) sex, also known as safer sex
, involves methods
or other barriers. One simple one is using lots of lube
. Simply put if one's
cunt, cock or anus is abraded, transmission risk is increased.
HIV is on many people's minds because of it's fatal reputation (and the
fact that while no longer uniformly fatal the available cocktails are hard
on the body). However HPV, herpes, more strains of hepatitis than are
technically classified, chlamydia, syphilis, Gonorrhea are all more
transmissible and carry their own problems.
At this time (2002) with the availability of AZT and other treatments
many people have declared that we have entered the post AIDS era. And
not surprisingly, HIV infection rates which have been decreasing steadily for
a decade are now slightly rising.
Other (than barriers) ways to practice safer sex:
), be sure they are latex
(or barrier) compatible
Get educated; knowledge is power
If you are likely to bareback
when you drink, be sober
don't be in denial, be able to be consciously sexual
Be conscious of the risks you do take, no method is risk free
If you're not monogamous, make informed choices about fluid bonding
Get tested often; see that your partners do also
Latex disintegrates in the presence of nearly all lipid
HIV transmission in giving head
is rare but it is not a zero risk
If you have cuts in mouth or throat, herpes, bleeding gums etc risk is increased.
Anal sex is high risk for heterosexual
Unfortunately you have to do some math to evaluate risk, however if you
never learn the odds the chances that you'll know what's relatively safe
and dangerous and be able to act on that knowlege approach zero.
In part because more people are becoming more open about interesting
sexual expression (no, anal play does not mean that you're gay), the
exposures to STDs are increasing. Personally I believe that being
responsibly aware of more than just the fantasy makes for hotter
sex, with lower risk than if we were to limit ourselves to one roleset
while denying the desire for something else.
That said, if het or vanilla or monogamous play is what works that's
OK (and usually pretty hot) by me too.