My friend scolded me because I choose to engage in unprotected sex more often than not. I agreed with her, but she kept going. I know she means well, but I can't help feelilng judged, even after seeing her point. She told me I won't stop until I get AIDS. What do I do? —Anonymous
Wait. We'll get to the friend part later. Why are you engaging in unprotected sex in 2016? Do you want to get a sexually transmitted infection? Do you want to burn and/or itch? Do you want HIV? Do you want to get pregnant? Because that's what happens to people who engage in unsafe sex.
If you haven't caught anything this far, you are lucky. I assure you, your luck will run out. And soon. As a dating-relationship columnist, I hear from women every day who have incurable STIs, unwanted pregnancies and HIV diagnoses. And while, yes, you can manage STIs and live a healthy life with HIV or even have an abortion, why are you signing up to deal with these headaches? You do understand that the men who have unprotected sex with you are also likely doing the same with other women, and those women are having unprotected sex with other men and so on. You're exposing yourself to a lot of unnecessary risk.
Is it that you don't think your body is worth protecting? It is. If your self-esteem is so low that you can't see that, then you need a therapist, not a condomless penis, to help cure what ails you. Are you afraid that if you demand that your partners use condoms, they won't be interested in you? Maybe they won't. But any single man worth having sex with wants you to be comfortable and wants to protect himself, too. Say "no" to unsafe sex. You’re having sex, not looking for a relationship. Protected penis is plentiful all across America.
Now, about your friend: I wish more women would be concerned about their friends' health. I can hear her concern in the way you relay the conversation. I applaud her for trying to get through to you and save your life. Was she judging you? Yes. As a culture, we need to get over this "don't judge" mantra so many have picked up. It's not about minding someone's business; it's turning a blind eye to b.s. and being silent in moments when a voice of reason is necessary. You need to be judged here. Because you are putting your life at risk.
Be mindful that you opened the door to your friend's commentary when you shared the details of your sex life with her. When you tell people your business, you invite their opinions. If you don't want people judging your business, stop telling them your business. It's really that simple.
If you are really offended by what your friend said or, rather, how she spoke to you, then you can address her about it after you've begun using condoms regularly. Don't harp on how she spoke to you as a distraction from the core issue here: You are not practicing safe sex. Once you've made some positive changes that will save your life, you can focus on frivolous matters like the tone she used when she tried to save you from yourself.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. She is also a blogger at SeeSomeWorld.com, where she covers pop culture and travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “My Boyfriend’s Friend Keeps Telling Me My Man Is No Good. Should I Believe Him?”