It’s 2022 & We’re Making Safe Sex Sexy

A recent survey by OKCupid revealed that since the pandemic, there’s been a 16% decrease in singles who say they never or rarely discuss STD status before hooking up. 

Don’t you love to see it? People are getting serious about their sexual health, with some thanks to the pandemic. Even though these past two years have come with a lot of negatives, because of this time, we’ve also invested more energy into discussing health and exploring how to get and stay healthy–this is a positive that was necessary.

Discussing anything about sex can get real uncomfortable, real fast. The up close and personal-ness of it, not to mention stigmas around sex, limiting cultural beliefs, and shame, all have an influence on the way we navigate sex. But discussing STD status with a partner isn’t only about what awkward feelings may come up in the moment, it’s about preserving everyone’s health in the long run. Especially because you or your partner can have an STD (like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and even HIV) without showing any symptoms. 

You can get the convo started with simple phrases or questions: When was the last time you were tested? I would feel a lot more comfortable if we knew our status before we have sex. Would you mind coming with me to get tested? 

And most likely, there will initially be some discomfort. But it doesn’t have to turn into a chore. You can set yourself up for good vibes and a good time by making safe sex sexy itself. 

Change Your Perspective 

All this talk about STDs can put you in the mind of a high school sex ed class. But if you maintain this perspective, you’ll maintain this mood. Positive experiences begin with a positive mindset. So don’t think about STD testing and using protection as things that will restrict your sexual experience or make it less pleasureable. Safer sex can allow you to be free to really indulge in your pleasure with fewer worries, and therefore, fewer inhibitions. 

Know the Benefits of Safe Sex

Before having sex, what are some things you want to get out of it, and what are some things you want to avoid? Safe sex will reduce the risk of most of the things you probably don’t want to happen (i.e. infections, diseases, and unplanned pregnancy). Things you probably do want (like pleasure and orgasms) are even more likely with less focus on negative consequences and more focus on enjoying the experience.

Another key benefit is that you can protect you and your partner’s health. It’s one of the best ways to show that you value the relationship. 

And safe sex can even have some unexpected benefits. Communicating with your partner about STD testing and sex in general, can leave you both vulnerable. But it’s also an opportunity to grow closer and build intimacy. 

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Get Creative 

While some people have legitimate obstacles that they face when using contraception– such as allergies to condom materials or bad chemistry with birth control–some people avoid using protection because they believe that sex feels better without it. 

The gag is that if you know what you’re doing and are approaching sex with a positive attitude, you can feel just as much pleasure while being safe. If you or your partner need a little more of a push, get creative!

  • Lube is your friend. It keeps things gliding along and allows more comfort when using a condom.
  • Explore flavored condoms and lube 
  • Add toys to take the pleasure to the next level 

Remember, safe, enjoyable sex isn’t just possible. It can possibly create some of the most pleasurable experiences of your life.

 

Featured photo: Sexualbeing.org

Kymberly Deane is a writer, content creator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion for continual self-improvement and exploring new things has led her to become a health and wellness zealot, with a particular love for sexual health and wellness. She uses her writing to share the gems she discovers throughout her journey. 

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