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Getting to be intimate with someone is a great feeling as you can get to enjoy and explore each other’s bodies, mind and spirit. However it is also important that you avoid getting infected by sexually transmitted diseases. Although you are probably aware of how to protect yourself in general circumstances, you could be mistakes in the heat of the moment and fail or forget to use adequate protection. Always be safe, never sorry.
The following tips will help you stay safe, each time you have sex and should never be forgotten:
- Single partner and regular testing: The safest way to have sex is have a single partner and to ensure that neither of you have any form of STI (sexually transmitted infections). If you have been with multiple partners before then get yourself tested for STIs and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
- Bring your own condom (BYOC): Never rely on the partner to have dams, condoms or lube. It is highly recommended that you have your own supply and the expiration dates should be checked before usage.
- Contraception: In addition to condoms, other forms of contraceptives like cervical caps and contraceptive pills must be utilized to prevent unwanted pregnancy. One should also consider using female condoms.
- Lubrication: Even though friction during sex can help in elevating pleasure levels, it also increases the risks of infection. In order to prevent friction, try to use a lubricants during sex. Oil-based lube should not be used on a latex condom as it may cause breaks within. Water and Silicon based lubricants are better options
- Set personal boundaries: Having personal rules and boundaries around safe sex can be helpful in setting a standard for behaviour. Writing down what one personally approves of and doesn’t is helpful in setting proper boundaries around the concept of safe-sex. In case of a history of sexual abuse, it is important to contact a therapist or somebody close and opening up to them so they can initiate the process of recovering from it.
- Drink responsibly: It is important to consider the limit of alcohol and the people one chooses to drink with. It is also necessary to understand the concept of consent. You should not be or allowed to be pressurized into having sex.
It is important to understand the importance of safe sex and being able to speak up about sex without feeling any shame. Furthermore, it is important to understand your responsibilities in initiating safe sex and it is okay to find it difficult in the beginning. We have cultural stigmatization around sex and it is okay to be uncomfortable in the beginning, but it is equally important to develop the confidence to talk about sexual practices and safe-sex without guilt, shame or the fear of judgement.