‘Safe sex is great sex’: tips from Vianca on how to play safe

I got a lot of jazz last semester for not doing a column on safe sex. I would (and did) argue that we get enough of the condom confrontation in high school. But I guess I do feel some moral obligation to put information out there that can prevent the curse of barnacle dick. So, here it goes.

As Lil Wayne so eloquently said, “safe sex is great sex.” Our man Weezy touches on a point that is golden — knowing that you’re safe while you play dip the sausage makes sex more enjoyable. When you’re lying flat enjoying sex (in any form that comes), it’s nice not to worry about waking up in two weeks to find your groin has gained an uncanny resemblance to the side of the Grand Canyon. So, use these tips to freshen up on your knowledge of safety and put your mind at ease:

Condoms
Love gloves are the easiest way to prevent pregnancy (if applicable) and the transmission of most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during penetrative and/or oral sex. Herpes, however, is transmitted through skin contact and one can only be fully protected against it with more extreme measures. More on that later.

As a sexually active adult in your 20s, condoms are the reality of the situation if you plan to have a beef kebab join in on the action. So, instead of uselessly resisting them and either a) living a sexless life because no one wants to bone a sailor or b) contracting a nasty case of the clap (amongst other things), just accept them as part of the deal and cope. Luckily for us lovers of the beef, condoms come in all varieties, textures and flavors. Take the time to try a couple of different styles and see what condom suits your junk. Ribbed condoms provide a nice layer of friction, flavored condoms can help mask the taste of the latex during oral (the banana one is pretty rank, though), and there are a variety of condoms made with special lubricants that add magical (and sometimes frightening) sensations. Some folks opt for the ultra-thin or sheepskin condoms to have a more ‘natural’ feeling. Just remember that sheepskin condoms are permeable to HIV, so don’t use them unless you are sure that both you and your partner are HIV negative. And, before I get this question, no, there is no vegan alternative for the sheepskin. Celery shoots don’t quite feel like the real thing.

Condoms are truly a gift from Aphrodite. They have obtained the reputation of being a burden because they are perceived as an obstacle that stops the action of the moment and, therefore, completely and totally ruins the sex beyond repair. Hey, it’s a 30-second endeavor, not a 30-page paper. If you are genuinely worried about ruining the momentum of your play time, apply a condom to the beaver cleaver as soon as it is erect and continue your foreplay. This prevents any delay when the time does come to take a trip down the Nile. If this option is not savory, remember that you don’t have to treat the condom application as a pause in the action. This is sex we’re talking about — any action related to the sex can be made as sexy (or unsexy) as you want it to be with a bit of creativity. Treat the addition of the condom as part of the play. Dirty talk while putting on the condom, place the condom on your partner orally, continue to rub, kiss, and touch, dominate your partner and tell him/her/hir to get her/his/hir slutty ass over here and roll this condom on your rock-hard cock so that you can fuck her/him/hir into the next dimension. Yeah, stuff like that…

Dental Dams
… are the best form of barrier method for cunnilingus and annalingus. Why would you need protection for that, you may ask. Herpes is why, and it’s a very good reason why. Last year, the CDC reported that 16.2% of Americans, or about one out of six, have the HVS-2 infection. Yes, really. With statistic like that, you’d be a fool to take a bite of the pink plum or take a journey up a creased chasm without some protection.

Besides Herpes, a minute possibility of HIV transmission and Gonorrhea infections of the throat are also a risk that you face with unprotected oral. Can you imagine the creepy crawlers that cause the clap doing laps around your tonsils? It’s just as gross as it sounds.

“Clean sex”
Part of safe sex is clean sex. Never jam anything into your partner’s cooter if you haven’t first thoroughly cleaned it. Vaginas are especially susceptible to infections because they are ideal hosts for bacteria. Whether you are penetrating your partner with miscellaneous body parts or sex toys or sundry household items, you need to disinfect your penetration tool. Whether skin, silicone, metal, or plastic, any penetration tool should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and warm water. Dry all inanimate penetration tools in the sun and store them in a cool dry place. Jelly toys are porous and can never be fully disinfected. If you own one, don’t share it and never accept an invitation from someone else to share theirs.

Unprotected sex
One thing that irritates me is when this topic gets totally avoided when talking about safe sex. I know the idea of safe unprotected sex sounds like an oxymoron but there is a way to have safer unprotected sex, if not necessarily safe.

One should never have unprotected sex with another person unless they are sure that their partner is disease-free. Unless you are some super X-Men mutant, this translates to a trip to the clinic with your partner to get tested. Planned Parenthood has STD screening packages that you can get for a semi-reduced price (it used to be just ‘reduced’ before the sex-fascist Republicans hit the scene, but whatever). Have a serious conversation with your partner about switching to unprotected sex. You should date this person monogamously for at least six months before your clinic visit (it can take up to six months for HIV to be detectable) and make sure that you trust them to either never sleep around or use protection when they do sleep with others. Once cleared, ladies who date men must still be wary of the worst sexual repercussion of all — pregnancy. Chemical birth control, vaginal diaphragms, the rhythm method, spermicidal foam and vaginal sponges are all great forms of contraceptive. Each, however, has its pros and cons, so you and your partner should do some extensive research before trying any of these forms of birth control.

If you have a minor slip-up (no pun intended) and eat the meat raw without taking the proper precautions, make sure that you take them afterward. Get tested (both immediately and again after six months) and take emergency contraceptive (Plan B), if necessary. Don’t have the “well, it’s already done” mentality, and don’t feel ashamed. We all know what the right thing to do is (and everyone should do that). But, sometimes, the reality does not match the ideal. So take the steps necessary to make sure that you are healthy and make a better decision next time. Less Jack Daniels, more latex, yeah?

Vianca is a junior. You can reach her at vmasucc1@swarthmore.edu.

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