Conversations about safe sex often ignore women who have sex with other women. That’s a shame. After all, sleeping with a man is not the only way a person can contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The truth is, most STIs can affect anyone who is sexually active. Keeping that in mind, how do two women having sex protect themselves? Today, let’s explore the risks, and some practices, to help keep women safe between the sheets.
Knowing the RisksNo matter how you slice it, there are risks when you hop into bed with another person. As we mentioned, a great number of STIs can be passed between female partners. Here are just a few infections to watch out for: Put simply, if there is an STI that can be passed through skin contact or fluid exchange, then it’s a risk factor for lesbians and women who sleep with other women. For example, sexual activities that can potentially spread infection include fingering, oral sex, and sharing sex toys. Even if you’re absolutely sure that you are not infected, you can never be totally sure that your partner or partners are also not infected. Many people engage in high risk sexual activity, including unprotected sex.
So How Do Two Women Having Sex Protect Themselves?Safe sex is always smart sex! First and foremost, we encourage everyone to talk honestly and openly with their sexual partners. Discuss your sexual history, concerns, and whether you have been screened for STIs. This can seem awkward, but it can really help to put your fears at ease. Contrary to what many people believe, male condoms are not the only form of protection you can use. Here are a few tips for how two women having sex can protect themselves:
- Start with dental dams. These easy-to-use condoms for your mouth are a great way to reduce risk during oral sex.
- Speaking of oral sex, it is usually a good precaution to avoid going down on your partner when she is menstruating, since some infections are passed through blood and fluids.
- Use latex gloves whenever inserting your fingers inside your partner.
- If you’re using sex toys, don’t forget the condoms. These sheaths can help to prevent STIs from spreading via shared sex toys. Just be sure to change the condom between partners. Condoms on sex toys should also be changed if you’re moving from vaginal to anal stimulation. It’s not protecting anyone if you share a used condom!
- While we’re on the topic of sex toys, don’t forget to clean yours before and after use. Setting your washed toy aside for 24 hours after use will ensure that any remaining infections or bacteria die off. For more information about safely using sex toys, we’ve written a full blog about this subject.
Routine Testing is CriticalAbove all, routine scheduled testing for STIs is the best way to take control of your sexual health. You’ll never know your status if you’re just guessing it. To this end, myLAB Box™ offers a variety of at-home STD testing kits, including the Love Box, a combination testing kit designed for all couples.
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