In summer, relationships increase in every way, including sexual ones. Let's have more sexual encounters and with people we don't know, so the risks of infections or unwanted pregnancies skyrocket.

It is a fact. In summer we have more free time, we go out more, meet more friends and go to more night parties. These factors cause social relationships to increase and, therefore, there may be more sexual encounters.

This is fine, in fact sex has many health benefits that go beyond momentary pleasure, but it is true that it also has risks that must also be present at this time of the year. And it is that, “this festive atmosphere, together with substances that can make us feel disinhibited and lose the concept of safety and precaution, losing conscious control of the situation and increasing the risk of infections or diseases”.

summer may favor changes in sexual behavior due to vacations, increased opportunities for unprotected sex, and increased population movement. This means that both men and women could assume greater sexual risk behaviors during vacation periods.

Recklessness and risks

Baths in public areas, sex in the sand, with humidity and with wet clothes increase, which favor the appearance and development of infections, especially in the urinary tract. The risk of having unwanted pregnancies is higher.

On an emotional level, guilt and fear of consequences and on a psychosocial level, breakups of couples occur, and in the most serious cases emotional sequelae for life when we talk about sexual assault

Under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and in a festive context, our ability to assess risks and our decision-making are greatly reduced, leading to impulsive behaviors that later generate feelings of guilt and emotional discomfort, even making us more vulnerable to being victims of some type of sexual assault or even become the aggressors.

It is a combination of a lack of sexual and affective education within a society that excessively normalizes alcohol consumption.

The STIs are predominantly transmitted through unprotected sex and the most common are chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV and human papillomavirus. It is an increasingly common problem and one that should be taken seriously.

Despite the unstoppable incidence of this type of infection, the population still continues to share an erroneous and distant conception of STIs. And it is that for many people, they have been a thing of the past for more than a decade, when it is not. “With the decrease in HIV cases and the improvement of treatments, people consider that HIV is less of a concern and they are no longer afraid of these infections but in a generalized way”

“The problem with many of these infections is that 50% of them are asymptomatic, so we can be infected and not know it.” The consequences of this underdiagnosis? “ The repercussions on women can be serious.

“Although the complications are not many, fortunately, they do have a wide range of seriousness, ranging from alterations in the menstrual period, pain in the lower abdomen and in relationships, to injuries to internal organs that can complicate future fertility”

Widespread practices

The most widespread practices are, on the one hand, vaginal penetration (95.79%), mutual masturbation (87.73%), active oral sex (85.70%) and passive oral sex (84.91%). ). Only anal penetration constitutes a slightly more minority practice, since it is carried out by 34.78% of the participants.

Along these lines, it should be noted that 94.51% have used some type of protection method: mostly condoms (49.63% use them regularly) and birth control pills (22.61% use them regularly) . However, it should be noted that the third most used “contraceptive method” is popularly known as reverse gear (26.37% of those interviewed have done it at some time and 9.50% of them use it regularly). That is, the interruption of penetration at the moment before ejaculation, an option that does not constitute a method of protection against STIs or against a possible pregnancy.

It is important to continue emphasizing that, of these methods, only the condom protects against STIs, even so, it seems that there are still many risky practices

Regarding the age of the people who usually commit recklessness, it should be noted that risky practices among adolescent boys and girls continue to grow. In fact, they increased from 16.1% in 2002 to 24.6% in 2018. For example, the percentage of girls who had used a condom in their last intercourse fell 11 points, from 82.5% in 2002 up to 71.2% in 2018. And it is that “it is not just about using a condom, but about making good use of the condom, that is, during the entire sexual relationship”

Sporadic relationships

But not putting on a condom is not the only risky practice among the population; it can also be the fact of having sporadic sexual relations with people we do not know. This is something that is becoming more and more common and that increases in summer, due to everything that has been previously mentioned.

Most of the respondents declared having sex sporadically. Of them, 91.24% only have sex with one person, while 8.76% have relationships with different people. It is a common practice among young people since the survey data indicates that the number of sexual partners decreases with age: 20.17% of women between 18 and 24 years of age have relationships with different people, and from here the sexual environment decreases from 10.86% of women between 25 and 34 to 8.53% of those aged between 45 and 54, dropping to 4.75% in the most advanced age groups (55 and 65 years), where only 4.75% of women have relationships with more than one person.

How to prevent: what you know and what you don’t

As the experts consulted have pointed out, prevention is always better than cure, so the most sensible thing is to internalize the concept of safe sex, and always use condoms, “both for penetration and for oral sex when giving fellatio”

“Barriers should be used for oral sex to the vulva (cunnilingus) or anus (black kiss), which are marketed for this use, although, in this case, another formula is to use a condom, cutting off the tip and cutting it lengthwise, to that there is a more or less rectangular piece of latex and to be able to put it between the mouth and the vulva or the anus”. In his opinion, it is important to report this type of protective measures that are completely unknown. In fact, according to the study data, they are the least used method, since only 0.30% of those surveyed have used it at some time and 0.10% use it regularly.

Other prevention measures are “not sharing sex toys, except if you put a condom on them and change it for a new one for each person”

“Be aware of what our limits are when consuming alcohol to maintain sufficient levels of self-control that allow us to evaluate the possible consequences of our actions.” In this sense, it is essential “that we do not get carried away by pressure and that we be assertive. Summer vacations can be an ideal time to meet people, fall in love and have sex as long as we avoid excesses and are responsible”.

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