It’s good to read something by someone trying to break out of the absurdly Victorian morality that is still far too prevalent in the USA. Fear and repression pervade nearly every aspect of life.

One small point, while safe sex is always a good plan, it’s also important not to misrepresent risk — something we humans are terrible at because our brains reason from anecdote rather than from data. There was a report issued by the CDC (about a decade ago or more, if I remember correctly) that showed if we are middle-class with a job and a health plan (in the USA) and we are sexually promiscuous with other members of this demographic (e.g. not with intravenous drug users, not with bisexual men, etc.) then our lifetime risk of contracting an incurable sexual disease such as HIV or genital herpes is actually three times less than our lifetime risk of being struck by lightning (which, for those terrified of dying in a lightning strike, is 0.0003%).

Because there’s so much emphasis on fear with regard to sexuality in the USA, the STD risk is frequently over-stressed; it’s part of that quasi-morality “if you have sex, bad things will happen to you” message. Again, I’m by no means advocating foregoing safe sex methods; I’m merely trying to say that we should try to be data-driven rather than anecdote-driven when we assess risk and thereby its influence on our beliefs.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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