Is Your Sex Safe?

Doctor holding condom close-up. Concept safe Sex

According to statistics reported by Huffington Post, one in two sexually active youths will get an STI by the age of 25. This stat is a bit shocking considering that we live in a society that actively preaches about the dangers of unsafe sex. However, many sexually active adults are still ignorant when it comes to practicing safe sex. Yes, you may already use condoms or other contraceptives when you engage in sex, but you may be unaware of some of the others precautions you need to take.

Being open and honest with your partners, using appropriate protection, and getting tested regularly are the best methods to decrease your chances of getting HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Although safer sex isn’t foolproof, being vigilant in safer sex practices forces you to make a conscious decision to have in a way that reduces the likelihood of you being infected and/or infecting a mate with a disease.

Honesty is vital to any relationship, and whether it’s a serious, long-term situation or a casual fling, you must be open and truthful with anyone you’re sleeping with. If you’ve contracted HIV/AIDS or any other STI, it’s your responsibility to let every one of your partners know your status. It’s also important that you discuss your partner’s status before you engage in sexual activity. Of course talking about these issues can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it must be addressed if you plan on being intimate.

While you already use a condom each and every time you have sex with a partner you aren’t in a committed relationship with, you may only reserve this type of protection for intercourse. However, Salon states that failure to use adequate protection during oral sex can spread many different types of STIs. As a result, use condoms and dental dams whenever you engage in oral sex. Always check the expiration date of the condom before you open the packet and make certain that the condom package is intact and doesn’t have any holes or air bubbles.

If you start to put a condom on inside out, throw it away and start over again with a new condom; do not roll it off and try using it again. One popular sex myth suggests that doubling up on condoms is safer than using just one. Not only is this idea false, the friction caused by the condoms rubbing together could cause them both to fail, claim the Adam & Eve sexperts on their blog.

Getting tested can be a scary, nerve-racking chore, but it’s a must. And no matter what your partner tells you, you must take it upon yourself to determine your personal health status. If you’re sleeping with multiple people, it’s best to get tested frequently or at least a few times a year. Remember to communicate your status and find out your partner’s before you get down to business.

For up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS and other STIs, consult the health information and services section of Planned Parenthood.

[Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Rebecca Beck, a New York-based writer who frequently blogs about sex-related issues. When she’s not writing, she’s either binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix or finding a new way to explore the city. She is writing on behalf of Adam & Eve.]


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