What does safe sex mean?

Safe sex is the key to good sex, and it shows responsibility for yourself and your partner.

We often hear the term ‘safe sex’ without fully realising what it means. For the most part, it is a way to have sex without compromising your sexual healthy and security. But it also deals with having sex in a safe environment, without coercion or the threat of abuse. Here’s a four-point primer on understanding safe sex:

1 Preventing pregnancy. The most important parameter for safe sex is the plan you have for preventing a pregnancy. If you are in a monogamous relationship with your partner, you can use oral contraceptives or IUD (Intra Uterine Devices) that stop a pregnancy from occurring. But if you have multiple sex partners, or if your partner is new, a condom is necessary every time you have sex.

2 Preventing the transmission of sexual diseases. There is always the danger of getting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) with a new partner. You might also inadvertently pass the same to your partner if you have them. Some of them are easy to treat and they do not recur, but others require prolonged treatment and even abstinence from sex till you are fully cured. Do the right thing, use condoms for sex and stop the cycle of transmission.

3 Not coercing your partner into sex. Safe sex is not only about the actual act and what measures you take to prevent pregnancies and infections from being transmitted. It also includes your approach – and also your partner’s – towards sex. Neither of you should feel that the other owes sex to the other, and sex should not be used as a weapon during disputes. You cannot force your partner into sex when they don’t wish to have it, nor should you withhold sex to punish them for something. The same applies to your partner. Sex cannot be a negotiation or pawn, it must be a mutual act between two loving partners.

4 Not doing anything that makes you or your partner uncomfortable. Forcing your partner to have sex without a condom, or agreeing to your partner’s demand for sex without a condom constitute unsafe sex practices. Do not go ahead with it if you feel threatened or subjugated in any way, or if you feel that your sexual health is being compromised due to any practices. You may not be comfortable with certain sex positions, or your partner insisting on filming the act, or even dirty talk. Don’t go ahead with something that creeps you out in any way. Remember, if your instincts tell you something’s wrong, then something probably is.