Sexual health is more important than ever, but nearly half of men admit they've never undergone STD testing—eek!
Dudes can be seriously gross. They drink milk from the jug, adjust the boys in public, and consider peeing in the general vicinity of the toilet to be good enough. (Okay, not all men! But we've seen it happen.) But while those may be icky habits, there's one downright nasty flaw that goes way beyond bad hygiene: Nearly half of all men say they've never, even been tested for STDs, according to a shocking new survey.
Fertility awareness app Kindara wanted to know what exactly men and women consider "safe" sex, so they asked 1,000 people to open up about what happens behind closed doors. Of the sexually active men surveyed, 44 percent fessed up to never having been tested for sexually transmitted diseases. But it's not just guys playing Russian roulette with their privates—30 percent of women said they've never been checked either. That's something to think about that the next time you're considering a one night stand. Especially since, when it comes to STDs, you're basically sleeping with every partner your partner has slept with—and those numbers (and your risks) add up fast. (It's no surprise that the CDC says We're In the Midst of an STD Epidemic!)
Speaking of The Number, men reported having sex with more partners than women, with nearly half saying they had slept with more than eight people (and nine percent said they'd slept with more than 41 partners!). And if those numbers make you raise an eyebrow, Kindara adds that previous surveys have shown that people are more likely to under-report than over-report the number of partners they've had. Yikes! On the other hand, nearly half of women said they'd had less than three sexual partners and were twice as likely to say they'd had sex with someone before being emotionally ready. (How Do Your Sex Numbers Compare?)
All of this highlights the importance of really knowing someone and being able to have an open, honest conversation about sexual histories before hitting the sheets. Not sure how? You need to be blunt, Nicole Prouse, Ph.D., a human sexuality researcher, told us. "Data shows that when people say 'I'm clean' what they really mean is they haven't seen any active growths and when they say they've 'tested clean' they're usually only talking about HIV," she explains.
Translation: Sex questions need to get pretty explicit. The simplest way is to just ask him when he was last tested and what diseases he was tested for—and then be prepared to offer the same information about yourself! (Because of course you're getting regularly tested, right?) It may not be the hottest conversation, you've ever had but it may be one of the most important. (And make sure you're asking these 7 OTher Questions Before Having Sex with Him.)