Youth Blog

Youth Blog

The Shocking Secret to Safe Sex

You won’t believe the best-kept secret to having safe sex! It’ll blow your mind!

Consume anything from the mainstream news, brush up against pop culture at all, and you’ll know that “safe sex” is all the rage these days…but you probably don’t know that all these journalists, celebs, and perhaps even your teachers and doctors have been holding out on you. There’s a simple trick to safe sex that almost no one is talking about, but I’m willing to spill the beans:

Want safe sex? Keep it monogamous and with your opposite-sex spouse.

Not what you wanted to hear? Well, that’s precisely the problem.

A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Newfoundland and Labrador saw its first case of congenital syphilis in 2018. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease which, if left untreated, can cause serious damage (like arthritis, brain disorders, and blindness), or even death. Congenital syphilis refers to the passing of this disease from a pregnant woman to her baby, which, if not fatal for the child, can result in “severe lifelong physical and developmental concerns.”

The response from the government was: “Use condoms and get tested."


Why? Because at the turn of the century, everyone was anticipating the eradication of syphilis in North America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a plan in October 1999 literally titled, “The National Plan to Eliminate Syphilis from the United States.” It stated, “Primary prevention activities, such as interventions to reduce risky sexual activity or increase condom use play a critical role in syphilis elimination” and “condom social marketing and peer-provided health education . . . should be prominent parts of STD programs in any community with sustained syphilis transmission.” It was asserted that “[c]ondoms should be widely distributed to those who need them,” and suggested that public health departments provide them for free.

Syphilis was not eliminated though. In fact, the United States saw reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis go from 5,979 in 2000 to 30,644 in 2017, which the CDC reports is mainly attributable to men having sex with men. Canada saw a similar increase. The Interim reports that “[n]ew cases of syphilis . . . rose from 501 in 1998 to 4,551 in 2015.”

A 2002 article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal posed the question: “Syphilis: Have we dropped the ball?” Authors Erica Weir and David Fishman noted that “[t]hree years ago it looked as if we were on the brink of eliminating syphilis in Canada” but the course of syphilis reversed, with “[t]he rate . . . increasing among both men and women.” Their prescription to this problem was stated thusly: “Prevention: The correct and consistent use of condoms can reduce the risk of transmission.”

The key words are “reduce the risk” as condoms can’t and won’t always prevent the transmission of syphilis, which is why the push for condom usage hasn’t produced the intended health outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that syphilis can be transferred from areas not covered by a condom. Furthermore, an estimated 1.6-3.6% of condoms slip or break. The effectiveness of a condom is diminished if used past the expiration date, or if stored in places like a pocket, wallet, or car (as the material is then weakened by friction or hot or cold temperatures—even just body heat).

Syphilis should be extinct. If there was a vaccine against syphilis, and yet the disease still saw this level of resurgence due to a lack of vaccination and herd immunity, all the pro-vaxxers would be up in arms. But there isn’t a vaccine and abstaining from non-marital sex doesn’t seem fun or easy, so instead of being wiped out, syphilis has exploded. Even more worryingly, a new antibiotic resistant strain has emerged and begun to spread.

And syphilis is just one item in a long list of STDs, and condoms can’t provide foolproof protection against any of them. In the United States, 1 in 2 sexually active young adults will get a STD by the time they’re 25.

Condoms =/= safe sex.

One of the biggest promoters of this false idea of “safe sex,” Planned Parenthood, themselves admit that 15 out of every 100 couples using condoms as their sole method of birth control will get pregnant in the year. They suggest using another method of birth control like the pill or IUD in addition to condoms, but neglect to mention that these other methods of birth control, which override a woman’s natural reproductive system, come with a whole host of their own problems. The pill, for instance, is listed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, because it is known to increase a woman’s risk of breast and cervical cancer. Many contraceptives are also abortifacient, i.e. they can prevent an embryo from implanting in the uterus.

And yet, again, hardly anyone is sharing this information. Planned Parenthood certainly doesn’t.  

When you choose to save sex for marriage, with a commitment to fidelity and fecundity, you spare yourself from STDs and the side effects of birth control. You help ensure that any children conceived will first of all survive, and subsequently, will grow up in a stable household with a mother and father. You protect yourself not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

That’s the best-kept secret of genuinely safe sex, and the tragedy is, it shouldn’t be a secret at all. So, now that you’re privy to it, join me in the bean-spilling.