As college students, many of us starting to explore our sexuality and starting to become sexually active and perhaps getting into serious relationships. Yet, how many of us are actually engaging in talking about safer sex or taking precautions while engaging in sexual activities in order to prevent the spread of STDs and unplanned pregnancies? If you’re not engaging in consensual and safer sex, these statistics might help you change your mind.
Did you know?
- HPV is the most common STI. (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- Most reported Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Infections occur between the ages of 15-24 years old. (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- If left undiagnosed, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can make it difficult to get pregnant (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- 1 in 7 living with HIV are unaware (https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/statistics/)
- 2 million people in the United Sates are living with HIV (https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/statistics/)
Safe Sex is the Best Sex but what is Safe Sex?
Safe sex is taking precautions while engaging in sexual activities in order to prevent one from catching or passing STDs, also sometimes called STIs. We all may have heard these terms before but are unsure of what they exactly mean. An STD (sexually transmitted diseases) and STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) are passed through sexual contact through semen, blood, and vaginal/cervical secretion. Some of the most common STDs and STIs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, HPV, HIV, and AIDS. However, safe sex doesn’t just involve the prevention of STDs but also ensuring that it is consensual. Consensual is also a word that may be unfamiliar to some. In order to have consensual sex both members of the party must voluntarily want to engage in sexual activities together.
How to Practice Safe Sex?
The main goal of safe sex is to prevent bodily fluids such as, semen and bodily secretion to come into contact with the vagina, penis, inside of the anus, and the mouth. One of the most common ways to practice safe sex is by using a condoms and or birth control, which I am sure we all know. But keep in mind that oral sex isn’t the safest way to go either. In fact, STIs can be transmitted through oral sex as well. However, latex dams can be used to protect one from catching anything through oral or anal sex. These are all common ways to practice safe sex but there also some alternative ways, such as:
Talking- Talking to your partner about sex in general, can lead to greater intimacy and a stronger emotional connection. It also provides an opportunity to negotiate safer sex, get to know your partner better, and contributes to sexual pleasure. It is very important to stay relaxed and be yourself! It is always better to be safe then sorry.
Touching- Touching provides warm, affectionate and safe intimacy. It can relax, soothe, or excite and it’s safe!
Masturbation- Masturbation is safe because bodily fluids can touch unbroken skin with out any risks. This can be done through self-pleasure or mutual masturbation.
There are plenty of ways to practice safe sex but Talking to your partner about engaging in sexual activities and ensuring that the both of you agree to be safe is the most important. Again, its is better to be safe then sorry!
Now that we have discussed how important it is to engage in consensual and safer sex lets spread the word to those around us. A perfect way to start is to join us on February 10, 2015 @ 11:15 to 1:15 for V-DAY. V-DAY is an event being put on to inform the CSUSM community about safe sex and sexual responsibility. It would be great if you could come out and support us in promoting sex awareness and we would appreciate your presence.
Remember, SAFE SEX or NO SEX!
Amber Strecker, HOPE Peer Educator