"Condomless" is the new "unprotected."
Most of our sex education teachers taught us that sex without a condom was synonymous with unprotected sex. But what about all of the other methods of protection available? Is a monogamous couple, STD free, using an alternative method of birth control really having unprotected sex? We don't think so. And neither does the Center for Disease Control, who has responded to pressure from health educators by vowing to change the language from "unprotected sex" to "condomless sex."
According to Jezebel, the new terminology seeks to "reflect the many ways people are sleeping together while minimizing their risks sans condoms." This includes more traditional non-condom methods, like birth control and IUDs, as well as more non-conventional methods like Truvada, a daily pill that reduces the likelihood of HIV infection, "if taken routinely as part of a doctor-supervised regimen." This could be an exciting breakthrough in the conversation surrounding sex education, given that so many Americans are woefully unprepared for the world of safe sex. Condoms will always be an important part of that conversation because they are such a reliable way to protect both from STDs and pregnancy at once. But not all condomless sex is unprotected, and people need to be aware of all the options.
Those with dissenting opinions are against the term "condomless sex" because they fear that people will take that as a chance to eschew condoms without using an effective alternative, thus opening the door for STDs to run rampant. The success of the language shift relies on the strength of education. If individuals are properly informed about the alternatives and when it is appropriate to use them in lieu of condoms, it could be really beneficial. In fact, "condomless sex" might be an awesome way to improve the sexual health of this country.