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Who Has the Safest Sex?

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Time reports on a new study that shows that black and Latino men are having safer sex than white men - and black women are too.

Compared to only 22 percent of white men, 33 percent of black men and 37% percent of Latino men reported using condoms the last time they had intercourse. For black women, 36 percent reported using a condom the last time they had sex, while only 20 percent of white women could say the same.

There continues to be misconceptions surrounding men of color's safe sex practices - the assumption is that white folks are often more inclined to have safer sex. This racialized mentality seems to be a myth, as the study suggests that in fact, more men of color and women of color are using condoms to protect against pregnancies and STIs.

Those making assumptions about age should also beware: the study showed that condom use was highest among teenagers ages 14-17.

Folks who believe that men are the ones more likely to be aroused and satisfied by new women every night should check themselves: Adult women reported having difficulty with arousal and lubrication when their sexual partner was also their relationship partner. Women reported better orgasms when their last sexual encounter was with someone they weren't in a relationship with. Women's sexual satisfaction was also linked to position and behavior during intercourse.

What can all these results mean for us? First, it encourages us to rethink the stereotypes and myths surrounding sexual health and intercourse. Not all teens are contracting STDs. White folks aren't more likely to have safe sex. Women aren't always happy sleeping with the same partner.

Second, it reminds us that sexual health continues to be a constant work in progress. We need to continue to provide safe and accurate resources regarding sex through every community. We need to continue to ask our partners about what makes them feel amazing, and what they can do without. We need to encourage dialogue about contraception. We need to schedule appointments with our health professionals and get tested for STDs, HIV, and ask questions. That's the only way every will be safe and sexually satisfied!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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