This is solo sex. Masturbation which involves the simple act of stimulating one’s own erotic zones and genitalia is considered safe as long as bodily fluids do not come into contact with another person’s. Solo sex may also involve using a selected sex toy. Other forms of solitary sex are phone sex and cyber sex, an act of stimulating each other’s senses without physical contact via a communication link.
Also called “outercourse”. It involves kissing, hugging, caressing, mutual masturbation, stroking and rubbing each other’s erotic zones of the body and genitals, while avoiding active penetration. It reduces the risk of acquiring an STI or pregnancy. It does not however prevent other STIs that can be transmitted via skin contact e.g. genital herpes.
There are a wide range of devices that are used during penetrative sex that ensure that bodily fluids do not come into contact. The best known examples are male and female condoms. Others are like dental dam, used during oral sex to protect the mouth from sexual fluids.
Some of the following methods are advocated by proponents of safe sex practices to reduce the risk of STI and pregnancy.
- Immunization against some viral infections that can be sexually transmitted e.g. HPV Vaccine and the Hepatitis B Vaccine.
- Some researches suggest that male circumcision can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.
- Periodic STI screening especially to the sexually active people with multiple sexual partners.
- Being faithful to one sexual partner.
- Avoid having many sexual partners especially the anonymous partners and one night stands.
- When selecting a sexual mate, be aware that some habits in a potential mate increases the risk of getting an STI e.g. alcoholism, having had one or several sexual partners in the past, big age discordance etc
- Communicating before hand with a potential sexual partner on how to have sex e.g. using condoms, engaging in non-penetrative sex, etc to reduce the chances of getting lost in the heat of passion only to regret later.
- Attend an immediate medical check up including HIV test should you be sexually active and you notice an unusual symptom e.g. sudden increase in vaginal discharge, pain or irritation when urinating, penile rash etc
Abstaining from sex
Abstaining is also considered as a safe sex practice as it greatly reduces the chances of acquiring STIs. However, some STIs like HIV may be acquired through exchange of some bodily fluids. Some religions promote abstinence until marriage.
Anal sex regardless of sexual orientation is a high risk activity. This is because unlike the vagina, the anus is covered by a thin tissue that can easily be damaged during sex thus allowing passage of bodily fluids.
Anal sex despite, is practiced by many heterosexuals and homosexual couples. The anal area has many erotic nerve endings in both men and women and some pleasure can be derived by those who practice anal sex.
Sex toys used for deriving sexual satisfaction can be used alongside a condom especially if they are shared amongst two people. Sex toys must always be cleaned after use. Be sure to read all the instructions that accompany a sex toy in order to be conversant with its safety precautions.
Some people are fans of dry sex which involves wiping the vaginal fluids before penetration. Its enthusiasts claim that it is “clean” and enhances friction during sex thus more pleasure. The down side of dry sex is that if the penis girth is big, the resulting friction may be enough to cause abrasions that are painful to both man and woman resulting into painful sex. It also increases the risks of acquiring an STI due to micro tears that occur during sex.