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18 June 2012
Cheaters worse than swingers for condom use
by George Atkinson

People who were sexually unfaithful without their partner's knowledge were less likely to practice safe sex than those who had other sexual relationships with their partner's consent, say researchers looking into condom usage trends. Published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study also found that cheaters were more likely to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the encounter.

Specifically, the University of Michigan researchers found that only 27 percent of cheaters used condoms for vaginal and anal sex, while those in open sexual relationships used them 35 percent of the time. Interestingly, drug and alcohol use was 64 percent higher for non-monogamous couples (both cheaters and swingers) than those in non-open relationships.

"Monogamy can be an effective method for preventing the spread of STIs [sexually transmitted infections], but only if couples test negative for STIs at the start of the relationship and remain faithful while they are together. If people do not find monogamy appealing or feasible, they clearly need to think about the risk this poses to their partner and consider whether an open relationship would suit their needs better - and better protect their relationship partners," said researcher Terri D. Conley, from the University of Michigan.

The research reveals that monogamous relationships are not always monogamous, which can have resultant sexual health implications, according to Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "More work is needed in both prevention of and education about sexually transmitted diseases," he concluded.

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Source: The Journal of Sexual Medicine

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