Saturday, 28 January 2017

Scared straight: educational ponderables as a deterrent to sexual sin.

Maintaining one’s purity in an impure society is difficult. Spiritual strength is paramount to overcome iniquitous allures. Yet, the Bible also gives us plenty of council on the practicality of righteousness, and how it is easier to walk upright if we learn to avoid temptations outright. So this article is focusing on the practicality of holiness.. and how education can give us pause from fornication and/or adultery, by showing us the fearful physical or worldly consequences that could befall us. For when sin touches this world and our lives, it doesn’t just sully our souls; it can have lasting effects on our bodies and mental state. If you’ve had unprotected sex, have a new partner (or more than one partner) this is a consideration. And if you’re a Christian struggling with this temptation, this article is meant to scare you straight and take the edge off that unrighteous desire. Sex is not a trivial activity. And Christians that face temptations should reinforce their fortifications from fornication with information.

Understanding these consequences forms a deterrent to engaging in sexual immorality. This principle is embraced Biblically as well as worldly. It’s for this reason that we are taught that cigarette smoke can cause lung cancer or emphysema. The association of the potential `what-if’ warns us of the risks involved in tobacco, and these risks help to steer us away from this product. And within the sexual niche of this discussion, it can similarly be seen in the government’s educational drive for condom use as a means of safeguarding our bodies from the dangers of unplanned pregnancy and venereal disease (particularly AIDS, which alongside unwed pregnancy has an adverse effect on social programs and hence governmental resources).

The problem arises, and is unforeseen by many, in that the government’s (or any humanistic organization’s) involvement is slanted in objective. It views iniquitous sexual activity (as opposed to holy sexual activity) differently than the Church and is incapable of differentiating between the two: as such, it seeks to walk a delicate educational and policy balance between public hedonism and public safety. Or, to put it another way, to maximize free loving and limit the spread of horrific disease and unplanned pregnancy. Their objective is not to diminish the sinful aspect of the activity itself, but to regulate it so that it is safer. And what they don’t seem too keen on telling us (in sexual education classes) is that while it is safer … it is not completely safe. Given awareness of this slant, a new barrier of consent emerges when we’re enticed by the charmer or the enchantress. For just as people play with their health when they touch a cigarette to their lips, so they play with their health when they engage in wanton acts or lifestyles.

Now I wish to touch on several flag holders that will remind us and encourage us to maintain the narrow path. And note that I understand they appear common knowledge on a superficial level, but they conceal a hidden danger that could still entrap (or infect) you. So they are worth perusing given the objectives of the educators. Of particular interest, is the protective function of the condom.  We all know that the condom’s barrier does not protect us from spiritual disease, yet many are unaware that it is not an absolute fail-safe against physical disease. It is always odd to me, how everyone readily affirms that they practice safe sex with a condom, explaining that they are aware of AIDS and the multitude of other nasty diseases, yet engage in oral sex without protection. Pause and consider that for a moment ladies: why would you insist he wear a condom for sex, but give him a blow job without one? If this is your habit, you don’t practice safe sex. It is disingenuous for a heroin addict to suggest they won’t catch AIDS (from a shared needle) because they never stick it in their left arm, yet they do stick it in their right arm. The truth is, smarter people live longer than dumb people. And actuary charts would indicate you are statistically shortening your life by practicing these foolhardy activities. If you’re unconcerned with your health, at least let your vanity persuade you; for many of the STDs that you willfully stick in your mouth can give you ugly ulcerations and open sores (in and on your face). And you know this. Sores on your lips are an advertisement to everyone that you may have engaged in unladylike activity.

The humanistic narrative:
Facts .. condom usage helps prevent unwanted pregnancy, and protects against sexually transmitted diseases.  (Quote from educational curriculum).
Luckily, using condoms every time you have sex really lowers your chance of getting or spreading STDs. (www.plannedparenthood.org).
Yet, note that it only “helps” prevent it. And it only “lowers your chance(s)” but does not eliminate them. Why do they say this? And what are the risks of promiscuous sexual activity?

Pregnancy:

Common knowledge: condoms prevent pregnancy.

Uncommon knowledge: about 1 in 50 condoms break according to numerous studies.  (Contraception. 1992 Jan;45(1):11-9).

The combined method failure (slippage plus breakage) of condoms is estimated at 1.6% –3.6%. (Contraceptive Techonology).

Consequence: there are 365 days in the year. If you have sex 300 times that year, statistically, you will break 6 condoms exposing yourself or your partner to a very real potential of pregnancy or disease. It’s like playing Russian roulette with a 50 shot pistol. There is a timing issue on breaking a condom, where a breakage at the sexual act’s finale would be absolutely disastrous. Yet, even if it occurs before ejaculation, there is a pre-ejaculate that contains sperm in it. Spermicide helps mitigate this. But as you can see, it can happen. Sadly, many guys add to this danger by their inability to realize that it broke, so they continue on in their task unfettered.

The pill:

At least the pill is 100% fool proof. Isn’t it? Well, it is a lot safer than a condom at preventing pregnancy. The National Institute of Health (www.nih.gov) reports that:
The combined contraceptive pill: (is) more than 99% effective if taken correctly. Less than 1 woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year while taking the combined pill. Progestogen-only pill: 99% effective if taken correctly.
Interpretation: you have a 1 in 100 chance of getting pregnant. That is 2x better than using a condom alone. But … it isn’t completely reassuring is it?  We can see that using the pill with a condom would be far better, but statistically even that’s not fool-proof (and most don’t do that anyway). And given that the pill doesn’t protect you from STDs, you really shouldn’t use it without a condom with untested non-virgins. Though, even if your partner is tested, there is a problem. A big problem. Some STDs are not easily detected by testing. Ouch!! Which I will touch on in a moment when we deal with STDs.

First problem:

Ladies, the first time you have sex with a guy, and he pulls out a condom, do you check to see what it’s made of (or whether or not it’s expired? … many guys will keep that thing in their wallet for over a year … waiting … just in case). And it’s important to note that when we speak of disease prevention with a condom, we only speak of latex condoms. Natural skin condoms (ex. Lambskin) prevent pregnancy. They do not prevent disease. They have larger microscopic pores in them that are small enough to stop sperm but cannot stop bacteria or virus particles. So if you’re a girl, and things get hot and heavy, and he pulls out his condom … you should know whether it’s animal skin or latex (you don’t simply trust him). He might carry a nasty disease. His ignorance is a consideration. He might be unaware that animal skin offers no disease protection, or he might be forced to because he’s allergic to latex (which is common).

His character is also a consideration!! If he has herpes .. do you think he cares if he can’t catch it? If a condom breaks and you become pregnant, are you confident he’ll dedicate the rest of his life to you and the baby?  Or will he disappear into the night, or push you for an abortion? If not, why the hell are you risking your life and/or future lifestyle with him? Character starts with care.

A supplementary factoid I learnt from some `player guys': Did you know that if he puts on a double condom, he considers you to be `gross’ and `dirty’. It usually means he’s really scared to catching a disease from you, and as such, has a poor estimation of your character? That is not flattering, and it shows he has no respect for you (plus, double bagging increases the risk of breakage).

Second problem:

Some STDs are capable of infecting you despite wearing a latex condom. Yep, infection by breakage or slippage is bad enough, but some nasty critters can still infect you when you do everything correctly.

Here are some of the common STD/STIs that can transverse latex condoms:
  • 1.       Herpes (a genital ulcer disease)
  • 2.       HPV (genital warts)
  • 3.       Syphilis (a genital ulcer disease)
  • 4.       Crabs (public lice)
  • 5.       Molluscum Contagiosum (a pox virus)
I really don’t wish to run through all of these, suffice it to say, you don’t want any of them. I do wish to focus a tad on herpes though .. just to cement the danger in your head and some caution in your heart. The truth is, you should exercise discernment even in your choice of kissing partners: and that’s something you’ll never hear in sex ed class!  As you know, herpes comes in two varieties, and both are capable of messing with your genitals. 50-80 percent of people are estimated to have it in their mouth, and 20 percent on their privates. Did you catch that? 1 in 5 have it on their dick! And that number would be far higher for the sub-set of promiscuous individuals. If he’s pushing you to have sex, and he’s had sex with others, then he is a higher risk than the 20 percent figure. If he’s Amish, it’s likely a lot lessJ.  But law of averages indicates this is a bloody epidemic.
It is important to have your future partner tested. “80% of those with genital herpes do not know they have it". (www.herpes.org.nz/patient-info/myths-vs-facts)
I know, I know, your boyfriend (who tested clean for herpes pre sex with you) told you he contracted herpes from a water fountain. He never cheated on you. Yet the Mayo clinic reports that:
Because the virus dies quickly outside of the body, it's nearly impossible to get the infection through contact with toilets, towels or other objects used by an infected person. (www.mayoclinic.org)
The truth is, unless he won the herpes’ lotto, he had skin to skin contact with someone to catch it. And now you have it too. Forever (there is no cure). Same goes with crabs (in that they don’t really hang out on toilet seats).

Educators on herpes have now morphed into a, lets minimize the stigma and learn to live with herpes mentality. I get that and it’s compassionate and appropriate. But for those without it, it trivializes it. You don’t want it, and it can be a big deal.
Herpes is linked to cervical and genital cancer (Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute).
Herpes is being researched in connection to brain cancer/tumors
In 2002 scientists showed that (herpes) was active in the brain tumors but not the surrounding healthy tissue” … “researchers reported .. that the virus has the ability to take over a cell’s braking mechanism and cause uncontrolled reproduction. (www.scientificamerican.com)
Herpes can infect your baby during delivery and maim or even kill your child. So you may require a cesarean delivery. Yet even then, ~10 percent of newborn herpes cases are contracted after birth, and carry similar risks to your baby. (www.babycenter.com).  I refrain from showing pictures of beautiful babies with their face and head covered in 100’s of bumps and ulcerations.

Ok, ok, you get it .. maybe you’ll just give the guy a hand-job then, or you Casanovas will simply finger her. That’s safe .. right?

finger
Did you know that herpes can infect your hands? Yes it can. It’s called herpetic finger, or whitlow finger. And it can be really nasty. (www.nhs.uk). And remember, herpes can still infect a person in the absence of any sores.

It is even theoretically possible to spread your own infection to other body parts. While you do generate antibodies, if you play with a cold sore on your lip, and then play with your genitals … it isn’t inconceivable that you can self-spread the virus. This hasn’t been studied, and most of the posts I have seen discourage this thought, but they don’t say it’s impossible. And why would it be impossible? If it’s a re-occurring infection, that can spread from your lips to your tongue and to your throat, is it so hard to imagine (the possibility) that a female who rubs a cold sore on her tongue with her finger and inserts her finger then into her vagina, might infect her vagina?  It’s something to mull over.

Third problem:

The truth is many  STIs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of people infected. Or they have mild signs that can be easily overlooked. This is why the term “disease” (as in STD) is starting to be replaced by infection (or STI). The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested.

But even if you are responsible (or value your health) enough to have your partner (and yourself) tested, you still might get infected or infect others. Testing is not foolproof and you usual require several different tests to eliminate everything. Plus, there are windows of inoculation to consider. And some things just can’t be tested for.
First, it is important to realize that neither blood tests nor physical exams will identify all STDs, although doing both an exam and blood tests can pinpoint most. (www.healthsearchonline.com). 
Yeah … only says “most”.

Case in point:
 Before having vaginal or anal intercourse with new partners, be sure you've both been tested for STIs. Keep in mind that human papillomavirus (HPV) screening isn't available for men. No good screening test exists for genital herpes for either sex, so you may not be aware you're infected until you have symptoms … It's also possible to be infected with an STI yet still test negative, particularly if you've recently been infected. (www.mayoclinic.org).
So HPV (genital warts) just sprung up in that quote as a big red flag. It might surprise you that it’s even more common-place than herpes, and has earned the distinction of being the most common STI. In fact, 1 in 4 men in the USA have genital warts. (www.cbsnews.com).

You may think a wart is unsightly, but not really a big deal. Yet, imagine large warts plugging the urethra, or growing by the dozens inside the vagina. Given how difficult it is to get a wart off your foot, imagine them spreading through the virginal canal. Further imagine them growing and spreading in your mouth, on your tongue, even in your throat. And they contribute mightily to the development of various cancers. And they can transverse a condom’s protection, and be infective even in the absence of a wart.

HPV is like asbestos .. it gives you cancer. The `Center for Disease Control and Prevention’ states that: 
HPV causes most cervical cancers, as well as some cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum, and oropharynx (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). (www.cdc.gov).
There are 14 high-risk HPV types that have been clearly shown to cause invasive cervical cancer," (says) lead researcher Jennifer Smith, PhD. These strains cause at least 90% of all cervical cancers, as well as other genital cancers. (www.webmd.com)
I would venture to say that one aspect of societies growing incidence of cancer, in part finds its buoyancy from the ever expanding incidence of STDs: which progressively is a consequence of the decline in cultural morality.

Exposure Risks – Indirect Partners:

Even if you’re a virgin and your partner has only been with one prior person, there is a very real exposure risk to disease. Your exposure to STDs is dependent on the number of partners you partner has had, which is called “indirect partners”. And it’s really quite unsettling when you realize how high that number is. And it really explains why the incidence of STDs is so high.

Here is a link for an indirect partner calculator. (Indirect Partner Calculator).

This calculator works on the concept of the `Six Degrees of Separation theory’: Meaning, that everybody is connected to each other through six other people. And this principle is used to show that if you engage in sex without a condom, you’re also (from a parasitic viewpoint) having sex with everyone they’ve slept with, and so on, and so on. And the numbers are mind boggling. Simply mind boggling. Try it if you dare. Scared straight indeed.

Note: herpetic finger image: http://pedemmorsels.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Whitlow.jpg

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