Safe Sex Definition

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Safe sex brings many thoughts to mind. It can be confusing to understand just what constitutes safe sex and what is risky. We all know that the safest sex is abstinence-or no sex. But practicing abstinence can be difficult in a sexual world where we are all sexual beings with sexual needs.

Basically, safe sex means taking steps to protect yourself and your sexual partners from exposure to sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unwanted pregnancy. It involves respect for yourself and your partner, education about how to protect yourselves, and putting that knowledge into practice.

The first aspect of safe sex is getting tested to make sure neither you nor your sexual partner has HIV or a sexually transmitted infection and getting treated if you do. If you are not going to be in a monogamous relationship-one where you have sex with only one person and they have sex only with you then it is very important to practice safe sex so you do not put yourself or anyone else at risk for any diseases or pregnancy.

To avoid pregnancy find a method of contraception that works for you and stick with it. If the pill is your method of choice make sure it is taken every day at the same time, if you use Depo make sure to get your shot before the three month limit runs out and leaves you unprotected, and so on. There are a lot of methods of contraception available and it may take trying more than one to find which one best fits your lifestyle, health and needs. Remember that condoms must still be used with other methods of contraception as they do not protect you from HIV or sexually transmitted infections.

If it is transmission of HIV or sexually transmitted infections that concern you, part of safe sex is using condoms and dental dams to make sure you do not come in direct contact with your partners bodily fluids. Bodily fluids that put you at risk are vaginal secretions, semen, blood and breast milk.

Another part of defining safe sex is defining what sexual behaviors put you at risk and what sexual behavior you are willing to engage in. Behaviors that are most risky are any type of unprotected sex, anal, vaginal or oral. To make these safer, use a condom or dental dam consistently and correctly every time.

Each person needs to find their own personal definition of safe sex aside from the medical definition. Each person must decide for themselves where their line in the sand is when it comes to sexual behavior and be able to freely discuss their boundaries and safe sex definition with any and all sexual partners.

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