Valentine's Day is fast approaching. What a perfect time to talk about condoms.
Catholic and Jewish teachings oppose the use of condoms. For Catholics it is based on opposition to contraception. Normative Judaism permits women to only take precautions to avoid pregnancy but that excludes condoms.
In the beginning, when God created Adam and Eve and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, the human population was infinitesimal. Disease, especially sexually transmitted infections, had not yet come into the world.
It is the 21st century. Our population is in the billions -- seven to be precise. Too many of our people live in extreme poverty. Infant mortality is too high. Too many mothers are dying in childbirth. Children are growing up seeking food in garbage dumps. And too many people are dying from sexually transmitted infections.
We need to come together and rethink the meaning of "Choose life for you and your seed." We need to think of condoms as disease preventers, rather than just contraception. We need to think about the infections we can reduce and perhaps eliminate with the use of condoms as well as the number of people we can save.
It was back in November that I read a report from Tom Blackwell about a new type of condom that is treated with a silver solution. This solution, the result of nanotechnology, turns condoms into disease killers. The University of Manitoba has experimented with silver nanoparticles and reported that these condoms appear to kill HIV and herpes in lab experiments."The infectiousness of the virus could be completely inactivated."
Condoms have a 15% failure rate, yet these specially treated condoms still prevent the transmission of disease. Dr. Xiaojian Yao, medical microbiologist and lead author of the study is also hopeful that these silver-treated condoms will prevent the spread of sexually transmitted illnesses in countries like India, developing countries, where children scavenging in garbage dumps come into contact with used condoms.
Sexually transmitted infections travel around the world, faster than ever before. Untreated STIs lead to infertility and death, especially in our young people, so many of whom seem to be ignorant of the many ways that STIs are transmitted. We are all aware of the fact that young people engage in risky behaviour. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part that deals with mature thinking, does not completely develop until the late teens, early 20s.
Young people engage in risky behaviour partly because of that lack of maturity in the brain. It is our responsibility to help them stay healthy. Not only do we need to educate them, we need to encourage them to use condoms if they are going to engage in risky behaviour. We already make them wear helmets and seatbelts, and deny them access to tobacco and alcohol until they are 19. Why would we let them play Russian roulette with their sexual health and well-being?
Walking in God's ways includes being co-creators with God. There are some amongst us who with God's grace have been given wisdom that helps to save lives, especially the vulnerable. With the knowledge we have now about STIs, it is incumbent upon us to share it with the world, even if the information that we have contradicts a particular doctrine or creed of a particular religion. The Judeo-Christian ethic demands of us that we care for the weak, the oppressed and that we provide for the sick. We can now prevent sickness that we could not prevent before. It is our obligation to remove the stumbling blocks that keep us from providing the best health care possible.
Have a happy and safe Valentine's Day.
<strong>Take a Cue from 50 "Shades of Grey "</strong> Using sex toys is a very practical way to spice up your sex life, and should be encouraged as long both partners are agreeable. Ultimately, one of the reasons "Fifty Shades" is so great is that it was about honesty and transparency in a relationship, and that communication and discussion makes for better sex. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/mondays-with-marlo-why-50-shades-of-grey-is-great-dr-oz_n_1764306.html?1344876406">Watch</a>
<strong>Synchronize Your Orgasms</strong> If timing is an issue between partners, the partner who is slower to climax may want to work on getting aroused more beforehand. Vibrators are also an option and some can even be worn for hands-free stimulation. There is also a new cream for men called Promescent than can prevent premature ejaculation. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/01/his-and-hers-orgasms-from_n_1178748.html">Watch</a>
<strong>Find Your Body's Erogenous Zones</strong> It's not all about the obvious spots. There may be many parts of your body you've overlooked when it comes to sex and sensuality. After all, our entire bodies are a map of interconnected nerves, so a slow and sensuous exploration of one another's bodies may yield some surpises for both of you. From the ankles to the nape of the neck or the small of the back, experiment with light touch and try varying degrees of massage pressure. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/your-bodys-erogenous-zones-from-dr-pepper-schwartz_n_2025782.html?1351519268">Watch</a>
<strong>Up Your Libibo By Losing That Belly</strong> For men, testosterone levels may vary, but losing belly fat can up your libido because a big belly actually converts testosterone into estrogen! <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/mondays-with-marlo-upping-a-libido-dr-oz_n_1764893.html?1344876920">Watch</a>
<strong>Connect Emotionally for Better Sex</strong> The best way to improve your sex life is to improve the emotional connection in your relationship. Communication and safety are key in telling your lover what you do and don't like. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/mondays-with-marlo-how-to-have-better-sex_n_1711507.html?1345472329">Watch</a>
Keeping Sex Interesting In Your Marriage Make it a surprise every time, don't have expectations and don't analyze as its happening. Sex should be spontaneous and natural, and that will keep it fresh. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/watch-keeping-sex-interesting-in-your-marriage_n_1644293.html?1341528631">Watch</a>
<strong>Experiment With Bondage</strong> Consentual light bondage can really spice up a couples sex life, but sometimes there is a temptation to keep pushing the envelope. If there is any concern on either partners part about venturing too far, a simple discussion and agreement about boundaries can keep the experimentation fun and comfortable for both parties. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/11/watch-experimenting-with-_n_1509921.html?1337009935">Watch</a>
<strong>Do Not Resist the Biological Imperative</strong> Sex is a biological imperative that in humans has taken on added dimensions. Music, soap operas, art and movies are all influenced by it. Joy has its own biology, and when we suppress that impulse, we see deviant behaviors emerge. So give in to your healthy impulses. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/deepak-chopra-on-the-heal_n_881240.html">Watch</a>
<strong>Explore Your Man's Secret G-Spot</strong> Men do have a hidden G-spot, but many men are a bit squeamish about it. It's the prostate gland and men can actually achieve orgasm just from its stimulation. Dr. Pepper Schwartz discussed how to find this special spot on a man, and revealed an unexpected benefit of engaging in this sexual practice. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/hidden-g-spot-on-men-from-dr-pepper-schwartz-marlo-thomas-mondays-with-marlo_n_2024572.html">Watch</a>
<strong>Let Sex Improve Your Longevity</strong> The data is very clear that sex improves our health. Men who increase their weekly sex activity from once to twice a week can increase their life expectancy by up to three years. For women it is not the frequency but intimacy that makes the difference, but for all of us, the connection with another that truly heals. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/mondays-with-marlo-health-benefits-of-sex-dr-oz_n_1764967.html?1344877015">Watch</a>
<strong>Forget These Three Myths</strong> 1) Sex drive diminishes with age 2) Passion Can't Exist in Long Term relationship 3) Female orgasm can only happen through intercourse None of the above are true, so don't believe it when people tell you "That's just the way it is."<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/dr-pepper-schwartz-three-sex-myths-dispelled-mondays-with-marlo_n_2025444.html?1351522937">Watch</a>
<strong>Enjoy Foods That Are Aphrodisiacs</strong> We've all heard that oysters and chocolate can have an aphrodisiac effect because they trigger some of the same feelings we experience when we fall in love. But Ellie Krieger says that the <em>way </em>we eat can also stimulate the sex drive. For a more tactile, sensual experience try eating and feeding one another foods that we eat with our fingers -- maybe a shrimp cocktail or something like that. It's the interaction and tehesharing of the sensual experience that really does the trick.