Safe Sex Is Key
Life has a funny way of unfolding, doesn’t it? One minute you’re just a child, playing on the swings with your friends, and the next thing you know you’re getting swept up by the cascading avalanche of hormones that is puberty. Suddenly, your friends, be they male or female, start looking differently at you. You feel different. Changes to your body continue to happen until you revert to your most primal of instincts guided by the biological urge to reproduce and in the eternal words of Salt and Pepper – “Let’s talk about sex”.
Having a blog version of the talk is fun and all, but we’re not here for that. You know about the birds and the bees and you want to act on those urges just like everyone else. The thing is though, there is a way to do that and be responsible at the same time.
By resorting to the following pieces of advice, you will not only enjoy safe sex, but you’ll do so in an adult fashion where you are comfortable and enjoying yourself. This is the gentleman’s guide to safe sex!
First things first – let’s talk consent. Sex should be a joyous act that provides a myriad of benefits to your mood, mental and physical health. Non-consensual sex, on the other hand, can have the exact opposite effects. It can’t be safe sex if both partners aren’t on the same page, and if one of the partners feels pressured, coerced, and not to mention forced into something they don’t want to do. So before anything happens, make sure you’re both down to pound. Keep in mind, consent can be taken away at any point in time. No means no…unless you’re kinky, in which case you’ll need to have a discussion beforehand and assign a safe word that actually means no.
Next, condoms. Condoms are your best friends when it comes to safe and responsible sex. I know what you’re going to say, “but condoms chafe, they don’t feel as good, they dull down the sensation” and I get that, but hear me out. No one enjoys condoms. That’s a fact! Male condoms take away from the overall pleasure and experience, but you know what else they do? Male condoms protect from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies. Both these things can carry huge life-altering consequences, so let’s break this down in a simple way.
A condom is a latex wrap-like membrane that goes over your penis. The material is coated in water-based lube (depending on the manufacturer) to allow for smoother sexual intercourse. Latex doesn’t feel so sexy when it’s dry, just like dry skin-to-skin action isn’t sexy. The tip of the condom has a little nipple-like extrusion that holds the ejaculated semen after climax. The whole thing functions as a force-field by not allowing transmission of genital liquids in-between.
Now you may be thinking – “So what?”. Well, take a look at what the World Health Organizations health organization has to say on the matter and come back when you’re done. That’s right. More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread every day worldwide. More than half of the world’s population has or will have an STD during their lifetime. This means that STDs aren’t as rare as you think, anyone can be a carrier, and nobody is safe. Some STDs are mild and can be cured with a shot of penicillin, but there are some that stay with you for life and can lead to serious issues.
Despite how it sounds, it’s not all doom and gloom. You shouldn’t refrain from sex just because there are risks. Heck, there are risks in almost everything you do. What I am saying is – if you’re going to have sex with a stranger or a very recent partner, get a pack of condoms and use them. This is not only for your benefit, but your partner’s as well. Condoms have an effectiveness of 98% at preventing STI transmission and similar effectiveness at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Now that I hopefully demonstrated the need for condoms, how do you pick out the right one for you? Well, first off, size is a key factor. Your condom should fit your penis like a glove should fit your hand. If it’s too loose, its effectiveness will drop immensely. If it’s too tight though, it may break or constrict blood flow, which is not fun at all. Buy a few differently-sized condoms and see which ones fit you best.
Besides different sizes, condoms come in all kinds of textures, thicknesses and flavours. Ribbed, thin, thick, extra lubed, flavoured, glow in the dark, you name it. The ideal texture, thickness and flavour are things of personal preference. As long as you use a brand that you can trust, you’ll be fine.
But what if you’re in a monogamous relationship with a long-term partner? Monogamous relationships were, and you could argue still are the norm, but dating applications and social media give many people more options, which is totally fine. One big benefit of being in a monogamous relationship with a long-term partner is sex with them can be more enjoyable, as you know each other well enough to fulfill all your sexual needs. Plus, you don’t have to use a condom as long as you have both been tested at some point during your relationship and you’re certain you’re both STD-free. In fact, as soon as I start getting serious with someone, I recommend both of us getting tested before we stop using condoms. Once we’re in the clear, the condomless fun can start. Pregnancy can still be an issue though, so consider using another form of birth control. No matter how good your pull out game is, getting your partner pregnant when you don’t want to will stress you both out.
Just in Case, The Morning After Pill
You trusted your pull out game, but it failed you. Or you used a condom, but the condom broke. What happens now? Worry not – modern medicine has got you covered. The morning-after pill, also known as plan-b, is a powerful hormone pill that will prevent impregnation and subsequently purge out any fertilized eggs within a 24-72 hour period after sex. Due to the way the pill works, it can induce some side effects similar to those experienced in PMS, which is no walk in the park, but it’s definitely better than the alternative. For specific instructions on how the after pill works and the side effects it may cause, consult your doctor or pharmacist. And I know no one wants to go to the pharmacy and buy plan-b, but if you consider yourself old and mature enough to have sex, you should be ready to deal with unwanted consequences.
Now, finally, there’s abstinence…yeah, that doesn’t work. Religious institutions often push abstinence as the main form of safe “sex”, but every study done on the matter says the contrary. In theory, if you don’t have sex, you won’t get an STI or get pregnant, but, we’re humans, we want to go for a tumble in the sack and we want to do it often. People who are only thought abstinence not only fail to practice it, but also are more likely to get an STD or get pregnant due to the fact that they don’t know how to use a condom or practice safe sex.