Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Word About Safe Sex and Werewolves

ginnerobot / Foter / CC BY-SA
I often see authors suggest that safer sex practices are unnecessary for disease prevention between a human and shape-shifter characters, because the two are different species.  I have never understood this argument.

Firstly, a good many werewolves are described as acting and reacting in a fully human way when in human form, and even having children with human partners.  I mean, if you want to make your shifters super immune to all disease, that is fine--but that has nothing to do with the species barrier.  If human x shifter matings are barren this makes a stronger argument for a species barrier, but that has very little to do with disease transmission.

You see, a majority (60%) of pathogens effecting humans cross species boundaries.  Rabies, plague and the common cold come to mind. In fact, it is estimated that a full  three-quarters of the most recently emerged and potentially emerging diseases are zoonotic, consider: HIV/AIDS, Arbovirus, West Nile virus, Mad Cow disease and H1N1. And yes, there are sexually transmitted zoonoses (such as the bacteria Q fever and Lepto) although data on this is difficult to collect and it is hard to separate the respective roles of sexual versus non-sexual contact. 

Long story short, if you want your werewolf nookie without safer sex precautions, you need a better reason than the idea that diseases refuse to jump the species fence, because they actually do it all the time and most readers probably know that.


Anonymous said...

Well... well... maybe werewolves are MAGIC! And so human pathogens don't affect them because they are MAGIC!!

(OMG, that picture.)

Angelia Sparrow said...

My boys have a moment when they realize they'd just had sex in half-shifted form, without protection. They don't use it when they're wolves, they do when human. But since they've been exclusive and their medical tests are all current, they move on, as many couples do.

veinglory said...

Wot, you don't like my suave wolfman picture :)