Monday, January 22nd, 2018

The Talk 101: Safer Sex

Posted on March 09, 2015 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

This segment focuses on safer sex methods and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Let me begin by explaining why we say safer sex instead of safe: When having sex, there is no way to be 100% free of risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs from here on out), so there is no such thing as safe sex. But don’t panic! Safer sex is great and there are lots of ways to reduce your risk! Risk of spread of STIs can be reduced by use of a barrier method to prevent passage of either vaginal or seminal fluid during sex acts, or acts that involve fluid exchange can be avoided. For some people, exchange of seminal fluid can also mean risk of pregnancy, so barriers are beneficial in that way too. If you’re not down for a barrier method, remember that you can have an intimate evening with someone just kissing, caressing, or mutually masturbating (where you’re only exposed to your own fluids) to reduce risk of STI transmission. Someone can contract or spread an STI regardless of orientation, and if they’re practicing safer sex, the number of encounters or partners, and the type of sex should make little difference in risk.

Pregnancy prevention is a hot topic, so I won’t spend too long discussing this one. For people who are having sex that may result in pregnancy, there are many, many birth controls to choose from. However, remember that if you’re using a birth control method that requires no barrier, safer sex that reduces risk of STI transmission requires a barrier.

I’m sure we all know at least some STIs: bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis, HPV, HIV, scabies, yeast infections, etc. More information on specific infections are just a Google search away, but remember that most are curable, and those that are not (including genital herpes, hepatitis, and HIV) have symptoms that can be treated and make the condition more comfortable. The best treatment is prevention, and the use of barriers will certainly decrease your risk. The aim is to prevent the spread of seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, or blood from one partner to another; It’s important to remember specific higher risk activities require specific precautions. For example, anal sex is more likely to result in a tear and bleeding than vaginal sex, and so use of a condom and extra lube are important. Blood is sometimes exchanged either as a consequence of a sexual activity or intentionally during BDSM encounters or during rough sex, so proper medical aftercare is important as well as preemptive methods to avoid exchange of fluids. Sex toys, if shared between partners or moving between one orifice to another, can give the opportunity for transmission, so use barriers like condoms on toys, or disinfect toys that can be cleaned; not all can be completely disinfected, so be sure to do some research on proper cleaning and storage for the type of toy used. The internet and local sex shops like Nomia can help with answer questions about toys.

For oral to vaginal or anal sex, you can use a barrier method called a dental dam, or cut a condom to create a sheet of latex to keep a distance. Those allergic to latex can find alternatives at most pharmacies and sex shops. Male condoms are very common for use during oral sex performed on a penis, and for vaginal or anal sex; “Female” condoms are similar, but are inserted into the vagina or anus instead of placed on the penis. When performing sex acts manually on any genitalia or anus, gloves are a way to protect yourself fluid contact if you have cuts on your hands; remember that there are STIs that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact (scabies, herpes) as well.

Protecting yourself does not only mean using barriers; you can get vaccinated for hepatitis A, and B, and for HPV. Get yourself and your partners tested and have any infections treated as soon as possible. If you’re in a polyamorous relationship or causal relationship with multiple people, be honest and clear about who is sharing or not sharing fluids. Remember that because we’re all at risk regardless of orientation, we should be taking steps to prevent STIs for ourselves, and for our partners.

  • Micheal Roben

    Hepatitis B wanted to destroy me, but with the help of Dr. ARIBA from Edo State Nigeria I escaped the death that was on my way, Dr.ARIBA is a great herbalist that treats and cure all manner of diseases like HIV, Cancer, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, all types of Cancer, Gonorrhea, etc contact him today and he will help you solved your problem, contact him via draribaspelltemple@gmail.com or dr.aribaspelltemple@outlook.com

    Website: http://great-drariba.webs.com

  • Micheal Roben

    Hepatitis B wanted to destroy me, but with the help of Dr. ARIBA from Edo State Nigeria I escaped the death that was on my way, Dr.ARIBA is a great herbalist that treats and cure all manner of diseases like HIV, Cancer, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, all types of Cancer, Gonorrhea, etc contact him today and he will help you solved your problem, contact him via draribaspelltemple@gmail.com or dr.aribaspelltemple@outlook.com

    Website: http://great-drariba.webs.com

  • Micheal Roben

    Hepatitis B wanted to destroy me, but with the help of Dr. ARIBA from Edo State Nigeria I escaped the death that was on my way, Dr.ARIBA is a great herbalist that treats and cure all manner of diseases like HIV, Cancer, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, all types of Cancer, Gonorrhea, etc contact him today and he will help you solved your problem, contact him via draribaspelltemple@gmail.com or dr.aribaspelltemple@outlook.com

    Website: http://great-drariba.webs.com

  • Learn more about how to have safe sex with stds, check http://www.sexwithherpes.org please.