Are people seriously not using condoms anymore? Come on!

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New York appears to be riddled with STDs, and New Yorkers are not using condoms any more. And when I read that, I said, out loud, holy crap, are you serious? As far as I can tell, STDs still exist, AIDS has not been cured and unplanned pregnancy is still an option. Maybe it's just New York--but I have sad and worried doubts about that.

Seriously, do people really not use condoms anymore? The idea seems absurd to me, and dangerous and frankly, a little stupid. Maybe it's because I grew up in the age of the terrible blossoming of AIDS and the renaissance of sexually transmitted diseases, and I spent all my school years being yelled at about herpes and syphilis, chlamydia and the clap, HIV and AIDS and unhappiness and death. They scared the heck out of us, in sex ed classes, in health classes, in gym. My mom even knew about the stuff you could get, above and beyond the whole baby thing, and I think I came away with the impression that it was actually, physically impossible to have sex without half a dozen health screenings and a condom. Maybe two.

Have we relaxed sexual education standards? Is all the abstinence education bull ----- getting in the way? Am I going to have to smack a sonovab---- ? Because that's not cool, people. You're not just potentially destroying your own life--you're ruining it for everyone. And no one likes a party pooper. Is it not cool to wear condoms? Have we all forgotten Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez? She was cool, right? With the condom in her glasses? No?

What we need, here, is a frank and earnest, and frankly, quite beautiful, sexual education program like this (so NSFW) one that AIDES, a European AIDS Awareness foundation is staging via stunning posters. The campaign won the bronze medal at Cannes, and the tagline is "Explore--just protect yourself." And that sounds reasonable to me...wonderful, in fact. The perfect solution. Which means we're never going to see this in the states. Well, because of that and also because of all the many, many depictions of penises.

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