Enjoying great sex and staying healthy is everybody’s right. Sexual infections, or STIs, can be passed on during sex and without awareness or intention. It is everybody’s responsibility to practice safe sex.
Barrier protection should be considered by all sexually active persons as a first and foremost step in protecting against sexually transmitted infections.
Early detection of sexual transmitted infection and early medical sexual health intervention are crucial to avoid negative consequences to short-term, and long-term sexual health outcomes.
BARRIER PROTECTION MALE CONDOM
Condoms provide effective barrier protection against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
Latex condoms are most widely in use and available in different sizes to accommodate all men. Condoms can be fun. They may come plain, coloured, or flavoured, and some may feature surface shapes, to enhance sexual sensation.
Polyurethane condoms and polyisoprene condoms are a less known product. These condoms are more expensive, but have an advantage of being extremely thin and robust and allowing for better protection in penetrative anal sexual practice. Persons, with allergies to latex, may also benefit from using 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 precise expiry dates, and must not be used thereafter. Condoms have a low rate of failure when used correctly.
Good condom practise
- 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 your penis glans.
- Use your other hand, and gently roll the condom over your penis shaft.
- The protruding tip of the condom is designed to be a semen-collecting vessel. If not squeezed but filled with air, it might burst during trusting and may fail to contain the ejaculate.
- Remove the condom straight after sex to avoid accidental slipping off and unwanted 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, and may 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 switching. Manufacturers of sex toys may advise on their own hygiene instructions for their products.
BARRIER PROTECTION FEMALE CONDOM
Femidom is the name for a female version of 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 can easily be inserted into the vagina, while the second, and larger ring remains outside and protecting the vulva.
BARRIER PROTECTION DAM
Safer sex protection for mouth to vagina, or vagina to vagina sex practice can be achieved by using a dam. Dams are small squares made of latex, and are designed to cover the vulva/vagina area for 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 offers information and private sexual health counselling sessions. Please call Heide in her Sydney office during AEST office hours (+61) 02 9380 4486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org