SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Ask any new couple and they’ll probably agree that nothing spoils the sexy mood more than having to ask, “So. How many sexual partners have you really had?” But one group of doctors is reminding people that it’s important to do the math before hitting the sheets.
LloydsPharmacy’s Online Doctor, the UK-based company that created the Sex Degrees of Separation calculator, is trying to raise awareness about the exponential effect of sexual contact and the increasing number of cases of sexually transmitted infections.
“We’ve calculated how many people your partners are likely to have slept with before you. Then we calculated your partners’ partners, and their partners’ partners, and so on – for just six degrees. This number illustrates how exposed you can be to STIs, and how important safe sex is,” they said on their site.
According to the sex calculator, if a female had sex with two guys between the ages of 20-24, she would have indirectly hopped into the sack with 1,020,522 other men.
The results of the Sex Degrees of Separation calculator may seem a little outrageous, but it’s not diagnostic tool, the site says. It used to emphasize the increased risk of STIs with each new partner.
“The reality is those numbers would theoretically only apply if everyone were having sex in that group at the exact same time,” said Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors.
Still, the message is clear: protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.
One in four women have an STD, according to Dr. Rachael Ross of The Doctors, and half of all of the newly diagnosed STD cases are found in people under the age of 24.
“This is sobering in a good way cause it reminds people how easily sexually transmitted diseases can be, and why it’s so important to protect yourself, and quite frankly why we ask the questions, “how many partners do you have?” Stork said.
It’s important to practice safe sex, but Lloyd’s is advising that people get tested regularly for STIs.
“However, even if you use condoms you are still exposed to several types of STI; including genital warts and herpes which can also be transferred through skin-to-skin contact, oral sex, and even sex toys,” LloydsPharmacy’s Online Doctor says on its site. “…so it’s safest to get tested after each new partner.”