OK, let me weigh in on this. Condoms are smart. Condoms are the only way men can control both pregnancy and STI transmission.
Unfortunately, for me they remove so much sexual pleasure that I'd rather masturbate than have sex with a real woman with a condom on. So my practice and experience.
Dealing with STI - as part of working up, I try to get a sense of how risky a woman is. This is always a judgment call, since women will usually downplay their experience, but you can generally get her to come clean by being open and nonjudgmental. If her recent history is a steady boyfriend or two you're likely OK (but remember, you don't know what THEY were up to). A year of celibacy is pretty solid go-for-it ground. If she doesn't give good answers, I just limit us to touching, de-escalate and let her cool down without hurting her ego. Often for our first time I'll not have sex, and after she's had a few orgasms and really wants to fuck I'll say "Well, we have to have the awkward birth control talk." Depending on her answer (which is far more than just what she says) I'll either go with the STI check policy and get points for my maturity and restraint, or if I'm confident take the risk and fuck her and get points for - well, for fucking her.
The larger issue is birth control, and you want to be on really solid ground here. I had one close call, and I also got caught. My live-in girlfriend get pregnant on purpose over my stated objections. She lied about her birth control for a period of 2 years. My fine young man is now my joy and pride but it was certainly very hard going for a long time. No regrets, but neither was it my chosen path. I was lucky too, in that she was reasonable. It COULD have been disastrous, because once a woman has your baby, she is in the drivers seat legally, socially, financially. I know a woman with kids from three men, who gets 6 figures in support annually, and the last part of that income stream will last until the youngest (now 7) is 25. She's also cashed in three houses, and yes, this was planned and deliberate on her part from the first kiss to the last support cheque.
Suffice to say, find out where she is on birth control, find out where she is on abortion, and satisfy yourself that she's too committed to school/career/whatever right now to have time for children. If a woman is ready for babies and you've made yourself the alpha-male of her dreams, you had better be routinely checking up on her birth control and make sure she knows that a baby will end the relationship.