I took a verrrrrry long break from the blog this past year, but hopefully you've liked my Facebook page and was able to read the latest in sexual health news there! It's been a very busy year for me (getting married, buying a house, renovating a house, teaching 2 college classes), so I apologize for my absence but I'm back now!
There's been a lot going on in the news the last few months about everything sex, but let's discuss this first. "Stealthing", or the removal of a condom without the partner knowing it was removed, has hit media hard in the last few weeks and is causing quite the panic. But how prevalent is this behavior? Is this something worth freaking out about?
Sure, there are men who believe they are the center of the universe and deserve everything without having to really work at it (and obviously, there are women and others who believe the same thing). But to vilify an entire gender seems unfair. For the most part, hetero cisgender males will engage in protected sex as long as it is acceptable for their partners. They won't move to create distrust in the sexual relationship because they would suffer for it.
So I will caution you -- just because something gets a lot of air time doesn't mean it's going to happen to you. Just look at all the data about violence and children; violence against children is actually going down and has been for YEARS but the way media portrays it, you'd think there's danger lurking every minute for a child nowadays.
Don't freak out just yet. Instead, invest in skills like communication with your partners, whether they are long term or not. Make sure you feel empowered to put the condom on a male partner if you are female so that you know it's there. Change positions often and be comfortable with reaching down to guide a penis inside so that you can feel the condom yourself. Understand that both partners deserve to feel safe and aware at all times (which is why drinking and drugs + sex don't mix well at all).
Make sure you're on a long acting reversible contraceptive to be protected long-term from an unwanted pregnancy (these do NOT protect against STIs). If you feel even an inkling that your partner doesn't believe you deserve the same as they do, don't engage in a sexual relationship. Believe me, there are people out there who will satisfy you without putting you in danger.