Sex and The Sun: Trusty condoms: Where the rubber meets the road

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sexonlineThey come in all different sizes and play a role in reproduction. They vary in length, width and thickness.

They even have different flavors.

Condoms are a basic staple in birth control. They are inexpensive, accessible and fairly easy to use. They are also effective. In a single year, only 2 percent of those who used condoms correctly ended up with an accidental pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood hands them out like candy on college campuses, with flashy packaging. Also resembling candy, they come in an abundance of flavors such as apple and cherry. Companies are adapting to accommodate a wide range of preferences.

Some people still complain that it does not feel the same when using protection. This is not an excuse not to use one. Proving that they do not have to be boring, they have even progressed past the point of simplicity to have multiple functions such as temperature and vibration.

Monogamous, infection-free partners escape most risk. In the college years, however, when there is hooking up and getting off with multiple partners, it is important to understand and be willing to use protection. Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancies, as well as STDs and HIV. A partner should, of course, disclose any necessary medical history prior to engaging in intercourse, but that is a responsibility that can and has been ignored. A few seconds of putting on a condom is better than a lifetime spent with a irreversible disease.

Safe sex is hard to take seriously when the first interaction with it is a teacher rolling a latex condom over a banana. This example is both hysterical and uncomfortable, but the truth is protection is important.

Too often parents and teachers are wary of teaching younger generations about birth control. Having the birds and the bees talk is dreaded, but is a conversation worth having. Only 39 percent of high schoolers in America are instructed on how to correctly use a condom. Health classes are vital for students learning sex education. What is learned early on is what is practiced in college years and into adult life. Misinformation brings mishaps. Students from middle school to university need a better understanding of the importance of using protection and how to correctly use it. With Google and YouTube videos it is easier than ever to be educated on how and why to use protection.

Although the U.S. still has a high amount of teenage pregnancies, condom availability has lowered the numbers. An estimated 78 percent of teenage pregnancies are unintended. Among them, Hispanic females make up the largest portion. Availability of protection helps to decrease unintended pregnancies. Knowledge on how to use birth control and where it is available is essential in prevention.

Protection also prevents abortion. More than half of abortions are obtained by women under the age of 25. By decreasing the amount of accidental pregnancies, the amount of abortions would decrease as well.

Advancements in condom production have made it so that anyone can use them. Those who have allergic reactions to latex can use condoms made from different materials.

There is a condom for every size. No penis, no matter how big or small, is exempt. If a man tries to say he is too big for one, he is trying to get out of using one. Condoms are made durable and stretchable and can even be custom sized. There are also condoms made for the women to wear, although male condoms are more popular and effective.

Talking about protection and birth control methods is applicable in any relationship. Do not let discomfort with the topic halt conversation about it. Being informed is the best protection.

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