Ah, Valentine’s Day! The day of flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, candle lit dinners and… sex! Yup, while Valentine’s Day often gets the rep of just being cheesy and all about commercial stuff, we all know that Valentine's Day sex is the best part of the holiday. Personally, I subscribe to the Dan Savage school of “f*ck first,” which is basically just that you should get the sexing out of the way before the heavy meal/booze/date part of Valentine’s Day so that you don’t get too full/drunk/tired to do it later. It’s a good method — trust me.
But whether you’re getting it on before, during, or after the main event on Valentine’s Day, a lot of you are having sex on February 14. According to the 2017 Millennial Sex Survey by SKYN Condoms, which surveyed over 3,000 men and women, ages 18-34, 68 percent of Millennials say that Valentine’s Day is the occasion on which they have the most sex. (It beat out a person’s wedding day by almost double, with only 37 percent saying that was they day they had the most sex!)
And here’s another fun fact: While you celebrate love and romance and sex on Valentine’s Day, February 14 also marks a different “holiday.” It's National Condom Day! Now, before you write it off because condoms are definitely not as exciting roses and wine, let’s take a closer look at why we should all be shouting the praises of condoms from the rooftops — and definitely using them on Valentine’s Day.
First of all, clean up is much easier when you use a condom. It’s just a fact! I’m all about the intimacy of skin-to-skin contact, sure, but I can’t say I know too many people who love being reminded of their earlier romp by ejaculate slowly dripping out of their body for the rest of the day. Too graphic? Too bad. That’s reality.
While I’m not into fear mongering as a way to get people to protect themselves, I do want to share some stats with you: According to the CDC, in 2015, total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were at their highest ever. When you break down the numbers, you see that people between the ages of 15 and 24 accounted for almost two-thirds of chlamydia cases and half of gonorrhea cases. And while STIs affect the health of both men and women, it's young women who face the most serious long-term health consequences. The CDC estimates that undiagnosed STIs are responsible for infertility in over 20,000 women each year. Scary right? But using condoms consistently (and correctly) can reduce your STI risk.
Not totally sold on the Condom Day thing yet? Here are four more condom-related facts from the 2017 Millennial Sex Survey by SKYN that might sway you.
1(Almost) Everybody’s Doing It
According to the survey, 65 percent of Millennials report using condoms “always,” “sometimes,” or “most of the time.” And I’m presenting this factoid with a caveat. On the one hand, I want to high-five and praise those of you who are wrapping it up. On the other hand, I feel like this number should be higher. On the other other hand, (what, you don’t have three hands?), I know that a lot of people choose to use alternative forms of protection if they’re in a monogamous relationship. So, in conclusion: Condoms are great. Keep using them.
2Condoms Make You Confident
Not sure exactly what the correlation is here, but apparently 61 percent of condom users say that they’re “amazing” or “very good” in bed, compared with 41 percent of non-users. Maybe there’s just something about not having to worry about unplanned pregnancy and/or STIs that makes people more enthusiastic? Just a guess.
3The Condom-Buying Gender Gap
While only nine percent of males surveyed said they’d never purchased condoms, a whopping 38 percent of women said the same. Ladies! They’re for your protection and comfort too! After all, it’s your body that has the potential to carry that unplanned pregnancy and women are more likely to contract STIs and than men.
If you just feel weird going into the store and buying a box, check out these two female-owned condom companies: Lovability and Sustain. Lovability’s condoms come in awesome, feminist tins that protect your rubbers in your purse and Sustain’s are totally eco-friendly. Both have great packaging that won’t embarrass you if they accidentally fall out of your bag. Score!
4They’re Great For One-Night Stands
So, this one also needs a caveat. Of the two-thirds of respondents who had a one-night stand at some point, 62 percent used a condom. Those people are awesome! Keep up the great work! And let’s all work to make that number higher, shall we? I’m thinking like… 100 percent.
So this Valentine’s Day, why not make it a double holiday and add some condoms to the list of things you’ll use to celebrate? Because, as you can see above, they’re basically the greatest.