After numerous conversations with my lovely friend Alpha, I decided that Safer Sex was worth a page of its own. This page is taken from web sources, conversations with Alpha and from The Society for Human Sexuality.
This page focuses on the basics of the safer sex premise, and on how to take precautions and yet feel as much pleasure as possible. We say, "Safer Sex" rather than "Safe Sex" because no precaution is absolute or one-hundred percent effective. Precautions may not be necessary when neither you nor your partner has anything you could transmit to each other or are "fluid-bonded" and are completely safe in your interactions with others. It may also not be an issue if pregnancy is not a factor. But when health and peace of mind can be enhanced by playing safely, these precautions should be considered.
The single most effective thing you can do to remain healthy while being sexually active is to use a latex condom. The use of condoms is for vaginal or anal intercourse. One size does not fit all and all condoms are not alike. You should experiment with different brands until you find one that you like. When putting a condom on, pinch the tip as you unroll it to prevent air from gathering there. Roll the condom all the way down. For tight, dry or anal intercourse you should use a water-based lubricant on the outside of the condom to help keep the condom from tearing during sex and to aid in the ease, comfort and mutual pleasure from the sexual encounter. A friend of mine has also told me that he puts a small amount of lubricant inside the tip of the condom before putting it on and it helps him feel sensations better. You also need to hold onto the base of the condom as you remove yourself from your partner so it doesn't slip off, leak or remain inside your partner. The condom is much tighter on a blood-filled penis then on a flaccid one. When you use a condom it is recommended that you choose a product that contains Nonoxynol-9 to protect against the transmission of HIV and AIDS and help prevent pregnancy.
Anal and Vaginal Intercourse:
If a condom tears or falls off during intercourse, the person being penetrated should not douche. If contraceptive foam is handy it might help for him or her to use the contraceptive foam and leave it in for at least 15 minutes. It is also important to immediately remove the torn or fallen-off condom from inside the person who was penetrated. If you fear pregnancy because of a condom failure or a human error, there is a 24 hour number you can call to find out about emergency contraception. That number is 888-NOT-2-LATE.
The penetrator can give himself a little extra protection after sex by immediately urinating and then washing his penis with an anti-bacterial soap starting at the base of the penis and working his way to the tip.
From the "If I don't mention it, someone might try it" category:
A new condom needs to be used for each new encounter, with each new partner and condoms should never be used more than once. And if you're going to go from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse, put on a new condom, as well.
Regarding Oral Sex
Opinions differ among the experts on the use of oral barriers or condoms during penis in mouth sex. Doctors have warned that herpes can be transmitted from the genitals to the mouth and from the mouth to the genitals. But some doctors and many oral sex practitioners feel that the risk is acceptable outside of the most infectious period of herpes, which starts with the tingling sensations that precede an outbreak and continue until about two weeks after the sores go away. You can also contract bacterial infections during oral sex from someone who has Gonorrhea or other bacterial infections. Gonorrhea, however, is usually treatable with antibiotics. It is generally believed that it is not possible to transmit Syphilis from the genitals to the mouth or from the mouth to the genitals.
Some doctors go so far as to say that flossing and brushing your teeth is not recommended for an hour before you perform oral sex on someone, if your partner plans not to wear a condom or oral barrier. Their recommendations, if you're concerned about your breath, are to use a mouthwash or take breath mints.
Another good idea would be to tactfully scrutinize a new partner's genitalia before you actually engage in the oral copulation. You cannot see HIV or AIDS, but you can see genital warts, scabs and sores. This can be done by looking and feeling while all in the name of giving your partner a pleasurable feeling before you actually go down on him or her.
It is a good idea not to let new partners or one time partners ejaculate in your mouth. If you let your partner ejaculate in your mouth or you tell him not to and he does anyway, it is better to spit immediately than to swallow. And in the case he has a bacterial infection it helps to use an anti-bacterial mouthwash afterward. Your partner may also not mind kissing you as much if you rinse your mouth with mouthwash immediately after performing oral sex.
If you decide to use a condom or oral barrier for oral sex, then Nonoxynol-9 is not recommended (It just plain tastes disgusting!). Saran Wrap works well for both male and female oral to genital contact or you can get oral dams from the Planned Parenthood Center at no cost.
A friend of mine told me that female dams work well for analingus (or "rimming") as well, and another says that if he lubricates the female's side of the oral dam before oral sex, she feels the sensations much better when he performs oral sex on her.
When Using Your Hands
Latex gloves can be worn anytime you may encounter any bodily fluid. You can also wear latex gloves just to be "safer" than "sorry". Removing latex gloves after a scene and discarding them in a conveniently placed bio-hazard container (which is also called a zip lock bag) or a "sharps container" (which is designed for "sharps" - needles, scalpels and bloody disposable toys and gloves) and allows you to not have to leave the scene when you are done playing.
If you have cuts or wounds on your hands you should wear latex gloves. Latex gloves should also be worn if you are planning on putting your fingers, hand or fist into your partner’s anus.
The proper way to remove a latex glove is to start at the top, by your wrist, and pull the first glove inside out from wrist to fingers. While still in contact with the glove's fingers, use your exposed-hand/still-gloved-fingers to remove the other glove in the same fashion, pulling the second glove off inside out and then wrapping the second over the first as you completely remove the first from your hand, so that whatever is on the outside of the glove becomes caught on the inside of the removed gloves.
If you've had your ungloved fingers in someone's vagina or anus, or had someone ejaculate on your bare hands, you should wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and anti-bacterial soap before bringing your hands near your eyes or mouth and before touching someone else's genitalia.
If you or your partner is allergic to latex, there are non-latex alternatives. A non-latex glove is available at most pharmacies, although not quite as "safer". If you cannot use latex oral barriers, then Saran Wrap does a good job as an alternative. There are also non-latex condoms available at most drug stores.
Preseminal fluid, or pre-cum, may contain the HIV virus if your partner is infected. If you are concerned about becoming infected from pre-cum while performing oral sex you can either use a condom or other oral barrier or you can perform oral sex without putting the head of your partner's penis in your mouth.
Hepatitis A can also be transmitted from the mouth to the anus during analingus.
The risk of transmitting HIV is lower for unprotected oral sex than for unprotected anal or vaginal sex. The risk is much lower for the person having oral sex performed on them than for the person doing the performing. The risk is reduced even more if you do not swallow the ejaculate. And it is reduced even more than that if your partner does not ejaculate in your mouth.
For the person giving the oral sex, the risk of contracting HIV is also lowered if your lips, tongue, gums, mouth and throat are injury free, you do not have bleeding or sores on your lips, tongue, gums, mouth or throat and if you don't perform oral sex on a woman while she is menstruating.
Unprotected intercourse between people of the opposite sex can lead to pregnancy. The use of condoms containing Nonoxynol-9 greatly reduces this risk. If you need more protection than this your local Planned Parenthood may be able to help with other alternatives.
If your condom breaks or if you think that seminal fluid has escaped, certain after-sex pills may be an option. Be sure to contact the 888-NOT-2-LATE emergency number within 24 hours to find out more about them.
The above information is compiled from various reference sources and the opinions of various organizations and individuals. It is designed to provide current and authoritative information on the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publishers are not engaged in rendering medical, legal or other professional service. The authors of this information accept no responsibility or liability for any accident, injury, mishap or incident that may occur to any individual(s) or groups as a result of performing any of the activities described or alluded to herein. Every effort has been made to ensure that the enclosed information is correct, but this publication should not be considered a substitute for formal medical advice.
References, Resources and Additional Information:
The Society for Human Sexuality
The CDC's STD treatment guidelines
National STD Hotline
Planned Parenthood Center
STD symptoms (Warning: These images are graphic)
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