Erotic Topic: STD/STI prevention goes beyond drug store products

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Don’t be a fool and wrap your tool. Don’t be a ding-dong and cover your shling-shlong.

Actually, there’s much more to sexually transmitted disease and infection protection than that.

Wearing rubber is a smart start, but other common-sense behaviors are just as, if not more, important. After all, it’s stupid to go free-willy in the first place, but with a different person every other day? Downright moronic.

Probably the most intelligent form of STD or STI protection is the practice of monogamous sex.

No, I’m not saying you have to get married first. If you want my views on that, read my article, “Test Sexual Waters Before Marriage Commitment.” What I am saying is, the best way you can protect yourself is by being selective of who you let inside your pants.

Deciding when it’s the right time to have sex is a whole other topic, but the key to STD or STI protection is knowing your partner well enough to confirm he or she is clean. This means having a strong enough relationship to at least ask.

As soon as things start to become serious, and sex is obviously on both of your minds, bring it up.

Be straightforward about it: State you’d like to take your relationship to the next step, but in order for that to happen you’ll need to know about any STDs or STIs first.

However, in many cases, asking isn’t enough. According to Planned Parenthood’s website, “about one out of three people will say they don’t have an infection when they know they do, just to have sex.”  

Disgusting, I know, but I guess people don’t really consider ethics when blood is pumping away from their brains. This fact means it’s that much more important to promise yourself you’re not going to be that gullible.

While many side effects of STDs or STIs are not apparent in outward appearance, some are detectable without having to inspect your partner’s genitals. (If there’s discolored discharge, that should probably raise a red flag.) Some diseases like syphilis, scabies and herpes sometimes present themselves as rashes or sores all over the body.

Also, if you know your partner has been with a considerable number of sexual partners, it’s a good chance he or she will have been exposed.

Above all, even if you think you’re in love, you really should be suspicious from the start.

Until you’re close and open enough to prove to one another you’re both clean by getting tested, you really shouldn’t sleep together. Local clinics like Planned Parenthood can usually offer STD or STI tests for low costs. 

The decision to have sex should be well thought-out, and getting tested should be a part of that process. Make a day out of it; go together.

Now, I’m not saying those with STDs or STIs can’t be loved. If you find someone special and he or she has an STD or STI, it’s not as if you two can never have sex. I just hope he or she tells you before it’s too late.

Other forms of sex play do exist that present less risk than vaginal or anal sex, which are the most dangerous types. Alternate acts can include mutual masturbation, fondling, grinding or oral. Of course, any skin-to-skin or genital contact still presents risks, especially when bodily fluids exchange.

Here’s where condoms—male or female—come in handy. Also, dental dams, which are thin pieces of latex usually used in dental offices, can help STD or STI protection by being placed on the vulva or anus during sex play.

A special dam, the Sheer Glyde, is FDA approved for safer sex. Both the Sheer Glyde and dental dams are available at Planned Parenthood clinics, some drugstores and online.

You can also use various sex toys to practice safer sex, but only if they’re kept clean, obviously.

Vaginal and anal intercourse can still be safe but only with the use of a condom. However, understand that if it tears, it’s over. Be gentle and use lubricant to minimize that possibility.

One last consideration: You may think you’ve got all this figured out and you’re sure you’ve developed enough commitment to be smart enough to protect yourself.

Then you go to a party, have a few drinks, get a little tipsy, and before you know it…you wake up naked next to a complete stranger.

Alcohol or drugs—whether by choice or not—can certainly null your better judgment. Acknowledging this fact and treading cautiously has everything to do with protecting yourself, not just from STDs, STIs or pregnancy, but also from rape.

It’s all about whom you surround yourself with and the choices you make. Good judgment is your best tool.

Do yourself and humanity a favor and don’t stop thinking as soon as hormones start raging. It’s our mind power that separates us from animals, after all.

Have any stories, comments or questions about STDs or STIs? Share them at Erotic Topic’s Facebook page or send an email to [email protected].