Pleasure and Protection: How Safe Sex Can Enhance Your Sexual Experiences

A couple enjoying each other's company on a cozy couch.

Pleasure is powerful! It’s arguably the most prevalent driving force behind our desire to have sex. In the ideal world, sex would be all about pleasure, but unfortunately, there are also some risks to sex, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy. And while our sexual health is very important, the common narrative about having safe sex is all doom, gloom, and shame – totally anti-pleasure. No wonder it can leave you feeling scared and worried, or even considering staying away from sex for good.

Many people also believe that safe sex takes away all pleasure. Well, we are here to prove them wrong – safe is sexy, and pleasure and protection are the best power couple! Safe sex can be fun, erotic, and fully satisfying! Living a healthy sex life is about being aware of the risks, making informed choices, and enjoying the ride. So, buckle up! We are about to explore how to have safe sex (not in a boring way, of course!) and how pleasurable and beneficial it can actually be.

What is safe sex?

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Safe or safer sex – since there’ll always be some level of risk involved with having sex- is the practice that allows you and your sexual partner(s) to stay protected from STIs and unwanted pregnancy. In short, STIs are infections that are transmitted from one person to another through direct or indirect sexual contact.

The risks of different types of sex

There are different types of sex you can have and different risks of STIs that they carry. Contrary to the belief that STIs are usually transmitted only through penetration, the truth is that anybody engaging in oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, genital skin-to-skin contact, or sharing bodily fluids with another person has a risk of contracting STIs. While this article won’t dive deep into the risks related to each type of sex, it’s essential to educate yourself from reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Key tips for safe sex

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So, how do we stay safe and at the same time enjoy all the pleasure sex has to offer without feeling worried or unnecessarily stressed? These tips are your roadmap to navigating an exciting world of pleasure and protection:

Get tested regularly

Some STIs don’t produce noticeable symptoms, which is why many people don’t even know that they or their partner may have an STI. If left untreated, it can result in more long-term health complications, including increasing the risk of HIV, fetal and birth complications, cancer, and in the worst case, death. What’s more, condoms don’t protect against all STIs, such as herpes, genital warts, and syphilis, which can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. That’s why regular testing is crucial. It does not only give you peace of mind but also ensures early detection and treatment. It prevents the infection from seriously affecting your health in the future and decreases the risk of spreading the infection.

The essential thing to remember is that all STIs are either curable or manageable. For example, bacterial STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day across the world, according to the World Health Organization. That proves that STIs are quite common. Many people are opposed to getting tested because of the stigma that contracting or checking for STIs makes you a bad or dirty person. Remember, it’s a health issue, not a personality issue. There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed.

A friendly doctor talking to her patient at the sexual health clinic before she gets tested

A short memo on when to get tested:

  1. If you’re sexually active, get tested at least once a year.
  2. If you have multiple or anonymous partners, get tested every 3 months.
  3. If you plan to have a new sexual partner, get tested and ask your partner to get tested too.
  4. If you’ve noticed any symptoms or had unprotected sex, get tested immediately.

You know, we totally get it; starting to talk about STI tests with a new partner may feel daunting and awkward. But instead of feeling uncomfortable, picture this: you’re asking your new partner about their STI status. How attractive, thoughtful, and sexy does that make you look? It shows that you are a responsible and caring sexual being who prioritizes safe sex, and that’s such a turn-on! So, don’t shy away from asking those important questions and making your STI testing a regular part of your sexual health routine. Let’s normalize these conversations about pleasure and protection!

Let’s talk about barriers

A couple holding hands and a condom standing side by side, radiating love and unity.

When it comes to safe sex, our true allies are condoms and dental dams (or latex barriers). Use them every time you have oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

Perhaps the most common reasons why people choose not to use condoms are that they are believed to be uncomfortable, reduce pleasure sensations, and, overall, aren’t sexy. However, barriers can be very sexy if you know how to eroticize them. So, here’s how you can spice up your protection:

Make it sexy

Putting on a condom can be part of foreplay. Try this: Invite your partner to watch as you roll it on, showing them exactly how you like to be touched. Better yet, ask them to put it on for you using their mouth. Slow down and savor the moment. Share some compliments along the way. It can be very arousing!

Experiment with a fiesta of choices

A colorful mix of bananas, strawberries, and condoms arranged on a clean white background.

Condoms come in different sizes, textures, and even flavors, so everyone can choose the one that makes them feel the best. For example, ribbed condoms or those with playful spikes can increase stimulation during sex, providing both partners with additional pleasure. What about thin or extra-thin condoms? Oh, they make the sensations even stronger and help you enjoy the closeness!

Make it last

For people who struggle with lasting longer in bed, condoms can truly level up the game, giving both partners more time to savor and prolong the pleasure.

Explore the power of femininity

Two happy young people lying in bed, smiling at each other with joy and contentment.

Don’t forget about female condoms! They offer a whole different world of pleasure. Many people, for instance, find the deeper penetration of the female’s condom inner ring to be super arousing. And that outer ring? Well, that can be used to rub on sensitive areas. Many men report enjoying the feeling when their penis hits the inner ring of the female condom during thrusting.

Condoms are convenient, compact, and easy to buy. They can add an element of anticipation, knowing that you are prepared to have safe sex anytime, anywhere. It’s like having a small secret in your pocket that can empower you and boost your confidence. Because safe is sexy!

Lubrication matters

A loving couple cuddling in bed, sharing a tender moment together.

Here is another secret game-changer for better and safer sex: lube. Lubrication is sometimes underestimated, but it not only significantly increases sexual pleasure but also provides more protection by reducing friction and the risk of a condom breaking. Water- or silicone-based lubes are your best choices when you’re using a latex, polyurethane, or polyisoprene condom. Please keep in mind that oil-based lubes, including massage oils and lotions, can cause a condom to break!

There’s a wide selection of lubes to choose from. There’s a lube for every desire, varying in texture, thickness, and even flavor. Exploring different types of lubrication can be a fun erotic adventure for you and your partner.

Here are some pleasure tips:

  • Fruit-flavored lubes can add a delicious twist to oral sex, turning it into a gourmand’s pleasure experience. To make it more exciting, play a game with your partner: apply a little bit of lube without revealing the flavor and let them guess the flavor you used.
  • Temperature play. Take things up a notch by trying cooling or warming lubes. The sensation of different temperatures can elevate excitement during your safe sexplorations.
  • Want to bring more exquisite sensations to the table? Drop a bit of water-based lube inside the tip of a condom. It creates an exciting squishy feel around the head of the penis, increasing sensitivity and pleasure.

So, don’t underestimate the superpower of lubrication. Play, explore, and get creative with this addition to your safe, intimate activities.

Let’s talk about sex, baby!

A man and woman sitting side by side on a bed, engrossed in conversation and enjoying each other's company.

Talking about sex is sexy. Talking about safe sex is even sexier. Open conversations about the types of sex you like to have and the steps you can both take to stay protected are a great opportunity to build trust, strengthen an intimate connection, and alleviate concerns. What is more, talking to your partner(s) about sex gives you the chance to establish consent. Consent is an inseparable and imperative part of any sexual interaction. It’s a mutual agreement between partners to engage in sexual activity. Remember, consent should always be enthusiastic, informed, and continuous to ensure that everyone’s on the same page!

Benefits of safe sex

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Practicing safe sex is a vital aspect of maintaining sexual health and having the best sexual experiences. Let’s learn more about the health benefits of safe sex and how it can intensify our pleasure:

  1. Positive impact on your emotional and mental health. Taking proactive steps to prevent contracting and spreading STIs gives you peace of mind and a sense of control that helps reduce anxiety over the risks of sexual practices. Instead of worrying, you can be fully present during intimate moments with your partner.
  2. Enhanced pleasure. Stress is the number one buzzkill of sexual pleasure for people. If you know how to have safe sex and spice up protection rituals (we hope after reading this article you certainly do), your body and mind can better tune into receiving and giving pleasure without any second thoughts!
  3. Long-term health benefits. Regular testing and using barrier protection methods is an investment in your future well-being.
    Conscious family planning. For people who want to avoid unwanted pregnancies, contraception as part of safe sex provides greater and more mindful control over family planning.
  4. Stronger connection with a partner. By engaging in open and honest discussions about sexual health and safe sex practices, people can build trust, respect, and intimacy in their relationships. It can lead to strengthening the emotional bond between partners.
  5. Community health. Safe sex is not just about your health and that of your partner(s). It’s like a butterfly effect where your responsible protection choices contribute to the overall community health by reducing the spread of STIs. Be a part of a collective effort to make our world a safer place to relish the joys of sex!

The takeaway

A loving couple cuddling in bed, sharing a peaceful moment together.

Safe sex isn’t just about minimizing the risks; it’s about embracing a healthier, more fulfilling, and respectful approach to intimacy. It offers protection, peace of mind, and the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of life while prioritizing your health and that of your partner(s). It’s a win-win situation that brings both protection and pleasure. So, go ahead, explore safely, communicate openly, and enjoy sexual pleasures with more confidence and responsibility! Remember, being safe is sexy!

Disclaimer: #Dating’s blog posts are for you to view at your discretion, and the sexual health insights presented are for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and readers should seek professional guidance if appropriate.

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