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Safe Sex Practices

Safe Sex Practices

Safe Sextember 

Your Questions … 

What is safe sex?

How do you have safe sex? 

What are safe sex practices?

Can you have safe sex without a condom?

Answered. 

Safe Sex

Welcome back, everyone! Today, as part of our Safe Sextember campaign, we’re going to be talking to you about safe sex practices. 

Safe sex is defined by Merriam-Webster as “sexual activity and especially sexual intercourse in which various measures (such as the use of latex condoms or the practice of monogamy) are taken to avoid disease (such as AIDS) transmitted by sexual contact.” 

We hope this sounds familiar!

Safe sex is a blanket statement that covers a variety of precautions one can take to prevent the potential unwanted side effects of having intercourse. 

We could include a massive list of all the things you can do however, we’ll try and keep it simple 😉

 

Know Thyself

 

First of all, know your status. This means once you’re sexually active you should get checked for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and have your overall sexual health checked as often as possible. Preferably every time you start playing with a new sex partner. 

Even if you have not been sexually active for a while, still get checked up. Certain STIs do not display their symptoms for the first few months and therefore make them easier to spread. When in doubt, still get your bits and bobs looked at least twice a year by a doctor. 

 

Know Thy Partner

 

This includes a few different things.

First of all, open and honest communication about all aspects of your sexual engagement with your partner is critical. Being able to have these conversations early on is critical to keeping the risk of less-than-fun surprises from happening.

Next, ask about your partner’s status before you have any kind of sex with them. It may not sound sexy but neither does Chlamydia. If it’s been a while since they’ve been checked, try to wait until they get checked or take the proper precautions (listed below.) 

If you or your partner do have an STI talk to a doctor about what options you have for preventing it from spreading. 

Condoms greatly reduce your risk of getting the majority of STIs out there, but not all of them. Make sure you read the instructions for condom usage on the box thoroughly. These will specify exactly how to use the product to provide the greatest amount of safety possible. 

This also means knowing if you’re in a monogamous agreement with the partner. Knowing and trusting that you are the only actively having sex with each other means that you’re at a reduced risk of infecting or becoming infected with an STI. This is simply because the fewer partners you have, the lower chance you have of getting an STI. 

If you and your monogamous partner want to have sex without a condom, and neither of you is using intravenous drugs, get tested and talk to your doctor(s) to learn what your options are. 

Also, know what types of birth control you will use. For some couples, that is just a condom. Others prefer the added safety of taking a birth control pill or having another form of female contraceptive in the equation. For the record, the rhythm method is not a good way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Are using emergency contraceptives are an option in the case of unwanted pregnancy? What will you do if one of you becomes pregnant? Make it a conversation. 

If you’re living in a female body and you’re not on birth control, talk with your gynaecologist or your doctor about your options. There is something out there for everybody and some birth control options let you skip your monthly cycle and can even help clear your acne!

 

Use Protection

 

Latex condoms or other barrier methods (dental dams, etc.) are usually the best way of preventing STI transmission and unwanted pregnancy. If you or your partner is allergic to latex, polyurethane condoms are available and do the same job.

Be aware that barrier methods should be used in all sexual activities. STIs are not only spread through penetrative vaginal sex but through oral, anal and even kissing in the case of Herpes. 

Many companies make condoms in all sorts of varieties. These feature fun flavours for oral sex, ribbed condoms for additional pleasure, spermicide as well as countless others. 

There are both male and female condoms available at most stores, however, contrary to popular belief using two condoms at the same time increases the risk that one or both will break. So have some faith in the one condom you’re using. 

Another important note is that condoms should only be used once. If you are ready for round two, swap it out for a fresh one!

 

Be Careful of What Products You Use

 

We always encourage people to use lubricants when they have sex, however, not all lubricants are compatible with condoms. Be sure to check the packaging of the condom and the lubricant to make sure they are condom compatible. 

***Pro-tip*** Using a condom-friendly lubricant can also help prevent a condom from breaking during sex due to reduced friction.

Another common misconception is that you should douche or do a vaginal wash after sex. This is not the case. Your vagina has natural ways to clean itself before, during and after sex that can help prevent infections. 

After sex, people of all genders should go pee to reduce the risk of a UTI (urinary tract infection) and if you want to wash down there, ladies, water only

 

Cleaning Sex Toys

 

Cleaning your sex toys is 100% critical for not only your toy’s longevity but for your health. 

Most toys are non-porous and are safe to share with others once they have been properly sanitized. However, a lot of toys out there are porous and can hide bacteria or even STIs deep within their microscopic holes. 

If you’re unsure if your toy is porous or not, simply slide on a condom after you’ve cleaned it and ta-dah! Ready to share. 

These are the basic foundations of what is considered “safe-sex.” There are so many other ways to help improve your already deliciously safe and sexy love life, so if you want more ideas, feel free to ask one of our Sexperts!

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends on social media and tag us @myamorashop

 

Get out there, get in there and get off there!

Elaine S. Turner

Sex Coach, Clinical Sexologist and Sexuality Educator

Sydney, Australia

August 2020

Please remember everyone while we are Sexperts, we are not medical professionals. This site does not provide medical advice. Nothing can replace that specific medical knowledge so if you want more information, ask a doctor or other medical professional. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not ignore advice from a medical professional. Information here is gathered from reputable sources, however this should not be considered a tool for self-treatment or diagnosis. If you have an emergency, please contact local emergency assistance immediately.

 

Works Cited

Holland, K. (2013, August 28). A Woman's Guide to Safe Sex Basics (G. Krucik MD, Ed.). Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/womans-guide-safe-sex-basics

L. (2016, November 1). Safe Sex: 11 Safe Sex Practices That Actually Work. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.prioritystdtesting.com/safe-sex-practices/

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Safe sex. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/safe%20sex

Safer Sex Guidelines. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/safer-sex-guidelines

Sexual health - Safe Sex. (2013, March 7). Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/sexualhealth/Pages/safe-sex.aspx

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