Myth #1: "If I already had unprotected sex there's nothing I can do to prevent pregnancy."
Or perhaps the condom failed. Either way, ladies, there's always E.C. (Emergency Contraception), which thus far has escaped any of the legal snares that would limit its availability in the same sluggish manner RU-486 was besieged by moral posturing and congressional scrutiny before its FDA approval."
To the men engaging in this behavior: you're screwed, literally, so pay attention. In the event of an unplanned pregnancy, it's half your fault and therefore half your responsibility, which is an even better argument for protection than waiting around for a paternity suit, mysterious sores or a yellowish discharge from down thar.
Basically, emergency contraception makes your system sufficiently inhospitable to sperm to prevent fertilization or the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining; thus it is not a form of chemical abortion, so don't let the shrieking protestors get to you. It is available in two forms, pills or a copper T IUD (not to be confused with Coppertone, proven effective as tan control, not birth control). Both contraceptives require a prompt visit to a doctor. Since E.C. is more effective the earlier it’s administered, you've got about 72 hours to get to the doctor for the first dose of pills (with a second dose 12 or so hours later) and about 5 days for insertion of the intrauterine device. Oh, and don't wait for those slowpoke HMO doctor appointments; get thee to the local walk-in clinic or even emergency room if you must.
Myth #2: "Oral sex is safe sex."
First, congratulations on admitting that--duh--oral sex qualifies as sexual contact. 'Bout time.
Granted, no one wants to use condoms or dental dams (the latter of which looks suspiciously like foreskin from the Michelin Man) for oral sex purposes. So the question "how well do you know your partner(s)" arises, particularly their sexual past. Are they being honest? Have you even asked? Are you prepared to hear that a liquor-slogged lover reamed the whole rugby team during his/her semester abroad? Although difficult to ask and harder to reconcile, this line of questioning is warranted, given the potential life-threatening risks you're taking for oral sex.
You may suppose that if there's no blood contact you're ok, or that any cootie-infested fluids ingested will meet their toxic end in the stomach's digestive assault. Guess what? All it takes for HIV to make a home in your body is something as fundamental as good grooming. Brushing your teeth can leave tiny lacerations in gum tissue, which can become avenues of infection for sexual fluids in contact with your mouth. If a man shaves and nicks his face, however superficially, he's at risk for infection from any sexual fluid contact with his face. This puts oral gratification in a more ominous light, eh?
Myth #3: "It won't happen to me."
This is the biggie, the unspoken belief coiled in the heart of many poor decisions regarding personal health in general and sexual health in particular. The feeling of ageless invincibility may be part and parcel of youth, but there's no cherished place for it in this dour reality, wherein any of us, in just a moment of careless abandon, can be afflicted with any of the STD All Stars: AIDS, chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, syphilis, etc.
Indeed, once you consider the downright scary statistics on STD contagion it's even harder to place fornicating faith in those satiric (though unwittingly satirical) exploits exhaustively chronicled in Penthouse Forum. Supposing you've been bombarded with so many pleas for caution that you will shrug off the threat of AIDS, you've still got to reconcile your potential lust and/or prophylactic laziness with an estimated 40 million walking, talking carriers of genital warts (aka "human papillomavirus") who can infect you even through down-but-not-necessarily-dirty skin contact. Get it once and you've got it for life, lurking in the ganglion near your spinal cord; it's the viral gift that keeps on giving. You should also consider that chlamydia is the quickest spreading STD among the not-so-invincible young. All these diseases should be in your thoughts before you embark on any globe-freaking fleshfest, Magellan, because unlike your sexual turn-ons, these cooties aren't impeded by age, sex, race or class.While we've left many physical and untold social myths of sex unplumbed and unexploded, we've at least detonated the worst offenders to knowledge and enlightenment. Before I go, however, I'd like to squish one malingering myth before it spreads too promiscuously: for the last time, people, watching the Bowie/Jagger video for "Dancing in the Streets" will not turn you gay!