As a doctor, a woman, a parent, a human being caring for other humans I promote SAFE SEX. What exactly that commonly used term entails and includes? Come and find out NOW.
What Is Unsafe Sex and What Can It Cause?
The definition of “safe sex” according to the dictionary is: “sexual activities in which precautions have been taken, as by the use of a condom, to minimize the chances of spreading or contracting a sexually transmitted disease. ” Unsafe sex would be the exact opposite then: having unprotected and thus dangerous sex.
Complications of UNSAFE SEX:
- unprotected sex can cause pregnancy
- unprotected sex can spread STIs (sexually transmitted infections) – see below
- risk of getting infected with HIV/AIDS: the worldwide incidence of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome ) are increasing, not only in the developing nations of Africa, but also in countries such as the USA and Australia. Keep in mind that that is so inspite of the fact, that in these countries, a great deal of effort and money has been spent in educating the general public on the dangers of unprotected sex! Also a noteworthy fact is that in many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, the greatest increase in HIV/AIDS infections is amongst heterosexual women (and not as you might think gay men!) who are being infected by their partners.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) other than HIV/AIDS: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, vaginitis and viral infections including genital warts (HPV), herpes simplex, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Sexually transmitted infections are caused by viruses and bacteria that enter the body through cuts, sores and mucous membranes (vaginal walls, anus, mouth, eyes and nose). Bacteria living in the rectum or anus can also cause infections in the vagina.
Can Oral Sex Be Unsafe Sex?
Attention to everyone out there who engages in unprotected ORAL SEX – as I know e.g. many lesbians do …..:
- oral sex is BY DEFINITION unsafe sex unless you use condoms or dental dams
- a good example for this is: the herpes simplex virus (HSV) which commonly causes cold sores around the mouth, (HSV Type 1), is now causing many more cases of genital herpes when couples engage in unprotected oral sex. HSV 1 can be transmitted by saliva to another person during oral sex, causing painful sores in the genital area. Similarly, HSV Type 2, which typically causes genital herpes, can cause cold sores in the mouth.
- don’t think its common? In the USA an estimated 45 million people are infected with either type of genital herpes. In Australia, approximately 20% of sexually active people have genital herpes. Thats a lot of people, folks!
- a lot of adolescents perceive oral sex as being “less risky, more prevalent and more acceptable than vaginal sex”. Thats something we as parents and older responsible adults need to be aware of and pay attention to! It is our job to explain and educate!
How Do I Practice Safe Sex?
- abstinence. This may sound weird or crazy to you but “if in doubt, do naught”. That means as much as: don’t sleep around. Stay away from One-Night-Stands. Get to know your own sexual health as well as your partner’s health background before you engage in any sexual relations with them. Don’t be scared to bring this up as a topic and preferably BEFORE you actually get down & dirty. If you bring it up you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. It shows that you are a responsible adult who cares not just for her/his own well-being and protection but also the health of the person he/she is involved with! You are IN LOVE but you really don’t know or care if you potentially infect your love with a deadly disease? That doesn’t add up for me. Does it for you?
- Get tested for HIV – better to know and be safe
- get checked out for other STI’s by your GP, gynecologist or urologist
- USE PROTECTION – every damn time. Because the one time that you forget or you don’t use protection because you like it better without it or or or – that can be the one time you actually catch a disease.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS : if you don’t know, learn. No excuse.
What Kind Of Protection Do I Use?
Obviously, the keyword here needs to be BARRIER PROTECTION. Various protective devices are used to avoid contact with any bodily fluid such as blood, vaginal fluid, semen, or other contaminant agents (like skin, hair and shared objects) during sexual activity.
- Condoms: cover the penis during sexual activity, most frequently made of latex, can also be made out of synthetic materials. In history, condoms were fashioned e.g. out of sheep or cow skin
- Female condoms. Bet a lot of you have never heard of those and admittedly, their practical use is almost non-existant. They are thin, soft, loose-fitting sheaths with a flexible rings at each end. They typically come in various sizes. For most vaginas, a moderately sized condom is adequate. The inner ring at the closed end of the sheath is used to insert the condom inside the vagina and to hold it in place during intercourse. The rolled outer ring at the open end of the sheath remains outside the vagina and covers part of the external genitalia.
- Dental dams: they are called that because they were originally used in dentistry; it is is a sheet of latex used for protection when engaging in oral sex. It is typically used as a barrier between the mouth and the Vulva during oral sex or between the mouth and the anus during anal-oral-sex.
- Gloves made of latex, vinyl, nitrile or polyurethane may be used as a makeshift dental dam during oral sex, or to protect the hands during sexual stimulation. Hands may have invisible cuts on them that may admit pathogens or contaminate the other body part or partner.
- Clean your toys, always. Only use protected or properly cleaned dildos and other sex toys. If a sex toy is to be used in more than one orifice (oral, vaginal, anal) or partner, a condom can be used over it and changed when the toy is moved.
- Remember that OIL BASED LUBRICANTS can destruct latex; so please don’t use latex protection and oil based lubricants together!
Safe sex is the responsibilty of BOTH / ALL parties involved in a sexual relationship. You are responsible for your own health and for your partner’s. Please don’t be stupid! Always protect yourself. Always be safe.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’d be happy to answer!
Thanks for reading!