This just in: New Yorkers enjoy museums, unprotected sex
Despite their reputation for being more sophisticated and intelligent than the average American, a recent health department study shows that New Yorkers are irresponsible about their genitals.
The results are baffling when you consider that, if I’m reading correctly, the amount of condom usage decreases when one has multiple sexual partners. I can’t even begin to theorize why that is, other than maybe because condoms continue to be regarded by most people as mood killers that should only be used when absolutely necessary, such as when your partner seems to be oozing some sort of substance from his or her nether regions. Nobody likes to use condoms, but nobody likes a burning sensation when they urinate either, or an accidental pregnancy. I had thought these outweighed using a condom on the grand “how much will this fuck up my life?” scale we all have, it would appear I was mistaken. And, yes, I know that a condom isn’t a failsafe measure against burning sensations when you urinate or accidental pregnancy, but clearly it improves your chances over not wearing one at all.
I’ve often heard the complaint that stopping what you’re doing for the ten seconds or so it takes for you or your partner to put on a condom “ruins the moment.” You know what else ruins the moment? Genital herpes. If you’re a man and the mere act of putting on a condom causes you to lose your erection, the problem isn’t with the condom, it’s with you. If you’re a woman and the mere act of your partner putting on a condom causes you to immediately lose interest in sex, again, the problem isn’t with the condom, it’s you. A piece of latex thin enough that you can practically see through it should not ruin your sexual experience. It’s strictly a mental thing, adults simply just don’t like being told what they should do, especially when it comes to intimate matters. I can’t help but picture a lot of childish foot stomping over the notion, like when our parents used to make us wear coats over our Halloween costumes. “BUT I DON’T WANNA!!!!!”
The results are disheartening when you consider that nearly 40% of New Yorkers over the age of 45 failed to use a condom during their most recent sexual encounter, even moreso when you look at the reasons behind it. It seems that many people have convinced themselves that because HIV and AIDS is rarely mentioned in the news anymore it has somehow magically gone away. 40,000 new cases of HIV are still diagnosed every year, with heterosexual transmission accounting for over a third of them. It has most certainly not gone away. The only difference is that people are living longer with HIV than they were ten years ago. Magic Johnson for all appearances seems to be doing well, as opposed to Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury, both of whom died shortly after announcing they were ill from the virus. Medical treatments have significantly increased the lives of HIV positive individuals, and even those with full-blown AIDS. That doesn’t change the fact that it will still FUCKING KILL YOU. Maybe not tomorrow, or next month, or even next year, but it will kill you eventually, and it will likely do so in an unpleasant, painful manner. Kaposi’s Sarcoma, there’s a mood breaker for you!
HIV aside, what about all these other STDs that apparently nobody is worried about anymore? Sure, syphilis won’t rot your face off or drive you insane anymore, but is this something we should just be shrugging off, treating it as incidentally as a cold? It’s really unfortunate that the very simple message of “use a condom so you don’t contract or give someone else a sexually transmitted disease” was hammered home so much that it had the opposite effect–now grown adults are essentially sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting “LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB.” It’s been blown up into something we grudgingly have to do now because The Man told us so, and where the benefits may not necessarily outweigh the risks. Let’s face it, there is no immediate benefit to using a condom, and the long-term benefit is merely making it to a ripe old age without having to make some sort of flowchart in which you try to figure out how you contracted HPV. It’s entirely possible you could go your entire life fucking with abandon and never using a condom once, and get to the end of it disease-free. You’d be damn lucky, but it’s possible. You could also go bareback one single time and find yourself passing something that looks like tapioca pudding a few weeks later. This is how life works, it’s all about risk and chance. Perhaps that could be a new safe sex campaign: you put up a picture of one of those wheels you spin at a carnival, only with a penis instead of an arrow, with different spaces on the wheel marked ‘crabs,’ ‘HIV,’ ‘accidental pregnancy,’ and so on. Underneath it could read ‘WOULDN’T IT JUST BE EASIER TO USE A CONDOM?’
Ad agencies, why aren’t you stealing this idea from me right now?