Safe Sex Tips

 

We, at Her Campus Butler, are very sex positive. (Shameless Plug Alert: Check out my sex playlist article for a good time: (x) ) If you got consent, I really don’t care about anything else. Live your best life palls. That being said, practicing safe sex is very important when one lives a sexually active lifestyle. I hope this entire article is just a reiteration of what all of you already know, but with terrible sex education courses and equally bad media representations, I think it is better to be safe (pun intended) than sorry.

 

 

Vaginal Penetration Safe Sex Tips

 

  • Penis Penetration

The most important thing to remember when it comes to vagina+penis penetration is condoms, condoms, and condoms.  Luckily, for you there’s a bunch of different condoms to choose from. You got your standard penis condom that comes in a variety of flavors (literally):

  • Latex:This is the most common condom on the market. Tried and true. Just make sure you, nor your partner, are allergic to latex.

  • Non-latex: So ya got a latex allergy, huh? That’s a bummer, but we still got ya covered (pun intended). Quick caveat though: The World Organization claims non-latex condoms have a higher breakage rate, in comparison to, their latex counterparts (x).

  • Lambskin: Apparently, lambskin condoms are better in terms of sensation. That being said, they will not protect against STDs, and are not as effective at preventing pregnancy. This is due to the natural pores in lambskin being less effective in keeping some viruses out.  (Personal opinion alert: say nah to the lambskin)

  • Spermicidal: This is for the palls that want to be extra extra safe. Spermicide is a chemical the destroys sperm and is frequently combined with a barrier preventative measure such as, a condom.  The substance, by itself, is 70-80% effective, and when combined with a condom is 98% effective. (Important note: that is still 1% lower than your average latex condom due to the slight chance of spermicide damaging the latex of the condom).

  • Lubricated: God bless lube. These condoms are going to be more comfortable, and are going to be less likely to break or come off. If you want to use a lube that doesn’t come with the condom just make sure it’s condom compatible. (Quick tip: Oils and condoms don’t mix pals. Stick with water-based and silicone-based lube).

 

Then you got your vaginal condom so the thing about this buddy is: nobody knows about it. This lack of education turns out to be a big problem when it comes to effectiveness. The CDCA (x) reports the average person using a vaginal condom will have a 21% failure rate,  but there will only be a 5% failure rate if they are used properly. I personally wouldn’t use one;however, they do have one huge benefit: people with vaginas can insert the condom in up to 8 hours before having sex. In other words, no condom breaks in the heat of the moment. This is a link to a how-to-use video for y’alls viewing pleasure (x). Don’t be that 21%.

 

If you are worried about pregnancy, as well as, STDs/STIs/etc, then there are some other safe sex options: pills, patches, nuvarings, depo-provera,etc. For more in-depth information on these methods check out this link (x). I’m not going to go in too much detail because I don’t want this article to be a novel, and because contraception prevention isn’t my main priority in this particular article.

 

  • Toy Penetration

Wash the toy after every use. Each toy comes with specific cleaning instructions, use them, please don’t guess.  You could also put a condom on them, if you are trying to be extra safe. Also, please use lube. Penises have precum to help out (you should still use lube then too), but toys do not. Lube. Lube. Lube. That being said, some toys aren’t compatible with oil based lubes so make sure to double check that first.

 

Oral Sex

Don’t let people convince you that oral sex is safer than penetrative sex. It’s not. It won’t cause pregnancy, but it can cause everything else.  Oral sex can spread STIs, genital warts (but in your mouth), herpes, and HIV (through cuts in the mouth).

 

  • Penis in mouth: CONDOMS! Luckily for you (and me) all of the condom information covered above still applies!

  • Vulva/Vagina/Anus in mouth: Dental Dams! Because dental dams are less commonly used, and I am by no means an expert, here’s this link to more information (x)!

Anal Sex

  • Condoms. Gotta love em. Gotta use em. Please use them with water-based lube in this instance. Please. I insist. Your partner insists. (ALSO: If the person involved in this sexual act also has a vagina they are still at a small risk for pregnancy even when performing anal sex. Semen from anal sex can leak into the vagina and impregnate them. In fact, approximately 8% of people each year who do not use a form of contraceptives during anal sex become pregnant).

  • People with penises please do not participate in anal sex then participate in vaginal penetration without there being a cleaning session in between. This is practically begging for the person with the vagina to get an infection.

 

Have I been 100% comprehensive? Nah. But if you check out all of these links, and read all of this information, you are way ahead of most people when it comes to being knowledgeable about safe sex. Get tested, take these preventative measures, and have fun!