4 Safe Sex Reminders Going Into This Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, here are some safe sex reminders for all the couples and singles out there!

  1. 1. Consent is Sexy

    Sabina Tone

    I get it. Consent can be a difficult and awkward topic to bring up, especially when the relationship is still new. However, all healthy relationships are defined by open communication and feeling safe with one another. When it comes to sex, consent is never implied but rather, it should be given freely and enthusiastically. So, whether it's the first time or the hundredth time, consent needs to be given and it needs to be given every time because consent is not an umbrella approval. Verbalize what you want and ask your partner what they want. And once you get over that initial hurdle, consent can be really sexy!

  2. 2. Set Your Own Boundaries and Respect It

    couple seen holding hands through the window at a table with two glasses of wine on the table

    It might be easy to get swept up in a new relationship and feel pressured to comply with your partner's wants. But remember your boundaries matter! Move your relationship at a pace that works for you and don't let the pressure of Valentine's Day dictate the pace of your intimacy. If you're not ready for that level of intimacy on Valentine's Day, there's nothing wrong with saying "no." And if your partner respects you, they will respect your boundaries.

    Valentine's Day is one day out of 365 but ongoing respect is imperative in any relationship. And ultimately, the culture around Valentine's Day speaks more to corporate consumerism than it does to romance so, let's prioritize our boundaries before a silly holiday. 

  3. 3. Know Your Current Status

    Health Vagina Sex Periods Std Feminism

    If you are sexually active, remember to get tested regularly. Anybody who has oral, anal, or vaginal sex or genital skin-to-skin contact with another person can get STDs. So ideally, you should get tested every time you have a new sexual partner. This is also important even if you are no longer sexually active because some STD symptoms do no show itself for the first few months. And remember, open dialogue with your partner about your status is vital. Here is a list of VCU campus resources specifically geared toward STI testing.

  4. 4. Female Condoms

    Kristen Bryant-Winky Face With Pills

    Condoms are widely regarded as the best barrier method due to its easy availability and accessibility. With that being said, remember that you have options at your disposal ladies! The male condom has the distinction of being the most popular go-to option for couples everywhere. On the contrary, the female condom (AKA an internal condom) remains somewhat elusive in the dialogue of safe-sex and sexual wellness. However, it would remiss of us to omit it from this discussion. Female condoms are the only available woman-initiated method designed to provide “dual protection” from unintended pregnancy and STIs. The structure of the condom's internal and external ring can increase pleasure during intercourse. The external ring also offers an additional barrier against genital skin-to-skin contact. So the next time you need protection, consider the female condom and put the power of protection back in your hands. 

And finally, you know how the saying goes: "safe sex is the best sex." So have fun and most importantly, stay safe!