When it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, it can be difficult to figure out who needs what to have safe and fun sex.
To determine what someone's needs are, look at behavior rather than at someone's identity.
So, for example, a woman who identifies as lesbian but still occasionally has sex with male partners shouldn't just get information on how to be safe with female partners, but also on condoms to prevent STDs and methods to avoid unintended pregnancy.
It's easy to think that LGB people won't need contraception. 'Cause they can't get pregnant, isn't it?
Well, first of all, bisexual people, as per definition, can have sex with someone of either gender. So, if they are with a partner of the opposite gender, they are definitely in need of birth control until they are ready to have a baby.
And just because someone identifies as gay or lesbian doesn't mean that they can't be pregnant. They may have sex with someone of the opposite gender for a number of reasons, and then there's the need for contraception.
Protected sex isn't just about preventing unintended pregnancies, but also about STDs. And every person who's sexually active could be at risk, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
So make sure you know your risks, use condoms, lube, and dental dams and get tested regularly.
Lube isn't a contraceptive method, yet it's important to mention it. Especially with anal sex, lube can reduce friction, and using it lowers the risk of small wounds that make it easier for viruses and bacteria to enter the body.
When it comes to the needs of transgender people, things might seem a bit overwhelming.
But again, think behaviour rather than identity. If two people are having sex, and between them, they have a uterus, an egg, sperm, and there's a chance for all of them coming together, then yes: this couple needs to consider birth control.
Unless, of course, they want to get pregnant.
And STDs can be a concern as well, so information on condoms, lube, dental dams, and regular testing is necessary.
Has the person gone through transition or are they on hormones? Then things might be different. An experienced, non-judgemental health-care provider will be able to help out and give advice.
You may be asking yourself by now: what are these dental dams they are talking about?
Dental dams are square sheets of latex, used by dentists when they want to keep the area around a tooth clean while they operate.
But dental dams can also come in handy in bed.
Placed over the vulva or anus during oral sex, they can make sex safer and reduce the risk of getting an STD.
No dentist around? No problem. You can make your own dental dam by cutting the tip and bottom off a condom and then cutting along the side of the condom until you have a flat sheet.