safe sex

Safe sex: do’s and don’ts

By Steph Haase August 16, 10:53 am
Safe sex sounds a bit boring. Sex should be exciting and satisfying – but safe? Well, if you imagine the kind of stress an STD or an unwanted pregnancy will cause you, being responsible about sex seems like a small price to pay…
Go Double Dutch

Going 'double Dutch' means using two forms of contraception when you’re having sex, for example, the pill and condoms. Condoms are the best way to protect yourself and your partner against STDs during intercourse, but with typical use, 14 per cent of women get pregnant when they use condoms as their only birth control method for a year. So combining condoms with another method is a surefire way of protecting yourself from STDs and unplanned pregnancy.

Talk to your partner about it

If you want to have safe sex, you need to talk to your partner. Talking about condoms and other forms of contraception may seem a bit embarrassing for you, but it's much less awkward than a pregnancy scare or itchy, painful genitals!

Also, you should talk to your partner about their sexual history: how many people did they have unprotected sex with, do they get regular check-ups and STD test and what kind of birth control do they prefer? And just as with talking about condoms, there's nothing embarrassing about being responsible and staying safe and healthy!

Know the basics about STDs

You may have heard some tales about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Like, as long as someone looks healthy and their genitals look fine, they probably don’t have an STD. Wrong! Or if you wash your genitals before and after sex, it will stop you getting an STD. Wrong!

It helps to know some basics about STDs if you want to make the right decisions. What they are, how you can get them and how you can protect yourself from them. And know what the myths around STDs and safe sex are. That will also help you in case you have to convince your partner to use condoms.

Make condom blunders

Many things can go wrong when you use condoms, so it's important to get it right. Use a condom on a banana or a cucumber first to practice if you’ve never used one before.

Also, remember the basics: never reuse a condom – use a new one every time you have oral, vaginal or anal sex. Never use a male and female condom at the same time, they can slip. Don't use condoms that are out of date (check the date on the pack) or broken. Always hold the condom in place when you pull out the penis.

Upset the vagina

Vaginal irritation removes the normal bacteria that protect the vagina from infection. And that can increase your chances of getting an STD.

Many things can cause vaginal irritation. For example, using lots of soap or douches aren't good for the vagina.

And products that you’re supposed to put in your vagina to dry it out for ‘dry sex’ or 'vaginal tightening' will also irritate the vagina inside and make you more likely to get STDs. A dry vagina isn’t clean, it’s unhealthy.

Don’t switch between anal and vaginal intercourse without cleaning the penis or sex toy, or use a fresh condom. Some of the bacteria found in the rectum can cause irritation in the vagina.

Give up sex because you've got an STD

If you or your partner gets diagnosed with an STD, you may feel you have to stop having sex. But you don't need to. If you use a condom correctly, it will minimize the chances of passing on the STD.

Many STDs are easily treatable, but even if you get treatment, keep using condoms until you get a green light from the doctor. That's because having sex with an STD that isn’t fully cured (or reappears occasionally, like herpes), will increase your chances of getting other STDs, such as HIV.


These are just the basic facts. What essential facts do you think are missing? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

Did you learn something new?

Hi Nick, whether or not to have sex while a woman has her period is up to personal choice. If you both don't mind, nothing speaks against it. Some people actually like it, others don't. Accept her choice. Sex is never 100% safe if you don't use protection- so use condoms or another form of birth control if you are not ready for children. I am assuming you have both been tested for HIV and STDs?
My galfrd has a problem anytime we have sex she feels alot of pain when am penetrating her but when am in shes good to go.wat could be the cause of the problem?
Hi Ken, it could be a range of things. Maybe your girlfriend isn't fully wet and aroused when you penetrate her, so try using some lube or longer foreplay. Or she tenses up, which can also be resolved with longer foreplay and very gentle penetration. Our sex expert Valentine answered a question on painful sex the other day as well. Check out her answer to see if you can pick up some of her tips!
Mon, 08/26/2013 - 06:19 pm
what happens to the sperms when having sex while pregnant?can it cause infection cz i realised some small whitish stuff on my vagina 2days after sex and it causes irritation , no smell.But it really looks scary.never seen it before,pls advice
Hi Dorothy, sperm shouldn't cause any problems during pregnancy. In fact, a new Danish study found that it can protect pregnant women from pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Your symptoms sound a bit like a yeast infection (read more here: If your symptoms should persist, come back or get worse, please see a doctor about it.
Tue, 08/27/2013 - 08:45 am
Using a condom when having sex it's always painful,sometimes it's so painful without a condom n other times it's not painful,what can be the cause?
Hi Carrie, is it possible that you are not fully aroused and wet when sex is painful? Try to have more foreplay or use lube and see if this changes anything. And please have a look at what our sex expert Valentine says about painful sex: Good luck!
hae av gott a little problem to my dick ever since i got circumcised some little rushes from the head f my dick theyr white in colour pliiz help
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