You meet, you flirt, you hook up - and then it’s all over. Welcome to today's world of casual dating - and sex. It can seem like hooking up with people you barely know is just how dating is done. But no-strings-fun can become very not fun when your health is on the line.
You might think you can avoid STIs by just looking at someone (or their genitals). But often, you won’t be able to tell if someone has an STI this way. Not all STIs have visible or obvious symptoms. So many people with STIs have no idea they have them. Or, they may just have been too scared to get tested. And if they don’t know they have something, you won’t either.
Remember that all sexual partners involved must be treated or else you may re-infect each other if only one gets treated and condoms not used after treatment. While many STIs are treatable, some you’ll carry with you for life. And a fun, intimate moment and memory can be forever ruined.
If you decide to hook up with someone new, use a male or female condom every time you have sex. You might feel embarrassed to ask them to use a condom. But you’ll feel a lot worse if you catch something. A little embarrassment now can save you from something a lot worse in the future!