No one wants to hear the words responsible and healthy when describing sex. That sounds boring, awkward, and definitly un-sexy. But taking a few precautionary steps can lead to a very satisfying and continued sex life, so read on for a few tips:
Make sure you are generally healthy: Ladies, make sure to have regular checkups. Make and KEEP those annual appointments with your gynecologist. The rule of thumb is that you should have a full gyn exam at least once a year from the age of onset of sexual activity OR from the age of 18, whichever comes first.
Men, you're not off the hook, either. Just because your mom stopped making you go to the pediatrician doesn't mean you don't need an annual check-up.
Start these habits young, and you'll be better off in the future.
Practice Safe Sex. This is not just limited to condoms during intercourse. Many STDs can be passed from genital or oral contact. Use dental dams when performing oral sex. Be careful, and use tons of lubrication during anal sex. This is especially important when you and/or your partner do not get tested often for STDs.
Safe sex is not just about STD prevention. If you are not planning a pregnancy, make sure you are well protected. The best pregnancy prevention tactic is, of course, abstinence from intercourse, with room for oral sex. But, if you want to have intercourse and NOT get pregnant, use contraception. These days your options are vast and varied, and you should talk to your doctor about what might work best for you.
Make sure you (and your partner(s)) get tested for STDs regularly; about every 6 months if you don't have a steady partner (or change partners often), and before getting involved with new partners if you are generally monogamous. If you decide not to get tested, remember that you endanger not just yourself but everyone with whom you have sex.
Talk about "what happens if..." with a new partner before jumping into bed. This can be awkward and uncomfortable, but imagine a positive pregnancy test if you're not looking to get pregnant, or a positive herpes test. Remember that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (and honestly there are no cures to some of the cooties out there).
Happy, Safe Sexing!
Published On: November 12, 2009