Bleats

STIs Are On The Rise In Australia Because Of, Well, Swiping Right

But there's more to it than sleeping with everyone whom you've swiped right on.<br />

Dating is not easy and there are a heap of apps out there to to help us all find someone, whether it’s “the one” or a partner to get your casual consensual bone on with.

But while dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr have helped many Aussies find companionship over the last few years, scientists have found a worrying rise in STIs that coincides with the increasing number of people doing the naked tango after swiping right.

According to national health data from the Kirby Institute (via ABC News), 2017 saw a mind-boggling 100,755 cases of chlamydia in Australia, which represents an increase of 13% since 2014. Worryingly for a good portion of Aussies, three-quarters of those cases were aged between 15 to 29 years of age. It’s not just chlamydia either as the data revealed over 28,000 gonorrhoea and over 4,000 syphilis cases in that same year.

While STIs have been on the rise over the last few years in Australia, Queensland has copped it particularly hard as stats show a rise in chlamydia figures from 21,000 in 2014 to 23,000 in 2018, as well as an increase of 2,000 gonorrehoea cases and triple the number of syphilis cases over the same period.

Sure we had an eye-watering amount of young people getting freaky at Splendour In The Grass and passing chlamydia around like a joint at a 70s party, but the causes of this increase in STIs are a bit more complex than debauchery at Australia’s rapidly-shrinking list of music festivals.

You get an STI, you get an STI, everyone gets an STI!

This rising number of STIs in Australia isn’t because people are having banging more, but because folks are having sex with different networks of people they meet through Tinder, Bumble, and other dating apps.

Researchers say apps like Tinder give people increased access to potential partners in their area with just one swipe, resulting in more casual hook-ups with those not normally in someone’s regular social circle and thus not really learning about each other’s sexual history until, well, they get chlamydia.

However, the rise in STIs Down Under can’t be all pinned on folks swiping right too often as Australia’s poor sexual health education in schools is also a major factor. When a Netflix show called Sex Education provides more info on how to properly put on a condom than what they teach at schools, then Australia has a serious problem with how it educates young people about sexual health.

And no, abstinence-only education doesn’t work or count as sex ed because it’s about as effective trying take down a rabid tiger with a fly swatter.

If you don’t know what’s going on here, please read up everything on sexual health right now or watch Sex Education.

So if you’re a frequent user of dating apps, please do yourself and every potential partner a favour by being sexually responsible. Getting to know each other’s sexual history, going for regular check-ups, and wearing a condom is much easier than dealing with a fiery bout of chlamydia that you caught at Splendour In The Grass.

The Male Contraceptive Pill Is Closer To Reality Than You Think, But Don't Give Up Condoms Just Yet

This is a big step forward in birth control.

There have been many forms of birth control that have become available over the last few decades, almost all of which has been for women.

Whereas men have either condoms, vasectomies, or abstinence (which doesn’t really work), women have an almost obscene number of birth control measures that includes pills, injects, devices, and gels.

But thanks to a revolutionary breakthrough in male contraceptives, we may soon get the first effective male birth control pill.

In a new month-long study by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Washington, 30 men were given a pill similar to the female contraceptive pill while 10 others were given a placebo.

Whereas past studies into male contraceptive pills didn’t go anywhere, this yielded positive results. Researchers found that sperm production fell in those participants taking the contraceptive pill.

More encouragingly were the lack of serious side effects that have derailed past studies, though there were some minor symptoms such as acne, headaches, and decreased libido. But hey, if science can keep putting robots on Mars successfully, it can easily iron out some minor kinks with that pill.

And besides, men are in no position to whinge about birth control making them uncomfortable given what women have had to put up with for decades.

Now before people start throwing out their condoms, this yet-to-be-published study was only a preliminary one that assessed safety and hormonal responses in men, and has yet to be submitted for approval by the FDA.

While the pill has been deemed safe, much more research is needed to figure out if the pill is actually good at, you know, preventing pregnancies.

The study’s lead-researcher Dr. Christina Wang says we’re still about a decade way from male contraceptive pills hitting shelves at the earliest, meaning that condoms and vasectomies remain the only options for men.

This is understandably a long-term project but the results will definitely be worth it if the pill works. And besides, men sharing more of the birth control burden is long overdue so here’s hoping this all pans out.

Why Is Sexual Dysfunction The Only Thing Rising For Aussie Males?

There's definitely more to it than blaming it on being tired or whiskey dick.

Let’s assume you’re a standard Australian bloke who is out with their partner one night. Dinner was fantasitc, the conversation flowed even better than the wine, and there was enough chemistry between the two of you to make Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga seem limp.

Both of you make it back home and your partner is starting to push things towards hot and heavy territory. But try as you might, it just isn’t working. You may have finished too early, not at all, felt anxious, or even just didn’t “feel” it at all.

If this sounds familiar then that’s because it’s something that’s affecting a staggeringly high number of Aussie males.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over half of men aged between 18-55 have experienced some sort of sexual dysfunction or difficulty.

Sorry, it just ain’t happening tonight. Or any night.

The data didn’t come from a small scale survey on all the guys at the local gym or pub either. Over 12,000 men were involved in a 2016 study from the Australian Longitudinal Study On Male Health and 54% sexually active blokes reported having at least one sexual problem or dysfunction, including premature ejaculation, not climaxing at all, anxiety, or just lacking interest in sex.

However, sexual dysfunction doesn’t just mean erectile dysfunction and with data from the study reporting that only 14% of blokes across all age groups suffering from non-responsive trouser snakes, that suggests something else is afoot.

So here’s the big question, why is sexual dysfunction the only thing rising for Aussie guys?

Yep, that just happened.

There are a few possible reasons why blokes Down Under are struggling down under, some of it physical and some of it psychological.

The image of a manly man who oozes manliness and takes the initiative in all encounters with potential partners is something that’s dominated our culture for many decades, and living up to that image may be giving blokes bedroom problems.

A 2014 study looked into this link between masculinity pressure and bedroom performance and found that guys exposed to these sorts of manly environments were more vulnerable to sexual dysfunction than those who weren’t.

So manly.

The stresses and anxieties of life, work, and maintaining a relationship can also play a part in why Australian males are struggling in the bedroom. Keeping your head in a good mental space is important for anything and juggling work problems and other underlying psychological potholes unbeknownst to you while you’re  trying to have shower sex with your partner is a difficult thing to do.

And lastly, if your physical health is poor then you’ll be experiencing a greater number of sexual difficulties, unsurprisingly. Much like keeping your head in a good space, keeping yourself in shape will go towards ensuring your body and body parts are in good working order.

To sum up, there are a variety problems as to why Australian males are struggling with sexual dysfunction, some physical and some psychological. So please take care of yourselves, guys, and know that you’re not alone out there.

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