Every sexually active person is potentially at risk to acquire sexually transmitted infections (STI), and/or to transmit sexual infections to other sexual partners. This mostly occurs without a person’s intent, awareness, or knowledge.
Enjoying a healthy, pleasurable, and fulfilling sex life is everybody’s right. Therefore, it is important to practise protected and safe sex.
Barrier protection should be considered by all sexually active persons, as a first and foremost step in providing considerable protection against sexually transmitted infections.
Early detection of infection, and medical treatment are crucial to avoid serious negative consequences to short-term and longer-term sexual and reproductive health complications.
Barrier protection and regular sexual health checks by GPs or sexual health clinics are necessary routines to confirm personal, and community sexual health protection.
BARRIER PROTECTION MALE CONDOM
Condoms are barrier protection for sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancies.
Latex condoms are widely in use, and available in different sizes to accommodate all penis shapes. Condoms can be fun. They may come plain, coloured or flavoured, and some products may feature surface shapes to enhance pleasure.
Polyurethane condoms and polyisoprene condoms are a less known product. These condoms are more expensive, but have the advantage of being extremely thin and very robust. Persons with allergies to latex may be able to tolerate polyurethane condoms.
Latex condoms must be used with water-based lubricants only. Lubricants, containing oil, will destroy the latex material. Latex has a restricted shelf-life. Condoms are issued with a precise expiry date, and must not be used thereafter. Condoms have a low rate of failure, when used correctly.
- Select the right size.
- Buy a reliable and quality controlled brand.
- Unwrap the condom from its package.
- Hold the air-filled protruding tip carefully, but firmly, between your thumb and index finger.
- Gently squeeze the air out of the tip, and continue holding, while placing the rolled-up condom loosely on top of the penis glans.
- Use your other hand, and gently roll the condom over the penis shaft.
- The protruding tip of the condom is designed as a semen-collecting vessel. If filled with air, it might burst during thrusting, and might fail to contain the ejaculate.
- Remove the condom straight after sex, avoid accidental slipping off and insemination.
If you engage in switching between anal and vaginal sex during intercourse, it is advisable to protect your female partner by using a condom, and change condoms every time you switch. Bacteria and viruses, transferred from the rectum to the vagina, pose a huge risk to causing vicious vaginal and pelvic infections, with can lead to serious short-term and longer-term negative health consequences in women.
For reasons of sexual health and safety, it is not advisable to share sex toys during sex. However, if you do not want to abstain from sharing, protect your sex toy with a clean condom every time before sharing, and avoid possible transfer of parasites. The manufacturers of sex toys may advise on their own hygiene instructions for their products.
BARRIER PROTECTION FEMALE CONDOM
Femidom is a name for a female condom, which can be purchased from selected adult shops and pharmacies. Femidoms are made from nitrile, and consist of two flexible rings and a ‘long tube’ connecting them. The smaller ring at the lower end of the female condom can be easily inserted into the vagina, while the second and larger circle remains outside, stretching and protecting over the vulva.
Some women prefer Femidoms for reasons of personal control over safe sex, and protection against undesired pregnancies, without having to rely on their sexual partner.
BARRIER PROTECTION DAM
Safer sex, mouth to vagina, or vagina to vagina sex can be achieved by using a dam. Dams are small squares made of latex, and are designed to cover the vulva/vagina area for the purpose of protection against sexually transmitted infections. Dams are available in selected pharmacies, and can be plain, coloured or flavoured. Please do not confuse with dental dams.
SEXUAL HEALTH COUNSELLING
Sex Addiction Australia offer information and private sexual health counselling. Please make a confidential appointment with Heide during EST office hours (+61) 02 9380 4486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org