Truth is, married people should practice safer sex too. It is important. Have fun practicing safe sex.
Safer sex means sexual contact that:Shows respect; is pleasurable; is freely consented to by both partners, reduces the risk of passing on any infections, reduces the risk of an unwanted pregnancy and is safe emotionally.
Sex is never an obligation – each partner has the right to say no. If a partner asks you to stop, you must respect this.
Many young people know that if they are considering having sex, it’s really important to make sure it is safer sex. It isn’t always easy, and it can be embarrassing, but talking about safer sex is a sign of respect.
It is not an offence to have sex with someone who is under 18 if you are legally married to that person.
If you are under 18, it is against the law for a person in a position of ‘care and authority’ (for example, a teacher) to have sex, or to try to have sex with you.
What is safer sex?
We say safer sex rather than safe sex because sex can’t be guaranteed 100% safe. The best way to have safe sex is to be in a relationship where neither of you has sex outside that relationship and where you are both free of any sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and you use contraception if you do not want to become pregnant. Some people say the only form of safe sex is to abstain totally (not have sex at all) but most people would see this as being unrealistic.
Even when using condoms for protection, some STIs such as genital warts and genital herpes can be passed on because the condom does not always cover the affected area.
Being ready for sex
You might also feel pressured by a particular person. Or you might feel that it’s expected of you from a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Practising safer sex means looking after yourself emotionally. This means that you choose when to have sex and when not to, who with and how you have sex.
Safer sex activitiesSome safer sexual activities (no exchange of body fluids):
Massage, hugging, touching.
Social kissing (kissing with closed mouth).
Rubbing against each other.
Fantasy (just thinking about sex).
Kissing the body (clean skin, not sexual areas or open sores).
Saying no to anything you don’t feel comfortable about.
It is often assumed that these kinds of activities are only a lead-up to sexual intercourse. Many people find that these safer forms of sexual activity are more than enough to express their emotions and their love for each other.
Some probably safer sexual activities (there is not likely to be an exchange of body fluids)
French kissing (open mouth, as long as there are no sores and as long as the kiss isn’t so hard it draws blood)
Sex with a condom.
Anything that allows blood contact.
Sex without a condom (unless you are in a relationship where you can be sure that your partner does not have an STI, and you are using some form of contraception if you do not want to become pregnant).
Using condoms that have been used before, or continuing to use one after it has broken.
Getting body fluids, eg. semen, menstrual blood or urine, inside the body of the other person, eg. vagina, anus or on open cuts.
If safer sex does not happenSometimes, despite your best intentions, safer sex does not happen every time. Some people may be less careful if they’ve been drinking, and others may forget in the heat of the moment. Don’t give up on safer sex because of a slip-up. Keep practising safer sex. You may not have been infected when you had unprotected sex, but to continue having unprotected sex makes it more likely that you will become infected.
If you have unprotected sex, get tested for sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia. Chlamydia for example is common, easy to treat and can cause serious problems if not treated. Have STI testing regularly.
If you have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive, see a doctor as soon as possible. PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) started within 72 hours of exposure (the earlier the better) reduces the likelihood of getting infected with HIV
Negotiating safer sex
It is often difficult to be assertive when negotiating safer sex.
You could worry about your partner’s reactionYou might worry about not knowing how to use a condom.
Many cultures don’t speak openly about sex and this can make it difficult because you’re just not used to talking about it.