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Be Protected. Practise Safe Sex.
Women, especially in India, grow up with the lesson to maintain verbal and mental silence about sex. As a result, we never realise the simple truth – that sexual desires and acts are natural. Adults remain uninformed about sexual pleasureDuring sexual intercourse, the partners involve experience d... More and safety. But it is crucial for women to know how to be protected and practise safe sex.
An essential part of being a sexually empowered woman is to sex-educate yourself. This is the only way that you can take charge of not only your pleasure but also your own sexual safety and reproductive health. Why should you depend on your partner for safe pleasure? Let’s learn more about safe sex practices today.
What is Safe Sex?
Planning to practise safe sex? It means you must take steps to protect yourself (and your partner) from STIs or sexually transmitted diseases. Your primary focus should be on the exchange of bodily fluids or direct sexual contact. Wouldn’t you enjoy sex more knowing that you’re healthy and safe from unwanted pregnancyPregnancy is the state of carrying a developing embryo or a ... More?
We often tend to ignore STIs like we are unreachable for the infections. But the fact is, STIs may be transmitted easily during sex through pre-ejaculatory fluid, semen, menstrual blood, or vaginal dischargeThis is a fluid that is discharged by the body and is expell... More.
Only some infections like cytomegalovirus and simplex virus are transmitted through saliva. Direct contact with areas infected by herpes, genital warts, etc., can also cause STIs.
The good news is that as a woman, you have many options to practise safe sex. You can choose a life of abstinence or monogamyIn early times, “monogamy” meant an act of being married... More – but where’s the fun in that?
Instead, you can pick female condoms and other protective barriers. Simultaneously, you should be aware of your health conditions and have open discussions with your partner.
Unsafe Sexual Activities
Do you know the reason behind the mindless transmission of STIs? It’s the misconceptions about sexual safety measures. The risks are much higher if you’re in an open relationship and are not aware of the health or history of a new partner. Let’s take a look at some of these unsafe sexual activities:
- Peno-vaginal or anal sexAnal sex is a kind of sexual intercourse in which the erect ... More without using a condom
- Oral sexOral sex is the way of stimulating the genitals using the mo... More without a male condom or dental dam
- FingeringThis is a kind of sexual stimulation in which one seduces hi... More without finger cots
- Reusing a condom
- Using a condom past the “use-by” date
- Using two condoms at once or using one incorrectly
- Continuing with sex when the condom is broken
- Exchange of bodily fluids
- Contact with areas infected with STIs
What Increases Chances of STIs
You now know about the direct causes of STIs. But that’s not all. There are many factors that lead to a situation where you have unsafe sexual encounters. This can result from lowered inhibitions, not being in control of your mental faculties or emotions, unconsciousness, etc.
Inhibitions and Misinformation that Lead to Unsafe Sex
Unfortunately, because we stay away from all conversations that are sexual in nature, we only have half-baked knowledge about sexual safety and reproductive health. These are myths that you or your partner may believe in. We also have some inhibitions that come in the way of safe sex.
Instead of letting such inhibitions or misinformation ruin your life and health, be aware of the following:
- It’s not just semen or vaginal fluids that cause STIs. Menstrual blood and pre-ejaculatory fluids can do the same – and so can fluids oozing from infected areas or even saliva.
- Buying condoms is not embarrassing. What’s mortifying is getting STIs even when safety options are available. Don’t sacrifice your health to avoid being judged by a pharmacist.
- It’s not necessary that someone with STI will always show symptoms. Nor can you tell from how a person looks if they have it. So have open conversations with a new partner.
- Planning ahead for safe sex and taking precautions doesn’t ruin the mood. A condom doesn’t kill the feel sex either. Instead, being safe lets you enjoy sex freely without fear.
- STIs are not caused only by ejaculationThe act of semen shooting out of an aroused, usually erect p... More. So, withdrawing the penisThe penis is the most common reproductive and excretory orga... More to ejaculate outside the vaginaThe vagina is a flexible and muscular reproductive organ in ... More will not prevent STIs. Nor will monthly or emergency contraceptive pills.
How to Practise Safe Sex and Stay Protected
Practising safe sex is essential to enhance your sexual experiences. As a woman, you can take complete control of this part of your life. The first step is to sex-educate yourself to learn about sexual pleasure, sexualityA person’s identity in relation to their sexual desires an... More, safe sex, consent, and more. This will help you make informed decisions.
Take a look at the steps you have to follow if you wish to stay protected and practise safe sex.
- Use condoms correctly. You can choose male or female condoms, but don’t make common mistakes like using two of them together or pairing them with the wrong lubeLube is a liquid, oil, or gel form used during sex to make t... More.
- Use other barriers. Besides external (male) and internal (female) condoms, you can choose other protective options like dental dams for oral sex or finger cots for fingering.
- Use protection – always. Protection is a must for penile-vaginal, anal, and oral sex – and for penetrative toys. It should be used throughout the act and not just before ejaculation.
- Get tested regularly. This is especially important if you’re not living a monogamous life. Getting tested will help you know your body and get treated if you contract an infection.
- Communicate with your partner. Open conversations are the only way to know about your partner’s body. You should know about their sexual healthSexual health or Sexual wellness refers to the physiological... More, medical history, etc.
- Clean your sex toys. Washing the sex toys after using them is essential before putting them away for subsequent use. Sex toys can carry STIs – but sterilization can kill them.
- Be careful about all products. Toys with sharp edges, lubricants that cause special sensations, dotted condoms, etc., can cause cuts, chafing, pH disbalance and more.
- Avoid intercourse during STIs. If either your partner or you have an STD, it makes you both vulnerable to contracting infections in the affected areas, fluid exchange, etc.
Studies show that condoms can’t offer 100% protection against STIs. But you must use it during all sexual acts with a partner. Quality female condoms like Domina condoms are 95% effective. Such condoms, paired with other tips to practise safe sex, will let you enjoy nothing but stress-free pleasure.
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