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While awareness is growing, it’s clear that more work needs to be done to ensure that everyone’s on the same page about safe sex. You know about condoms. You know about lube. You know a lot of things about protecting yourself and your partner. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean everyone’s doing what they need to. And that’s a problem.
Because Top Drawer Toys is dedicated to sexual health, we believe in contributing to the effort to get everyone on board. Because this is a public page, our contribution is to share useful information that illuminates sex and sexuality, including information about how to have safe sex. Read on to find out how to play safe, while enjoying great sex!
The High Price of Unsafe Sex
UNAIDS (the United Nations agency responsible for tracing and reporting on HIV and AIDS, including current infection rates) reports that over 1 million new HIV infections were recorded in 2022. Those are only the figures for those being tested. In the UK, for example, it’s estimated that for every 16 people diagnosed, there is one who remains unaware of having been infected.
And HIV isn’t the only sexually transmitted infection (STI) circulating among sexually active people. Chlamydia (2.8 million adults infected in the USA), syphilis (6 million new cases globally, every year), and gonorrhea (700,000 new cases in the USA each year) continue to be a public health menace.
Anyone claiming that unprotected sex is without risk is foolish in light of these figures. Approaching sex with someone you don’t know well is risky, so do the loving thing for yourself and others and protect yourself! Safe sex practices can prevent a world of hurt and illness. So, let’s talk about how to have safe sex, putting your wellness and that of your partners first.
Follow These Safe Sex Practices
These recommendations come from the Centers for Disease Control and represent best practices for safe sex:
External (worn by people with male genitalia) or internal (worn by people with female genitalia) condoms must be used to prevent the transmission of STIs. While it’s somewhat unusual to contract any of the STIs mentioned above via oral contact, it’s not unheard of, so the use of condoms is recommended as a safe sex practice for oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Always use a water-based or silicone lube with condoms to prevent breakage.
And don’t forget to slap a condom on your vibrator before introducing it to your sex play. Whether you thoroughly clean it and store it properly afterward or not, a condom is how to ensure that you have safe sex and that you and your partner(s) are protected. This is a foolproof safe sex practice.
Being gay or an IV drug user aren’t prerequisites for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP is for all sexually active people because you can’t possibly know the full sexual history of your partners. Not everyone tells the whole truth, even when you ask. And while we all want to be “true believers”, playing roulette with your health is not for people who love themselves and others. Safe sex practices include medication that prevents infection.
And that’s what PrEP is! It’s a prophylactic drug that prevents HIV/AIDS infections by isolating the virus and preventing it from infecting you. If you’re not in a high-risk group but believe PrEP would benefit you, please familiarize yourself with the CDC guidelines. Awareness of tools like PrEP is an important part of educating yourself about how to have safe sex.
Getting tested to ensure you don’t have any STIs that might be passed on to your lovers is the responsible thing to do. So, getting tested is a staple of safe sex practices. It’s a little scary to face the prospect of having an STI but when you know, you can be treated. And if your tests come out clean, you’re starting with a clean slate!
How to have safe sex is being responsible to others by being responsible for yourself. If you’re sexually active, please get tested for STIs.
Sexual Health Is for Everybody
Safe sex practices are a gift to your lovers and to yourself. Be a part of the solution.
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