Tuesday

THE IRONMAN PRACTICES SAFE SEX

The Ironman has learned how to enjoy life and, thus, wants to be around for a long time, to do as much sailing as he possibly can, to eat as many apples, to see as many movies, to enjoy more great ales and more bottles of superb red wine. And so, of course, he never has intercourse with a woman unless he is wearing a well-made latex condom (unless he is deep into a long-term, monogamous relationship in which both he and his partner have tested negatively for AIDS).

The Ironman does not live on the edge nor even close to it. This is not to say he is a coward, or has no sense of spontaneity, or is some kind of tight-assed, anal, control-freak. Rather, the Ironman is a realist who knows that even if there's only a one in one thousand chance that something can go wrong, it probably will go wrong. People do get AIDS. Unmarried women do get pregnant. By the millions. Men and women also get herpes, and gential warts, and all kinds of other depressing, life-inhibiting sexually transmitted diseases.

As a personality type, the Ironman is someone who plays the percentages, hedges his bets, takes only the most calculated, intelligent risks. He knows that life is complicated and unpredictable and has a way of doing what you least expect it to at the most inconvenient times. And because he's the type who learns from experience, and wants to spend as much possible time enjoying life, not fighting it, he practices safe sex.

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