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How Can I, an Average Guy Who Always Gets Wasted on St. Patrick’s Day, Convince Myself to Practice Safe Sex?

Repeat after me: In the U.S., nearly 2.3 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed in 2017

Its St. Patrick’s Day, which means a tide of green-clad frat bros have probably already kicked down your front door and puked in your shoes. This survival guide is designed to get you through the worst day of the year in as few pieces as possible.

Somewhere in between the moment you soberly purchase a box of condoms and the moment your sweaty, greasy, Jameson-addled body stumbles into a foreign bedroom to eat the face (and, perhaps, ass) of a person you only met an hour ago, your brain assigns its lickety-split decision-making rights to your dick. And sadly, your dick is entirely unsuited to the job, becoming especially unreliable when bulbous and brimming with a rush of blood to the tip (thanks, Coldplay).

Put another way, when you’re drunk and all signs seem to suggest that you’re about to have sex, all those blaring voices in your head screaming, “Herpes!”, “Child support!” and “Oh man, again?” suddenly fall silent. Instead of the inner voice that tells you to put on a rubber, the only thing you’re able to hear above the ASMR hum of heavy, sweaty breathing is someone telling you to “put it in already.”

Well, I could’ve done without your creepy dry run (pun intended) at writing erotic fiction, but yes, it’s true that safe sex often seems much less important in the drunken moment. Er, what’s your point?

Consider this: In 2017, nearly 2.3 million U.S. cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed. “That’s the highest number ever reported nationwide, breaking the record set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases, according to the CDC,” reports CNN. “In 2013, there were 1,752,285 total cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in the United States. That number grew to 1,811,850 in 2014; 1,945,746 in 2015; 2,094,682 in 2016; and 2,294,821 in 2017, according to the preliminary CDC data.”

Look, I know STDs are rampant, but my dumb, drunk, horny brain needs more than just scare tactics to help me remember to have safe sex when I’m annihilated.

First of all, if you’re as drunk as you say you are, chances are, the person you’re about to have sex with must be equally drunk for wanting to have sex with you in your current state. So with that said, remember, legally, an intoxicated person is considered unable to give consent. “Different states have different definitions of intoxication, and in some states, it matters whether you voluntarily or involuntarily became intoxicated,” reports

Basically what I’m saying is, if you take away nothing else from this safe sex average guy advice column, understand that while there is no legal definition of consent, it behooves you to adopt affirmative consent — overt actions or words indicating agreement for sexual acts — as your bare minimum pre-drunk sex mantra. This is for both legal reasons and for just being a not-trash human being.

Well, duh. What can I do to remember to also incorporate safe sex as part of my pre-drunk sex mantra?

There are several things you can do to at least help motivate you in the right direction. Foremost among them, if you’re home, keep your condoms in a highly visible and accessible area, per “Maybe it’s next to your bed, or taped to your headboard. Maybe on top of your next beer (although be careful about keeping them in extreme temperatures!). If you see them, you’ll have no excuse not to use them,” they report. Another suggestion from the same premier online condom store: Literally make safe sex your mantra.

“If you keep reminding yourself all night that sex is going to involve a condom, it’ll be much easier once you start getting a little stupid to remember to whip one out. When you’re walking to the bathroom at the bar, remember: don’t be a fool! Wrap your tool! When you’re kissing outside of your place and about to invite your potential partner in, think to yourself, have safe sex, or she’ll get your paychecks!”

The problem is, though, that I experience a sort of brain hemorrhage when I’m drunk, which means l’m likely to forget any sort of mantra. What else you got?

How about a sober companion? “The fact is, past a certain threshold, you can no longer trust yourself to make good sexual decisions,” reports Psychology Today. “A sober companion can not only be keeper of the car keys, but can help you know when it’s not okay to ‘just go upstairs for a couple minutes’ or can help you see when that special someone is drunk past the point of being able to offer consent. A sober companion can keep you safe.”

Obviously said “sober companion” can’t go in the room with you and remind you to wear a condom and keep it on every five seconds, but y’know, maybe they can text you?

If all else fails and you put yourself and your significant other in a position where she has to take a morning after pill, at the very least, you should split the cost with her. But really, you should pay for the whole thing — maybe that will help you learn your lesson.