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by Mykkah Herner

When we talked about safer sex in my tenth grade health class, Ineverknew it could be something I?d grow to love anddesire.  Many people talk about safer sex techniques like they?rea chore or deal-breaker, but sometimes all it takes is a bit of anattitude adjustment and a little imagination to create new and excitingsafer sex scenarios.  If you're looking for waystobreak it down, not bog it down, read on. After all, it's still sexwe?retalking about, and by its very nature, sex is sexy. 

The Basics

  1. Assess your risk. It's important to decide what level of risk youare comfortable with.  Engaging in sex that is 100% safe is nearlyimpossible, unless you stick to a strict diet of masturbation. So first decide what risk feels okto you, and then communicate that decision with yourpartner(s).  Read up about sexually transmitted diseases, and consult a basic risk assessment table tohelp determine the level of acceptable risk for you.  
  2. Get the goods. Missy Elliot has a great line in one of her songs,"If you're gonna smack it up, you better strap it up!" Take Missy's tipand buy yourself some condoms, gloves, dental dams (used when going down on a woman or for analingus), or other barriers.Barriers are designed to block bodilyfluids and are most commonly available in latex, though there are a few non-latexalternatives (polyurethane, nitrile, etc) for latex-sensitivefolks.  Check out our selection of safer sex goods, or visit adrugstore with your partner to create a little anticipation for the funnight ahead.
  3. Get to know your gear.  Whatever the barrier, you?ll probably want toplayaround with it by yourself outside of the bedroomfirst.  Playing with the barrier alone, before you?re on stage,can help you feel more comfortable and confident with the barrier. Plus, ithelps get you in the mood for more. Unroll it or unfoldit. Put it on. Smell it.  Taste it. 
  4. Masturbate! Latex doesn't absorb lubrication as fast asskin-to-skin contact, so your gloves or condoms will feel really slickwhen wet.  (Not to mention masturbating with condomscan both help with clean up.)
  5. Experiment. Try out a specialty condom like the Inspiral, PleasurePlus, or Rough Rider, which are designed to enhance sensitivity. Condoms come in different thicknesses andsizes; get a condom sampler and try a few different ones until you findthe few you like most.  The research sure is fun!
  6. Add lube, lube, and more lube.  Not all lubes were createdequal, so do a little field testing to find the one you likebest.  Get a lube sampler to try out a number of differentkinds! We can tell you more about lubes, but the main thing to keep inmind is that water-based lubes should be used with condoms and otherlatex products (not vaseline or oil-based lubes.)  

Try some sexy tricks! 

Now that you?ve got the basics down, experiment with these suggestions for spicking up your safer sex act:

  1. Work the anticipation. Use your safer sex gear to send out a sexinvitation. Leave a condom lying on a pillow, stash one in yoursweetie's lunch bag, or slip one in her purse with a note on it. Shopfor supplies together and talk about what you want to do with them, soyou can get your imaginations' fired up.
  2. Accessorize. Use a garter belt to hold a dam in place over yourvulva. You can wear it under a skirt or dress and invite your partnerto inch his or her way up your thighs to discover the prize. Or add a cock ring to the base of that condom for a little extra flair.
  3. Work that mouth! Suck and snap and nibble on dams (but not on saran wrap, as it?s notsturdy enough) to create a different sensation.  Try it onyourself first, or ask your partner(s) as not everyone enjoys thesnapping feeling.
  4. Need a dam, but you only have a glove or condom?  Cut thetip/fingers off and slit up the side for a flat dam.  If you keepthe thumb on the glove and slit up the other side, you?ll be able touse the thumb hole to penetrate with your tongue or a small toy.
  5. Try rolling a condom on with your mouth! Tuck the tip of thecondom behind your front teeth and hold it in place with your tongue,then roll it on with your lips.  Practice with a banana until youget the hang of it.
  6. Go for the gloves. Use different colored gloves to differentiatebetween partners or between the butt and vagina. Add lots of lube toyour glove and give a slippery, slick hand job to your partner.
  7. Work it. Take some time putting on your gloves and make it sound good.  Thesound of latex snapping can be a real turn-on, especially once you?velinked the sound of latex to the feel of sex.
  8. Add some flavor. If you're not a fan of the taste of latex, trydabbing some edible gel onto the condom or dam andthen licking or sucking it off. Or, you can always try condoms flavoredlike mint or fruit!
  9. Flaunt it. Stash your gear somewhere that shows you're ready and willing. The sexy Condom Wallet comes in handy for women on the go, and the Condom Cube makes an elegant bedside container.

So you see, there are plenty of ways to liven up safe sex! Just remember to communicate your needs and desires, and havefun with it.  Safer sex is sex, and sex is sexy.