Toxic Relationships?

Aractus 06, December, 2010

Before we get started, let me refer to an article in Sunday’s Canberra Times noting that Bryant’s Mother recently said that asking her son to plead guilty is her biggest regret and that she believes there are important questions left unanswered. I will note it says she now sees her son once a fortnight; I do know from researching the case that Bryant didn’t allow any visitors for a long time, so it is interesting this has now changed.

Today I’m going to talk about relationships; specifically: romantic relationships.

There’s a few things I hear – quite often – that simply don’t gel well with me. The first is that “I could never be alone”. Not only is it insulting to bachelors like myself, it’s rude and selfish and above all it’s unappealing. What is attractive about someone who says “I can’t be alone”?

The “bad boy” image seems to often attract a rather strong feminine response. But what is truly puzzling isn’t the fact that women find this image attractive, but rather that they find bad people attractive. Men then drag women into their depravity. This is even more selfish and more rude and unappealing than the first trait.

Drug addicts, sex offenders, abusive men, alcoholics, etc. In what world does it make sense that these people should attract women?

This attitude of taking advantage of women (or other people for that matter) is simply insulting to real men. Why should we have to put up with this kind of arrogant behaviour by those who think that they’re God’s gift to women, but make life hell for women? How is it possible, in what world is it possible, that women would rather be with men like this, than be 1. alone, 2. more respectable men?

I am absolutely pleading for sanity here.

Now I’m not saying that what’s in someone’s past should haunt them forever, or anything like that – rather I’m talking about who someone is in the present.

Having known people in, and who have been through problem relationships, I can attest to the fact that people do indeed put being with “just anyone” ahead of being “alone”. Sometimes I count myself selfish for being content with singularity.

Sexuality is a topic that is seldom discussed at great length in society, rather certain “norms” become unspoken rules. Yet there are people in our society with vastly different views on homosexuality, marriage, prostitution, adultery, promiscuity and casual sex.

A few years back I commented on the “new” studies showing that circumcision is almost as effective as condom use in preventing the spread of HIV (from women to men). This was, I think, prior to all three studied being completed when two out of the three studies had reported their findings. That particular forum was filled with people who then said to me “you’re an idiot if you think circumcision prevents HIV” and what-not; and they wouldn’t even look at the links I posted! A couple of years later, WHO made it an official recommendation.

Nevertheless sometimes in everyday conversation sexuality does come up, as do STI’s. I find it alarming that most people have no idea what HPV is when asked. When told it’s the world’s most prevalent STI, most are still ignorant of the symptoms which include several cancers including cervical cancer; in fact it is believed that the only cause of cervical cancer is HPV.

I’ve also had the conversation with people who have had the cervical cancer vaccine who have no idea that the vaccine is not 100% effective. The vaccine blocks certain strands of HPV that between them account for 60-70% of cervical cancer. The remaining 30-40% is caused by other strands of HPV for which the vaccine doesn’t immunise against.

Now to be fair HPV is relatively harmless most of the time, but it doesn’t mean that ignorance is okay. HPV spreads through genital skin contact, thus making it far easier to catch – even with condom use – then most other infections.

The Pope said, not that long ago, that condoms are not an effective means of preventing the spread of HIV. He is correct, in asserting that behavioural change is more important then using precautions; but that said a dangerous activity is made less dangerous with the right tools. Driver is safer with a seat belt; promiscuity is safer with circumcision and condom use.

But wait, if the Western world is now recommending to Africa that they circumcise the male population to contain HIV, how come we’re not doing it here in our own countries?

A year or so ago it was reported that parts of Sydney and Melbourne have infection rates of HIV as high as 30%; rivalling many African countries. The overall rate of HIV among gay men in Australia remains higher than 6%; which is well high enough to recommend adopting circumcision as part of the preventative measures done in Australia (besides the much dreaded abstinence that is).

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