The act of sex is often compared to fireworks since both tend to involve heat, exciting noises, and explosions of all kinds. Yet the comparison ends when it comes to completing the event safely. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents requires that people follow dozens of rules before planning a firework display; however, many sexual partners disregard safety when it comes to their own fiery displays of passion, skipping out on talks about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the use of protection.

This is what we found after surveying 1,000 Europeans and 1,000 Americans. We asked them about using protection during sex, their concerns about unprotected sex, and their willingness to openly engage with their partners about preventing sexually transmitted infections. 

Although these forthright conversations with a sexual partner may be a turnoff, they’re preferable to a disease or unwanted pregnancy. While fireworks have tallied up thousands of victims, the damage of various STIs numbers in the millions. Continue reading to learn more. 

Rates of Unprotected Sex, by Continent


When it comes to Americans versus Europeans, Americans tend to have more unprotected sex by a full ten percentage points. While we can only guess as to why this is the case, it might have something to do with the fact that many American men are circumcised whereas European men typically are not. In recent years, some studies have shown that circumcision can decrease the risk of certain STDs – incorrectly leading some men to conclude that they don’t need to use condoms. It is also interesting to note that both American and European women reported using less protection every time than their male counterparts. To explain this discrepancy, perhaps men are having sex with more partners overall. Or women are wearing rose-colored glasses. 

It goes without saying that skipping protection regularly is an unnecessary risk, especially when there are confidential services that deliver sexual health supplies to your door

Unwanted Pregnancy and the Rate of Risky Sex


We selected study participants who said they would be devastated if their partner got pregnant and asked them how often they engaged in unprotected sex. Nearly 1 in 5 of these respondents had unprotected sex every single time.  

Additionally, 15.2 percent of respondents who aren’t ready for kids have unprotected sex almost every time, while 12.7 percent engage in this behaviour sometimes. Still, only 14.8 percent of respondents who indicated they would be devastated if their partner got pregnant never have unprotected sex

Asking Partners to Get Tested


More than half of respondents – 68.4 percent – said they never ask potential sexual partners to get tested beforehand

Only 16.8 percent of sexually active participants ask their partners to get tested “sometimes,” which was followed by 6.6 percent asking partners to get checked for potential STIs “most of the time.” Further, 4.9 percent asked lovers “almost every time,” and 3.3 percent requested partners get checked “every single time” before sexual activity.

Asking Partners to Get Tested: Men vs. Women


While previous data showed that women generally reported higher rates of unprotected sex than men, the graphic above shows they are more willing to ask their current (or most recent) partner to get tested for STIs. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 women was likely to ask his or her lover to validate sexual health. In contrast, only 11.7 percent of men were likely to make this request. 

Prevention and Communication Go Hand in Hand

Talking about STI and unwanted pregnancy prevention doesn’t have to put out the fire in a relationship. Open and honest communication about sexual health allows partners to quell fears and focus more on strengthening their sexual bond over time.

When the time comes, Superdrug Online Doctor provides convenient sexual health services that save both time and awkwardness for you and your partner. Whether your needs include contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy, test kits for STIs, or treatment for specific STIs, Superdrug Online Doctor can help you meet them all. Address these health needs and more without the embarrassing visit to your GP. Try our free standard shipping today.

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