Alright, are you ready for this sexy column? Let’s dive right in and get started with some basics about safe sex.
Dental damned if you don’t
I will say this one million times, but you should probably just get it the first time: having sex without wondering if you are going to get an STI is 100 per cent hotter than barebacking.
We’ve all heard the argument that sex without a condom “just feels better.” Personally, I think that not waking up and having to run to Klinic to get tested just feels better. I know that we’ve all seen too many Degrassi episodes and seen enough public service announcements to pretend that we don’t know how to use a condom, but I think it’s surprising how many people think that they won’t be one of the 19 million STI transmissions that occur every year.
Let’s get a few misconceptions out of the way
One: “I’m in a monogamous relationship and we’ve been tested, so I only have to worry about unwanted pregnancy.”
First of all, unless you are specifically asking your doctor to run a full STI panel, they usually aren’t checking for every single STI. Second of all, even if they were fully testing you, Herpes can take up to 6 months to become fully apparent. Finally, you or your partner may just be a carrier for an STI like HPV – which can’t even be detected in men. Deciding to become fluid bonded and engage in unprotected sex is a huge decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Two: “Unprotected sex is more intimate and shows commitment.”
This is a steaming pile of BS. Talking about your boundaries, feeling comfortable enough to ask that they be respected, and having your partner’s health in mind are all pretty intimate things.
Three: “It just FEELS better without a condom/I’m allergic to condoms/my penis is too big.”
Technology is an amazing thing – not only do you have a small computer in your pocket, but condoms are better too. The thinnest textures, amazing lubes – with a few tricks and the right tools, you can make safer sex feel pretty incredible.
Four: “It’s really expensive to buy condoms/dams/lube.”
Wrong again. There are plenty of places that offer all of these things for free, as well as STI testing. Go to getsomecondoms.ca to find out where.
Not just a condom on a penis:
It is also muy importante to use protection in the following scenarios:
-Using sex toys on a partner. Porous materials can harbor bacteria and infection. Use a condom or a specially designed toy cover.
-Fingering the vagina or the anus. If you’re putting your finger anywhere there is a bodily fluid, cover it with latex gloves. Your skin is absorbent, not to mention it has many cracks. Plus, hangnails can hurt or cut your partner’s fragile tissue.
-Giving oral sex or rimming. Again, putting your mouth near anywhere there are fluids is putting you at risk. Make a homemade dental dam by splitting a condom or get dams specifically made for tongue action.
-If you are having an orgy or a threesome, switch up the gloves or condom after exposure to each person.
Spice up safety
Bringing up barriers doesn’t have to be awkward or unsexy, it can actually be a pretty hot part of any sexual encounter.
Having a little tin, jar, or box of bedside goodies ensures that what you need is available in one place and nearby. Getting the condom package open and near the bed before things get too heated is a great way to make sure you can use it without breaking the momentum.
Apply a few drops of lube to whatever the barrier is going on and a few on the each side of the barrier. This makes sure that it’s not chaffing your skin and that it feels nice and slippery inside. Using different kinds of lube—like heating and cooling—makes sure that what’s going on inside that condom is never boring.
Use different condoms too! St. Richard’s makes the best condoms on the market – thin, healthy for you, and totally vegan. Trying different thicknesses and textures will motivate both of you to want to see what each condom feels like.
One last tip
USE LUBE. SO MUCH LUBE. ALL THE LUBE! Okay, maybe not all the lube all the time. When in doubt, use lube – especially with anal sex. One of the quickest ways to pass infections is through tears in skin, which can happen if you’re not using enough lube.
You can confidentially submit a question or topic to firstname.lastname@example.org.