Safe sex is always the main focus of sex education in the UK. From STIs to always using a condom, to consent. However, it has been reported that STIs have risen by 19% in the UK alone
since Covid-19. At LOVE NOT WAR, we practice and preach safe sex. To enjoy pleasure and sex how you want it, when you want it is a part of the pleasure revolution. So how can you do this and still be safe? We have compiled some advice on the best safe sex practices.
STI check regularly
If porn is to be believed, sex is supposed to be spontaneous, passionate, rough, and raw, very rarely will you see a scene of a couple or partners getting ready to have sex and then stopping to whip out protection. Because of this, it has set in many instances the expectation that to be having sex you need to do so without a condom. What is also never talked about, is that behind the scenes, there are regular, thorough STI check-ups of all actors.
Whether you use a condom or not, are in a long-term relationship or changing partners, STI checks should be a form of sexual self-care. However, BUPA has found:
- Over 59% of people have never gone for one
- Over 39% admitted they would be embarrassed if their partner asked them to get one
- 36% would be embarrassed to talk with a doctor about symptoms
We believe this needs to change for the pleasure revolution to fully take over. Taking care of your sexual health should not just be about understanding what an STI is and how to use a condom but should be about taking care of your physical health. And, for people who are condom adverse, it is a way of protecting not just yourself but future partners as well.
Some STIs such as chlamydia and genital warts can show no signs of symptoms, meaning you may not even know you have them. This is why getting testing regularly can be a way to protect yourself and your partners against these infections. There shouldn’t be a stigma in getting an STI check, and getting tested regularly shouldn’t call for judgement, it is simply about staying safe.
Be honest with your partner
Whether your STI check has come back clear or not, communication with your partner is pivotal. It’s important to discuss with your sexual partners what you do and don’t have, especially for a first-time partner. Even if you do choose to wear a condom. It is important to remember that even if you have an STI and are taking medication for it, you don’t have to give up sex, you might just have to think of creative ways to enjoy your intimacy. From sex toys, to mutual masturbation or one of you performing for the other, sex is not just about penetration, it is creative and fun and allows you to think outside the box to experience pleasure together.
Of course, the easiest way to stay safe during sex is the use of condoms or femidoms! Whether you have just started sleeping together or have been together for a while, don’t feel bad for staying safe. With HERO condoms you can even wrap it up and protect the planet as well!
How to keep your sex toys safe
If you are worried about penetrative sex during or after a positive STI, the use of sex toys can be a great way to re-spark intimacy and allow you to enjoy solo play if you’re between sexual partners. However, it is important to note that there are some precautions you can be taking with sex toys to ensure that you are staying safe when using them. Clean them regularly to keep the material body safe, and ensure they don’t retain any bacteria that can cause infection.
If you and your partner are using sex toys on each other, make sure you’re not sharing! If you are worried about the environment, LOVE NOT WAR’s eco-friendly vibrator range comes with interchangeable heads, meaning you can use one battery pack between you, whilst you collect the different vibrator heads in our range. Why not get one set in grey and one in orange, so you can differentiate.
Written by Katrina Fairhurst