Safae sex, or more accurately known as safer sex, is taking an active step in the prevention of transmission of STIs and STDs. Some forms of safe sex are also preventatives for pregnancy.
Safe sex precautions
Avoiding physical contact
Avoiding physical contact can almost entirely if not entirely erase the risk of contact with bodily fluids. Mutual masturbation is a no-contact sexual activity that can be performed in the same room. Phone sex, cyber sex, and discussing fantasies can be performed while separated.
Non-penetrative sex is considered to be medium-risk sexual activity by Planned Parenthood. Kissing falls under this category, as do stroking, fondling, and body-to-body rubbing -- also known as "outercourse" or "dry humping". It is to be noted, though, that non-penetrative sex does not eliminate the risk of skin-to-skin transmittable diseases, such as herpes, or infections, such as genital warts.
Barriers are protective devices meant to prevent contact with vaginal fluids, blood, semen, and other contaminants such as hair, saliva, and skin during penetration.
- Condoms cover the penis. They are usually made of latex, but they are available in synthetic materials such polyurethane for those with latex allergies.
- Female condoms are inserted vaginally. There is currently research as to whether or not female condoms are reusable, as they are sterile and do not lose their integrity after being washed with bleach. However, it is advised that female condoms, like male condoms, be one-use only.
- Dental dams are sheets of latex used for oral sex. They are stretched to cover the vulva or anus.
- Gloves come in vinyl, latex, polyurethane and nitrile and should be worn during sexual stimulation, such as fingering, or any form of play that may cause bleeding, such as needle play.
Keep in mind that proper use and handling of barriers is the only way to prevent contact. Handling unclean surfaces of barriers can still allow for transmission, so take care to handle and dispose of barriers properly.