If you are currently dating casually, it is wise to practice safe sex, regardless of whether you are having oral sex, using your hands only or having full sexual intercourse. By having protected sex, you protect yourself or your partner against a sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy.

In making the commitment to yourself to always practice safe sex, it could help you to feel more self-confident in the decisions you make sexually. Although safe sex is not always 100% guaranteed, your decision to always practice safe sex will lead you to consciously decide when or where you want to have sexual intercourse, rather than just having sex for the sake of it. It will ultimately reduce your risk of doing something you may regret later on.

Safe Sex During Intercourse

Vaginal and anal sex are types of sexual acts that could be safer to practice with the use of a condom. When a male condom is used, it is advised that the condom is placed on the penis as soon as it becomes erect. This will reduce the chances of a sexually transmitted disease to be spread between the skins. It will also minimise the risk of “forgetting” to put a condom on at a later stage of the sexual encounter. A female condom can be inserted even before the commencement of the sexual encounter, although the use of sufficient lubrication on both sides of the female condom is also recommended.

Before the use of a condom, it is important to look for the expiration date before the packet is opened. Also ensure that the condom packaging is undamaged by checking if there is an air bubble.

It is important to make use of additional lubrication, even when you are using a lubricated condom. When a condom is adequately lubricated, it reduces the risk of the condom being torn or damaged during the act of sexual intercourse; therefore, also minimising the risk of an STD being transmitted. It is advised to use a silicone or water-based lubricant and to avoid any lubricants that contain the ingredient nonoxynol-9.

When you find that your condom has been put on inside out, you should take it off, throw it away and start from the beginning with a new condom. You should never roll off a condom and try to use the same one for sexual intercourse.

A Condom is Not Always Enough

Making use of condoms alone during sexual intercourse may not always be sufficient protection. No form of protection is 100% guaranteed, but when a female incorporates added protection, such as the contraceptive pill, it may significantly reduce the risk of an unwanted pregnancy in the event of a possible defective condom.

Safe Sex During Oral Sex

Sexual intercourse is by no means the only form of sex that should be practiced in a safe manner. Most individuals that practice sex do not only partake in the act of sexual intercourse, but also oral sex. It is, therefore, just as important to protect yourself as much as possible during oral sex. Any form of oral sex bears the risk of you contracting an STD, but this risk can be reduced when it is performed safely.

When performing the act of fellatio, or “blow jobs” – as it is more commonly known – it is advised that you use a condom that is not lubricated to cover the penis. Males that perform the act of cunnilingus or “going down” on their female partners, can use a dental dam – a type of barrier that can be purchased from suppliers of sexual paraphernalia. This can reduce your risk of herpes or syphilis – two of the types of STD’s that are transmitted by means of skin contact, as well as gonorrhoea, which is transmitted through bodily fluids.

If you have any concerns, then it is worth visiting your GP to get some sexual health advice and, if necessary, a sexual health check.