Young Aussies take silly season sex risks

Are you one of the young Australians who'll gamble with their sexual health this silly season?

5:35PM, Dec 14

The Durex Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey has found Aussies partake in 'risky' sexual behaviour, and have more partners than our American and British counterparts.

Australian men have on average 24 sexual partners, compared to British men who have 17 and American men who have 20.

Aussie ladies claim to have bedded 11 partners on average, while the average for British and American women is 10.

And as the party season kicks into gear, we're even more likely to risk contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), according to Director of Sexual Health Australia Desiree Spierings.

People are more likely to be promiscuous at this time of year because, as Spierings says, "Alcohol is involved, and often people don't want to be alone over Christmas."

It seems the Australian 'no worries mate' attitude could also be leading to our poor track record when it comes to safe sex non-negotiables such as using condoms and getting STI checks before having unprotected sex with a new partner.

"The main problem is Australians have a very relaxed attitude to unprotected sex, so they use these justifications like 'I knew him for a while' or 'He was a friend'," Spierings explains.

"But not using condoms is a high risk gamble that you take every single time you have unprotected sex" Spierings warns.

"It's your responsibility to take your own health and safety seriously. Don't leave it in other people's hands!" she urges.

Spierings says breaking the taboo around getting STI checks and asking a partner to put on a condom will help Aussies to have safer sex.

"We are a bit private when it comes to these things, that's part of the problem; using a condom should really be the norm unless both partners have been tested."

Spierings' top four ways to have safer sex this summer (and all the time):

1. Always use a condom when you're having sexual intercourse or oral sex. "Put one on before you get it on!" says Spierings.

2. Get tested for STIs regularly, and don't have unprotected sex with someone until they've been tested.

3. Have as few sexual partners as possible.

4. Don't risk it if you don't have a condom; there are other options such as mutual masturbation.

Speaking of the silly season, don't miss the best celebrity party pics of 2011...

In pictures: The best parties of 2011

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