This is in response to Dave Franzese’s Wednesday Hump (“The Pill Isn’t Your Ticket to Condom-Free Sex,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 16).
Dave, the title of your Wednesday Hump seemed to have an informative message encouraging sexually active people to wear condoms regardless of if a partner is on the pill. You stated that, “If … one person is penetrating the other one, both of them have the right to know about anything and anyone that has ever gone into one of your body cavities. This means partners, drugs and contraception — all of it.”
I am not the only person who may disagree with your statement. I’m not about to disclose my entire sexual history to a partner whom I may only be interested in hooking up with during some arbitrary period of my life. A person may know my history if they ask, because I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about decisions I’ve made. Although I do not find it necessary to know, a partner of mine may. I release the information because I choose to, not because my hook-up buddy has the right to know.
I do believe a person should be aware of a contagious infection or anything that can be spread, but it is the responsibility of the participants to questions and inform by choice. The parties involved should not only protect him or herself, but also protect the other person.
As mentioned in your Hump, there are heated moments of passion when people will not want to have a calm, adult discussion about the subject; however, that is a choice they make. Even in cases where the partners do talk, the reality is that many times there is a risk of deception within the sexual relationship. Unless you see a woman take the pill everyday, you may not fully trust that she is on it and isn’t interested in getting pregnant. A woman may lie about contraceptive use in the heat of the moment because she is interested in “the fuck.”
Exposing all past actions to someone in a superficial relationship — “make-out buddies,” “fuck buddies,” “boy/girlfriend and girl/boyfriend,” or “friends with benefits” — whatever the case may be, can have negative affects on people’s emotions. If an individual has more or less experience than another participant, it may cause feelings of insufficiency or another may feel too domineering. Going over the roster has no relevancy to the satisfaction of the sex as long as all parties involved are on the same page.
For example, if one participant is not interested in having sex and the other person is, they should recognize and respect the other person’s intentions. It should be made clear what expectations are so that misunderstandings do not occur. If a virgin wants to engage in sexual congress, his or her partner doesn’t have the right to know that he or she has never had sex prior to this occasion. It is any individual’s right to expose any aspect of his or her life by choice. Like you said, communication is key.
One hopes that people get checked up regularly, are not infected or, if they know they are, will be honest or forthcoming about such information. That way, when you make your booty call to that person you ran into and haven’t seen since last quarter’s awful History 4A class, you can make sure he or she doesn’t give your genitals some unwelcome gift.
My opinion is the same for drugs. A person is shaped by his or her past. It is his or her choice, however, to release that information — unless you obtain an existing public police record. The choice to use illegal substances and break the law is the right of the individual, as long as that choice’s doesn’t infringe on another human being’s right to happiness. It’s called free will.
The message of your past article, to wear a condom regardless of if a partner is on the pill, is a positive one. My opinion against your column’s secondary advice — to divulge everything to every partner — is even more supportive of that message. Whether or not you believe you have the right to know someone’s entire history, others may disagree. My advice, wear a condom — no matter what.
Sarah Niss is a senior global studies major.