Most of you know the risks: If you're having unprotected sex, you’re playing with fire. Still, 20 million Americans contract sexually transmitted infections each year, with much higher numbers around the world. Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist who founded L. Condoms, points out that the situation in Africa is much, much worse: “HIV has killed more than all the wars, famines, floods, and deadly disease combined,” she says. So why aren’t people just wrapping it up? While in Africa it’s largely an issue of access and education, “In America you can go to any corner store to buy a condom." (Her company helps contribute and distribute condoms to people in need.) As for Americans, Frenkel suggests that a large reason people don't use them is the idea that they're somehow less pleasurable—a problem her company L. Condoms is trying to remedy. But considering how easily it is for viruses to survive in our warm, friendly nether-regions, a little more pleasure is a terrible trade off.
As it turns out, April is STD Awareness Month, so what better time to tackle one of the world's toughest health issues? But while it’s easy to wag a finger and explain risks in the abstract, on a personal level we’ve likely all had our own drunken mistakes and lapses in judgement. The slides that follow are for everyone that has found themselves in a planned parenthood contemplating their own mortality or examining their junk with a magnifying glass on the bathroom floor (most people, basically). Rather than rely on hearsay or your own amateur medical assessment, however, here's a round-up of some common infections and conditions that arise from unprotected sex to show you exactly what you're dealing with. Maybe after reading this you’ll finally decide to wear a fucking condom.
A word of warning to the squeamish. What you're about to see isn't pretty.