In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget about the risks and practicalities that come with sex. As good as it feels, there are some important factors to consider, namely our general well-being, STIs, and unplanned pregnancy.
Having sex with someone is probably the most intimate and vulnerable thing you can do. So it’s really important that everyone involved feel happy, safe, and relaxed. Because if you don’t feel relaxed, you’re not going to enjoy having sex, which takes away the whole point, doesn’t it?
You don’t want to be worried about pregnancy and STIs in the middle of what should be one of life’s greatest pleasures. So make sure your sex is safe and have a fabulous time instead!
Safe sex is great sex, after all!
Follow our tips below to ensure that you have the best sex of your life while being safe too.
Have Sex with Someone you Trust
Whether you’ve only just met them that night or you’ve known them your whole life, it’s crucial to have sex with someone you like and trust. You need to know that you can afford to be vulnerable with this person, no matter if it’s just a casual one-nighter or a steamy lovemaking session with your partner.
If you have doubts about the other person, there’s probably a reason for it, and you should not be having sex with them. Having doubts about someone can ruin the moment between you, so it’s a good idea to try to iron these out before you head to the bedroom. And if, after talking with them about your concerns, you still have your reservations, get out of there!
Things to ask yourself before having sex with someone:
- When was their last STI check-up?
- Do they have condoms with them? Do you have condoms?
- Are they as much in it for you as they are for themselves?
- Are they a good listener? Will they listen to you during sex?
- Do they seem to care about your general wellbeing?
- Do your doubts about them affect your arousal to the point they are a turn-off?
If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that you should listen to your instincts. There is nothing worse than having your instincts crying out at you to leave a situation, going through with it anyway to save any awkwardness, and then feeling like utter crap about it the next day. Know your worth and listen to those instincts!
Knowing their STI status is just as important as their character. If someone seems like they’re just in it for a quick bang and no pleasure on your side, don’t have sex with them. If they seem like they don’t care about your wellbeing (aka. asking to go without a condom without showing you proof of their STI status), get out of there.
Always strive to cultivate a relationship with sexual consent. It is truly critical.
Get an STI Test at Least Once a Year
While it’s important to know the status of your partner, it is just as important to know your own STI status. If you’re old enough to have sex, you are old and wise enough to get a sexual health check-up at least once a year. Some organizations even recommend having a check-up every three to six months if you have multiple partners and don’t always practice safe sex with condoms.
You know your sex life best and the risks that come along with it, so ultimately, how often you get tested is up to you. But once a year should be the bare minimum. If you are in a monogamous relationship, it’s still worth getting tested just for your own peace of mind.
Despite how normalized sex is becoming in mainstream media, people are still embarrassed to talk about it, even with their gynecologist, who literally looks at vaginas all day long. Depending on where you live in the world, your gynecologist might ask you routinely every year if you’ve had an STI check-up. Sometimes, it’s down to the individual to ask to be referred for the tests in other countries.
I’m not going to lie; it can feel embarrassing at first to ask to get tested for all the sexual diseases known to mankind. But my gynecologist treated my question like any other and simply referred me for the tests. I came out of my appointment feeling more empowered than embarrassed. It feels great to take ownership of your sexual health, so do it!
And by the way, an STI check-up can be quicker than microwaving a bag of popcorn. And they’re pretty painless tests, to be honest. Samples are usually taken via blood tests and swabs of the genitals. You’ll be in and out of the doctor’s office in five minutes. It’s that quick!
And if you test positive for an STI, don’t panic. All STIs these days are treatable; of course, not all of them are completely curable. However, with modern medicine being what it is, just know that whatever the outcome, you will be okay.
Use Condoms with New Partners
Unless you are entirely sexually monogamous to one person and you have both been tested for STI’s, it’s essential to use a condom when you have sex. It is probably the most accessible, cheapest form of birth control out there, and it is the ONLY ONE that protects against both unwanted pregnancies and STI’s.
What’s more, there are so many different types of condoms out there, from different flavors and textures to various materials and sizes. So the humble condom isn’t just there for your safety; it can be a great source of fun and pleasure during sex.
Want to know how to tell the difference between a real man and an immature lad? His attitude to condoms. A real man will use a condom if requested with no questions asked. An immature loser will try to pressure you into feeling ‘real, natural sex’.
This guy is a d*ck and should be avoided at all costs. Sure, the cream pie fantasy is very popular among men. But if they are a decent human being at all, they will listen to you when you say you want your sex to be protected.
Oh, and if a guy says his junk is too big for condoms, sprint for the hills because his head is definitely bigger than his c*ck.
One fail-safe way to make sure you always have safe sex with a condom is to carry one with you when you go out. So even if the guy is without one, you can just whip it out of your purse like your secret weapon. Plus, apparently, men find it a mega turn-on when a woman carries a condom. It’s sexy to be safe!
Consider Other Birth Control Methods, Too.
According to bedsider.org, condoms work 98% of the time with perfect use but only 87% of the time with typical use when it comes to pregnancy prevention. Perfect use represents users in clinical trials that use condoms to the exact instructions for the entire year.
Typical use represents ‘normal’ people using condoms in real-life situations. So if preventing unwanted pregnancies is important to you, it’s a good idea to also use another form of birth control to reduce your risks.
Some of the most effective birth control methods include IUDs, implants, the birth control shot, and the hormonal birth control pill. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist to discuss the best methods for you.
And the first thing you try might not stick; it took me a few attempts to find my perfect solution. So be patient and try things out. Don’t shy away from trying something that you never thought to use before either. I never ever thought I’d get something inserted into my uterus, but now I thank my lucky stars for my copper IUD!
If you’re in a relationship, get your partner involved in the discussion too. It will make your partner feel more empowered if they know and understand what birth control their partner is using. And if you’re having casual sex, just because you use one of the most effective forms of birth control in terms of pregnancy prevention, such as the implant, this does not prevent you from getting an STI. So always use a condom with casual partners.
The Climax …
When it comes to our sexual health, the more we know, the more empowered and confident we feel. Sex is probably the one thing that all of us humans on planet Earth have in common. Everybody’s doing it!
So why should you feel embarrassed and ashamed about looking after your sexual health? Getting tested for STIs is super quick and easy, and getting on birth control is as easy as a five-minute conversation with your doctor. So there are no excuses for not having safe sex these days. Make the most of the options we have today and get yourself on the path to safe sex. It’s so simple!
And with sex, your instincts are key. If your instincts tell you not to bang someone, there’s probably a very good reason for it.
Be comfortable, be safe, and be sexy!