Safer Sex Info

How hot is sex when you are worried about getting pregnant or catching a disease? For most people such anxiety is a turn-off, and plenty of others dissociate from their bodies and "don't think about it." You really can get the sex you want and stay safe too, so why not make informed choices about the risks you take? Taking care of your sexual health adds to overall self-esteem and helps you become a better sexual communicator too. And the glow of sexual self-confidence is really sexy.

Safer sex practices let you take care of yourself and have hot hot sex. We don't want to be preachy, we just want to give you the facts to help you make an informed decision that's right for you. Here is a run through of the kinds of risk posed by different kinds of sex, ways to protect yourself and ways to keep it all smooth and sexy when introducing latex into sex. For more detail on the supplies themselves, click here for Safer Sex Supplies in our Shopping Advice.

How are STDs transmitted?

HIV: Although HIV is present in all the cells of an HIV-postive person's body, it is only in four body fluids at a high enough concentration to pass to another person: blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. It infects another person by entering their blood stream, either directly by sharing needles (which is the easiest way to transmit HIV) or through cuts or abrasions in the skin or mucous membranes. The reason why sex can pose a hazard is that the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, vagina, penis and anus can have small abrasions or can tear during sexual activity, thus enabling transmission. There are risks of infection with anal and vaginal penetration, oral sex and hand jobs.


Other STDs:
Generally people are most worried about HIV, but Hepatitis, chlamydia, Herpes (HSV I and II), genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, and yeast infections are the most common of the sexual transmitted diseases. All the barrier methods that protect us from HIV also protect us from most STDs. Genital warts in women can be pre-cancerous and new research shows the chlamydia can also result in cervical cancer. So don't neglect your annual pap smears girls, early detection is life saving!

How risky are different sexual activites?

Oral Sex: The mucous membranes of the mouth and throat can have small cuts or sores (like canker sores or raw gums from flossing or gum disease) that can create a pathway to the blood stream. Because there is a higher concentration of HIV in semen than in vaginal fluids, sucking cock poses a greater risk than going down on a woman. Executive Director at the Stop AIDS Project in San Francisco, Darlene Weide, says this about the HIV risk of fellatio: "Swallow or Spit, just don't let it Sit. That's the latest harm reduction technique you can use to prevent contracting HIV through oral sex. There have been at least eight recorded cases of men who have become infected with HIV through oral sex with other men. This isn't very many, considering how many men have oral sex, but it can happen. New data suggests that as many as ten percent of all HIV cases can be attributed to oral sex."


So what should the orally fixated do to stay safe? Weide continues: "You're more at risk if you're the one sucking, if you have gum or throat irritation or allergies or other immune problems. If you're the one being blown and are HIV+ and have other STDs, you're more likely to pass the virus along. A couple of things to do: Avoid deep-throat fucking, floss and brush regularly but not right before you have oral sex. Try using Kimono Microthins--don't knock it until you've tried it. And remember, it is possible to get HIV through pre-come."


Since HIV is at its highest concentration in blood; going down on a woman on her period is a higher risk. It is also possible to transmit herpes, yeast infections and hepatitis B and yeast infections from oral/genital sex.


Unprotected rimming puts the giver (the mouth partner) at risk of Hepatitis (which is carried in the feces and blood) and of intestinal bacterial infections.


The great news is that condoms, dental dams and a good sized piece of non-microwavable Saran Wrap make for safe fellatio, cunnilingus and rimming.


Hand Jobs and Fisting:
It's easy to get little paper cuts and sores on your hands and not even be aware of them. Getting semen or vaginal fluids on the your hands from a hand-job, digital penetration of the vagina or vaginal fisting can put you at risk. Anal fisting is even riskier because the tissue of the anus is easier to tear than the mucous membrane of the vagina (which is self-lubricating and sturdier). There is more likely to be some blood during anal play. Try Latex Gloves for smoother, slicker and safer hand jobs and fisting. Don't forget about washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap before a laying on of hands, even for masturbation; microbes on the fingers can be pushed inside the urethra and cause urinary tract infections. Peeing before and after sex and washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap (if you aren't using gloves) is a healthy precaution.


Penile-Vaginal Sex:
In terms of HIV transmission, vaginal/penile intercourse is riskier for the woman than for the man. And let's not forget the impact of unintended pregnancy. HPV (genital warts) and the herpes virus can be passed not just from penetration, but from genital contact on the outside of the vulva as well. Both women and men are at risk of contracting VD, chlamydia and can pass yeast infections to each other. Check out our Trustex Flavored Condoms and Reality Condoms for barriers to keep the fucking fun and safe.


Anal Sex:
Anal fucking is the riskiest activity for the ass partner because of the vulnerability of the anal membrane. Not only is the lining thinner than that of the vagina, it is not self-lubricating and it is fed by a richer blood flow than the vagina, thus making it easier for a virus to enter the blood stream. Little micro-tears can happen fairly easy during penetration, and you probably wouldn't be able to tell. A quick hygiene reminder, putting dicks (the flesh or the silicone variety) and other toys into the vagina after they've been in the anus is an invitation for a bacterial infection in the vagina. Another good reason to use condoms on dildos and penises.


Sex Toys:
The same thinking applies, using a dildo on one person, and then on another without a condom poses the risk of passing viruses and bacteria. Many women who share vibrators with their lovers put a glove over the ball of the Hitachi Magic Wand or condoms over phallic shaped battery vibes for protection.

Hot safer sex tips

  • Think of lube as another sex toy. It not only enhances sensation, it can keep latex from breaking. If you put a good sized dollop in the tip of a condom before unrolling it on your partner's cock, it will help increase sensation. If you are trying this lube trick, be sure to keep a hand on your shaft to prevent slippage. A small dollop shouldn't cause the condom to slip.
  • Talk sexy! "Stay right there while I remove this prophylactic from it's package" is not as sexy as, "Don't move a muscle, you hot nasty slutty little dog you, I'm just going to roll this on, and then fuck you so good· You get the idea.
  • Turn up the heat when you reach for the latex: do a strip-tease, touch, stroke, lick, masturbate for each other, moan, talk dirty - do what ever it is that you do to keep the sexual charge cranked up while the barriers are being unpacked and readied for take-off.

Have more questions? You can call the National Center For Disease Control AIDS and STD hotline: 800/ 342-2437.