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Being in a serious relationship has a lot perks, but contrary to popular belief sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may not be one of them.
A recent study found that, couples in monogamous relationships are just as likely to get an STD as those who are in ‘open’ relationships with multiple sexual partners.
Infidelity is the reason for this surprising conclusion. The notion that the only people who get STDs are promiscuous people isn’t true as this study which was published in the Journal of Sexual Health examined the sexual history of 556 adult participants.
351 were in a monogamous relationship while 205 were in consensual, non-monogamous “open” relationships (they had one main partner but still slept with other people).
Participants were asked various questions on their sex life such as, the number of lifetime partners, whether they have been faithful, if their partners knew about their infidelity as well as how often they used condoms and how often they got tested for STDs.
The study presented some interesting results, as no measurable difference in STD rates amongst those in monogamous and open relationships were found. According to Medical Daily “The numbers themselves could not explain why people who only slept with one person at a time had the same rate of STDs as those who openly slept with many people; the volunteers’ sexual history gave a clue.”
Strangely enough, individuals who were in monogamous relationships reported using condoms less and getting fewer STD check-ups than those individuals in open relationships.
In a perfect world were monogamy actually meant being monogamous, that would be fine but unfortunately, we as humans are anything but perfect as about a quarter of the individuals in so- called monogamous relationships admit to cheating.
“75 percent reported that their partners had no idea of their infidelity.”
On the other side of things 72 percent of those in open relationships admitted to sleeping with someone other than their main partner but only 39 percent said that their partner was unaware of their sexual activity externally.
Lead researcher, Justin Lehmiller said, “The present findings reveal that monogamy is often implemented imperfectly, persons who have made monogamy agreements often break them, and when they do, they are less likely to take safety precautions”.
Do you still believe that you’re not at risk because you’re in a monogamous relationship and therefore you can use condoms less?
Sources: The Journal of Sexual Medicine 2015 and Medical Daily