A team of Dutch researchers recently have been tracking the presence of STIs at clinics in the Netherlands. They distinguished between a few different groups of people and found some interesting results:
Overall, combined rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were just over 10 percent among straight people, 14 percent among gay men, just under 5 percent in female prostitutes, and 10.4 percent among swingers, they found. And female swingers had higher infection rates than male swingers.
So I guess there are healthier ways to spice up your marriage than embracing the swinger lifestyle. Scientists are apparently concerned, because this particular group of people is largely ignored by the healthcare profession and they are now worried that the swingers could be a “transmission bridge to the entire population.”
This concern is reasonable for a few reasons. It is easy for people in a committed relationship to consider themselves above the threat of sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Also, the study took note of older swingers, over the age of 45, where the threat of pregnancy is less of an issue, and thus more unprotected sex is probably more common. Also, other high risk groups of people, such as gay men, are an easier group of people to target. Contrastingly, swingers are a more hidden community and thus harder to find a way to educate and treat problems.
For me, the most fascinating part of all of this is the fact that female prostitutes have a lower rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea than every other group of people they examined. There could be a few explanations for this, I think, like the prostitutes aren’t visiting the clinics at all, or there is a problem with reporting who is and who is not a prostitute, both of which seem fairly likely. Or the prostitutes in the Netherlands have high screening standards! It could happen, right?
Does any of this surprise you? Are you concerned about the swinger population becoming a sexual transmission “bridge” to the rest of the population?