Part of being sex-positive and having a fun, enjoyable sex life is being aware of the risks involved with sex. Not just for your but for your partners as well. Sure, we could talk about things like sunburns from outdoor sex or rope burns from bondage or even sprained ankles from falling off of stiletto heels during role play, but there is something even more basic that applies every time you have sexual contact with another person…Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The terms are often used interchangeably although there is a technical difference you can find here. A good understanding of STDs is important to reducing the risk of contracting one during sex. Planned Parenthood provides great information. Learn more about the different STDs here.
Beyond knowing about what STDs exist you should know the various methods of reducing the risk of contracting one. Planned Parenthood offers some great tips about how to have safer sex. The term “safer” refers to the fact that there is always risk involved with sex. It can never be 100% safe. However, you can significantly reduce the risk. Learn how here.
The final piece is to know the current STD status of both you and any partners. That means getting tested periodically. Recommendations for frequency vary depending on your individual circumstance but if you have multiple or changing partners, every 6 months is a good starting point. The exciting news is that in honor of STD Awareness Month and the #GYT (Get Yourself Tested) movement, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is providing FREE STD testing. All you have to do is sign up for a quick appointment. Schedule yours here.
Thanks Planned Parenthood!!