When someone gets physically intimate with the other person, there is a good chance of spreading sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. To avoid this, practising safe sex must be encouraged. This is done using barriers like condoms (they are available for both males and females) or dental dams. However, there are many myths associated with safe sex. Most of them are untrue and they need to be revaluated for one’s better sexual health.
Let’s Debunk Safe Sex Myths:
- Planning for sex ruins the mood
This is not true as in most cases planning ahead builds up anticipation and, in some cases, sex becomes even more pleasurable.
- You can figure out if someone has STI
In many STDs and STIs, there are no visible symptoms. Many people are adept at hiding the fact that they are suffering from some STD. to keep oneself safe, it is best to wear condoms and practise safe sex.
- Practising safe sex means one of the partners has STD
This is another myth that needs to be looked at. Partners should practice safe sex for each other’s better sexual health. In most cases, it removes the element of uncertainty and makes sex better.
- Practising safe sex means one of the partners is a drug-user
Not everyone who practices safe sex is an addict. By wearing a barrier and protecting oneself from contact with body fluids, one ensures that one stays healthy and away from harm’s way.
- Homosexuals don’t get STDs
Lesbians and gay men are as vulnerable to STDs as others. One’s choice of gender in choosing a sexual partner has no bearing to protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
- Taking the pill means practising safe sex
The pill stops a woman from conceiving. It offers no protection in any way against STDs.
- Buying condoms are embarrassing
There are many ways in which someone can procure condoms if one feels embarrassed by buying them from a chemist. They can be ordered online, bought from vending machines which abound near public toilets, or they can even be grabbed from the community health centre.
Why Is Safe Sex Necessary?
STDs are diseases that get passed between sexual partners. Anyone who practices oral, vaginal or anal sex is vulnerable to STDs. These infections pass from one person to another when the genital areas meet body fluids like semen, vaginal fluids, and blood. There are many types of STDs like:
- HPV or genital warts
- Hepatitis B
- Pubic Lice
Amongst these, HIV and herpes do not have any cure. Diseases like syphilis, gonorrhoea or herpes affect the lips, mouth and the throat. The genitals get severely affected with Chlamydia, HIV, genital warts etc. Herpes, pubic lice, HPV and scabies don’t even need contact with genital fluids.
Many people who are already suffering from STDs are not even aware of their own problem. The surest way to protect yourself is to get yourself and your partner tested for STDs. the only way to not ever be susceptible to STDs is by not indulging in any kind of intimate sexual activity but that is not a possibility in many cases. So, wearing condoms and using barriers are the only way to stay sexually safe.
Tips to Have Pleasurable Safe Sex
- Keep sexual protection handy. Have condoms available in your wallet or purse so they can be used without one having to go searching for them.
- If your partner or you feel that condoms reduce sexual pleasure, put a drop of water-based lubricant at the tip of the condom for enhanced sensitivity. Involve condoms in foreplay.
- Some types of safe sex activities offer an element of novelty and add spice to the bedroom life. Masturbating together, kissing, using sex toys, dry humping and safe oral sex are sexual activities that provide pleasure without any element of risk.
- Avoid getting drunk as having too much alcohol suppresses our logical bend of mind and encourages one to make impulsive decisions.
- Share with your partner if you are suffering from any STD. this will allow transparency and encourage both of you to practice safe sex.
- Educate yourself about the risks and health repercussions associated with STDs. Anyone who has sex can fall prey to STD. Do not ostracize if someone has STD. it doesn’t mean they are dirty or cheap. Sexually transmitted infections are just like any other infections and they can be treated with medications.
- If you suffer from any STD, take your medication on time and in the dosage recommended by the physician.
- When getting involved with someone, both of you should get tested for STIs. Treat it not as an activity the dispel doubts about each other but as a sign of respect.
If You Have Had Unsafe Sex, You Need to:
In case you have had an unsafe sex encounter, there are certain things you need to do to ensure your health is not affected.
- Avoid vaginal or rectal douching. Douching is the process of washing these sensitive areas with water or some other fluids. This can irritate the delicate tissues and make one vulnerable to infections.
- Take an emergency contraceptive pill to reduce the risk of an unwanted pregnancy. While the safe time zone is of 72 hours after unprotected sex, one can take the pill for up to 120 hours afterwards.
- See your physician and get yourself tested for any STDs.
- If you are a man who has had unprotected anal intercourse with another man, consider post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV. Call the PEP helpline for further details.