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When we say “safe sex”, most of us tend to think of using condoms for penis in vagina penetration. But when you think about it, sex is more than just penetration, and it’s more than just heterosexual sex between a man and a woman.

So, what is safe sex?

Safe sex is practicing all sexual acts in a way that prevents both you and your partner from STIs or unplanned pregnancy. It is sometimes referred to as “safer sex” or “protected sex”, as even if you do take plenty of precautions, it isn’t always 100% effective

Who should practise safe sex?

As we mentioned before, safe sex isn’t just for heterosexual couples. Granted, the risk of pregnancy is only applicable to sexual partners where one has a vulva and one has a penis. But STIs are predominantly spread by vaginal, oral and anal sex, and usually through bodily fluids, such as natural vaginal lubrication, pre cum and ejaculate. They can even be passed on by “heavy petting” such as dry humping or fingering, although it’s not as common. That means that anybody can get and transmit an STI, regardless of gender or sexual orientation

How should safe sex be practised?

For couples with a penis involved, condoms are essential, especially when it comes to new partners. If you are in a monogamous relationship, condoms aren’t a must if you have both been tested after other sexual partners. But if you want to avoid pregnancy, be sure to use other forms of birth control, such as the pill, coil, or contraceptive injection. Remember: you can still get pregnant if you rely on the “pull out” method or use a fertility tracking app.

What about vulva owners? You can use the female version of a condom, called a femidom. These aren’t as popular as condoms but are also a good way of preventing infections. 

If you’re a woman-loving woman, you can still pass on STIs through oral sex. Using a dental dam can make cunnilingus safer, by stretching a condom and performing the act over that. Certain acts increase your chances of transmitting something, such as “scissoring”, which involves two vulvas rubbing against each other because most STIs are passed on through bodily fluids. 

If you’re a gay man (or a person with a penis who has sex with people with penises), you’ve probably heard of PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP is a prescription medication that lowers the chance of contracting HIV. This isn’t solely reserved for gay men, but it is most commonly used by men within the LGBTQ community. In several studies, the risk of contracting HIV was up to 92% lower for those taking PrEP. It does not protect against other STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, so ensure you are still using condoms, especially if you are not sticking to one monogamous partner.

Even if you do use all of the methods above, you should still get tested for STIs every time you change partners, or once every six months, even if you have no symptoms. The most common symptom of STIs is no symptom at all.

In conclusion…

Sex is great and should be enjoyed however you like it, as long as it is consensual. Having multiple partners is fine, as long as you are protecting yourself and the people you’re having sex with. That involves getting regular checkups, communicating with your partner if you’ve ever been diagnosed with a lasting infection, such as HIV or HPV, and using condoms or birth control where necessary. 

As the sexiest sex toy shop in Batumi, we are on a mission to not only ensure people are having fun during sex, but are doing it in the healthiest way possible, too.

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