach morality with abstinence, but the health related issues associated with sexual activity at young age/multiple sexual partners cannot be overlooked.

    Like

  11. IHM please see if this gets through.

    There are numerous risk factors for cervical cancer: young age at first intercourse ( As stated in Berek & Novak’s Textbook of Gynaecology (for medical education in Gynaecology in India and around the world).

    Abstinence should be a personal choice and it is stupid to attach morality with abstinence, but the health related issues associated with sexual activity at young age/multiple sexual partners cannot be overlooked.

    Like

  12. There are numerous risk factors for cervical cancer: young age at first intercourse ( As stated in Berek & Novak’s Textbook of Gynaecology (for medical education in Gynaecology in India and around the world).

    Abstinence should be a personal choice and it is stupid to attach morality with abstinence. And it is ridiculous to demand abstinence selectively from females. But the health related issues associated with sexual activity at young age/multiple sexual partners cannot be overlooked.

    Like

  13. I agree. STDs are here to stay. Since STDs are here to stay, we should ensure education about said STDs are here to stay too. That’s all there is to it, in my opinion.

    BTW, is there a term for a dude who is abstaining because he can’t get any? Something non-derogatory?

    No?

    Ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Actually, even if you are with one partner, you have the same risk like everybody else of catching a disease. Because not only intercourse gives certain diseases. I have a friend who was a virgin when she got married, and ended up getting a disease from her husband. Things like HPV doesn’t even show up in men.
    Also I dislike the notion of comparing pre-marital sex with casual sex. And the clear stereotype that foreigners have SOOOO many sexual partners. Many people who are in serious relationships with people who they want to marry have sex, and that is not a casual affair.
    Plus – you SHOULD have sex before you get married – especially to the person that you are going to spend a lifetime with!

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  15. And whatever I m going to say here is for both men and women. When in a relationship it is natural to get physical . However if marriage is not the intent of the relationship, getting intimate can be avoided.
    If for some reason, marriage was the intention and the couple got intimate but for some reason did not work, would execrise caution next time in a relationship.
    PMS is ok and one need not completly avoid it , but would stay off causal sex esp as a rebound therapy after breakup. When in a relationship our intution on what is going to last and what is not is mostly right

    Just some practical thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

  16. we are in the 21st century.. I think. ??

    what Two people do how is it OUR concern.. ??

    and How is Marriage a certificate for have sex with each other .. it makes me wonder what are we growing into.. pre marital – post marital ..

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  17. A ban on pre-marital sex to prevent STIs is as absurd as killing female foetuses to prevent dowry & dowry killing.

    The rise in female infanticide is because of the notion that aborting girl child is easier than eradicating dowry and torture associated with it.

    Similarly restricting pre-marital sex is much easier option than spreading awareness about safe sex, about STIs, about vaccines, creating an environment where buying a condom is possible without getting a stink eye from the store owner and sharing medical report of the prospective spouse instead of matching Kundalis without the risk of offending people.

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