Valentine’s Day is here! If you choose to engage in sexual activity, it is important to use safe sex strategies to keep you safe and healthy! Here are some tips that you can try…
Protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy
The only 100% way to avoid pregnancy and STDs is abstinence (refraining from any behaviors likely to transmit STDs or cause pregnancy). However, if you choose to have sex and want to avoid pregnancy, you should use contraception. There are many forms of contraception (condoms, nexplanon, IUDs) available, so do some research. Anyone who is sexually active can be at risk for an STD infection. The majority of STDs are asymptomatic, which means that they have no signs or symptoms. Using barrier methods can reduce your risk! You can talk with your partner(s) about what methods work best.
Communication is key: Ask, Answer and Act
Asking for what you want, getting an answer, and then only acting on what you’re partner is saying is ok. Asking and giving consent can be done in many ways, but remember here are some general rules…
- Consent can be retracted at any time; just because it was given in the past doesn’t mean that it is given every time.
- Consent should be asked prior to performing the act
- Understand that if someone can’t or doesn’t consent to a sexual act and you still do it that can be considered rape or sexual assault.
- It is not consent if there is force, intimidation, threats or coercion.
- Asking for and giving consent can be done in fun and creative ways. If you want sex, and your partner asks, give them an enthusiastic “yes.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Article by Kashmone Hamilton